Monday, November 7, 2011


As promised, I am going to continue looking at Lynne M. Henderson’s 1999 Victim-Rights (V-R) article, which follows up on the 1985 article which I looked at two Posts ago. Instructions for accessing the text of the article are in Note* below.

Henderson has identified six rationales advanced by V-R advocates in the service of their demands and agenda. She considers each of them in turn.

Henderson’s first point is that there is the ‘social contract’ argument: that the government depends upon victims in order to conduct law-enforcement, and so the government owes the victims ‘something’.

She acutely quotes (p.16) a 1985 Louisiana victim-rights law: “In recognition of the civic and moral duty of victims … of crime to cooperate fully with prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies and in further recognition of the continuing support of such citizen cooperation … the legislature declares its intent … to ensure that all victims … of crime are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy and sensitivity, and that the rights extended … to victims … of crime are honored by the law enforcement, [sic] agencies, prosecutors and judges in a manner no less vigorous than the protections afforded the criminal defendants.”

Henderson agrees that the government has a monopoly on the use of force and the criminal law to punish and control the population. But she also notes that “crimes are legally defined as offenses against the State and community, even if those offenses involved individual victims” (p.17). And that further, if you are going to use this ‘social contract’ or ‘social compact’ argument, you have to acknowledge that the very act of entering into a such a trade-off with the government means that “we cede our right to exact revenge or restitution to the State and to the law in return for the State’s protection and enforcement of the law” (p.18). [italics mine]

So this ‘social contract’ argument put forward by the V-R advocates (and accepted far too easily by far too many legislators) contains its own refutation and is thus incoherent. Because if citizens have entered into such a compact or contract with the government, then part of the very core of that agreement is that the individual citizens foreswear their individual rights (including, therefore, the ‘rights’ of a Victim – which are a formally dubious concept in the first place).

The strongest right victims might assert, Henderson figures, would be the right to be protected from crime, but – she notes – the Supreme Court rejected that, and in fact such a ‘right’ was rejected by many of the proponents of the V-R Amendment (p.18).

I point out here that we are seeing again some consequences of the 1982 Carol Gilligan psychological image of the Mommy At the Breakfast Table which underlies so much of the Nanny State approach to governance: in this instance, the idea that citizens (the kiddies at the breakfast table) have the ‘right’ to be ‘protected against crime’ by the Mommy (which would be the government in its legislative and police power).

I agree that the kiddies have every reason (I don’t throw ‘right’ around loosely, nor does Henderson) to expect that Mommy will protect them. (Although it’s interesting that V-R folks do not talk about a Mommy ‘naturally’ protecting her kiddies, probably out of deference to the sensibilities and agenda of V-R’s radical-feminist advocacy allies.)

But I disagree that the Mommy-Breakfast Table analogy is workable as a system of government. Citizens are not children, and the government most surely is not – in the American Framing Vision and thus the American legal Universe – a Mommy. And by that I mean that the Sovereign police-power is not – in the American Framing Vision – a reliably benevolent force which ‘rules’ the lives of the Citizens the way a Mommy pretty much completely governs the daily life of a helpless and incapable Child.

This has been one of the lethal – perhaps it will prove to be catastrophic – consequences of eager deal-making pols and legislators embracing all of the forcefully-pushed ‘images’ put forth in place of serious, deliberate, and careful thought by various advocacies to lubricate this nation’s awful slide into the Nanny State. And the SO Mania Regime is, as I have often said, only the first attempt at a large-scale Nanny assault on the vital and indispensable core dynamics and principles of the Framing Vision. (When it is breezily asserted that ‘It’s not your grandfather’s Constitution’ or that the Constitution is “quaint” – as Bush 2’s now beclouded Attorney General Alfredo Gonzales put it – this should be taken by all Citizens as a warning, and not accepted as a victory-bray by this or that advocacy.)

I also note that there were citizens and there was crime in 1787, and yet the Framers – who were nothing if not shrewd observers of human nature and affairs – did not see fit to enshrine such a right not-to-be-the victim-of-a-crime in the Constitution. Yes, the Correct comeback is that the Framers either didn’t know or didn’t want to know what modern elites know; but I’m not buying that. I’ve seen enough of elite impositions that cost far far more than their delivered ‘improvements’ could ever justify.

Henderson also notes that the ‘duty to report’ has “never enjoyed much scholarly support” (p.19). **

Even though, as she notes on the same page, that the assertion is also made by the advocacies that the government relies greatly on victims to report crimes since “it is generally accepted that a number of crimes – including serious crimes – go unreported”. But while she doesn’t try to unpack that assertion and Kick some Tire, she does quickly note “the difference between the FBI’s National Crime Reports and the National Victim Survey” and further that “one difference that remains striking is the reporting of rape” (p.19).

In that regard, I note that ‘survey’ results must be treated with profound caution: there is no way of determining how many such survey responses are accurate or even truthful; there is no accountability or corroboration or penalty for making a false statement.

I also note – as mentioned several Posts ago – that radical feminist advocacies are now pushing to have all sexual violence reported in the FBI statistics as ‘rape’ pure and simple; which further greatly degrades any possibility of getting an accurate picture for legislative and policy purposes. (You can also see here that in the past few days they have succeeded in getting their scam approved by the initial FBI review committee – surprise, surprise.)

But, Henderson goes on logically (p.20), if citizens do ‘report’ crime, then it is implicit in the act of reporting that they have accepted the terms of the social contract and cede their rights of vengeance or retribution to the government criminal processing system (as boundaried by the Framing Vision and the Constitution – which must be presumed to be the greatest Elements in any American social contract or compact).

“Indeed”, she asks, if not then “why else have a government?” (p.20).

Victims are not being intruded upon by the government, she suggests (p.21), such that they are owed special rights in compensation. (If anybody is being intruded-upon by the government, it would be the accused – who, by amazing coincidence, has been endowed by the Framers with numerous rights to help defend against the government.) Many legal scholars and professionals have made the case that since the reporting ‘victim’ is performing a civic duty, then s/he is merely fulfilling a civic responsibility incurred if not under the social compact, then at least under a basic duty to the community.

And if victims insist that they have a right to be part of the criminal justice process, then (p.22) they must either be “State actors or else their status as independent parties must be adequately theorized” and justified.

But if they are ‘State actors’ then are they not simply re-duplicating the role of the prosecutor? When you look at it this way, you wonder why prosecutors would even support such a complication in their already difficult work. But of course, the answer is, as Henderson pointed out in her 1985 article, that the Victim was professionally embraced by prosecutors because such a person provided a ‘personal’ face to an otherwise abstract and powerful government police power ranged against a very personal individual accused defendant.

And, of course, it is also notable that you rarely hear in mainstream media of ‘victims’ who do not seek vengeance and who do not paint themselves as outrageously violated and wrecked individuals. Such a person would negate the prosecutorial value of the Victim for which prosecutors (and later radical-feminist advocates) embraced the whole frakkulent concept in the first place.

Henderson’s second point is the claim that a majority of the public supports the V-R agenda; Henderson calls this the Argument from Majority Approval (p.22).

This argument claims that since so many of the public support V-R ‘rights’ (however defined, which is another question in itself), then such ‘consensus’ (presuming that it actually exists) “justifies creation of fundamental rights” (p.22). And, I would add, fundamental rights that most surely and precisely undermine the actual Constitutionally-enshrined rights of the accused.

Henderson does not trust the “Gallup Poll” theory: you cannot be certain from mere pollster numbers what exactly members of the public actually mean if they say they ‘support’ whatever it is that the pollster’s question is asking. (This eminently sane concern is, of course, exactly what so many stampede-seeking advocacies seek to sidestep by framing questions slyly in order to elicit their desired responses and by eliding numerous possible definitions into one ‘image’ or ‘symbol’ and demanding a Yes-No response to the whole complex mess.)

Further, the Gallup-Poll approach “does not rest easily with a commitment to strong rights against the State” (p.22). Since the accused is by definition a ‘minority’, and yet is powerfully protected by Constitutional provisions, then you can’t very well go and rely on ‘majority’ feelings to protect the rights of the accused (especially since those ‘feelings’ may be temporary, irrationally incited, or inaccurately informed – all of which are hallmarks of Mania PR gambits).

She even quotes Ronald Dworkin, that noted liberal legal thinker, that “a conscientious legislator, when told that a ‘moral consensus’ exists, must test the credentials of that consensus” (p.22).  But again, I note that Dworkin wrote that in 1978, when he was pitted against the ‘old’ moral consensus that his preferred ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ advocacies were trying to overthrow. I doubt he stands by that assertion now, when his ‘liberal’ advocacies have now become the conventional-wisdom and the established, status-quo position. (Had legislators taken his 1978 advice, most of the stampedes – especially the SO Mania Stampede – of the past decades would probably never have gotten rolling.)

Further, she rightly observes that “popular culture reinforces the majority’s sympathy for victims and reinforces an unreflective support for victim rights” (p.23). I can’t agree more. But I wonder how much ‘support’ there would be for the V-R agenda if the public were actually informed accurately of the costs and consequences of the agenda which the image of ‘the Victim’ is intended to convey. The costs are profound and perhaps lethal; and I would like to think that there are still a large percentage of Citizens who, once given the opportunity to consider the entire cost and consequences, would remain faithful to the Framing Vision and to the American Legal Universe.

And she also common-sensically observes (p.23) that if a majority does want something passed, then it can get legislation passed without any need whatsoever for an Amendment to the Constitution. This rather obvious fact was clear to the Framers, who sought to protect the rights of whomever might find him/herself in that awful Minority of the Accused (my term) by setting up clear boundaries against the overweening deployment of the Sovereign police power.

Thus: if a ‘majority’ really does support this stuff and these demands, then ipso facto you don’t need a Constitutional Amendment. This is the type of thinking advocacies would prefer that Citizens not do (and given the condition of American education under the decades-long regime of Correctness and ‘sensitivity’ and so forth, it is not inconceivable that increasing numbers of younger Citizens – under 50 or 55, I mean – are no longer capable of even conceiving of such a mode of questioning-thinking).

She mentions the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ journalism already well-established by the late 1990s, and also refers (p.23) to “the steady drumbeat of crime [that] portrays criminal defendants as unworthy and less than human”.

And in a brief but telling sweep of the TV of the era, she says (p.23) “Cheap thrill television shows such as ‘Cops’ leave the impression that all police officers are good and all suspects guilty. Television docudramas reinforce a story of duplicitous defense lawyers, miscarriages of justice, and victim revenge. John Walsh, a major supporter of the proposed federal victim rights amendment, can be seen regularly preaching his gospel of rage and revenge in television spots and on ‘America’s Most Wanted’”.

“In this simplistic world”, she continues (p.24), “all victims are innocent and all who are accused of crimes are guilty”. (I recall from the Nixon-Agnew years, a cartoon in the ‘Pogo’ series where a police-agent (all the characters were some form of humanized talking animals or birds) said to the local general-store owner, as he puts the cuffs on him: ‘The law says a person is innocent until caught. You’re guilty, Miggle, so shut up!’ This is the police-prosecutorial mentality run amok, utterly contrary to the Framing Vision; but such a degradation and derangement has served both Left and Right well … in the short term, anyway.)

And she concludes (p.24) this section by quoting Mario Cuomo from a 1992 law review article puffing the then-new New York V-R law: “We must continue to think about crime victims because they, we, are the mainstream of our society. To ignore the crime victims is to ignore the needs of most of our people – the good, moral, upright, hard-working, social-contract abiding majority”.  Thus, Henderson paraphrases: to side with victims is to side with the good people against the bad people.

Looking at that statement of Cuomo’s a couple of thoughts occur: first, it was delivered not as political boilerplate or a PR soundbite but in a law-school journal, where it would be sure to be taken to heart by professors and students.

Second, you can clearly see the prosecutorial-victimist gambit of including all citizens as potential victims and thus having a stake in the V-R demands (and having a stake in driving a stake through any accused – if you’ll pardon the pun). That they-we construction is clunky, but thereby draws attention to the clunky thinking seeking to knock-together some sort of connection in the reader’s mind.

Third – and again a now classic gambit – is the trope that victims are the ‘mainstream’ of society: that America is a society and a people primarily to be recognized and characterized as victims or potential victims. This is lethal to any Larger Sense of civic identity and unity, and to any genuine civic competence as Citizens.

And fourth, you can clearly see where the SO Mania Regime – still not yet having reached its unmistakably florid manifestation in the Megan’s Law gambit of 1994 in over-the-river New Jersey – will suddenly undermine the seemingly traditional Democratic concern for ‘the little guy’ and ‘the common man’. As the price for their seal of approval the radical feminist advocacies – putatively the paragons of progressive and liberal reform – will require that the Sovereign police power be deployed against half the population (the non-female half). And thus the Democrats will sign on not only to V-R demands but to the SO Mania Regime (and its slightly older sibling, the Domestic Violence Regime).

And fifth, in Cuomo’s pandering encomium to all the best characteristics of the ‘mainstream’, you can see precisely the blueprint dictating how the Shadow-Monster of the Sex Offender will shortly be constructed.

Lastly, you might want to give some thought as to how many generations of law students since 1992 have now gone forth into law, law-enforcement, politics, or the judiciary secure in the belief that the vision Cuomo shared in his article was the cutting-edge of sensitive and progressive and liberal reform; and that if the Constitution couldn’t keep up, then it was clearly “quaint” and needed to be changed (or simply disregarded … sort of an assertion that ‘the Constitution just doesn’t get it’ or ‘the Framers just didn’t get it’). This cannot end well.

Henderson’s third point (p.24) is what she calls the Fundamental Rights Argument: “that victims have some sort of fundamental right that ought to be enshrined in the Constitution”.

Here, she points out, no justification is offered for this demand except the “rather vague Kantian notion that all are entitled to equal dignity and respect in their interaction with the government and its courts”.

Which is nice and also true. But fails, as she quickly points out, to distinguish crime victims (or violent crime victims, specifically) from other types of crime victims, or from victims of “wrongs committed by other private parties” that do not arise to the level of crime. Or, I would think, victims of misfortune from natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, dust-storms) or semi-natural catastrophes such as wildfires that burn into nearby populated areas. For that matter, isn’t every Citizen involved in the court-process in whatever capacity deserving of ‘respect’? Why simply ‘valorize’ the victim of crime?

(Or ‘violent crime’ – by the later 1990s, the ‘violent’ bit that was originally a key element in the 1980s movement has already quietly been dropped in order to enhance and enlarge ‘the numbers’; BUT, as we are seeing today with the new ‘definition’ of rape to include just about any and all ‘sexual violence’, is making a comeback to enhance and enlarge numbers for a now-fading ‘crisis’ that threatens like an over-worked and over-aged horse to drop out from under its ‘advocates’.)

She refers (p.25) to an amazing (and I would say hugely suspect) turn-around by noted legal scholar Lawrence Tribe, who in the space of less than a month in May-June 1996 went from being a convinced and robust opponent of the V-R Amendment to being an outraged and unctuous supporter of the V-R Amendment. This type of sudden and thorough volte-face is rarely seen in genuine scholarly circles, but is rather a clear indicator of the probability that the ‘scholar-expert’ has either been ‘reached’ or is playing some sort of game ulterior to whatever purely intellectual scholarship s/he claims to be doing.

Henderson (p.26) notes, writing in 1999, that Tribe had yet to put any grounding beneath his merely brassy claim that respecting the victim is the least that any “civilized” nation could do. He offers no description of the asserted rights nor any ground that would justify them.

And, Henderson reminds us (p.26), “fundamental rights” in the American universe tend to be rights against the government.

And, she immediately continues, such rights as the V-R agenda demands are not present in American history or tradition nor are they “fundamental to ordered liberty” – that is to say, to the shaping and boundarying of the freedom of the citizens in relation to other citizens and in relation to the power of the government against any individual citizen.

There is, she acknowledges (p.27), the V-R theory that crime victims somehow deserve “equal respect” in relation to accused defendants, but such an assertion instantly runs into profound difficulties if thoughtful analysis is carried forward: does such ‘respect’ include a re-jiggering of the Framers’ most careful, deliberate, and explicit protections that Constitutionally enfold any accused?

Henderson notes (p.27) that Dworkin, joined later by Tribe the law professor and Dianne Feinstein the politician, all seem to be asserting some variation on the basic theme enunciated by Dworkin: “that [a] victims deserve to have rights equal to defendants or [b] deserve some form of equality of treatment” [italics mine].

I myself would note that between [a] and [b] there is a world of difference. The latter merely supports some nice courteous words and attitude on the part of court personnel. The former is a profound and sweeping (and, I would say, anti-Constitutional) fracturing of the Framing Vision’s dynamics – because the only way some amount of ‘rights’ can be subtracted in order to redistribute that weight to the Victim is to take ‘rights’ from the accused (you can bet your farm that the prosecutors aren’t going to give up any of their rightful power to the Victim, no matter how tearful or strident the Victim may be).

Laughably (from my point of view) Henderson quotes Tribe’s claim that victims should have the fundamental “right” not to be re-victimized by the courts while the courts go through the process specifically designed to prosecute, punish, and release the offender (p.28). But how, I wonder, is a victim ‘re-victimized’ by the mere carrying-out of Constitutional criminal process? Isn’t this what the social compact is all about? In the American legal Universe, anyway?

Henderson opines (p.28) that it is “hard to see why crime victims alone should have special rights in litigation when victims of other wrongs do not”.

She proceeds (p.29) to Tribe’s assertion that “the ultimate concern of the criminal justice system ought to be with the victim”. This, she notes, is “a strong substantive statement” that “requires a justification as to why the victim’s interests should trump the community’s concern with crime, including fair process for those accused, equality in the application of the law, and the goals of criminal sanction – deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, and protection”. [italics mine]

I note first that Tribe’s assertion pretty much overturns the Framing Vision of criminal process and wrenches it in an entirely opposite direction (i.e. pro-government – fronted by ‘the Victim’ – and against the accused). And so you can see where so much of all this is clearly and literally from an alien, and anti-American, anti-Constitutional Universe.

And second, that – amazingly – Tribe the law professor, scholar, and experienced attorney offers no grounding or justification for so fundamentally deranging a maneuver, although it should be clear to even a first-year law student that an assertion of such profound and dubious sweep will require a most careful and serious justification indeed.

Instead, in best Oprah fashion (reminiscent as well of those 1970s and early-1980s do-it-yourself ‘recovery books’) he merely points to the “traumatization” and “marginalization” allegedly incurred by victim-witnesses because they are not permitted to attend the trial (of what many of them refer to as ‘their’ offender). But what proof of all that is there, except ‘stories’ about their interior experiences (the old witchcraft ‘spectral evidence’ game) by persons who have a clear interest in the outcome of the case and can hardly be presumed to be un-biased or truthful?

Except that he then claims (p.30) that there is a “national value” that says victims should not be marginalized and traumatized. If there is, Henderson drily reflects, then there should be no problem getting legislation passed to embody the ‘value’, rather than going to the trouble of a Constitutional Amendment.

But of course, I am going to imagine that there is no such ‘national value’, and that surely the advocacies do not want to actually test to find out if there is one (since there very well may not be). Better, as so often, to play to the peanut gallery and the cameras, make these groundless but impressive-sounding claims, and then figure that the average citizen isn’t going to pay much attention while the advocate-cadres and a blood-happy media can put the squeeze on pols who are all too eager to do a deal and call it a day’s work.

And third that Henderson counts the community’s concern for fair process for the accused as a legitimate and weighty (and I would say ‘compelling’, in the formal legal sense) interest. As I read it nicely put somewhere recently: in the American system the accused deserves a fair trial because we all deserve a fair trial.***

And this is hell-and-gone from the Victimist insistence that the accused does not deserve a constitutionally fair trial because we are all potential victims.

You see the genuinely ‘revolutionary’ difference here.

(It remains to be answered how all three of the Branches of government have at one time or another failed completely to notice how utterly vital the interest of the community is in preserving above all else the rights of the accused and the integrity of the Framing Vision. A government this unobservant is either a “scoundrel or a fool”, as the Victorians might have put it.)

Tribe then (p.30) tries to mask the whole thing by saying that his assertion does not “pit the rights of one individual against another” but rather pits “the rights of the victim against the authorities”.

But a) the Victim is taking rights from the accused, not from the authorities; b) the Victim is theoretically part of the State’s team (although no explanation or justification is given); and c) the Victim is actually the front for the “authorities” – or, as the Soviets used to say, “the organs” (‘of state security’ is the rest of that phrase) – so how can the victim credibly be seen or spun as asserting his/her ‘rights’ against those ‘authorities’?

This approach of Tribe’s does not in any way exemplify the reasoned and careful analysis of scholarship and professionalism, upon which readers might rely for accurate information and even guidance as they seek to assess a proposal.

Rather, Tribe here exemplifies the tactics of courtroom ‘just win the thing’ games whereby you garner a handful of possible ‘justifications’ – regardless whether they coherently hang together or legitimately ground an assertion – and throw them at the public and see what sticks (or, in the alternative, perhaps each bit would stick to a particular bunch of the public and the whole thing would add up to ‘a lot’). This is what ‘advocacy’ has come down to when professionals and scholars and intellectuals and thinkers decide to throw their credentials behind something and purposely turn off their skills (or at least, their putative responsibilities).

 “Yet it is by no means clear”, Henderson comments (p.30), “that insufficient concern [for the victim] exists empirically, or even that it cannot be remedied through legislation”.

Mirroring the general advocacy-stampede approach, where the public is reduced to its limbic system in order to neutralize its prefrontal-cortical competencies, Tribe’s approach is aimed at moving you beyond all this type of thought.

No serious legal scholar will suggest, Henderson says (p.32), a return to a reliance on “private” justice enforcement. Beyond the indispensable societal need for “consistency, certainty, coherence, and the equal application of the criminal law”, she shares the certainty that “an extremely individualized criminal justice process, in which we create fundamental rights for individuals to use the power of the State to pursue their own ends” is going to require a hell of a lot more justification than any of even the most advanced and professional advocates have cared to give for it.

“The success of victim-interest groups in changing law through the democratic process cannot be denied”, she says (p.32). I am not sure if she is being tactful and diplomatic here; or if she actually believes this statement on its face; or if she is simply using extremely subtle humor.

As the SO community has seen (and as Daniel Okrent traces in his book on Prohibition), determined cadres can manipulatively assemble disparate interests into transient alliances that are yet able to achieve some political objective – no matter how clearly ill-advised, if not to sustain its maintenance over time. In such cases the “democratic process” is to all appearances respected.

And yet, I would say, the ideal of Citizens considering proposals about which they have been well and accurately informed, using their most characteristic prefrontal mental capacities, for the purpose of fulfilling their individual responsibility to the commonweal by casting their vote as well as they can decently manage … this ideal of democratic process is further from realization now than it was in the days when George Washington’s agents were distributing free booze to voters or big-city machine-bosses were shifting information from death certificates to voting-registration forms.

There was a time when the country could absorb such chicanery.

But I don’t believe that is true any longer. For decades now, and with the Beltway’s collusion, the Framing Vision and the ideals underlying American culture have been systematically assaulted and undermined. The SO Mania Regime is proof-positive, I would say, that neither the Right nor the Left finds that Vision useful any longer; finds it, actually, an obstruction that must be removed. They are not simply honoring it in the breach; they are literally seeking to undermine it and replace it with something else.

This is a situation utterly new to America’s and Americans’ experience: the elites of both Right and Left and the government itself, abetted by a fawning media, are attempting to ‘deconstruct’ the Framing Vision. No other generation of American history has faced this. Yes, there were ominous developments in the era of World War 1 and Prohibition, but they did not occur in the context of an engorged Beltway soused for decades with sly or strident demands from alien and profoundly anti-Constitutional Universes of thought.

The SO Mania Regime is both repugnant in itself and the ‘front’ or first-try in a far more treacherous game that is actually nothing less than a slide into the trough from which the Framers lifted this country two centuries and more ago.

It must be resisted by all legitimate means.

I will conclude with Henderson’s final three points in my next Post.


*To access this article (and it’s free and well worth the look): follow this link; it will take you to an abstract of the article. Then at the top of that abstract page click on the option for One-Click Download; that will take you to several options depending on what part of the country you are in and you can simply click on one of them and the article will come up.

**In this regard, I again recommend Daniel Okrent’s book “Last Call”, a history of the rise and fall of Prohibition. In the flush of ‘wet’ Al Smith’s defeat by the ‘dry’ Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential election, the pro-Prohibition advocacies over-reached with the Jones Law: this Law made first-offenses of any kind of liquor violations a felony rather than a misdemeanor for any citizens (and not just the organized-crime bootleggers); and it made non-reporting of any illegal alcohol trafficking a felony for any citizen who had even the merest possible knowledge of such activity. It passed a Congress still indentured to Prohibition: 65-18 in the Senate and 284-90 in the House. See Okrent pp. 317-8.  

***And given the exponential increase in the list of felony-level crimes legislated by government in the past few decades, then the accused deserves a fair trial because we all may very well indeed face a trial some day. In this way – and this is probably the only way – the V-R gambit that ‘we are all potential victims’ is true: we are all potential victims of the government police power.


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