June 26, 2014

Tim the Lawyer talks with Armstrong & Getty about Supreme Court decisions and the evils of bureaucracy

By Tim the Lawyer talks with Armstrong & Getty about Supreme Court decisions and the evils of bureaucracy

I was in-studio with Armstrong and Getty this morning to talk about the Supreme Court’s decisions this week, and the evils of bureaucracy. You can listen online here.

I mentioned the writings of Hannah Arendt and Lon Fuller in our conversation. They wrote some fascinating things about the philosophy of bureaucracy–about responsibility and lawfulness in administrative agencies. You can find Arendt’s works here and Fuller’s here. The quote I read from Arendt is from Responsibility and Judgment. And Fuller’s most thorough discussion of the difference between law and managerial direction is in his book Principles of Social Order. I also recommend Karl Popper’s The Open Society And Its Enemies, volume 1, which has some great stuff about bureaucracy and how it punishes original or independent thought.

The decision by Justice Janice Brown that I mentioned was her dissent in People v. McKay, in which she wrote “In the pervasively regulatory state, police are authorized to arrest for thousands of petty malum prohibitum ‘crimes’— many too trivial even to be honestly labeled infractions. They are nevertheless public offenses for which a violator may be arrested. Since this indiscriminate power to arrest brings with it a virtually limitless power to search, the result is the inevitable recrudescence of the general warrant.”

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