According to the ABA, there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States. Over 25% are in New York and California. The increase in the 20th century has been from 114,000 in 1900 to over a million in 2000. The population increased from 76,000,000 to 272,000,000 over the same period. The arithmetic shows a nine-fold increase in lawyers and a three-and-a-half-fold increase in people.
Apparently, there was a race to law school for many during that period, and the race has only slowed a bit until today, sailing well into the 21st century.
A large number of runners in the race, however, tripped over the tortoise with the goal to learn the law, it seems. Either that or the tortoise was going slow enough, himself, to take in the “learning” and they failed to understand the slow and deliberate method that he pursued for knowledge; they being too intimidated by the Socratic method and such masculine skill-sharpeners. The lawyer-wannabees just wanted to BE lawyers, I guess.
Acquiring legal proficiencies and histories was more like a necessary evil. But what the hell, if you can scrounge a law degree from some liberal-happy-shack like Yale, Stanford, or Berkley ad nauseum and then sell same to the public at 500 bucks or so an hour, who cares what you know?
Lawyers are analogous to those T.V. side-show historians who don’t make the big bucks perhaps, but still don’t know diddly squat after graduating from any one of a plethora of useless universities. Those fellows (lawyers and historians) are spread pretty evenly among all T.V. outlets. Even clowns need work despite the dying circus.
Fox may be the worst but then Fox has always been in the henhouse of conservatives. Fox is no more than MSNBC with too much lipstick.
But back to the barrister buffoons:
The point is many people seem to believe a great deal of these lawyers aren’t worth $5.00 an hour, let alone five hundred dollars an hour. And I’m speaking equally of the “never heard of set” and the “often on T.V. experts.”
For those who remember the O.J. Simpson trial, or for those of us who are alive and remember the Watergate episode, all should remember the blistering, blustering news and the cabal of lawyers paraded before the public daily. Its history was a constant serving of opinionated pretentious legalese-news slop. This trend has not ceased in 50 years.
In the Watergate watershed many lawyers went to jail. Many who didn’t probably should have. Many, as usual, ran for Congress. Sadly, many were elected.
Presently (back to the future), on any given day or night you can see one speaking, or spoken to, on T.V. He may be the host or he may be the guest. Or both guest and host may each be a lawyer.
The concept of the “constitutional lawyer” seems to be a command statement for many lawyers on media cable and network “shows.” That is, many of the attorney guests are brought on as CONSTITUTIONAL lawyers.
What are the rest of the million-plus or so? Non-Constitutional Lawyers?
The U.S. Constitution Is only about six thousand words (without amendments). Most of my mates and I in 9th grade civics class, eons ago, fathomed it, generally.
And anyway, what constitution? One of 50 state constitutions, or the “big” one that has become known as “The Law of the land” and is usually described as a document that provides for some magical—though nonexistent—checks and balances (such was lost in 1865). Now we have legal silliness, if not stupidity. And you can be sure there are plenty of idiots around who will call the big one a “national” constitution. They may or may not call it “federal” but they will mean “national” because they don’t know the difference. Talk-Radio is filled with these mental midgets and it continues to fertilize the minds of man daily.
They may never understand that some of us never stand or salute a “National Anthem,” but always willingly stand or salute “The Star-Spangled Banner” (and Dixie).
This so-called “Law of the land” in one of its own “Articles” (IV) requires 50 republics if there are 50 states (supposedly states in a union, and not simply adjacent counties) that by definition, necessarily have rules that “constitute” governance (without rules it isn’t a republic).
As an example of the big one and the typical legal mind(s) that examines it, as Constitutional lawyers, consider the following:
Keep notes sometime on these T.V. lawyers (and historians), and listen to how many times the subject of a trial will come up and some Denny Dimwit (constitutional lawyer) of the ABA, etc. will say quite adamantly that the man charged with a crime has a right to a trial by a “jury of his peers.”
The “Founders” were almost immediately, post 1787, thrown into the process of amending The often acclaimed “Greatest document devised by man,” before they had any hope of getting at least three-fourths ratifications (by the states, not the conglomeration of people). This first action taken under Article V became known as The Bill of Rights. These were the first ten amendments.
These “Founders” were not discussing a Bill of “Rights” that some man-made constituted document could give to men. These Founders had no such authority to create rights even if they claimed such. They were discussing God-given rights that men were endowed with (by their Creator).
Therefore, the concept of an “impartial jury” as opposed to the popular media ballyhoo of “Jury of one’s peers” was what they found in their deliberation (and prayer) and was what God probably had in mind.
The "peers" version evolved early from Magna Carta and was English dogma at the time (and still is) whereby men were judged by those who knew each other best. For example, a group of plumbers(today) would best know whether a plumber had been righteous or whether he was telling the truth or not with regard to a piping system he had installed. A similar concept can be seen in parents and their children (as opposed to someone else's children).
But an impartial jury means, something else: that there should be those who are willing to listen to testimony without prejudice or preconceived notions.
And the “Founders” considered that this was a better concept. That is a “peers” jury would always be rife with the temptation to inject the (modern phrase) “Good Ol’ Boy” justice. In other words, the "jury of one's peers" was REJECTED by those who drew up the document for presentation to the states.
And an impartial jury doesn’t necessarily mean one that has not heard about the case or spoken about it. And the nonsense of sequestering juries so as not to have their impartiality tainted is ludicrous. Is the jury pool assumed to be a collection of morons that cannot deflect rumor or hearsay from the public’s outcry? If the answer is, they cannot be trusted with certainty, then why isn’t the judge in the dusty little hotel room, incommunicado, along with them? Isn’t he supposed to be impartial, with certainty? He is allowed to read the newspaper but the “idiot” jurors are not?
This is the sort of undercurrent of pseudo-Constitutional thought that gets fences built around capitol buildings—and worse.
But, on any given channel, on any given night, some Harvard law scholar will pronounce that everyone has a right to a trial by a "jury of his peers." And, yes, the lawyer probably really does have a law degree. God knows why!
Hank Johnson, a congressman from Georgia, is a lawyer and he believes the island of Guam might tip over if too many Marines land on it.
But to the specific point: The most important personage in the courtroom, aside from the defendant, are the jurors, NOT the judge. And judging by the standards of law schools these days, it is possible (maybe even probable) that the jurors are more knowledgeable of the law than the judge (see Emmet Sullivan in Michel Flynn case, speaking of idiots and morons).
But more to the point, where does this sort of fictitious bilge come from without comment—or correction?
Carrying that point to the law, somehow, we have an almost worship of many in government as if they are deities. The Supreme Court (a misnomer if there ever was one) is often ballyhooed as "our greatest legal minds." Good grief, they are simply nine lawyers. Nine lawyers. And one of those cannot define a woman. One wonders if she has a common DNA with Hank Johnson.
So, if silliness of law via constant reverberations from the legal-beagles, such as “trial by a jury of his peers,” remains, who will teach the teachers?
The point is, with a limited free press (Big Tech's scissors) and many in the "Media" utilizing free press as something akin to a teenage graffiti message, what we now have is an educated public akin to public education. If that’s the case, we might as well leave the border open. Let all the idiots in. They will keep familiar company, at least in Washington, D.C.
OR put them on T.V., where insanity obsesses and senselessness sells.
Send them to law school?
Then send the rest of us to hell. That’s where we’re headed anyway. After all, law seems to be history.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. Opinion | Magna Carta's Peer Review
The language in the Magna Carta provided that punishments, proceedings and prosecutions required “… the lawful judgment of peers and by the law of the land." This idea was cultivated by the English legal system until it expanded to include not only criminal cases but civil cases, as well.
Paul Yarbrough has written several pieces over the last few years for_ The Blue State Conservative, NOQ, The Daily Caller, Communities Digital News, American Thinker, The Abbeville Institute, Lew Rockwell _and perhaps two or three others. He is also the author of 4 published novels (all Southern stories , one a Kindle Bestseller), a few short stories and a handful of poems.