13 thoughts on “Totalitarian Law Professors”

  1. That’s because government is where all the power and money are, these days. To be a successful rich lawyer, you need to be advancing government power, not fighting it.

    Clearly, we need more Samuel Insulls and J. P. Morgans, men so wealthy and personally ambitious they can make the smartest lawyers drool over the fortunes to be made defending individual liberty against the encroachments of authority.

  2. It’s one thing to do adversarial rhetoric and argument in a courtroom. You’re expected to be one-sided. But for a law professor to do it in their own heads? Doesn’t it hurt when you do that? The simplest measure of the folly is the lack of precedent for the various parts of Obamacare. Why expect no constitutional challenge when the law is so overbearing?

  3. Surely, Karl, you have learned by now that when you listen to lawyers it’s a mistake to assume what they say accurately reflects how they think. That may be true for naive engineer types, who have this quaint notion that the purpose of speech is convey information. But a lawyer speaks only for the purpose of influencing others.

    For example, if when you listen to a lawyer he heaps scorn on some proposition of yours, and you find yourself puzzled by why it’s so obviously foolish — it’s a good hypothesis that your proposition frightens the lawyer a good deal, and he is unable to find a good rational argument with which to oppose it: he is reduced to mere ridicule.

    I’ve always felt that the way the pro-Obamacare clowns laugh at the idea of it being unconstitutional (or this being a serious problem serious men should take seriously) — laugh a little extra loud, to my ear, even semi-hysterically — is a good sign that they fear the power of this issue.

  4. The thing is, I’ve also learned that they generally are sincere, at least for the 10 seconds that it takes to write or say whatever they’re saying. The cognitive dissonance is remarkable. It can’t be healthy to try that hard to lie to yourself. From the story:

    One lawyer haughtily informed me that whatever law professors might think about the Constitution, it’s really all politics, and this health care reform represents a big, important political effort and that’s why it’s going to be upheld in the courts.

    Typically strange but human behavior. Repeat the assertions of the dogma to a perceived fellow believer. Althouse was supposed to reinforce the belief system by affirming the lawyer’s assertions. When that didn’t happen:

    The lawyer looked either alarmed or angry

    They were probably both. Angry because the belief system was questioned.. Alarmed because she didn’t respond with the right behavioral cues, indicating a stranger with alien beliefs was in their midst.

  5. The states have to take their position on the other side of the teeter totter or things aren’t going to work very well.

    I think this is revealing. They consider the question to be, who is the enforcer, state or fed, the implication that power has to be in the hands of government.

    This is why they consider the ninth amendment something you can spill ink on with no harm.

  6. The thing is, I’ve also learned that they generally are sincere, at least for the 10 seconds that it takes to write or say whatever they’re saying.

    Aye, they can fake sincerity very well. Personally, I think they’re adept at lying to themselves, and/or believers in “higher truths.”

    It can’t be healthy to try that hard to lie to yourself.

    Now that’s an interesting question. Without doubt, for some people, it is unhealthy and stressful to lie to one’s self. But I am not convinced this is true for everyone. My impression is that for some people easing other psychological pathologies is more important than whatever psychic damage they do lying to themselves. (Generally, they project the feelings of distress anyway, and are very quick to accuse others of lying.) For those people, it is, technically, healthy to lie to themselves.

  7. BTW. A person could use my ink stain argument to say how dumb I am in the same way they often accuse Sarah. I mean, it was (that notorious lefty) Bork that said it. But the they I was referring to were lawyers (and judges) that don’t even consider the possibility that rights belong to people and not the state regardless of political stripe.

    I repeat… calling Sarah dumb just proves how stupid the caller is. I have to thank them for self identifying. It makes things so much easier than having to consider anything they say (even if content is the thing that matters and not the boob spewing it.)

  8. “Richards was having none of this abstract rule-of-law business. Economic realities should trump legal jargon, he said. He portrayed constitutional law a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn’t be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done”

    So government shouldn’t let little things like the law get in the way of, oh, I dunno, making the trains run on time?

  9. “Economic reality”. I disliked that highly subjective turn of phrase as well. Wasn’t Obama lithobreaking the economy for the last couple of years? I think we have here a recent example of economic policy that would be rationalized by yet at the same time completely divorced from economic reality.

  10. I do IT support for a floor full of lawyers and so get to interact with them on a daily basis. The interaction I love the most is when there is this error message that occurs from time to time in a MS Word macro they use. I always get the, “why is this error message happening?” I explain, “Oh, there is a process running in the background that gets hung up in memory when the connection to the server times out and this causes the macro to generate a runtime error when the expected event doesn’t occur as requested.” Their eyes shift back and forth for a few seconds as the roulette wheel of acceptable responses spins around in their head and then suddenly they proclaim, “Well, that’s pretty obvious actually (oh but of course!), what I mean is why is this happening to me right now?!?!?” I just shrug and tilt my head to the side and dryly say, “well that’s pretty much the reason why. The server times out, error message happens; doesn’t matter if it happens to you now, tomorrow, or next year. The reason is always going to remain the same” At which point their eyes close to slits like they want to shoot Supermans heat ray through my forehead.

Comments are closed.