Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Some Things I've Learned in Law School

1. The police are not obligated to attempt to come to your aid. If someone mugs you and a cop is standing right there and decides not to intervene, that's your problem.
-Castle Rock v. Gonzalez (2005)

This means that if a mass murderer comes into my classroom and starts shooting at me and my classmates are legally on our own (it already being established that the College of William & Mary has declared campus a Second Amendment -free zone). Then again, maybe I'm paranoid. It's not like anyone would ever shoot up a law school or a public university in Virginia, and certainly not this decade.

2. No matter how well-kept your property is, if your neighbors have let their places fall apart, the state can take your property under eminent domain by claiming "community redevelopment."
-Kelo v. City of New London (2004)

Especially while at Virginia Tech, I did a fair amount of volunteering with a group of Evangelical missionaries up in Chester, PA. One of the main things they did was operate a mission school for those in the Chester-Upland School District (last-ranked in all of Pennsylvania) that basically said "Pay what you can; we'll find a way to cover the rest." They had two buildings: Douglass, where the elementary school (and when I first started volunteering, a small middle school program) were operating, and Carver, across the street, where they were hoping to eventually start a middle and high school. In the wake of Kelo, the city decided that a better use for Carver would be a parking lot for the horse-racing track they were hoping to build. They eventually used it to build low-income housing after taking it from the missionaries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I learned that there are only two theories of jurisprudence to be heard at law school: legal formalism, such found in those ridiculous decision a hundred years ago when some poor plaintiff forgets to cross a T and loses any chance of remedy after losing two legs to a greedy employer (probably a railroad), and legal realism, that is, laws are what the powerful impose upon the weak. Didn't Plato refute that idea in The Republic?

I never once heard a law professor say the term "natural law" without a summary dismissal of it as racist, etc.

Blog on my friend!