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View Diary: Law firm drops House DOMA case, Clement resigns (183 comments)

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  •  Actually, no (0+ / 0-)

    There are literally thousands of absurd laws on the books at all levels penalizing actions that people perform all time. Heck, there are even entire web sites devoted to nothing but listing such laws, e.g., www.dumblaws.com, and making fun of their absurdities.

    By your logic, it should be "unsettling" that pretty much all of these laws are never enforced. The reality is exactly the opposite: Our legal system is entirely dependent on the frequent practice of prosecutorial discretion. We'd all wearing those stylish orange jumpsuits (pink in some parts of AZ) if that weren't the case.

    Now, if you want to talk about having a system where we have to rely on selective enforcement to keep things operating, then you necessarily are talking about a very different sort of system, one where it's a lot more difficult to get laws passed and much easier to modify or strike them down. Such a system might in fact be a huge improvement over what we have, but the key point is iti's not what we have.

    And yes, a big problem with our present system is that selective enforcement leaves the door open to not enforcing laws that should be enforced. But the consequences of changing that without revamping the whole shebang would be pretty drastic.

    Finally, I should point out that the existence of legal remedies to force government officials to enforce laws when someone's rights are being violated (writ of mandamus) kinda says it all about the existence of selective enforcement.

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