Friday, January 2, 2015

Why I like reading my law textbook (sometimes)

It's called The Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law by Thomas Mooney. That's 702 pages of solid legal discussion. Not exactly what you would call light reading, but I have to say, I've been enjoying it.

I'm fascinated by law. Seriously. Not so much Statutory Law, and certainly not corrupt law, but I'm into what is called common law--that tradition that goes back to the Magna Carta and before and stretches in an unbroken line to the present day.

I'm fascinated by the concept of justice, fairness, due process, trial by a jury of one's peers, and the protection of the innocent. One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is from A Man for All Seasons, in which Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) explains the importance of law.

But the common law system also has the ability to evolve and change naturally over time, like an organism (or like society itself) as each court works off of the last and yet makes adjustments. It's a sort of self-organizing system that works from the basic rules of human nature and naturally adapts to changing social mores and conditions.

So when I read case law of disputes between parents/students and schools, I don't see politics. I see something in humanity asserting itself... and evolving.

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