Judges think they’re divine, apparently. When interpreting the constitution, they can create something out of nothing. That’s what they did with same-sex “marriage.” Lawyers know they’re human, apparently. When pleading cases, they can create something out of anything. That’s what they did when they made sleepwalking a defense against murder charges.
An even more creative defense awaits them. It originated with an alleged triple murderer who claims to be innocent because of a sex-change operation. She, formerly he, could not be guilty as she is no longer the person he was when the crimes occurred. Or so he, she, or it insists. I include “it” because a species change might strengthen the case.
The essence of the defense is that because of the sex-change, the alleged murderer no longer exists. If the defense succeeds, lawyers who adopt it won’t create something out of nothing, as judges do. Rather, they will create nothing out of something, and may think that they’re divine, too. This could make it harder to tell lawyers from judges.
Mere mortals can neither create nor annihilate. They can only change something into something else. That’s elementary metaphysics, the principles of which judges and lawyers seem able to set aside: with judges, principles like From nothing, nothing comes; with lawyers, if the sex-change defense prevails, principles like What is, is and cannot not be.
Confronted with such divine-like powers, you might wonder whether sex reassignment is unique, or if defendants will press lawyers to argue that other changes are equally transformative. One you would think could qualify is the transition from childhood to adulthood and the maturity it brings us. Well, some of us.
The legal system already treats childhood crimes more leniently. This may be enough for a lawyer to plead that 18-year old defendants are not guilty because they are no longer the 17-year old persons they were when the law was broken. A prosecutor, of course, could argue that in going from childhood to adulthood, they’re not different persons. They’re just different hoods.
The same argument, I suspect, would apply to going from manhood to womanhood, or vice versa. The only drawback is that it might offend bona fide hoods. Nowadays, you don’t want to risk offending an identifiable group.
Would-be lawyers and might-be judges learn divine-like behaviour in law school. This liberates them from natural law, which used to anchor Western legal systems in the reality of the human condition. Well, natural law is too restrictive for modern or post-modern legal educators. They want to create their own reality, and they’re doing it. They’re dishing out law with a liberal dose of social engineering, or, if you like, a dose of liberal social engineering. You know, part law and part ideology.
It’s really exciting for students. Instead of wasting all their time on boring subjects like contracts, wills and torts, they get to focus on feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory, homosexual rights, and cultural relativity.
It’s especially exciting for students born white and male. They discover that traditional law entrenches and disguises white male privilege and oppression, and that they have to make amends. What’s more, thanks to identity politics, they learn that social engineers can create a new world order unhindered by the requirements of white Western culture and the Christianity that helped found it.
This is heady stuff, so heady it’s difficult to believe. I know, because I had difficulty believing it. But only until I witnessed opposition to Trinity Western University’s bid to establish an accredited law school. The Canadian Council of Law Deans, faculty from several law schools, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Bar Association, among others, objected to the faith-based university’s community covenant.
Among other moral commitments, the covenant requires faculty and students to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates . . . marriage between a man and a woman.” Not only is this a holdover from the dreaded natural law. It also accords with Christian precepts. Little wonder it upset the legal establishment. Vestiges of the old reality undermine the liberal attempt to create a new one.
Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth century literary giant, said that the first liberal was the devil, also known as Lucifer, a fallen angel. Lucifer objected to the reality of the angelic condition and wanted to create another. His rebellion against reality, not Adam’s, was the first sin. It’s called pride.
Maybe if judges create something out of nothing and lawyers create nothing out of something, their behaviour is not divine-like after all. Maybe it’s only diabolical