June 3, 2003
I was raised to believe that law is the glory of decent society; that the rule of law is the sine qua non of civilization; that international law is the greatest protector of human rights; that lawyers should be coupled with doctors as an elite profession to which a young person can aspire; that making laws is the great work of legislatures; that law schools are among the noble places of learning in society; that the title "judge" was perhaps the highest appellation in society; and that the jury system is an essential component of a just society.
Most of the preceding has become nonsense.
I have come to fear almost everything having to do with law. Though there are many fine people in the legal profession, and though law is necessary to protect society from descending into chaos, I now fear the legal profession more than I do Islamic terror. I am far from alone. I believe that more Americans rightly fear being ruined by the American legal system more than being killed by a terrorist.
Tens of millions of innocent Americans, and untold numbers of innocent institutions — from schools to businesses — stand a good chance of having their money legally stolen through litigation or even the mere threat of it.
Innumerable American children are terribly harmed by family lawyers who egg on their clients to destroy the other parent.
Parents fear allowing visiting children to play on their property — in their pools or on their trampolines, for example — lest they be sued in case of injury.
Airlines won't give passengers aspirin for fear of lawsuits.
Physicians prescribe unnecessary procedures, raising the national medical bill astronomically, for fear of being sued.
American hotel guests can no longer breathe fresh air because hotels are no longer built with windows that open lest they be sued if a hotel guest falls out of one.
Men and women fear speaking normally at work, lest they be sued.
The deprivation of freedoms in America because of laws and litigation has made this country less free than at any time in its history.
Law in America and internationally is no longer on the side of the decent. It is a weapon in the hands of the indecent.
Everything related to law has been corrupted.
Law schools . Most people leave law school morally worse than when they entered. When they enter law school, most students think in terms of right or wrong. In law school they are taught to reject such thinking and to think only in terms of legal and illegal. This transformation of morals into legal categories, reinforced most especially in trial law, and particularly among criminal defense lawyers, explains the proliferation of amoral lawyers and the destructive role many trial lawyers play in our society.
Lawyers . The best humor is almost always the truest humor. The funniest jokes I ever heard were those told by Soviet dissidents; the funniest today are about lawyers. Both types of jokes are so humorous because they come from the same place — bitterness at one's helplessness against an overwhelming and oppressive power — the communist system in the Soviet Union, the legal system in America.
International law . Had America followed the proponents of international law, the people of Iraq would still be tortured and murdered by Saddam Hussein's regime. The frenzied screams of the international law community against American liberation of Iraq were the screams of people who hate American power and values far more than they hate tyrannies. International law and international treaties (all broken by the very regimes that we need to be protected against) are now the weapon of choice against American moral and military power.
Law . Law is a man-made series of rules. That is all it is. In and of itself, law is entirely amoral. There are moral laws and immoral laws. Both decent and vicious governments make laws. The Holocaust began legally. Nazis and communists had judges and lawyers who respected their societies' laws. In our country, slavery was entirely legal, as was the racial segregation that followed it. The notion that obedience to a society's laws is always moral is itself immoral.
Judges . Too many judges are unfit for their position. How else can one explain the New York State Supreme Court ruling that women can bare their breasts in public because men can? How to explain the judges who liberate criminals only to have those criminals murder and rape again? Or the many judges who regard their primary role as imposing their values on society? This has led to an undermining of the democratic process beyond the wildest hopes of any homegrown fascist or communist.
Juries . Juries are now merely weapons in the hands of amoral attorneys. The attorney's purpose is to win, not to find justice, let alone truth, and the jury is selected only for that purpose. The Florida lawyer who brought the new legal terror weapon of "class action suit" against tobacco companies rejected over 800 potential jurors before he could find 6 people who do not believe that anyone who smokes has freely chosen to do so.
And now a trial lawyer is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for president. He ought to win it. Trial lawyers are, after all, the largest contributors to him and to his party. And if that doesn't frighten enough Americans, we will cease being a free country.
If America is destroyed, it will be done legally.
|Dennis Prager, one of
America's most respected radio talk show hosts, has been broadcasting in
Los Angeles since 1982. His popular show became nationally syndicated in
1999 and airs live, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to Noon (Pacific
Dennis' most recent book, Happiness Is A Serious Problem, was published in February 1998. This long awaited book, about which he has lectured worldwide for ten years, appeared on the Los Angeles Times best seller list the week of publication and appeared fifteen consecutive weeks, rising to #1.
Read his full bio
|©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.|
The Law and Litigation
4 jun 2003