Thursday, October 03, 2002

Usually I stay away from linking to Lileks, not least of which is that he seriously does not need my itty-bitty traffic blip. However, today he addresses some legal questions over a US Senate election.
I prefer clear laws with regrettable results to judicial legerdemain in the service of “higher causes,” the nature of which vary from person to person. You can always endeavor to change the law through elected representatives who serve at the electorate’s pleasure. Letting the courts allow a hand-picked candidate who did not run in the primary to replace a primary winner who screwed up his campaign does not strike me as, ahem, genuine democracy. It's

What’s this to do with us in the Land of Oz? I think his point is very applicable to law in general, and immigration laws in the specific. One of the chief functions of law is to exist and to be agreed on before the fact. If a situation arises that the law cannot reasonably cover, the courts of Appeal exist to correct and interpret law, and the legislature exists to make new laws.

But when instances arise where the law directly applies, then it is hands off. That means refugee activists, Federal Court justices, xenophobic politicians, lawyers and radio hosts. Feel free to advocate new law, better law, different ink for the law. But don’t expect impartial treatment under statutes applying to you, if you’re not prepared to accept impartial treatment before the fact.

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