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February 19, 2004

A Random Thought About Governance

Before I head off to bed, I just wanted to express an idea that I haven't been able to extricate from my thoughts since early this evening. While my mind wandered on matters pertaining to the separation of church and state, my glance fell on a picture of John Edwards. And like a culture left in the petri dish too long, an idea germinated.

Try to imagine the public reaction if a priest — not a generic "reverend" like Rev. Sharpton — but an honest to goodness man of the cloth were to run for President. Forget the partisan fanatics: how do you think you would react if a candidate showed up for a debate with a Roman collar — or any visible marking of clergy from any religion? Frankly, I don't think I'd be too comfortable with it.

So why, then, with our government's much more defined rules regarding the separation of the branches, do we not flinch when a lawyer runs for President? Clearly, such a candidate's background, worldview, and sympathies lie with the courthouse. Doesn't it blur the line between the executive and judicial branches for one whose beliefs formed within the context of the latter to run for high office in the former?

Shouldn't we, at the ballot box, perform a suffragian version of Shakespeare's advice about lawyers?

Posted by Justin Katz at February 19, 2004 1:44 AM

It's even worse than this. We have one branch of government, the federal judiciary, which is open to no one BUT lawyers.

Posted by: Andrew at February 19, 2004 5:19 PM