Jump to content

Efficient Law-Breaking


saltinespike

Recommended Posts

saltinespike

Is law-breaking an effective way to abolish a law?

 

This debate came about when I was reading about blasphemy on wikipedia. It stated:

 

 

Some US states still have blasphemy laws on the books from the founding days. Chapter 272 of the Massachusetts General Laws states, for example:

 

Section 36. Whoever willfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, His creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.

 

I don't agree with this law, and many would agree with me, but would breaking the law be an effective way to abolish it?

 

This applies only to laws that are openly enforced, not just shunned upon.

 

This is also not limited to this law, but all sorts of dumb laws.

 

Law in Auburn, Alabama:

 

 

Men who deflower virgins, regardless of age or marital status, may face up to five years in jail.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

All bullsh*t aside. This was not copied from anyone or anywhere. Promise. I wrote it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im Rick James B**ch!

How could they loose their virginity legally?

 

Law-breaking would not abolish these laws because they wouldn't be enforced in the first place. Supposedly in Queensland it is illegal to look at a women for more than 7 seconds. This is most likely bullsh*t however. I have looked at female cops (even the one who told me this law), eye to eye, for more than 7 seconds and have not been punished.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there have been cases where deliberately breaking laws has sparked the process in which those laws were abolished, but simply breaking the law tends not to lead to it being abolished.

 

A good example would be the civl rights movement. All over the country many young students and African Americans staged sit-ins to protest the Jim Crow laws of the time. However, it still took enormous effort through more conventional protests and marches for a goal; they did not simply just continually break the law.

 

A notable example of how it will not do so, is drug prohibition. Millions of Americans use drugs in deliberate disregard for their legality, and it has not changed the status of said legality, except for in a few small places. I can't think of any other examples, so I can't say whether I think this will inevitably lead to no drug prohibition, but I doubt it.

(Note: I'm counting all drugs, I know cannabis is making some nice strides in legalization, but most drugs are still going to remain illicit even if cananbis somehow makes it)

QUOTE (K^2) ...not only is it legal for you to go around with a concealed penis, it requires absolutely no registration!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

agincourtsalute

In Britain we have blasphemy laws as well as some other silly old laws like the banning of mince pies by Cromwell they just are'nt enforced and its difficult to get them removed. However the effort should be put in to remove them otherwise they could be used by some totalitarians in the future.

 

Recently muslims in Britain have tried to get laws introduced preventing people from saying anything against the Prophet Mohammed arguing that they just want equality because of the blasphemy laws that they know full well are never enforced.

 

Anyway to answer your question yes breaking a law can be an effective way of abolishing it but it has to be done on a large and widespread scale like in Britain when so many people refused to pay the poll tax that it had to be abolished.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How could they loose their virginity legally?

By traveling out of county/state where the law is in place. Not that it makes it any less ridiculous.

 

 

On topic, yes, law breaking is a way to get laws abolished under certain condition. No, it is not efficient, but neither are alternative. If the law is unconstitutional, as a Blasphemy law would be in the United States, you can break the law, get yourself arrested, get convicted, appeal the decision, get convicted in higher court, etc. Eventually, you can get to the Supreme Court, get the law found unconstitutional, and the state would then be required to change it. This would cost you a lot of money and take up a lot of time, but it can be done if you really, really want it to be done.

 

This is the only way that a single person can push against a particular law. In any other case, all you can really do is lobby. This would also take up a lot of time and from a much greater number of people, but on the up side, you wouldn't spend as much on the lawyers.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TerminalGTA

Someone may correct me on the details but any Englishman is allowed to go into Cardiff, Wales and between the hours of 12am - 1am can shoot any Welshman with a crossbow and not be brought to justice.

 

I mean arguably if anyone did this they would be done for murder but I guess stupid are set up because in the past they had to set a precedent and never abolished it.

 

About breaking laws and gettings them taken away, I think that does not make to much sense. It would probably be best to lobby that the law be changed, but maybe that is just me, you may want to grab your crossbow and shoot a few Welshmen in the night

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would honestly expect such silly things from UK judicial system. It is completely precedent based. The US system is also heavy on precedents, but in US there is a written constitution, while UK analog to constitution is also precedent based. This should tell you right away that unless there was a very good reason to overrule a previous decision, it will stay in the books as the de facto law. If it was not so, UK would basically have no constitution, and a constitutional monarchy without a constitution would not be particularly stable.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TerminalGTA

The UK is a lot older than the US and that in part explains the way the legal system works. As far as the UK Monarchy goes they are merely figure heads and have no power, there has been talk before that there should be a referendum whether they should even exist any longer.

 

The US have some of the stupidest laws I have ever heard of too. In fact every state has at least 10 stupid laws

 

An example of stupid NY state laws

 

Citizens may not greet each other by "putting one's thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers".

 

A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

I mean I can't even imagine why some of these were created.

 

The Welshman one I mentioned earlier was created I believe in conjunction with Welsh uprisings and this law was created.

 

England had a similar one for Scots. Which is something like Prima Jour which meant the Lord of the Land could sleep with anyone on his land when they got married on their wedding night. It's Braveheart.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the UK Monarchy goes they are merely figure heads and have no power, there has been talk before that there should be a referendum whether they should even exist any longer.

But that in itself is also almost purely traditional. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the UK Monarch still technically have all the powers? It has just been traditional not to use them, and to leave all of the legislation to the Parliament. Naturally, a system like that will be rather conservative, and you'll have a lot of outdated laws.

 

That's not to say that it automatically makes such a system worse. There are some benefits in both the conservatism and in the lack of the written constitution.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TerminalGTA

Yes and No, For example , The Queen approves the budget every year, but realistically she cannot reject it, she has no power, but acting as a figurehead she is asked to do these things. Realistically the monarchy lost most of its power in the 17th century with the English Civil War which resulted in the beheading of Charles as King.

 

The monarchy came back after a short period but their power has been very much removed.

 

In the modern era, people have questioned why they exist and to be honest it is highly likely that that they still exist because of the revenue they attract in tourism.

 

It is however rather wierd why The United States has so many dumb laws, with very little history in comparison to European countries, and also I'd like someone knowledgeable to tell me why The US have different laws in each state. It seems odd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but lets say the Queen refuses to sign the budget. What happens then?

 

As for US, the main reason for silly laws here is that the government system was organized about the idea of a strong local government, rather than a strong Federal government. Essentially, if the US Constitution does not say that a certain law cannot be passed by the states, it can be. If the State Constitution does not say that a certain law cannot be passed by the counties, it can be. Et cetera. Most stupid laws you'll find are on the county level, where some eccentric community with some odd traditions might have passed some unusual law. Some others are passed by states due to some immediate situation, and just never changed back.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TerminalGTA

 

Right, but lets say the Queen refuses to sign the budget. What happens then?

 

As for US, the main reason for silly laws here is that the government system was organized about the idea of a strong local government, rather than a strong Federal government. Essentially, if the US Constitution does not say that a certain law cannot be passed by the states, it can be. If the State Constitution does not say that a certain law cannot be passed by the counties, it can be. Et cetera. Most stupid laws you'll find are on the county level, where some eccentric community with some odd traditions might have passed some unusual law. Some others are passed by states due to some immediate situation, and just never changed back.

Okay I get ya,

 

But then doesn't that leave the US system open to, blatent contradictions in law depending in which county your in, and also the ability to be breaking the law without even knowing it. Like there outdated laws to do with the the role of women and stuff in some of the Southern States. If the US has Women's Suffrage and equal rights of women, why must a woman in Alabama walk ten paces behind here husband. It seems to me, a system where the law making is completely decentralised effectively means that laws become hard follow and probably contradict each other depending on where you are.

 

As for what would happen if the Queen rejected the budget. I guess that the budget would not go through, but then there would be a referendum to remove their power completely and get rid of them and undoubtedly people in that situation would vote her out. It's never happened nor do I think it will ever. There has been an increasing move to remove the power of the Queen and the House of Lords which used to have more power. The Lords of England can overrule a potential law from being passed up to I believe three times, I believe our recent ban of fox hunting was rejected by the lords all these times. As I said its more as a figurehead, the Queen stands as, I mean most European countries have both a President and Prime Minister, but a European President has much more power than Queen of England in England. The Lords of England I guess do have some power and now there is an increasing move to abolish hereditary peerage, and move to an elected peer system.

 

I mean the days of actual monarchy are dead, most people just see them as a representation of the past, almost a nostalgic view-point of the old blue blood that used to be all powerful Soveriegn of England.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All-Blacks

You'd be surprised on how powerful the Queen actually is, I think shes able to reject an upcoming Prime Minister, say, Gordon Brown, as she pleases as well (well its stated in law that she could, but if possible in practise, probably not).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

TerminalGTA: As for the contradictions, the US holds a hierarchy system in which state laws trump city/county laws, federal law trumps state laws. Realistically the federal government has MASSIVE control over state laws.

 

For example, when the legal drinking age was 18 the federal government decided in all their infinite wisdom that they wanted the drinking age to be 21. And to avoid directly contradicting a precedented state practice of having 18 as the legal age they put a clause in the transportation funding that stated that if states wanted federal funding to their interstate and highways systems, they would have to raise the legal drinking age to 21. Basically forcing states to follow their rules or go broke.

 

So yea, federal law > state law > local law.

 

Also, you have to understand the difference between laws in practice, and laws in the books. Most laws are commonly overlooked, and although they ARE technically laws, they are never enforced. In South Dakota you can kill a group of Indians if they are in a group of more than 5 walking over a bridge. However, no one is going to kill a group of Indians because of the huge implications with murder laws and federal statutes.

 

I guess now is a time to mention that even our laws have a hierarchy. For example, Murder laws trump burglary laws. If you get pulled over for speeding and subsequently get a Operating While Intoxicated charge you are very rarely cited for speeding, they just dismiss that charge because it is of lesser importance.

Edited by Shylock

pAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the contradictions, the US holds a hierarchy system in which state laws trump city/county laws, federal law trumps state laws.

Right, but the federal laws are severely limited by the constitution. Yes, a federal law will override a state law, but any federal law that is not supported by constitution, in the sense that constitution implies that the federal government has business controlling whatever that law controlls, can be challenged. On the other hand, to challenge a state law it must directly contradict constitution. As such, the state laws can controll a lot more than federal laws. On paper, anyways.

 

For example, when the legal drinking age was 18 the federal government decided in all their infinite wisdom that they wanted the drinking age to be 21.  And to avoid directly contradicting a precedented state practice of having 18 as the legal age they put a clause in the transportation funding that stated that if states wanted federal funding to their interstate and highways systems, they would have to raise the legal drinking age to 21.  Basically forcing states to follow their rules or go broke.

This might seem like a technicality, but you still have to keep in mind that the federal government, in general, has no direct control over the state laws. The constitution does not talk about legal age for drinking alcohol, so federal government cannot pass a law about it. Of course, the fact that states depend on federal budget for a lot of things gives federal government a lot of indirect power, but states still have a choice. Technically. Essentially the difference is about the same as the difference between slavery and working for minimum wage.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn't anyone else required to read Civil Disobedience in high school? What are the school systems coming to these days?

 

"What, sir, are you doing out there?"

 

 

A good example would be the civl rights movement. All over the country many young students and African Americans staged sit-ins to protest the Jim Crow laws of the time. However, it still took enormous effort through more conventional protests and marches for a goal; they did not simply just continually break the law.

I guess what we would have to agree upon is what would be considered a "peaceful demonstration" We are allowed by the Constitution the right to assembly in the First Amendment. I wouldn't consider the "bulk" of protesting breaking the law, although on a more technical level, each incident would have to be analysed.

 

 

...you can break the law, get yourself arrested, get convicted, appeal the decision, get convicted in higher court, etc. Eventually, you can get to the Supreme Court, get the law found unconstitutional, and the state would then be required to change it. This would cost you a lot of money and take up a lot of time, but it can be done if you really, really want it to be done.

The Supreme Court votes as to whether or not they will even hear the case. One good thing you could argue in lower courts however, is previous similar cases that have been heard. That could prove to be a "crap shoot" however, as it is dependent on the courts stance in stare decesis and the relation of the appelate court to the trial court.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

 

Someone may correct me on the details but any Englishman is allowed to go into Cardiff, Wales and between the hours of 12am - 1am can shoot any Welshman with a crossbow and not be brought to justice.

 

About breaking laws and gettings them taken away, I think that does not make to much sense. It would probably be best to lobby that the law be changed, but maybe that is just me, you may want to grab your crossbow and shoot a few Welshmen in the night

Yeah, that would work,

I'm pretty sure that if the law hasn't been changed yet it will be as soon as some Englishmen go to Cardiff just after midnight with their crossbows... confused.gif

 

I do agree - probably lobbying is a better option than running round with crossbows, but in some cases just as ridiculous...

who is going to lobby for the right to look at a woman for more than 7 seconds straight?

 

 

http://www.americancivilwarforum.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It is however rather wierd why The United States has so many dumb laws, with very little history in comparison to European countries, and also I'd like someone knowledgeable to tell me why The US have different laws in each state. It seems odd.

I'll be the one to remind you that although our age is quite young in comparison, we are made up almost entirely of europeans who came here. Thus, the dumb laws.

pAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gifpAafese.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is however rather wierd why The United States has so many dumb laws, with very little history in comparison to European countries, and also I'd like someone knowledgeable to tell me why The US have different laws in each state. It seems odd.

Not so much, like K^2 said, many laws are stablished because of precedents, for example, just recently in Brazil it is being discussed if they should apply more and harder punishment on men who beat women, specially if they have some relationship status like marriage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Mike Tequeli

I checked out the "dumb laws" site and im pretty sure half of it is a crock of sh*t. Like all businesses in Canada require horse tie up points or something. That being said blasphemy laws are painfully real but to my knowledge completely unenforced. Unfortunatly old laws can always be dusted off and used to trump up charges against seemingly innocent people as we have seen in the Georgia Sodomy case which to me seems more like a nationwide embarrassment then protecting the public.

user posted image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 User Currently Viewing
    0 members, 0 Anonymous, 1 Guest

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using GTAForums.com, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.