Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pakistan and the rule of law

In case you hadn't heard, there's a revolt going on in Pakistan. General Musharraf has arrested justices of the Pakistani Supreme Court and other high courts and tried to reconsitute them with justices and judges who are loyal to him. It's like FDR's court-packing plan, but with home arrests instead of semi-retirement. In response, the nation's lawyers, along with some opposition party folks have taken to the streets and (as far as the lawyers go) have refused to practice before the reconstituted tribunals.

What gets me the most about all this is the way the American television media is treating this. I was at the gym last night on the treadmill watching CBS and Fox (someone was flipping channels, thank God they didn't turn it to CMT) as they discussed the revolts. The talking heads called this a revolt by reactionaries and revolutionaries and other like-sounding bad names. I thought to myself "how disingenuous can our media be?"

Really, folks, this is about the rule of law. The rule of law is a great thing: it makes our every day intereactions, from the times you have to talk to the police to the time you try to set up a 401(k) predictable and stable. That's good. Makes things more peaceful and businessmen will tell you its one of the keys to economic strength. Pakistan doesn't have it right now, and it doesn't have it because General Musharraf is afraid that people are going to go against him.

But, to listen to our media, these are a bunch of crazed hooligans and Islamofascists (another disingenuous term) running around Islamabad tearing the place up. It's lawyers fighting for what we have, and, as a lawyer, I would do the same if George Bush tried to replace Justice Ginsberg with Robert Bork and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with the board of Halliburton. I just wish our media would call it like it is.


Dews said...


CMT had the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader tryouts on last night...

What, you don't like girls or something? :)

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

Yep, at old Bootytech. I like the girls, I don't like them country boys.

Shane Rollins said...

I merely worry that this is only a dry run to see if Bush can do the same in this country