Article 25

Ask an Unemployed Lawyer

In Uncategorized on 02/20/2013 at 4:22 pm


Louis Michael Seidman: ‘Ignore the Constitution.’

The Tao of the Second Amendment

By U.L.


Dear U.L.:

Never mind the “liberal media.” How about the socialist media? Case in point: Louis Michael Seidman, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, talking last month on CBS Sunday Morning. He said gun control shouldn’t focus on the Second Amendment: “This is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want. We would not allow the French or the United Nations to rule us, and neither should we allow people who died over two centuries ago and knew nothing of our country as it exists today. … If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document.”

What say you? Should someone who despises the Constitution be teaching constitutional law?

Strict Constructionist

Dear SC:

The Olympics will be dropping wrestling as a core sport, although it dates back to the start of the modern games in Athens in 1896. Wrestling lost out to sports like field hockey and karate and will be replaced by something like sports climbing or roller sports.

You know what business is happiest after Valentine’s Day? Ashley Madison, the dating site for married women looking for love. Last year the site saw a 439 percent increase in membership on Feb. 15, driven largely by married women, presumably unhappy with their Valentine’s present.

“Living in D.C., it’s crucial to keep up appearances,” the company said in a press release, explaining why the nation’s capital was named America’s Least Faithful City, “and therefore adultery has become a way of life for many of the city’s most powerful residents.”

Old-fashioned loyalty is inefficient. Loyalty today has a market value as goodwill, usually associated with branding. It’s something that must be bought and paid for, repeatedly, or you lose it.

An analogy: Old Taoists had this belief there was an energy form in the world that, if you did cultivation exercises, you could collect it, store it and use it to help others, but you had to cultivate regularly. The energy doesn’t stick around unless you “earn” it. This is how we view “loyalty” today, which is much more scientific.

For instance: Do you pay your employer for his loyalty? Of course not! So you don’t deserve any. Sure, you might have covered up a lie for him, but what have you done for him lately? Shut up, you have to go, it’s not personal, it’s business.

You want loyalty from professional ball clubs? You’d better buy them a new stadium, or they’ll leave.

Has the Constitution paid for its continued loyalty? Of course not! I’ve seen no advertising (except the National Rifle Association, but they only care about the Second Amendment; the rest of the document is useless), no marketing campaign, no consumer focus group data, no benchmark metrics.

Oh, you say the Constitution has intrinsic value? I virtually fart in your general direction. The closest thing we have today to intrinsic worth is something called intangibles. While important, they are difficult to measure objectively, and this leads to an uncertainty the market generally abhors.

All Professor Seidman is doing is reflecting the values of his time. For one thing, he’s plugging his book, On Constitutional Disobedience, amazingly released the same week you saw him on television. So the basis of this is good capitalism and has nothing to do with some socialist agenda.

And as Seidman explains on, “I’m not in favor of revising the Constitution. I’m in favor of ignoring it.”

So he’s reflecting a pragmatic business sense, not some ideological position. Wanna guess how many “constitutional lawyers” exist in the private sector? I’d bet you could count them on one hand. It’s old, and all things old in this culture are archaic and essentially useless, outside of any novelty value.

Seidman knows the Constitution isn’t going anywhere, and neither is he. He’s got tenure at Georgetown, he can say whatever he wants. He understands what you apparently do not: The Constitution exists to protect you against the tyranny of true democracy.

It’s not some divinely inspired statement on the God-given rights of the individual. The Constitution  was birthed by privileged men who very much feared mob rule and the stupidity of your average voter. That’s why, as Seidman says, it’s almost impossible to amend: Something like women’s suffrage took an alliance with the Prohibition folks and the pro-income tax folks to get what they wanted.

The Constitution does its job fabulously. If a bunch of bankers steal trillions of dollars, will anyone go to jail? Of course not! And if anyone dared charge anyone with anything, you can bet the Constitution will be there to protect them.

Will the Constitution also protect the crack dealer in Over-the-Rhine or someone accused of terrorism about to get droned on? Not so much.

And that’s why the Second Amendment debate seems so silly. The Founding Fathers were not fearing a scenario where a totalitarian government would need to be overthrown by patriotic Americans with guns.

They were fearing democracy getting out of hand, and “a well-regulated militia” – the politically correct way of saying “the privileged elite” – would be needed in case the majority or mob rule did something disagreeable.

Think about it: Do the elites need the Second Amendment anymore? It serves a grand purpose in allowing the lower classes to thin the herd, but if people are gonna start killing children, the potential for civil unrest grows. That’s when something has to be done. And it’s an issue, like abortion, that’s so easy to blame on the liberals, too.

My guess is most constitutional law professors, given a few drinks, would say they despise the Constitution. Very few people survive three years of law school with some romantic notion of sugar plum faeries dancing in their heads.

Never take the advice of an Unemployed Lawyer. Always consult with an attorney for any legal advice in your situation. If, however, you want to ask, write to


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