Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Media buzz and pundit puking over the meaning of stare decisis during Judge John Roberts' nomination hearing reflects two unfortunate dilemmas:

1) Great social and pop culture indifference towards discovering the definition of something most of us don't know. It's saddening that most we have little grasp of Latin, despite the language we currently speak being deeply rooted in it. Last we checked, the current republic is based on fundamentals from the Latin-speaking Roman Republic. A break from the Play Station and other social banalities draining our collective intellectual capacity could actually make a little space for a history lesson. We might gain a better understanding of what's happening. Plus, it doesn't hurt to at least have a basic sense of what your lawyer knows. Is it absolutely necessary to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a law school education to find out? Of course not. But, we cringe, simmer and convulse at the mere mention of it.

2) It is because of Dilemma 1) that most of us are unschooled in the ways of the body politic and legal code. This further alienates the public from the institutions built to serve us. We bristle at low voter turnout and government indifference to our plight, but we make scant effort to understand or examine government and the law.