Monday, February 13, 2017

A Documentary I'd Like to Make

A friend of mine recently explained to me how legislation, enforcement, and courts work.  Here's a brief summary:
A law is created for some reason.  For example, maybe there is a walkway between two places and you can go north or south.  The walkway is wide and has been marked with two sides (east and west) so that you can walk on either side to go between the two places.  For whatever reason, there is a law that says that if you use the west side, you will be fined $1000.

A man is charged with violating that law.  He goes to court.  In court, a video is played showing the man walking on the east side (not the side mentioned in the law).  The judge decides that he has to pay the fine.

Clearly, the judge has erred.

The man appeals the decision in the appellate court and the appellate court upholds the decision.  Clearly, something is amiss here.

The appeals process continues up to the Supreme Court, and that court declines to hear the case, which means the decision of the highest appellate court under the Supreme Court stands, and the man has to pay $1000.

My friend explained that this "problem is often remedied by the legislators who simply update the law to reflect what the judges have decided."  In other words, the legislators propose an idea for controlling society in a certain way, and the judges who get the opportunity to adjust the rule against someone who may have resisted the control act as though the rule is as they want it to be, thus taking the job of legislating away from the legislators.

Federal judges are not elected, but appointed by the president.

Any creative mind can imagine the problems this situation can create.  My documentary would follow some of those problems so that the climax of the story is the realization that the only good solution is widespread exposure of all the hidden agendas at play, and the denouement will be a few major strategies for learning about those agendas and inviting others to accelerate the process.

The "Tax Honesty Movement" is one example.  The "War on Drugs" is another example.  The movie "Holes" is a good fictional example, though one in which the corruption did not go nearly as far up the chain as it does in real life.

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