By ART CHANCE
I’ve been reading the Left’s frothing about the Texas election lawsuit.
One published on an NBC News site is an example of just about everything that is wrong with American education, law, and politics. The author, a law professor in Texas at a state university, is teaching young minds full of mush in law school. His idea of persuasion is “I don’t like it.” It follows that you shouldn’t either. That is pretty much the state of argumentation and education these days.
There once was a whole course of study called rhetoric and argumentation which was usually a part of a legal education and higher degrees.
Rhetoric and argumentation is based on logic, and logic is hard; it is higher mathematics hard. You might have noticed that not many Americans take higher mathematics and we import our mathematicians and engineers from India and China. It’s just toooo haaaard for Americans so we take studies courses.
When I was in exile from the Executive Branch back in the mid-nineties, going to the monastery wasn’t an option ,so I went to the university to get a bit of a “tune-up” after 30 years or so of only reading about trade-craft and Tom Clancy novels. Mostly I took literature, history, and writing classes, but I also took a 200-level logic class, and I got my only B in a University of Alaska class.
The professor was an adjunct. He was a conservative, rigid, even dogmatic guy with a Ph.D in Philosophy and a J.D from Gonzaga, and he lived up to his conservative Catholic, Jesuit education. He and I became friends, while most of my classmates hated him. Thirty-five people enrolled in that class, and seven took the final.
His idea of a final for a 200 Level class was giving us a 1,500-word excerpt from C.J. John Marshall’s decision in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, written in 18th Century baroque legal English. We had to “distill” it into standard “subject, verb, object” English, identify all the syllogisms, and then analyze all the syllogisms for logical validity.
Then he gave us 50 syllogisms to analyze. He graded on the strict, old-fashioned curve. I got the B; I was tempted to ask to see the A, but I can’t quarrel that I deserved the B. That is the way education once was before there were participation trophies. That was the professor’s last semester at University of Alaska Southeast. The next year there was a groovy long-haired guy who had classes out on the grass with the students in a circle. I’m sure those are some really smart kids.
To bring this back to the point, the opposition to the Texas lawsuit is “I don’t like it.” This is a state university professor shrieking like a ninth grader.
Leftist argumentation is almost exclusively a combination of invalid syllogisms and subjectivist fallacies. I thought about how I could avoid making this into a logic class; I decided I couldn’t but I’d try to limit it.
Here is a classic invalid syllogism:
God is love / Love is blind / Stevie Wonder is blind / Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.
If you think about it, that argument leaves out a few alternatives to Stevie Wonder being God. I think that is called an undistributed middle proposition, but it has been awhile.
The other staple of leftist argument is the subjectivist fallacy. The most common is “I feel strongly therefore;” The other most common leftist fallacies are first, “the appeal to the mob;” everybody believes that Joe Biden won the election. The next most common is the appeal to authority, argumentum ad baculum; I’m a law professor, therefore you must accept my opinion.
The latter is mostly what we’re dealing with here — a law professor saying, I believe it, therefore it is true.
Return to Texas vs. the defendant states, Texas argues that those states violated the US Constitution by changing their election procedures during the course of the election and doing so by Executive or Judicial action rather than by Legislative action as required by the US Constitution.
There is no argument that the defendant states changed their election laws by Executive and Judicial actions in contravention of the constitutional requirement that election laws can only be enacted by the Legislative body.
The U.S. Supreme Court can simply refuse to take the case. One or more of the defendant states can make a motion to dismiss. The Court can simply dismiss Texas’ claims and this case goes away; China Joe wins the presidency.
There’s a good argument that CJ Taney should have done that in Dred Scott and the US Civil War would have been delayed, if not avoided. I think that if left to his own devices, that’s what Chief Justice Roberts would do, but there are five other justices who might not see it as Roberts does.
My money would be on the Court taking it on. Roberts can slither off and join the minority. That effectively makes Clarence Thomas the Chief Justice, and Thomas rightfully has a bone to pick with China Joe. If the Roberts is in the minority, the senior associate justice gets to write the majority opinion or assign the writing.
I’m not a lawyer, before any of my fans point that out, but I hired, fired, and supervised lawyers and beat a lot of them like rented mules in arbitrations and labor board hearings; I’m pretty good at this stuff.
I don’t know the psychology of DC very well anymore. I can’t rule out the Supremes just walking away from this, but I don’t think they will. The Democrats have threatened the very existence of the Supreme Court with their “court packing” scheme, and I don’t think the Court will take that lying down.
We’re facing an existential battle for the American Republic and the last line of defense is the Supreme Court. I think the line will hold, but prayers might be helpful.
rt Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon.