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rule of law
A Norm-Shattering Campaign in California
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  • Anthony

    Adam Garfinkle (TAI Editor) provides additional context and continuity in his Part 3, State of the State.

  • JR

    Yes, but please note that once again, it’s the Left leading the charge to crucify someone for expressing an opinion the Left finds intolerable. This is where the threat is coming from and it is coming on all levels.

  • Fat_Man

    You fail to mention one important fact. That this campaign has its source in the elite academic circles that are the heart of the liberal leftist media elite establishment. It is not the masses who seek to destroy the rule of law. They understand that the rule of law protects them from the arbitrary power of the elite. It is the elite that wants to destroy that source of protection from their arbitrary and unchallenged rule.

    The mind of the elite was expounded by George Orwell in the novel 1984. Anyone who seeks to understand their mentality needs to re-read it. In particular Part 3 Chapter 3:

    “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.

    * * *

    “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. … The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

    * * *

    “Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. … But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.”

    You have been warned.

    • Amadeus 48

      Fat Man–This is a brilliant comment.

      1984 was a great read back in the 1960’s when we, as teenagers, could all look at the Soviet Union, Maoist China, the Stasi state in East Germany, and the shaky premises of the Labour-led UK government , and safely shudder with horror at the depravity of the collectivist state. Now we are in 2016 and the ideology has come ashore here, particularly in academic circles.

      Budd Schulberg said that he wrote “What Makes Sammy Run?” as a warning, but by the 1980s it had become a how-to manual.
      Now we see that 1984 has become a how-to manual for the academic Left and their acolytes. Power and nothing but power over others is their goal and reason for being. That an academic lawyer is leading this effort is emblematic of the corruption of our institutions.

      Judge Persky’s long service and true heart as a well-meaning liberal will not save him. Only the voters can. I hope they understand the stakes here.

  • Pete

    Hold the phone, Mead. Lawless judges are the problem. Heck, old man, the country would be better off if judges to the U.S. supreme court were elected to 8-year terms instead of their current appointment for life.

    • FriendlyGoat

      It’s up for argument whether Supreme Court Justices are more “lawless” than their election campaigns might be. The right objects to the reasoning of Roe and Obergefell. The left objects to the reasoning of Citizens United and McCutcheon. The elections you are recommending would just be another media race of negative ads dwelling on a few cases. I think I’ll side with the “originalists” on this one. Federal court decisions are not the subject of elections—–except in the extreme case of amending the Constitution to reverse any such decisions.

      • Pete

        ” The elections you are recommending would just be another media race of negative ads dwelling on a few cases.”

        This is better than allowing lawless liberal justices, who are first and foremost loyal to their leftwing ideology over the written law, to continue wrecking the republic and the rule of law. .

        • FriendlyGoat

          First of all, we can stipulate that we are having a moot debate. There is little likelihood of the Constitution being amended to provide for any popular election of Supreme Court Justices.
          People rely on the Court to uphold individual rights. If elections were to always have the justices running scared, they would be less likely to do it, just as legislators of states in the old South did not simply outlaw slavery—–state by state—–in the statehouses (as they should have to prevent the Civil War.)

        • f1b0nacc1

          Anyone who reads this blog knows that I almost never agree with FG on anything, but I must endorse his position here. Open the door to judicial elections, and you are throwing away the notion of a disinterested rule of law independent of political passions forever. The founders understood this all too well, which is why they did not endorse the idea of elected judges in the constitution. Let me suggest as an example of how badly this can get out of hand…take a look at the mess in Wisconsin, something that (even though ‘our’ side is winning, should be revolting to all of us), an ugly situation almost perfectly illustrating the point that FG is making.

      • Jim__L

        Won’t work. Leftist courts simply ignore amendments to the Constitution — that’s what Prop 8 was.

        Left-wing justices who pay no attention to the Constitution will pay no attention to amendments thereunto.

        Honestly, we may get to the point where left-wing justices may look upon term limits with relief, compared to the only relief available to the rest of us when they are appointed for life.

  • markterribile

    This has happened before. Look up the case of his Honor ‘Turn-em-Loose Bruce’ in NYC, ca. 1978(?).

  • Andrew Allison

    It’s a little more complicated than that. As far as I can tell this is, in fact, an example of elite “justice”. The sentence does seem linent for the evidence provided, but evidence which emerged after the case suggests that the prosecution either did a half-hearted job or withheld evidence as to the character of the defendent. That said, the torches-and-pitchforks response to the verdict is juct one more example of the steady erosion of the rule of law.

  • kingschitz

    The real question transcends the usual partisan sniping because the answer will ultimately destroy the Tory and the Jacobin. A “decay” in democratic norms is only a more vivid way of describing the delegitimation of our entire system. This process has been underway slowly since WW I and far more rapidly in the last several decades. Also and obviously, it is not restricted (nor even most manifest) in the U.S.

    The question for what’s left of this century is likely to be that of legitimacy: social and political classes, legal and civic institutions and states and super states. In the short term, partisans will try to keep balance or improve position by dodging or exploiting falling debris. But the future looks to be a highly destabilized place, and civilizational gains produced by cohesion (e.g., public health, rule of law) will unravel into a more Hobbsian world.

    One might say that the question was raised at Verdun and the Somme and answered at Auschwitz. The rest is commentary.

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