Ken noted that prior restraint is unconstitutional, and yet Judge Neilson has restrained a citizen through an order.
Commenter Chris Rodes replied:
"The constitution? How many divisions does it have?"
Another commenter responded:
All of them. Every service member has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to follow the lawful orders of the officers placed over them.
This is missing @Chris' excellent point: The phrase "The Constitution", like the phrase "Rule of Law", is a mantra chanted by young and naive libertarians. If saying those magical words helped, we wouldn't need to say those magical words.
In this actual world of realpolitik and cynicism, we need to acknowledge that the Constitution is a prescriptive document, but a descriptive explanation of how shit goes down is that government employees do what they will, and they keep doing it until someone with a bigger stick stops them.
In this case Judge Neilson threw a man in jail, and no matter how many times we chant "Constitution!", that man will stay in jail until the guards release him. Neilson might order the guards to release him…or the guards might get an order from someone they respect or fear more than Neilson. Maybe the appeals court tells the guards to release the prison. Almost certainly the guards would do so, but in the world of realpolitik, maybe they don't…not until the appeals court tells the state police to send 20 men to the prison and remind the guards to release him. Etc.
@Chris Rhodes's stunningly pithy "The constitution? How many divisions does it have?" reminds us that 22,000 patriotic Poles were murdered in a forest and buried in an unmarked grave, and Stalin died in a warm bed. Why? Because when Stalin issued orders, people obeyed.
When Judge Neilson issued orders, people obeyed. The Constitution was violated, an innocent man was hauled off to jail, and for all we know he's being raped daily.
Where's your Constitution now? Its preserved corpse lies in a helium-filled glass sarcophagus in Blue Square, but its soul is buried in an unmarked grave in a forest.
"How many divisions?" indeed.
Last 5 posts by Clark
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