No lawyers need apply

I received a call at home Tuesday night from an outfit in Michigan whose name I do not recall saying they were looking for a certain number of registered voters to participate in a political focus group. I was initially inclined to tell them to go away but thought maybe it would be interesting to do as I’ve never participated in one and it would take less than three hours one evening this month.

After indicating I would be interested, the woman began gathering general information, such as educational level, age and whether and how I was employed. When I told her where I worked and that I was a lawyer, she said she was sorry but no one associated with the legal system or the courts was eligible to participate.

In hindsight, I wonder if the focus group was for the proposed abortion law or one of the other initiated measures on the November ballot. It makes some sense to my simplistic mind that they may not want a focus group on an initiated law to get caught up in a discussion of legal issues when they’re looking for what concerns and what sells to the average voter.

Or, then again, maybe I’m wrong and they just don’t like lawyers.

It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute publick opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.

James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat

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