Laws are passed for three reasons:
1. The Law serves the public need, like the criminal laws against fraud.
2. The Law serves special interest needs, like the billions of dollars of “pork-barrel spending attached to most legislation passed by Congress.
3. The Law serves the needs of Government, like the Tax Code or laws denying accused Terrorists of rights under our Constitution.
The weakness in the legal system is that the written Law (The Letter of the Law) never completely reflects the intent of the Law (The Spirit of the Law). For instance, a car dealer can sell you a lemon, but is very unlikely to be charged under the criminal code for the act. And, so more laws are passed to close the loophole that only create more loopholes. In the end, the legal system of any country is only as good as the people are willing to comply with both the Letter and Spirit of the Law.
As the trend in the States has been toward the passage of more and more laws that service special interest or government interest issues, the willingness of the people to comply with the Law has been in decline.
The British Legal System of which America is an heir had a solution to this problem. It was in the practice of not only applying the Law, but the rulings on the Law that had occurred in the Land before the current case was held. These Rulings, done by juries included the right for the jury to decide the Law was wrong. Americans lost this right to review the merits of the Law in 1899, when the U.S. Supreme Court held that a judge was not required to tell the jury of their right to reject the Law under which the accused was being tried. The legal system defends this lose of the right of the people to evaluate the merits of any Law on the grounds that it would lead to a chaotic legal system. The fact is that the legal system didn’t collapse in Britain after the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. It is undergoing failure since the 1899 Supreme Court decision.
The core legal problem for Americans is that they are losing their rights. The gap between the Bill of Rights and the rights of the accused is widening. The Press has lost its right to protect confidential sources. This means that fewer people informed of what the Government is actually doing will talk to reporters. The Court recently ruled that the U.S. President is not a King and does not have a divine right to undertake searches without warrants. The list of fading civil rights grows as does the passage of Laws that don’t serve the public interest.
The defense against this trend toward living in 1984 is simply to comply with the Letter of the Law while doing whatever you may believe to be in your best interest. It’s a matter of having a global vision and moving some of your assets beyond the reach of Washington.
Anyone can become an Enemy of the State. After WWII, the enemies of America according to our Government were Communists. This policy created the McCarthy Hearings, blacklisting socialists, etc. However, what damage did the Communist “Fifth Column” actually do to America? With the decline of the U.S.S.R, the Government temporarily opted to have the far right (Ruby Ridge), the far left (SLA), organized crime and drug cartels as the Enemy of the State. Since 9/11, the Enemy of the State has been Fundamental Islamic Extremists. These 20,000 or so aspiring suicide bombers are lead by a fanatic living in a cave somewhere in the mountains of Pakistan. Do they hate America? Yes. However, it’s the Government in Washington that is working hard to bring down America. The laws, rules and regulations that we have passed are destroying our economy. In one month, Washington does more damage to the America people than Osama has done in five years. We come back to the issue that the Laws are pass are often not in the best public interest.
The individual American’s defense against insanity is to comply with the Letter of Laws that don’t make sense and then do whatever you feel serves your best interests. The public’s defense against a legal system going in the wrong direction is to vote the politicians out and put in some honest folks with common sense. Since I don’t see the public requiring intelligent, honest politicians, your only defense is to company with the letter of the Law and Globalize to Survive.