Friday, March 04, 2005

On Not Pleasing the Court (or the ears)

Ann Althouse links an interesting audio-bite from an argument made before a 7th Circuit Court panel. Yikes! I'm going to play this in my public speaking class next week and hear what the students have to say. To his credit, though, as much hemming and hawing as he does--be that a reflection of fluster, frustration, or just lack of preparation, I don't know--there is a moment, when taken et ceteris paribus that stands out. Forced to address the lack of difference between his own case and one recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, he declares:

I'm here because I feel very strongly about this ... My words are probably not being heard by very many people ... I feel necessary that, uhh, some people need to listen.

Perhaps, if this lawyer is representing a person who has very much had his rights taken away (I am only speaking fancifully and speculatively; I have not read any decision--here or there), it seems appropriate, in a way, that the lawyer stumbles and displays a lack of adherence to the legal-sphere’s reasoning standards. This lawyer, in his own way, enacts the silencing effect the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision might have had on all of those suspected of illegal activity and stopped and searched by the police.

And when he says: "Well, I have nothing left to say," he reminds me of the peroration of another speaker who spoke on behalf of a silenced group of people.


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