Jury Nullification (2 Viewers)

St. Widge

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Most libertarians I know steer clear of calling themselves big "L" Libertarians. That is more a designation of the Libertarian party. Small "l" libertarians are very diverse and they love to fight each other more than anything in the world. Anarchists also like to fight each other as they too are a diverse group (An-caps to An-coms).

Government absolutely rules by coercion. I am not sure how anyone can say otherwise. Its not all voluntary right?
I also think you know that drafters of the Constitution would not understand how our current federal government has 20% of the power that it does if the Constitution really did restrain the government. If there is a social contract, then the Constitution would have to mean something and not just ignored most of the time or have judges change the meaning without legislation or amendment.

Jury nullification for federal crimes would come into play if someone is charged with a crime and it is not evident the Constitution ever gave the feds the power to regulate whatever the crime was about.
It is voluntary and even if it's not all voluntary doesn't mean that they rule by coercion when the vast majority of our lives and what they do is voluntary. In the vast majority of cases all the laws say is that your liberty extends to the point that you would harm someone else and no serious libertarian or Libertarian would disagree with that. Although I guess all Anarchists would.

And, when I use Libertarian with a big "L", I use it to differentiate between the general idea that freedom is good and classical liberal philosophy from guys like Locke and Mill because the word "liberal" has lost its original meaning due to politics. Of course, the phase Libertarian has also lost it's true meaning because of politics too.

I mean, nobody is stopping anyone from leaving and they aren't really forcing anyone to do much of anything. I live a really free life and am free to say or do pretty much so anything I want without government intrusion as long as I don't harm others in the process. That being said, I think there are things that should be legal that are not legal and there are laws I don't agree with, drugs being the largest example, but there are ways to change those laws and those things are starting to happen. And the alternative is to just let people individually decide which laws to follow and which laws not to follow. That seems great in theory, but the truth is that isn't going to work in practice.

I agree that the government has gone far past the powers granted to it in the Constitution, but I don't think it is even close to the point of coercion. And, like I said, there are mechanism to change all of those things.

I mean, I guess you could argue that the concept of Judicial Review by SCOTUS as created in Marbury v. Madison is wrong and every single citizen has the right to determine and enforce what is or isn't Constitutional, but I don't think you could make a very good argument for that given the Federalist Papers. And, I don't think it works for a practical point of view.

In the end, I get the attraction of jury nullification for laws that seem unjust, but I think the down side of it is far too great. It's all fine and good when we use it to stop people from going to jail for smoking weed, but what happens if a jury decides to let a child molester or rapist go because that's a moral judgment and shouldn't be an issue for criminal law?

Finally, people make these claims about Judges "making the law" all the time, but I think that is usually because they don't really understand the process or how law works. All laws require some level of interpretation out of necessity so you have to look at the intent of the drafter. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. Beyond that, outside of Louisiana which is a Civil Law state (and some exceptions for particular areas of law like Family Law in other states), the Common Law is the law of the land. And, the Common Law is based on precedent, but the Judges don't make the law so much as they are forced to interpret it when it's unclear. And they interpret it in the light of what was intended by those who wrote the law.
 
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xardoz

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I agree that the government has gone far past the powers granted to it in the Constitution, but I don't think it is even close to the point of coercion. And, like I said, there are mechanism to change all of those things.

Government does not operate by coercion? Ok... Try not paying your taxes, or ignoring a warrant.

You can get back to me on that one.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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Government does not operate by coercion? Ok... Try not paying your taxes, or ignoring a warrant.

You can get back to me on that one.
under this framework, Education also operates by coercion, right?
not arguing just seeking clarity - interested in this line of reasoning
 
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tomwaits

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under this framework, Education also operates by coercion, right?
not arguing just seeking clarity - interested in this line of reasoning
I would think so. If I don't pay school district taxes, they will come coerce me to do so even if I have no kids in the government school system.
 

St. Widge

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Government does not operate by coercion? Ok... Try not paying your taxes, or ignoring a warrant.

You can get back to me on that one.
You choose to live here and subject yourself to that power. That's not coercion.

And that's an interesting argument style you have there.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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I would think so. If I don't pay school district taxes, they will come coerce me to do so even if I have no kids in the government school system.
No I meant from Education’s POV
That ‘forcing’ kids to study/test for grades is a form of coercion if taxes are, no?
 

DaveXA

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You choose to live here and subject yourself to that power. That's not coercion.

And that's an interesting argument style you have there.

Yeah, I agree. I tend to think people have a choice to live under the social contract. Most of us can move to another country, or live out in the country. In both cases people are ordinarily free to do so. As for taxes, there's few places on earth you can go and not be taxed. That's not coercion. It's a prerequisite for living in a modern society.
 

xardoz

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Yeah, I agree. I tend to think people have a choice to live under the social contract. Most of us can move to another country, or live out in the country. In both cases people are ordinarily free to do so. As for taxes, there's few places on earth you can go and not be taxed. That's not coercion. It's a prerequisite for living in a modern society.
The "social contract" is two-fold. However, the main premises of the social contract is that if the government does not uphold their end of the contract - they have broken the contract.

A broken contract means:
1. you do not have to follow your end of the bargain.
2. You are absolved from the legalities of violating the contract as the action of the state has released you from your obligation.

Y'all need to read (chapter 3 - I think) of Hobbe's work - that is the intent of the manuscript.
 

xardoz

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You choose to live here and subject yourself to that power. That's not coercion.

So I have to follow a contract just because it was thrust upon me by a group with power? So you are saying, that if someone's rights are violated that person have to bend to that authority?

Yes it is coercion. Definition:
"the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."

If you do not do something by the law, there are always punishments in those for failure to follow. THAT sir, is a threat. Do this or else. Pure and simply. If you or I do it, is assault.

Just because it is a law, you are not morally bound to follow it. Do not confuse morality and legality.
If 51% of the people may vote for it, does not legitimize it. In the end it is the violence of the state that will enforce it. Just because it is legal (a law) does not make it right. The term for it is "tyranny of the majority" -(i.e. Democracy). That is why the Founding Fathers wanted a Republic. It is not the perfect government, but it protected minorities as well as any form of government could.
Realize that over time, Jim Crow laws were legal.
Slavery was legal.
Setting your slaves free was illegal.
Helping runaway slaves was illegal.
It was legal to shoot 7 or more indians going across the Missouri River from west to east.
It was legal to assault and steal from Jewish people in Germany pre-WW2.
It was legal for a man to end his wife's life for "displeasing him" at one time in Alabama.
Gay people were prevented the luxury of being joined in a civil union.
etc... etc....

There are hundreds if not thousands of illegal laws (still) on the books. Only a few ever get overturned.

However, I digress.
Coercion and violence is how the state gets you to play by their rules. It is why the Constitution LIMITED the authority of the Federal Government and thus applied to all others via the 14th Amendment, which reads:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Too bad our own government does not follow the rules that created the government.... THAT is a violation of their end of Social Contract.
....
Just being born somewhere does NOT make you required to obey. If so, the country would be a CAST system. You would be bound by the rules of your fathers and you would probably be in the same trade. Additionally, any debts incurred by your parents could be passed down to you. You are not responsible for the previous generations failures - Legality is based on action by an individual not based on what happened before you.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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Yeah, I agree. I tend to think people have a choice to live under the social contract. Most of us can move to another country, or live out in the country. In both cases people are ordinarily free to do so. As for taxes, there's few places on earth you can go and not be taxed. That's not coercion. It's a prerequisite for living in a modern society.
‘Most’ could be a stretch
 

Denzien

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The "social contract" is two-fold. However, the main premises of the social contract is that if the government does not uphold their end of the contract - they have broken the contract.

A broken contract means:
1. you do not have to follow your end of the bargain.
2. You are absolved from the legalities of violating the contract as the action of the state has released you from your obligation.

Y'all need to read (chapter 3 - I think) of Hobbe's work - that is the intent of the manuscript.

We even have a whole thread about this


Just because it is a law, you are not morally bound to follow it. Do not confuse morality and legality.

People confuse forcing others to pay for federal social programs with generosity all the time, I don't really expect them to understand this. But - yes.
 
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tenordas

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I think you may be surprised how many libertarians are anarchists.

How about this though? If you are living in an area that is being controlled by organized crime, are you consenting to their authority because you choose to live there? You could move right?

Wait. You mean there are people in this country who claim a political party affiliation because they don't know that party doesn't actually align with what they believe?

This is my shocked face...
 

tenordas

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No I meant from Education’s POV
That ‘forcing’ kids to study/test for grades is a form of coercion if taxes are, no?

Kids very definitely aren't forced to do it. If you've ever been in a high school "on level" classroom, you would see that's the case very quickly. They try their hardest to convince the kids that they have to do it, but the administration and the teachers are well aware they can't force the kids to try to pass their classes (and a lot of those kids know it, too, so they don't bother trying because they fully intend to drop out as soon as they turn 18 anyway).
 
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Dago

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Yall this is a helluva conversation.

Really enjoying this thread
 

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