At The Economist: ‘Why lawyers love Shakespeare’, a comment by American Scribbler

If you are summoned to be a juror in an American Court, the last thing the judge says to the assembled citizens, just before the individual interviews begin, is that the law court is above morality! When I was summoned to jury duty 3 years ago, I exercised my right to speak to the Court on that very matter: I simply said that the law court was not an historical singularity but operated as part of a republican whole and did not and could not lay claim to some lubricious notion of moral exceptionalism. And I recited the most egregious failures of that claimed exceptionalism: Dred Scott, Buck v Bell, Korematsu, Hirabayashi etc. and was summarily excused from service, not by name, but by my number 15.
Is there no other group of citizens that enjoys the self-proclaimed status as arbiters of ‘Law’ and ‘Morality’, not to speak of the ‘Majesty of the Law’ endlessly harped on in courtrooms? This pretension is so evident that Shakespeare is the one literary reference that cannot be gainsaid, at least by the aspirants to unimpeachable bourgeois respectability. And Judges don’t like to be spoken to as civic equals, nor do they like to hear repeated, in open court, the voluminous record of the failures of a Law they worship as preeminent.

American Scribbler

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/01/literature-and-law#commentForm

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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