Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Law Is The Judges' Law

Apologists argue that "The Law Is The Law Is The Law", and our judiciaries are made up of regular folks just trying to do their difficult jobs. However judges routinely ignore our law makers, invent their own laws, and sanction repugnant acts. Why?

Both the US and UK judicial systems:

* Promote abortion and euthanasia.
* Appease killers and terrorists.
* Undermine other institutions.

I’ve highlighted judicial persecution of the weak in the UK. To see how they bow to terror, follow the sorry story of Tony Blair’s attempts to lock up a gang of dangerous terrorists.

The Law Lords, the UK equivalent of the Supreme Court, thwarted him. They ruled that:

a) under the EU Convention on Human Rights, the men must be treated as UK citizens, without being held to the duties of those citizens, and
b) they didn’t think they were that dangerous anyway.

Blair struggled to accommodate them while keeping these men off the streets, but they used every trick in the book to thwart him. Now the men are under house arrest and largely free to kill.

The US courts have similarly promoted killing babies at term, killing the handicapped, and according terrorists the rights of US citizens. And have discovered in the ancient Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the right of homosexuals to marry each other.

Here are some common explanations of the cause of these behaviors, with my views.

Disrupters

The Great Disruption is Frances Fukuyama’s term for the many adverse changes in Western societies that began in the the 60s. Crime, addiction, illegitimacy and family breakdown all rocketed. The trend has now stabilized and social behavior is improving. The theory is that today’s judges all trained at the start of the Disruption, and having gained power are in effect locking it in.

This certainly aligns with their law making - see the Supreme Court discovery of the right of 16 and 17 year-old murderers to escape the death penalty. However, many of the judges declining appeals for Terri are in the 40 to 50 bracket, and in the wider community this cohort is decent and socially responsible.

Despots (AKA The Ward Churchill Effect)

UK judges are appointed for life, as are senior US judges. They cannot be thrown out in elections, or fired for incompetence. So they make their own rules and are impervious to change.

I think this is a major influence. But it doesn’t explain the judge in the Terri case, who was I believe elected. He made the key finding that her fate be determined by the adulterous husband (who wanted her dead), rather than by her parents (who wanted her alive). This sentenced the woman to death.

Clubbed

Under this theory, judges see themselves primarily as members of an exclusive club and support fellow members come what may. This explains why, Congress having mandated a Federal Court to review the facts of the Terri case, the court declined to do so. And why the Supreme Court, refused to hear the case.

But clubs can equally be benign, so this doesn't explain recent behavior.

Desensitized

Behavioral Science (and history) shows that many people are desensitized by acting cruelly. Absent social control, they become more brutal and even more desensitized. This would explain why otherwise normal and decent human beings might mutilate a new born or force a crippled woman to terrible death.

This theory seems to me a little extreme, since judicial behavior is usually pusillanimous rather than cruel. And it doesn’t explain why our judiciaries should suddenly be infected.

*****

There are other theories, the wildest I’ve seen is Refugee South Africans - the two most extreme members of the Massachusetts Supreme Court
and Brit Law Lords hail from SA. But South Africans are social conservatives, so it’s probably just a sampling error.

My conclusion is: All of the Above theories apply, with Disrupters as the determining cause & the other attributes reinforcing it. Armed with this analysis, I’ll look in later posts at how we might rebalance this arm of government with the other two.