A Rule Unused is a Useless Rule ~ a new friend, process vs. result and trans-sexual fatherhood[Click to read]
I recently had a conversation with a new friend, who possesses the spectacular quality of not thinking just like me! Imagine that. Someone with a different point of view. We determined that he is very process oriented. Rather completely unlike Girl Ipsa who is an anal-retentive-goal-oriented-control-freak, but we knew that already.
So, we're talking about interesting legal stuff and the "Ten Commandments in Court" issue arises. We boil it down to the idea that there is a technically correct bit and a technically incorrect bit but the vast majority of the matter is just "who cares"? My friend is not a law student. In fact, if he were a law student he might spontaneously burst into flames. I know this because this is the question he posed: "If it doesn't matter, really, then why don't they just leave well enough alone?"
A question like this is the antithesis of the legal process. We like details. We like minutiae. WE LIKE RULES. What good is a rule if you can not invoke it! And this particular issue stands firmly on a constitutional rule, no less. A rule from the constitution! This is not just any rule. This is the super supreme rule of all rules... Well, you can imagine in what ways my friend and I must differ. and in what ways legal study would torture my artistic, process loving friend.
In an honest attempt to answer his question I responded in the only way possible by saying "Why, because it is the technically correct RESULT."
Friends of Girl Ipsa know where I stand on this particular issue. A giant multi-ton concrete edifice, boldly emblazoned with the Ten Commandments** has no business in our court houses. Nor does the tastefully rendered-on-parchment Ten Commandments. Nor the collector plate lovingly painted with Jesus and a lamb and the Ten Commandments spelled out in fluffy clouds... Technically we ought to slap some separation in there.
But new friend wonders why anyone even bothers to complain, not really valuing the technicality. And I have to wonder with him as I read about this whole trans-sexual fatherhood quagmire.
There are dozens of interesting things going on in this case. Scientific stuff, social stuff, expert evidence stuff and lots of legal stuff. But the part I am interested in today is the technical correctness of the decision. To my mind, a man has been denied his parental rights to his 7 year old child -- on a technicality. (Or several technicalities if you wanna get specific)
"Well, Mr. Jones. The court sees that you were married to the biological mother, held her hand while she was artificially inseminated, wiped her tears when she cried each time it didn't "take", held her hair while she vomited for 6 months straight, got out of bed at 2 in the morning to go get ice cream and wasabi, suffered a shoulder dis-location while helping her push that baby out, took 4 weeks off of work to help, got up a dozen times a night to wipe milk spit-up and change diapers, sat in the emergency room for 16 hours while the fever was lowered, taught that kid to ride a bike, read a book and change the oil in the car... However, you are not biologically his father and therefore you have no rights whatsoever. Better luck next time. Maybe you should try cloning?"
It's ridiculous. So what's left? Well, there is a presumption of fatherhood of any child conceived during marriage. That should offer our hapless parent some protection, right? But this is where another technicality rears its ugly head.
The court in this case may be technically correct. Jennifer Simmons may be technically correct. But I hope they are ashamed of themselves.