My job as a lawyer is to advise and represent individuals and legal entities in matters that concern the state. I may never speak to the state or its agents while providing legal services, and the services may simply amount to defining the legal relationship between two private actors. But everything in my job is done with an eye towards the possibility that the state will involve itself in the client’s affairs. Usually the potential involvement is that some other party will use the courts to resolve a dispute, and potentially use a court’s writ to command the state to do violence against another. Although there is a great deal about this system that I do not agree with, I believe that if someone is going to have to do violence against another then this is the best method. Continue reading
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I support state recognition of same sex unions. I, like most people my age, have several gay friends. I also have gay friends who have been in relationships that would otherwise constitute a common law marriage, left those relationships, and subsequently found themselves facing difficult legal issues. “How do I get my spouse off the mortgage?” “My car is in his name, I make the payments, but he’s threatening to take it away. What do I do?” If my friends had been in a “normal” opposite sex marriage, their issues would have been resolved by laws governing the division and distribution of martial property. It is the lack of access to those laws that is causing a great deal of controversy.
I initially wrote this piece as both an open letter of lament and a call for compromise. Given the recent turmoil that has taken place in the Texas Legislature, it seems all the more appropriate. Continue reading
Statists often talk about rights in way that I find quite perplexing. A “right” to a decent wage, a “right” to healthcare, a “right” to housing, and so on. As an American, we’re taught (and quickly forget) that our country was founded on the self-evident truth that men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, namely life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But as our republic grew and evolved, the nature and number of rights grew in include ‘public rights,” like the right to entitlement benefits and the right to procedural due process before such rights can be taken away. This is a reflection of America’s muddled jurisprudence regarding, well, everything involving the United States Constitution. These muddied waters may soon give birth to a new breed of public rights, such as a right to healthcare. This is frightening because, simply put, these new, government given rights may become the basis for denying our innate, God given ones.