Whatever happened to “finder’s keepers?” The ancient, but probably unwritten, rule that we followed pretty faithfully as kids was recently thrown out of court. No matter how much others may try to convince us that the “good ol’ days” were a distorted mirage, it makes one yearn for a simpler past.
Admittedly, I’m one of those “others.” In many ways, the “olden, golden” times were not better for the majority of Americans: women, minorities, the handicapped, and the elderly come immediately to mind. But the law was less convoluted, and most people who could read and write could get the gist of it with a little effort.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the law was better than it is now or that “right was right, and wrong was wrong.” I think that the reason we have written laws, lawyers, and courts is because right and wrong have never been absolutely agreed upon by the general population. Even the framers of our Constitution believed that we needed a Supreme Court to interpret the laws for us.
A bit of history
Over the years, the court has made decisions that make one scratch one’s head. For example, one of the first (and most significant) cases was Marbury v. Madison (1803). Back in the infancy of our nation, President John Adams appointed William Marbury as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia. However, Secretary of State James Madison refused to deliver the commission to Marbury. So, Marbury went to the Supreme Court, seeking justice...