The Point Isn’t To Fix The Law, But Murder It

For a while now, progressive activists have done everything they can to demonize the courts, primarily the Supreme Court given that Trump appointed three justices who, they explain, are partisan hacks determined to do their master’s bidding.

But they’ve cranked up the volume to 11 following the denial of injunctive relief in the Texas SB8 case, which proves to the hysterical that they were right all along. Their outrage had been falling a bit flat up to then because they sky kept not falling. Indeed, the courts had been doing a remarkably good job of being courts until then.

Now, they finally have a weapon to prove that the judiciary is as awful as they’ve been shrieking it is, serving their dual causes, to undermine confidence in the integrity of the judiciary in general, and to justify their bastardization of the judicial branch in reaction to the Trumpian bastardization of the judiciary. The only reason people don’t know how bad the courts are is because the media has been lying about it.

But the unwillingness or inability to engage with the Court as it is, instead of what pundits imagine it to be, quietly carries water for a conservative legal movement that depends for its success on public acceptance of the fantasy of the objective, apolitical judiciary.

The issue isn’t disagreement or disapproval of certain decisions. We all have those, and I’ve disagreed with the Court with unfortunate regularity over the years. But it’s not because the Court in particular, and the judiciary in general, are evil scum. Because if it was, then why bother to be a lawyer, to teach law, to talk about the legal reasoning and analysis. Why go into court to argue a cause if you have no hope of winning because the judges are biased and will rule without regard to the law or your arguments? Who makes a career playing Calvinball?

Many legal podcasts, much like the field itself, trade on the credentials of their hosts: “Strict Scrutiny” is hosted by three law professors who clerked for Supreme Court Justices; “Amicus” is hosted by Dahlia Lithwick, a Stanford Law alumna and award-winning legal journalist. In contrast, the hosts of “5-4” have carefully avoided sharing their C.V.s. Listeners know their first names and a handful of biographical details—Rhiannon is a public defender, Peter has worked at a white-shoe firm, and Michael is a self-described “reformed corporate lawyer”—but that’s pretty much it. Their semi-anonymity has allowed them to be brutally honest, and occasionally profane, without fear of professional repercussions.

Peter has amassed quite a following on twitter under the ‘nym Law Boy, Esq. He’s very snarky. Very lefty. Very obvious. And he plays into the most simplistic and cynical fears of the woke, that everything not left is evil and must be destroyed no matter what. And that includes the law.

Law professors have added the show to their syllabi, and it now brings in twenty-six thousand dollars per month on Patreon. “We used to joke, like, Oh, we’re the most influential leftist legal thinkers,” Peter told me recently. “And then we realized that might actually be true, just because there are so few.” The shortcomings of the commentariat had also become clearer: “Too many people perceive the law as a battle of ideas and not a struggle for power.” (Emphasis added.)

Since the right is bad, the left must be too. Since the Trump-appointed justices and judges are all political actors doing politics and not law, the left most be too. Since the left cannot prevail in a battle of ideas, they must seize power and control of the judiciary so they can impose their law upon a nation as they believe the right is doing. Except when they impose their band of authoritarian control, it will be good because they are good, and they will crush anyone who disagrees.

Peter may believe that too many people, wrongly, perceive the law as a battle of ideas. I do not. I will never walk into a courtroom believing that the fix is in, that I cannot persuade a court to rule in my client’s favor because if I did, then there would be no point to there being a judiciary, a legal system, lawyers. If it’s just a matter of power, then why bother to argue? Why not bring a gun into the courtroom and tell the judge to rule your way or you’ll blow his head off?

I fear that too many people, especially the younger, most simplistic, most hysterical and most  passionately authoritarian lawyers, believe as Peter, Law Boy, Esq., does, that it’s just a power game and the only goal is to seize power and crush the opposition under the heel of your righteous boot for all the wokiest of causes.

As has been explained before, the courts are called the Least Dangerous Branch because their only tool is integrity, that the public trusts the judiciary to be sufficiently fair and impartial that they can fulfill their mission as arbiters of disputes under the law. Do these woke lawyers grasp that their “reimagination” of law as a power play means the death of the law and the end of the judicial branch of government.

If there is no winning on ideas, then there is no point in the law. If the fix is in, then the law is dead. And indeed, that’s the goal of progressive lawyers, not to fix the law but to murder it. Fuck that.

16 thoughts on “The Point Isn’t To Fix The Law, But Murder It

  1. Dan

    It’s Critical (blank) Theory all over again, this time in its legal guise, and here it’s clearly showing its Marxist roots. The defining characteristic in all these systems is the power struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed–in both cases, defined by class membership rather than by actual situation, such that POTUS could be “oppressed” (under CRT).

    1. SHG Post author

      Is there really any “theory” behind this cynicism, or is it just “X is good, Y is evil, at least for the moment”?

      1. rxc

        It is received wisdom. As you have noted earlier, it is a religion. You cannot argue with it. That is a feature, not a bug.

  2. Sgt. Schultz

    The characterization was that the 5-4 podcast was “brutally honest,” which appears to be accurate given that Law Boy openly admits to being a fascist, but the “good” kind as if every fascist doesn’t believe they’re the “good” kind.

    1. SHG Post author

      How many times and ways can the obvious be made more obvious, and yet it doesn’t seem to matter to the illiberal left?

    2. Paleo

      Yeah that’s the thing about the progressives. They constantly complain about oppression, but they’re really big fans of it. They just want to be the oppressors.

      1. Jay

        The Progressive believes in precisely two things: his own magnificence and the constructive power of brute force. The roots of his pathology lie in that oldest and most destructive of all human vices, the desire for the power to rule over other men.

        – N. A. Halkides

      1. John Barleycorn

        You do have a point, but something tells me they don’t have the access to any anime porn illustrators who could have incorporated the Ghost of Ginsburg riding the flamingo.

  3. DocAmazing

    Good heavens, yes! There is no Federalist Society, the Republicans in the Senate have been remarkably even-handed about judicial appointments, and Devin Nunes deserves to sue into penury anyone who questions his farming bona fides! Yes, the left is the problem.

    Tell me, do you require written instuctions to breathe?

    1. Miles

      Since you seem like a person of good faith despite your severe intellectual challanges, I will endeavor to explain why your comment indulges in an idiotic logical fallacy. Yes, the Republicans are ugly. Very ugly. But that doesn’t make “the good guys” less ugly, and if they’re ugly too, are they the good guys? Even if they’re marginally better than the bad guys, is that good enough or are they just another, slightly less awful, flavor of bad?

      The objective isn’t merely to be better than the worst of the other side, but to be good. The left is not good, no matter how bad the right is. And perhaps the left is just as bad, even worse, than the right in their own ugly way.

      1. SHG Post author

        Having explained this a few million times already, it’s lost its attraction for me. It’s unfortunate that the dopes of the partisan left fall back on such crap, which in part explains why the fringe left is so hard to distinguish from the fringe right. Dumbasses gonna dumbass.

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