Seeing blue elephants

Glenn Reynolds notes that – amazing! – someone in a Blue state did something sort of dumb. He somehow misses that the dumbkopf in question is a conservative right-to-life Republican demanding that the courts stick to “strict construction” rather than interpreting laws in a way that avoids egregious injustice.

Glenn Reynolds thinks the Michigan “life-in-prison-for-adultery” decision shows that Blue states are just as stupidly theocratic as Red states.

Actually, all it shows is that Blue-state conservative right-to-life Republican politicians can be just as stupidly theocratic and hypocritical as Red-staters, and that judges who insist on “strict construction” rather than trying to interpret laws so as to comport with justice and common sense can reach astonishingly absurd decisions.

What that says about Red-state Republican strict constructionists is, as the math textbooks say, left as an exercise for the reader.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: