Tuesday, November 18, 2008

C'Mon Baby, We Don't Need to Use a Prophylactic Rule


Aw, c'mon babe. Don't be so stubborn. I understand what you are saying but honestly there is no need to ruin the situation with a silly prophylactic rule.


Prophylactic rules make things totally uncomfortable. By applying rigid guidelines, courts are improperly forcing a one-size-fits-all solution on problems big and small, issues with considerable breadth and girth as well as those with narrower implications. Moreover, these rules leave no room for freedom and experimentation. Instead, things get all weird and awkward and the whole process takes on a forced quality. You have to agree, baby, that aint for anyone's pleasure.

Rules overprotecting constitutional rights result in a process that is overcomplicated and drawn out. Countless additional rules burden all those involved, from the judges who have to hear more appeals to the police officers who have to spend more time following excess procedures. Prophylactic laws, therefore, unnecessarily prolong matters, wasting time and other resources by preventing a case from expeditiously reaching its climax and then resolution.

No honey, I am not saying that we shouldn't be careful. What I am trying to point out, though, is that prophylactic rules are overly protective, too often applied to situations when they clearly aren't needed. For example, the 5th Amendment's safeguard against self-incrimination is important but why should that constitutional provision be expanded to include everything from cavity searches to oral depositions. Unlike at trial, the danger of revealing damaging information in those instances is simply not likely, thus making these "safety measures" unnecessary.

Poo bear, I understand your arguments for using a prophylactic rule but the constitution already has a sufficient number of protections. We don't need judges deciding to take it upon themselves to add extra precautions just because they feel they are necessary. I am confident that current measures amply protect our rights and that an unelected judiciary shouldn't dictate otherwise. Really, baby, the constitution don't need no jimmy hat.

Instead, we should only require judges, especially those on the Supreme Court, to interpret laws that the people and their representatives have adopted. Some have argued that we need prophylactic standards because we can't rely on judges to accurately decide constitutional issues. But listen to me darlin', doing it my way is totally safe. These justices are really smart, have been on the bench forever and know the applicable law. The chance of error is quite minuscule. If you really love me, you'll trust me on this.

In fact, recent studies have shown that prophylactic rules fail to protect rights more often than people think. Sure if used "correctly" these standards are arguably effective but as we all know they are so often misapplied as to make their use pointless. Girl, you can't argue with that logic.

I know what your friends say, sugar. It's better to be safe than sorry. It's ok to sacrifice efficiency for protection's sake. But c'mon sweetie, it should now be clear that using a prophylactic rule is senseless. And besides it's my birthday. Can't you agree, at least this one time, that we don't need to use these useless prophylactic protections?

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