03/26/2005: Respect for The Rule of Law
The Courts Push Back by Andrew Cohen (Attorney /CBS News columnist) is a well written piece about the need - even in difficult cases - to have Respect For the Rule of Law.
"...That sends a terrible message to young and old alike about the place of the judiciary in our system of government. It sends a message of disrespect toward judges and the rule of law; a message that final judicial decisions can be mere way stations along the road to a political result.
Judges don't have a soapbox in which to compete in this fight for public perception in the court of public opinion. They do not have a bully pulpit and they don't appear on cable television or on talk radio. The can only speak through their rulings.
This week, those rulings quietly spoke volumes about what is right about our government, even as all the white noise and hot passion surrounding them spoke loudly about what is wrong with it."
And despite my co-blogger's disparagement of his NULS legal education and the legal system as a whole, I wrote this and still stand by it as a "Defense of Lawyerly Pursuits."
There is a legal "slippery slope" that occurs if the premise of injecting religion into our secular government is allowed and where that would lead if that was the precedent set in law.
One thing that is good about a legal education that many anti-lawyers forget (though they are often the first to run to find the biggest shark swimming in the pool when they want their justice) is that the legal mind is taught to look ahead at the unintended consequences and the breakdown of any contract or laws put into effect. That the policies adopted set precedents for the future is important, as is having a "plan" for how to deal with an "agreement gone bad" which is the hallmark of good lawyering.
For those that disparage lawyers and suits as all "frivolous" miss the greater majority that resolve societal disputes and issues in a civilized way. The much quoted "kill all the lawyers" comment which gets trotted out as opposition to the profession is a distortion of the context of those four words to spin the opposite meaning than was written. Those words are part of a claim that if you want to see the complete breakdown of civilization, the lawlessness and chaos of anarchy…the first thing you would do is "kill all the lawyers."
Our country would not be either as peaceful internally or as civilized in its operation were it not for our very legal system and our lawyers. (p.s. I tend to be for less litigation and more settlement/arbitration to negotiate conflicts. Litigation itself has each party convinced they are correct and justified in their claims or defenses, but in the end only one side is eventually "right" and the losing side therefore is "wrong." So litigation is always open to only a 50/50 chance of being right.)
And so it falls that most of this "hysteria" is not as much about "life" or the value of "life", as it is about this Religious point of view and it's inability to accept that it may be "wrong" on its premises both in the Law and in Society - and by its own Religious philosophical underpinnings as well.
Susan Estrich also has a good one on the political motivation in this "Passion Play" of the Month: Gutless Congress Drafted a Sloppy law and Neal Boortz weighs in with this one A Political Price To Pay - Apparently So. Or this one: Man Arrested in Alleged Schivo Murder Plot; about this disrespect for our Rules of Law and Society.
Karen on 03.26.05 @ 05:34 AM CST