Friday, February 10, 2017

The Coming Implosion of Liberal Rule by Judiciary

So the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the lower court's defiance of President Trump's immigration pause.

Reading the Bloomberg news item you clearly get the globalist line, the harm done to the ruling class by the order:
The two states, the judges said, showed “ample evidence” that they, their businesses, universities and citizens would be harmed if the ban were restored, even temporarily.
Really? Harmed by the pause in immigration from seven rather inconsequential Middle Eastern states?

But I get it. This is the liberal ruling class using its own particular branch of government to fight back against the populist wave represented by Donald Trump and Brexit. The current system works rather well for the trans-national globalist elite, of which I admit that I am a disloyal member.

We are talking about the kind of people that switch from corporate jobs in the US to corporate jobs in Europe, the academics that switch easily from a professorship in the US to a visiting professorship in Europe. It is, of course, intolerable that a President Trump should foul up the gears of this comfortable life for "businesses, universities and citizens" like me.

But never mind about all that. What I wonder about is where this judicial supremacy, piled on top of the already gigantic administrative state, ends up. It's all very well for the swells, up in the higher echelons. But what the people need is swift resolution. Let's figure out what the new policy is going to be and then let's get there. But the current system seems designed to frustrate the needs of the ordinary citizen, and instead create jobs for the supporters of the ruling class.

Let's take the example of Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann's suit against National Review and Mark Steyn Rand Simberg and others for defamation. You'd think that it should be a pretty open and shut case that could be quickly tried and resolved. But no; it is tied up in preliminary appeals that have been going on for three years! Here is Mark Steyn's latest bulletin on the progress of the suit. Three years, on a case about a relatively simple blog post?

The legal beagling may be great fun for the legal beagles and the lawyers and all, but what about the right to a speedy trial? What about the little guy, Mark Steyn, against Big Climate and all its billions, its "businesses" and its "universities?"

More than a century ago Charles Dickens used the power of satire to argue for a reform of the legal system in England in his novels. He satirized legal monopoly and Doctors Commons in David Copperfield and he sneered at the law's delays in Bleak House. The old system was great for lawyers. But for the people caught in the toils of the law it was soul destroying.

That's where we are in the developed West. We have a gigantic administrative state and a vast ponderous legal system chewing up ordinary people. Back when I was an immigrant, 50 years ago, I got my immigrant visa, my green card, and my citizenship with effortless ease. Today, I learn from acquaintances, it takes lawyers and piles of paper and years of delay.

The ruling class doesn't care. It is the administrative state. It is the legal profession. It likes the current system.

But change is coming. As a bellwether, you could start with Charles Murray's By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. Murray delves into the injustices of the current administrative state and its lack of transparency and its dominatory hegemony. He proposes, as an interim solution, that some billionaire fund a foundation whose sole job would be to terrorize individual bureaucrats in the system, to make them fear for their pensions.

But obviously the problem is much bigger, and requires a much larger reform than a minor diversion using guerrilla tactics. In fact, by proposing guerrilla tactics, Murray signals just how powerful and dominatory the current ruling class is. Today, we are years away from a real broad-based movement that can take the state back from the ruling class.

And Murray was just talking about the administrative state. He had nothing to say about the power of an imperial judiciary to impose the will of the ruling class over the will of the people.

Nobody can tell where Trump's immigration pause will end up. Nobody can tell how long the ruling class's judicial imperialism will continue. Except for this.

The administrative state is a clumsy response to the impossibility of big government. It is trying to do the impossible, because economic life by administrative regulation cannot work. You cannot have a national pension system by administrative government hegemony; politicians and administrators just can't adapt to change and deal with the future. You cannot have a national health system by administrative bureaucracy. It will founder in the administrative overload of Obamacare. You cannot properly relieve the poor by administrative ukase. And you cannot supervise immigration by judicial meddling.

Our ruling class does not understand that. It only knows how to use the political levers at its command to push back against the rising movement of populist rejection that threatens its power and its sinecures. I'll bet a nickel that the ruling class has no idea where its pushback against Trump ends up.

That is all very well, but does Donald Trump know any better? Probably not, but the way of the world is that entrenched power does not last forever. Comes the day when the great edifice of ruling class power crumbles into dust and everyone realizes that it was all pretense and stupidity.

At some point the administrative state will grind to a halt. At some point the imperial judiciary will throttle itself on its own delays and contradictions.

If you are a naïve fool like me you hope that today's behemoth will be replaced by a smaller state and a responsive judiciary. But more likely the whole thing will be swept away in a general civilizational meltdown.

And neither you nor I will like what grows up it its place.

No comments:

Post a Comment