Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two connected things

Law professors and lawyers instinctively shy away from considering the problem of law’s violence.  Every law is violent.  We try not to think about this, but we should.  On the first day of law school, I tell my Contracts students never to argue for invoking the power of law except in a cause for which they are willing to kill. They are suitably astonished, and often annoyed. But I point out that even a breach of contract requires a judicial remedy; and if the breacher will not pay damages, the sheriff will sequester his house and goods; and if he resists the forced sale of his property, the sheriff might have to shoot him.
A fact lots of people don't like to think about.  And why wizardpc wrote It all ends with puppy-killing SWAT teams:
I would like politicians and bureaucrats to acknowledge this: Every law, rule, and regulation made by the government ends in puppy killing SWAT Teams. Every dime that is spent in our name was taken at gunpoint.

I want them to understand that every action they take has this statement as a footnote: “This is important enough that my grandmother should be killed if she does not abide.”

The rhetoric might be a little over the top, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Take the story of Rawesome Foods, who were raided twice in one year by full-ninja swat teams for such horrible crimes as “improper egg temperatures.” I mean really what could possibly justify that?
For the time being let's ignore the idiots with badges who have no problem putting on their ninja suits to do full-out raids for crap like this and focus on the fact that lots of politicians and other idiots have no problem with people being killed in the enforcement of laws like this.  Which means there HAS to be protections for people, written into the laws.  Things like due process.  And this makes the attempts by the Democrats and some Republicans to damage or destroy due process such a disgusting act.

That's the second part of this: the willingness of people to violate their oath of office and work to damage the document they've sworn to uphold, all in the name of "I want this!  Public safety!  Give us this or the terrorists win!"*

And the mindset is perfectly  demonstrated by two people.  The first is a federal judge:
Judge Richard A. Posner, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote his opinion of our founding document in a piece in Slate.  Keep in mind that this judge is also a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21stcentury. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today.”
When you have no respect for the origin of our foundational document or the events that inspired its creation, it is easy to dismiss the rights it guarantees at a whim.

The other is that slimeball Ezra Klein:
To work, “Yes Means Yes” needs to create a world where men are afraid.   For that reason, the law is only worth the paper it’s written on if some of the critics’ fears come true. Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty Damn Sure. 

Let that sink in for a moment.  A US citizen is openly advocating for a law, that when applied correctly, convicts the innocent in ambiguous or spurious situations, in order to strike fear into the hearts of an entire demographic of people.

So much so for Blackstone’s formulation, on which America’s judicial system was founded: “All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer.”

So we get the spectacle of politicians who used to yell 'Secret lists are BAD!' now throwing tantrums on the floor of the House, and others declaring "If you don't go along with us, you want to give guns to terrorists!", because they want to use those secret lists for their own purposes; that makes them good, and something for which they're willing to wipe their ass with that document they swore to uphold.

And we get that corrupt hypocrite Diane Feinstein actually saying that if you find out you've been put on one of these lists “You can petition and prove that your innocent and get off of the watch list,"
Because suddenly 'innocent until proven guilty' is inconvenient to these people.

*The terrorists are watching these bastards do some of their work for them, and laughing like hell.  And if the oathbreakers win?  I think the line from some general was "Another such victory and I am undone."  Which we will be.


Anonymous said...

Well, in Judge Posner's defense, if I'm not mistaken, he is the judge responsible for forcing the uber-crooked state of Illinois to acknowledge the right-to-carry. Without him, there would be no CCW in IL.

0007 said...

Who was it who first said, "This will not end well,?"

Anonymous said...

Anony: Which Judge Posner? There are more than one. In fact, Wikipedia lists two (Richard and Eric) that are also on the teaching staff of the University of Chicago Law School.