What if? I have a pretty imaginative mind for disaster scenarios, so as I was driving down the road today, I envisioned one in which I was in a life-threatening accident, and was pulled from the wreckage by an illegal alien. Or he had made the 911 call that saved my life. I got to thinking, if that had happened, I would be the strongest supporter for amnesty this side of the Mississippi, or whatever arbitrary border you could pick. I mean, come on, you would too. Think about it.
But, as I hadn’t reached my destination yet, I kept thinking of other scenarios. What if my daughter’s life, (I don’t have a daughter, we’re in imagination-land here, folks), had been ended by a drunk illegal alien? I would be the strongest opponent to illegal immigration, amnesty, you name it, not just East of the Mississippi, but anywhere. There’s a good chance you would too, if you really stopped and thought about it.
This got me to thinking about the compassion and empathy that Supreme Court Justice What’s her name, the “wise latina women” said, about judging based on her personal experience that some old white guy didn’t share.
As far as judging individual cases based on rule of law and legal precedent, I do think there’s a time and place for judicial restraint, judicial wisdom, judicial compassion. But I don’t think you can have laws based on one person’s personal story. Who’s story gets more weight, all other factors being equal, the person pulled from the burning wreckage, or the person who’s life was reduced to the most profound loss a parent could endure?
I think there’s a reason we make laws. I don’t think letting someone’s personal history interfere with the just administration of the law for the many should include special exceptions based on a judge’s or a legislator’s personal experience. This is what I see happening it seems almost daily with someone introducing a controversial piece of legislation, and then backing it up with a heart-wrenching story that supports their particular view.
The problem is, laws need to be universally applicable, universally enforced, if they are to be anything more than cronyism. Cronyism seems to be the centerpiece of the current law-making body. Lawmakers work hard for laws that will get them votes from special interest groups, and could care less about less powerful individual rights.
The tragedy is that individual rights are in large part, what our government was created to protect.