Thursday, July 21, 2005

John Roberts: This clenches it for me!

If our society is prepared to treat city ordinance infractions as felonies if the perp is a minor then I guess we deserve a Judge like Roberts. But America will not long embody the aspirations of its founders if our Constitutional interpreters condone such draconian policies. It's bad enough that the local authorities whether city councils or school boards see nothing wrong with imposing such 'zero tolerence' policies in which the discretion of the individuals on the scene to react to the unique situation and the unique individuals involved is removed in the name of 'fairness' or 'procedure' so that you end up with small children, handcuffed in the back seat of police cars, strip searched and spending hours in close proximity to truely dangerous criminals. But if the highest court in the land becomes unable to see the violation of Constitutional principles in these cases, then the American Dream will cease to be about Liberty and Equality and Fairness and will instead be about Law and Order and Efficiency.

But maybe it is the case that the majority of Americans now have more of an affinity with the latter than the former. If so then they--we--need to name it for what it is and admit that the Great Experiment in Demcracy that began 229 years ago has gasped its last gasp for only a totalitarian government can impose such a regime. Oh, but I do hope it is not the case. Surely more than 20% of Americans would still be as outraged as I am by these scenarios. And at least another 33% should be mildly to moderately dismayed by it.

(Here is another 'zero tolerence' case that embodies gross injustice, this time involving and adult--tho the fallout affects his children as well. That is four that I have encountered in the last six months. I would like to enlist my reader's help in collecting more examples of these kinds of stories. If you know of any you can give me the references or links in the comments or via email--see sidebar)

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