No Role for Wisdom in American Jurisprudence

Author: Todd Wright
Published: March 25, 2010 at 5:45 am
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Back in Solomon's day, judges were lauded for their wisdom. Not so today.

Take the lesbian prom case out of Itawamba County, Mississippi, for example. School officials canceled this year's soiree when they learned that lesbian Constance McMillen and her girlfriend planned to attend as a couple.

The Federal Judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson, used a procedural gimmick to split the baby, so to speak, ruling in favor of the ACLU's argument that tolerance and the "Equal Protection" clause of the 14th amendment dictate that McMillen and date be allowed to attend the school-sponsored prom. However, he refused to provide any relief until after a trial on the matter that is scheduled for sometime after April 2nd. Of course, the trial date is scheduled to take place after the prom.

Instead of waiting, parents organized and sponsored a private dance that was officially unaffiliated with the school and an event that the Equal Protection clause could not interfere with. It only applies to government-sponsored activities. The decision to scrap the school-sponsored prom remains in force.

Some politicians enjoy proclaiming that the United States is a country founded on the "Rule of Law." That means that judges are duty bound to apply the law blindly, without regard to whether it is wise.

Thus, the judge in the McMillen case can't decide, as he apparently wanted to, that in his opinion as a duly appointed judge--selected because he had lived a long time, been a lot of places, seen a lot of things, lived his life well, garnered the respect of his community--that it was simply unwise to run a school dance this way. So he was forced to resort to procedural trickery to obtain the same result.

In this country, because judges are not allowed to apply wisdom in their rulings, they are selected for their knowledge of the law and are expected to rule on that basis alone.

In other words, our country is founded on the rule of law as opposed to the rule of wisdom.

Photo credit: The Pink Jukebox

 
 

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Article Author: Todd Wright

Todd Wright is author of Todd Wright Now (http://toddwrightnow.blogspot.com/), a blog about spiritual awakening. A retired naval officer and attorney, he lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

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