Press Releases

     Every now and then I come across a press release that seems so bizarre that it’s hard to believe it’s not some sort of deadpan prank.
     Case in point: a release issued last week by something called Mike Huckabee Policy Solutions that offers a link to an amicus brief it supposedly filed in the gay marriage case before the U. S. Supreme Court.
     If this thing is for real and not the source of an Onion story, the argument highlighted in the press release’s main headline might not be the most effective one to use with the Supreme Court: “Huckabee Policy Solutions Supreme Court Brief Says President, Congress Can Defy Justices.”
     We’re going to argue with you but we don’t care what you decide.
     It hardly seems worth it to file a brief.
     I’m just guessing here, but if the court rules against gay marriage, the Policy Solutions guys may suddenly have a change of heart about ignoring judges.
     This is kind of an exciting prospect for the presidential race. It may be – assuming that probable candidate Mike Huckabee agrees with his support group – that we finally have someone running on a platform of ignoring courts and doing whatever the heck he wants.
     He’s going to get the criminal vote.
     There are many other entertaining things in the brief and I won’t spoil them all for you but my favorite is the assertion at some length that science shows us that being gay isn’t genetic but gay people die early and thus abandon children – apparently by choice.
     This election is going to be so much fun.
     
     Freedom popularity. Later in the week another faux prank press release appeared supposedly put out by FindLaw.com
     (If it seems like a prank but isn’t, then it’s a faux prank.)
     FindLaw’s release claimed it had surveyed 1,000 people to see which were the most popular constitutional rights.
     I have no idea why.
     The headline: “Americans Say Freedom of Speech Is the Most Important Constitutional Right, According to FindLaw.com Survey for Law Day, May 1.”
     Speech is the one you want to go to the prom with.
     His almost identical twin – freedom of the press – was dead last in the poll.
     Does that mean we’re in favor of talking to each other but don’t want to see anything in print?
     Maybe we just want to muzzle news people.
     Due process rights came in second. Criminal trial rights came in second to last.
     Do you see a pattern here?
     This might make sense if we were ranking ice cream flavors so we’d know how much to make, but I’m failing to see the point in the rights survey. It’s not as if you only get to choose a couple of rights and have to give up the rest.
     And it’s not as if Freedom of Speech gets a prize for winning the competition.
     The more interesting survey would ask people to keep their favorite right and then give up the others forever.
     I’m guessing the “protection against cruel and unusual punishment” would do a lot better.
     
     Better questions. If you’re going to put out survey results for Law Day, there are many more interesting questions to ask.
     So, Findlaw.com or whoever else feels like surveying, next year try asking some of these:
     “Have you ever broken a law?”
     “What is your favorite law to break?”
     “Should surveys be outlawed?”
     “How do you really feel about lawyers?”
     “Should we ignore the Supreme Court?”
     “Do I look fat?”
     “Why are you so mean to me?”
     I can’t wait to see the survey results.

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