Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Law and Rhetoric

The Supreme Court issued an opinion today about a prison inmate who had a bunch of his stuff stolen from him by prison guards simply because he's a Muslim and they could do it with impunity. The ruling was that they were right, they could do it with impunity. Some statute about US customs was interpreted to mean that prison guards have immunity from any recourse against them or the government stemming from such thefts.

The whole thing is totally irrational, completely ignores any attempt to consider actual facts, and the opinion focuses more on commas than on actual meaning of language.

It's an example of the way the law works. The court just finds some rhetorical bullshit to lead them to the conclusion they want to reach. That's law. That's procedural justice. That's America.

In another example of the absurdity of legal thought in America, the DOJ submitted a brief to the Supreme Court on the current gun case being considered by the court where they argued that the Second Amendment defines an individual right but that the government must be able to ban hand gun ownership because if we don't allow that people will be allowed to run around on the streets with missile launchers. Or something like that. Just absurd.

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