I love when Gamso quotes Shakespeare. Especially that Henry V stuff, glorifying battle and war. We few, we happy few – as they ride off to their deaths.
Then again, there’s “Dulce et Decorum Est“, if we’re going to run with the war metaphor.
I don’t think it’s enough to tell the young lawyer, who still gives a shit, that the battle itself is the important thing. You’re just playing Jessie Pope to his Wilfred Owen. He’s pointing out the pointless murderous carnage, and you’re telling him to don his gas mask and pick up his rifle for the next round.
Who is the enemy?
The fault, dear Gamso, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Just how far under? Under the police. That can never be allowed to happen. Judges must respect lawyers more than they respect the police, political power differentials notwithstanding. Even criminal defense lawyers. Especially criminal defense lawyers.
But they don’t. They respect political power and nothing else. This marks them as men and women of low character, but let’s get past that. What is to be done?
First, let’s identify the enemy: the judge is the chief adversary. Followed by our own acceptance of the status quo, much as we might complain about it. The prosecutors and police are bit players in the drama. They fill the void left by our weakness. Malevolently, yes. But we cede them the high ground. We bring it on ourselves, to that extent.
During the Iran-Iraq war Iran became famous, or infamous, for sending human waves to attack Iraqi positions. Rumor had it that they used children as fodder.
At least they were male children.
You might refer the kid to Sun Tzu, instead:
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
Update: It might not seem related, but it is. Greenfield over at SJ has a post today about – well, about what? You might think it’s about how selling do-it-yourself legal forms segues into the unauthorized practice of law. I’ve often had the same thought about all these companies that offer “debt counseling”. If they’re not bankruptcy lawyers, what the hell are they doing “counseling” anyone about their debts?
But those companies will never get gigged on that. They’re adjuncts to the banks themselves, who own all the judges.
Which brings us to the point. The system is so lawless that people are bound to surmise that “lawyers” don’t make any difference. And they’re right, the vast majority of the time. Once in a while having a lawyer can make a difference – Jose Baez comes to mind – but you can no more predict what would happen with a well drafted will than a poorly drafted or “form” will. If there’s some dispute it will boil down to the whim of some judge, who doesn’t feel bound by anything; who believes, ultimately, that he is a law unto himself.
Although, ironically, it doesn’t feel that way to him: he’s just responding to political pressure. And there’s always political pressure to one degree or another. Judges don’t really enjoy their jobs or get any sense of satisfaction from doing them. That’s why they escape to the golf course so much. In their heart of hearts, they know what they are doing is a sham.
Update 2: Now Gamso, a professed agnostic/atheist ACLU type, is quoting scripture! And it is an excellent post.