A Constitutional Amendment Banning Lawyers From Public Office
By Gosta Lovgren firstname.lastname@example.org
What follows is a case to Amend the Constitution
to Prohibit Lawyers from holding elective public office.
The Amendment shall read:
No Person who holds, or has held, a license to practice law; nor any person who has represented any entity (other than himself) in a court of law in these United States, may be elected to any public office.
The rationale for such extreme action is as follows:
- Lawyers already control (or greatly influence) two of the three branches of our Government.
I contend it's unhealthy to have ANY interest with that much influence in this country. The profession already interprets and adjudicates (Judiciary), administers and enforces (Executive). To have them also make the rules is just too much. Fox guarding the henhouse and all that.
- The Judiciary Branch. Clearly under the control of the legal community. One needs to be a lawyer before one can become a judge, and properly so. Nowhere is amorality and objectivity more necessary than in a judge. He is the last resort for many of us.
- The Executive Branch. Where the Attorney General, the Cabinet and all enforcement (prosecution) lies. FBI/DEA/BATF/IRS/ NMFS /XYZ, all the alphabet agencies that enforce the law (and in way too many cases make their own). Prosecutors again are lawyers and complete objectivity is required here.
- The Legislative Branch. There is no Constitutional (or implied) requirement for lawyers here but they do have de facto control ( I read recently where 43 of the 100 Senators are lawyers, a recent low.) Without any specific knowledge, I'd be willing to wager some serious money there are no legislatures (State or Federal) that are not at least 25% lawyers and all will average close to or probably over 50% lawyers.
- Lawyers are amoral by definition and necessity, and as such should not be making the rules for the rest of society to live by.
- The nature of our legal system requires them to be amoral (and properly so). "Justice is Blind" is a truly wonderfully ideal precept that has served our country, and by example the world, for more than 200 years. It cannot be practiced by any who come with preconceived notions or ideals of right and wrong.
- Lawyers are well trained (and again properly so) to be non-judgmental.
- It follows that by inclination, training and practice, lawyers must suspend any feelings of right and wrong (morality) and are required to be non-judgmental.
- The system can't work if lawyers (and especially judges) were any other way and made moral decisions (based on their own personal morality) of what was Right and Wrong for the rest of us.
- I contend the country would be far better off with moral people making our laws. Whenever a particularly offensive morality (say the Christian Right, or Islamic extremists, or ......) becomes law, we still have the courts (lawyers) to set us back on track.
Lawyers have a clear and distinct bent towards making things much more complicated than necessary("dot every I and cross every T"), and as such greatly encumber the normal course of everyday commerce. Legislation reflects that.
- One example to illustrate the point: It used to be only a decade or so ago, a person could buy/sell a piece of property or house and an experienced person (usually a real estate agent) could handle all the paperwork himself. A few days, a few weeks and voila, a done deal. I'm talking normal business, not a complicated or contentious deal.
Sure there were cases where advantage was taken but that's no excuse to burden the other 90 or 95% of with all this tiresome (and expensive) legal baggage.
Try getting it done today without at least 3 lawyers, six delays and four or five figures in closing costs and in under 6 months. It's my contention the legislators have made things unnecessarily complex ("dot every I and cross every T"). "If Mars should come in contention with Pluto during the summer solstice, the party of the third part shall indemnify the party of the first part........"
I contend that we can do without 95% of the minutia many laws have evolved into largely because lawyers write them. Again we have courts to resort to when necessary.
Lawyers implicitly practice "Make work for Brother" at the expense of the rest of us.
Try going to court today on any but the most minor of offenses. The judge is going to look at you and say (in his deepest and most imposing voice) "You know you are charged with a serious offense here. You had BETTER get legal representation."
If you get a lawyer and plead guilty, you get a fine (and pay the lawyer). If you don't have a lawyer, you get a bigger fine and probably 10 days in the cooler to contemplate the error of your ways.
An example: One time a young fella worked for me, nice kid, early 20's, single, drank a little beer, never missed work, big (300+ lbs, a lineman on a major college team until his knee blew out), good natured, easy going. He comes to me one day and says "Swede, I'm scared. Got into a little tussle in the local gin mill a couple weeks ago and got arrested. Nobody got hurt, no damages or nuthin. I gotta go to court this morning and I hear the judge is a bitch. He's probably gonna send me to jail."
This is Jimmy's first time ever going to court. I tell him, "Just go in there and say Yes Sir, No Sir, I'm sorry Sir, Never happened before Sir and will never happen again Sir." You'll probably end up with a $50 fine and a stiff lecture.
A couple hours later the phone rings, "Swede, you gotta help me, he gave me 10 days in County Jail and a big fine. I did everything you said but he gave me jail anyway." He was scared to death (Yeah right, like somebody was gonna play "Pick up the soap" with a 300 pounder like him.)
I told him to sit tight, I'd take care of it. I called my lawyer, told her what happened. She drove over to the court and 20 minutes later Jimmy's back at the dock after paying a $50 fine. Now you tell me what she could have told that judge that Jimmy didn't already tell him. She didn't know Jimmy, had never met him before in her life. Buuuuuuttttt.....She WAS a member of the brotherhood (they call it THE BAR - always in caps and with deep respectful reverence).
I assure you this was not an "isolated" case but the norm. They may not all be as extreme (and many are more so), but is clearly illustrative of what I'm talking about.
A good deal of the previous point ("Cross the T's") applies here as well. It's implicit (and obvious to me) that if a document can be made inscrutable to a lay person then he will have to hire a lawyer to protect himself (from other lawyers and ironically, the law itself). It follows that one lawyer automatically makes work for another when he does that. The lawyer may not consciously make that decision to involve another lawyer, but he does so nonetheless and I believe intentionally (consciously or not) because it's built into the way he are taught to "practice" law.
It strikes me as more than just passing irony that you have to hire a lawyer to protect yourself from lawyers. When the Bent Nose crowd do it, it's called "protection" and is illegal.
It's my contention the law no longer serves the people, it serves the lawyers.
Criminal law has become more of an auction block than a system of justice.
Prosecutors routinely charge an accused felon with the harshest charges remotely possible. The object is to coerce the defendant into pleading guilty (for a lesser penalty) rather than forcing the state into proving its case in open in front of a jury (an expensive process).
When the State charges someone with really heavy charges and then bargains down with the defendant that's clearly wrong. If a person has in fact done really heavy stuff, then he should have to answer for it, all of it. Either the State can prove its case in its entirety or it shouldn't bring it.
RICO is a prime example that is clearly malevolently misused by prosecutors to coerce behavior. Bad Law for good reasons.
Defense attorneys do the same thing on a different front. They have the defendant routinely plead Not Guilty regardless of whether or not he did the deed or not. The reasoning here is to delay the process for as long as possible in the hopes of wearing down the prosecution to get a better deal for the client.
Witnesses die, move, disappear. Evidence gets lost. Memories fade. Other things get more important for the state to pursue.
"Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" - Each feeds off the actions of the other clogging the system and delaying justice (such as it is) for both the accused AND for the victims (which is even more egregious).
The wealthy client gets probation and the poor bastard with no money gets 10 years.
The victims wait YEARS to get closure.
The lawyers benefit and we pay a pretty heavy price - the cheapening, denigration and eventual degradation of our justice system.
The Law has become so cumbersome it lends itself to Legal Extortion.
We've all heard:
- "You may be right, but long before you'll be able to prove it, you'll be bankrupt."
- "We'll bury them in a blizzard of paperwork and motions and they'll be forced to settle/give up."
- "They/We'll settle because it's cheaper than waiting years to go to court."
- ........(Endless variations thereof)
The government itself particularly egregious in this respect. Bureaucracies (as well as large corporations) have large legal staffs who are nothing more than bullies who use and manipulate the law for their own purposes (which may well be unlawful in themselves).
I have full confidence in my fellow (non-lawyer) citizens to maintain a system that will meet our needs as well (or better) as our current one had up until the last 30 years or so, about when the legal profession proliferated uncontrollably and the ENTITY that is the legal profession began tweaking the system to protect itself via legislation.
I find it helpful to think of the legal community as a Living Organism (An organism's highest duty is to survive) where the individual cells go about doing their own thing and are not (necessarily) aware of the survival purpose of the Organism or how it manipulates its environment for its own purpose. Nor do they see their contribution to that manipulation or how it may damage others outside their environment.
Incidentally, the "Organism Theory" (OT as I call it) works well to explain bureaucracies and other seemingly senseless or contradictory ENTITIES. I always got bogged down trying to make sense of them until I came up with the OT. I was focusing on the individual parts and missing "The Big Picture".
(Following are NOT reasons to Constitutionally curtail the power of lawyers but are particular bugs to me.)
The Lawyers absolute predilection to avoid and deny any responsibility for their clients at any cost.
No one is allowed to tell the truth right up front (if ever) for fear of making his situation worse. The car manufacturer can't say his braking system was faulty because then the lawyers will exact even more punishment. They have to drag it out as long as they can hoping to wear the other side down to a lesser settlement (all the time billing hours to each side).
Many many examples of this behavior (this may not have been even a good one). It really really galls me. They have, by example, set the standard for avoidance of liability far outside the courtroom.
The fallacy of "Defending You to the Death"
- "My child came up wrong because the government didn't provide proper day care."
- "We have civil unrest because whitey takes advantage of the underclass."
- "I was abused as a child and/or came from a dysfunctional family."
- "It's not my fault because ...."
- And whose to say any of the above are wrong. After all that's what the rules (rulers) tell us every day. "DO NOT under any circumstances admit ANY responsibility for ANY action. I'll get you a better deal."
- One thing not generally known, nor would lawyers admit to, but the absolutely last thing a lawyer will do is go to court (especially in civil cases). They will generate ALL MANNER of rationale, delays and pressure to keep that from happening. The reason is: if they have to go to court, there is a very real chance they could lose. (And it keeps the clock running). By forcing a settlement (no matter how egregious for one side or the other), both sides come out claiming to be winners. Absolute fact.
- The Judge is almost certainly pressuring for a "settlement". He's already got a clogged calendar and and scarce resources. Every case he can get to settle is one less the system has to deal with. (Note - in NJ, less than 8% of civil cases ever make it to court, much less trial.)
- The lawyer is only dealing with you ONCE. He is dealing with the judge and the opposing lawyer often. If he takes a particularly hard stance on your behalf, he knows he's going to pay the price later on down the road. Simple logic - "If you give me a break on this one, I'll give you a break on the next one."
How it works out for you depends on whether you are the "breakee" or the "breaker" this time. Tell me again how that hasn't led to abuses in the system.
Obviously this amendment would never make it through the current Amendment Process (unless I were King of course). There really is no hope but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed.
This isn't meant to limit the amount of lawyers in society, only the pervasiveness of their influence.
I believe our government is heading for collapse just by virtue of its inexorable growth. Every year 1/2% of the population on average moves from the private sector to the public sector. It's my understanding that it stands now somewhere around 65% Public (Federal, State, County, Local) & 35% Private. And a pretty significant portion of the private sector is dependent on the public (Defense contractors, paper manufacturers, etc.) . At what point the Private sector can no longer produce enough to support the Public, I don't know. I thought that 25 years ago when the Public crossed the 50% line we were pretty close then, but obviously I was wrong. Maybe we can go all the way to 95% (where the Soviet Union was when it collapsed).
And when the collapse comes and we have to start all over again we can get to add the Lawyer Amendment.
This document is (c) Copyrighted by G. H. Lovgren. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part without this copyright notice.