Perry Momson

Arizona’s illegal alien law, SB 1070, was being argued before the Supreme Court.  During a recap of the first day’s arguments, a comment was made by the radio host that the justices were having a hard time understanding the points that the lawyer for the Justice Department was trying to get across.

I went into the kitchen for more coffee and Mom looked up from the morning paper.

“What are you two up to?” she asked.

“Nothing much.  Just checking email and listening to the radio.  They’re talking about SB 1070 and how the Supreme Court justices can’t understand what the government lawyer is talking about.  Sort of like when he argued healthcare.”

“Oh, well, he’s a lawyer so you’re not suppose to understand him,” she commented.

I paused while I stirred flavored creamer into my coffee, then asked, “Mom, if a judge can’t understand what a lawyer’s talking about, how can he win his case?”

“I guess they’ll just give him the benefit of a doubt that he knows what he means because he’s an attorney.  He’s supposed to know about laws and things, so they’ll be on his side.”

“But this is an argument between two lawyers, one for Arizona and one for the federal government and the judges have to choose between the two of them.”

“Then they’ll choose whoever’s right.”

“But if they can’t understand what the lawyer from the AG’s office is saying, how can they choose him?” I asked.

“Because they know what he’s really talking about because they all speak the same language.”

“Language?” I asked.

“Yes, you know.  Lawyer language.  That’s why you need them for wills and divorces and stuff.  Because they all talk ‘legal’ so no one else can understand them.”


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