Monday, May 29, 2017

Liberals Wrecking the Law

On my understanding, the modern interest of the state in law issues from the desire of the rulers to appropriate the reputation of law in commercial disputes, and use its prestige in support of state power.

The fact is, as I discovered from reading a history of law some years ago, is that most of law is concerned with commercial disputes and inheritance issues. It was only in the modern era that states began to get into the law-making business.

So now we have legislators and judges poking into the interstices of society pushing their private agendas onto the public square. And as Roget Kimball writes of an Appeals court decision against President Trump's executive order on immigration, the judges break down pretty clearly on partisan lines. You could tell how a judge would vote based on which president appointed him.
As Byron York points out, the decision broke 10 to 3 along partisan lines: the 10 judges who decided against the travel ban were appointed by Presidents Clinton or Obama, the 3 judges who supported the ban were appointed by one of the Bushes.
This, as they say, is not good. And, to add insult to injury, the decision was based on statements that Donald Trump made on the campaign trail. Their decision, the judges imply, would have been different if Trump had not made political statements about immigrants.

I suppose we should take heart from this, that liberal judges are so far into the weeds that they will grab at anything to justify their legislation from the bench. It suggests we are reaching the collapse of liberal judicial philosophy from its own internal contradictions.

The problem for me is that, even if liberal judging collapsed tomorrow, we are so far into the weeds that it will take forever to get out.

That's because the growth of big government and the administrative state and its regulations and its administrative courts -- and of course the liberal lawyering that encourages people to sue people and corporations with big pockets -- has utterly buried the legal system and prevented it from doing its job, which is to adjudicate honest disputes between parties over some messy train-wreck of a business deal or a bankruptcy, to patch up the mess after something has gone badly wrong.

Instead we have liberals and the left endeavoring to use law as the sharp end of their arc of history that bends towards justice. Having first determined some sort of outcome, for health care or relations between the sexes, liberals use law to force their desired outcome on society.

It all comes down to a feeling I have that is growing in me, that liberals really do not understand what they are doing. They have a narrow vision of what they want, in respect of equality and justice, they have protocols of tactics and sound bites, they have the power to impose their will, but they do not really think about the collateral effects of their actions. You have Hillary Clinton and the Democrats protesting the results of the 2016 election without really thinking about what happens to America when election losers do not concede their defeat.

It would be nice to feel that average people would revolt against the liberal culture of politics-all-the-time, and the social and cultural destruction that it meets out.

But ordinary people are just trying to make it from day to day; they must find support where they can, and for many that means attaching themselves to the Democratic Party and its neo-feudal government entitlement apparatus. They must find a powerful patron or suffer extreme marginalization and oppression.

Still, as Adam Smith says, there is always a great deal of ruin in a nation. Unfortunately nobody knows how much is too much, and how much liberal lawyering will end up destroying the law.

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