maule at LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU
Thu Nov 16 02:19:04 PST 2000
>>> masinter at NOVA.EDU 11/15/00 08:24PM >>> writes
the perversion is
two elected officials -- Harris and Butterworth -- one a cochair of the
Bush campaign and the other the chair of the Gore campaign, each insisting
that the law means what she/he says it means. That is a formula for
Maybe that's why folks like to pretend they don't like lawyers because that's what lawyers do. Moot court problems are constructed around statutory interpretation issues, and many a court has "found" an ambiguity where most would have seen absolute terms. Real life arguments in all areas of the law involve disagreement over the meaning or application of a statute. That may be some sort of perversion (though I doubt it) but if it is, then it simply supports the common view that lawyers have perverted the law. I don't buy that.
Perhaps the difference is that most legal advocacy occurs in an elegant fashion, bereft of partisanship and out of the limelight. Perhaps the difference is that the arguments rarely get into the public arena but remain cloistered in the courts. After all, 99 percent of court cases are too boring and technical for the national news.
So it doesn't bother me that lawyers take different positions on the meaning of a law. I doubt that alone can lead to insurrection.
Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
Villanova PA 19085
maule at law.villanova.edu
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