Monday, March 28, 2005

The Law is a Ass

So says Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Jack Dunphy discusses common sense in his National Review Online piece.

If Terri Schiavo were able, she would go to the nearest telephone, dial 9-1-1, and tell the operator that people are trying to kill her. Police officers would respond, and they would take whatever action was necessary, up to and including laying down their own lives, to ensure that no harm came to this innocent, defenseless woman. If the perpetrators were identified, they would be arrested and prosecuted, perhaps to receive very lengthy sentences in prison. She cannot make that phone call, of course, but those who love her have made it for her, crying out to any and all who might have the authority to stand in the path of what now appears inevitable: the very public starvation and death of Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo.

How on earth can this be? . . .

The details of the case have been exhaustively reported here on NRO and elsewhere, but Ms. Schiavo's fate can be traced through a nearly impenetrable cloud of legal rulings, page upon page of citations and references and footnotes, all of it laced with words like movant and respondent and all the other esoteric terms that seem to flow so freely from the lips and pens of lawyers and judges. It is this specialized language that allows those employed in the law to imagine themselves superior to the rest of us, the unwashed of the lower orders, to whom such language is foreign. And it is this language that the various lawyers and judges will hide behind when Terri Schiavo dies, when all their writs and motions and petitions have flown from office to office and courthouse to courthouse before floating down and congealing into a massive pile of recyclable rubbish.

We have certainly bumbled our way into this nightmare -- a nightmare created not by common sense, but tactically by the inaction of those who could have exposed and halted Terri's torture by enforcing Congressional subpoenas, and strategically by those who have acquiesced in the rise of the Imperial Judiciary and the devaluation of marriage.

Regarding the tactical errors, I strongly support turning the heat up on Congressional leaders who did nothing to enforce their subpoenas (so if I ever get one, I too can thumb my nose at the House and Senate, right?).