Friday, June 15, 2012

HOT AIR. They're actually arguing anti-sharia legislation at National Review, with Ramesh Ponnuru surprisingly against it. Torture enthusiast Andrew C. McCarthy is of course for it, and brings in one David Yerushalmi, "the principal author of the model legislation," as a ringer. Yerushalmi is a pip. He starts out like this:
As a lawyer versed in the jurisprudential traditions of our own constitutional and common law, in the Talmudic law followed by orthodox Jews, and in usul al fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, I thought I might touch upon the utter incoherence of Mr. Schmitz’s arguments.

Given Mr. Schmitz’s style of disputation, it would be useful to take note of the architecture of Mr. Schmitz’s essay as we critique it.
The stage directions "[scratches cheek with walking stick]" and "[ruffles cape]" seem to be missing. How does this guy win cases? I know ordinary people would look at this cloud of gas and think, "Christ, what an asshole"; maybe judges have a higher tolerance.

Anyway he keeps pumping it out, and eventually gets around to explaining that the Constitution is insufficient to defend Americans from sharia law because of 1.) libel tourism, and 2.) some lady who lost a custody hearing because "the court enforced a Pakistani Sharia court’s judgment of custody in favor of the father even though the mother had argued that she was not provided due process because had she gone to Pakistan to contest the case, she could have been subject to capital punishment for having a new relationship with a man not sanctioned by sharia. "

Libel tourism is not enabled by sharia but by the lower libel bar in England; maybe Yerushalmi should really be defending Americans from the malevolent influence of the Church of England instead of Islam. As for the poor mother, her rough luck appears to be that her old man skipped to Pakistan, and the U.S. court had no authority to make Pakistan a safe place for her to be, so he, untrammeled, got a judgment that the court felt compelled to uphold. But courts uphold unfortunate custody judgments all the time, even without minarets in the background. It's not like a judge has authorized someone getting his hands cut off because some local ayatollah demanded it.

One of the most ridiculous things about Very Serious conservative magazines is that whenever rightwing nuts come up with some boob bait to rouse the masses politically, they come up with lapel-pullers like Yerushalmi to make it look legit and intellectual-like. The average punter will presumably just see the big block of big words and go, "See, that there funny-boy lawyer says Mooslims suck cause-a joo-ris-pru-denshul." But it all falls to pieces when you actually read them.


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