January 20, 2013

SO FOR ANYONE WHO’S INTERESTED, I’ve got an early version of my Due Process When Everything Is A Crime essay posted now. It’s pretty short, as I plan to submit it to the online law reviews for faster turnaround. Maybe later I’ll write a longer piece on the topic — I’ve already been asked if I’d like to do a book, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone else will pick up the ball and I won’t have to. . . .

UPDATE: Reader William Vine writes:

Thanks for the very insightful article. You explained concisely the legal ramifications of everyone is guilty. However, there are the psychological ramifications: Everyone is guilty. Everyone is immoral. Everyone is corrupt. Everyone is a failure. First explained to me in Atlas Shrugged. Unfortunately, do not remember citation details.

I believe this is the passage you mean:

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Things aren’t quite that bad. Yet. (Bumped).