Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Don't Worry Sammy, I Struggle To Drive 55 As Well...

From The 5 Laws That Don't Work.

I get confused when people equate illegality with effective implementation. Whenever something 'bad' (i.e. undesirable) happens, there seems to be a rush to try and ban the object or the action giving rise to the undesirable behavior. A perfect contemporary case in point is the rush (led in part by FoxNews, of course) to promote Salvia awareness (i.e. drive to ban the substance).

We're all lawyers/law students/citizens concerned with effective and just administration of law here. If anyone knows the strengths and weaknesses of the legal system it should be us, right? So, what do you think Illuminati: Should we continue trying to ban items resulting in undesirable behavior? What are our alternatives?


  1. Banning substances is a good thing because they're harmful. But this begs the question of whether it is rational in the first place. I remember reading an article once detailing a ton of ridiculous laws (like prohibiting looking in a downtown shop window past 7:30 PM) --- good post

  2. People cannot make informed decisions on their own, so we need rational government actors to help ensure people don't kill themselves and others

  3. I honestly can't think of another solution

  4. I think this is an asinine idea. Do you not remember my post re: DEMOCRACY!!!!!!???!!! These laws originate from the people, and the people decide them. That is the key point and it will remain the key point until our constitution is changed. Laws are laws, and we should obey them (unless of course, they are gay marriage laws enacted by activist judges).....just my view

  5. @ (Person pretending to be?) Jeff--

    I think this is a copycat effort, but--just in case--your critiques are unfounded. Fred didn't say we should reverse these laws through a court or the like; he suggested they should not be enacted in the first instance (by the people, etc.)

  6. I am not a copycat....what are you talking about. I am making a simple point. I think democracy is a great thing, and even though I think gay marriage is wrong, I don't mind if the PEOPLE choose it. Here, the people are choosing these laws, and we should listen.

  7. * Last comment was me.

  8. I understand your point. Assuming the laws are not yet legislatively enacted, should they be? That's what Fred's question is, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

  9. What do you think Fred?

  10. @ 9:07--

    I think that most laws are absolutely inane. I'm a firm believer that 'malum prohibitum' laws are, by and large, useless and should be minimized or completely struck. Actually (depending on how philosophic you want to get), I struggle to even call things like the drug prohibition rules or speed limit rules 'laws'. I am a firm classical liberal in the Bastiat/Hayek mould, meaning that I fully support the formalization of 'malum in se' laws (i.e. murder, robbery, rape); On the other hand, I find the 'malum prohibitum laws' to be arbitrary, poorly thought out, and in many cases unenforceable.

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