As law professors have tried to explain to the uneducated public, the Rule of Law - in fact, the stability of democratic republican virtue - is directly dependent on the number of lawyers to enforce constitutional values. In math form:
More Lawyers = Exponentially Better Rule of Law
And yet, despite American law schools trying to meet the nation's legal needs, we are on the brink of disaster.
And, in what was a tipping point for some, he attacked Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the Federal District Court in San Diego, who is overseeing two class actions against Trump University.Yes, we are on the verge of our Republican nominee for President being a man without respect for the nation's judiciary. Were Trump a lawyer, some bar association would be giving him the Ministry of Love makeover when the docket next had time.
Mr. Trump accused the judge of bias, falsely said he was Mexican and seemed to issue a threat.
“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace,” Mr. Trump said. “O.K.? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?”
David Post, a retired law professor who now writes for the Volokh Conspiracy, a conservative-leaning law blog, said those comments had crossed a line.
“This is how authoritarianism starts, with a president who does not respect the judiciary,” Mr. Post said. “You can criticize the judicial system, you can criticize individual cases, you can criticize individual judges. But the president has to be clear that the law is the law and that he enforces the law. That is his constitutional obligation.”
But he's not. He's a non-lawyer, and his lack of respect for the Rule of Law and the secured pedestal cage in which we place judges is appalling.
But it was entirely preventable.
Mr. Trump's brash calumnies against the judge handling his civil matter are unpleasant, but instead of whining about authoritarianism and populist critiques of a completely reasonable and laudable application of the judicial system, let's do something about it.
If more lawyers means a greater respect for the Rule of Law, there's only one solution that we know will work to ensure that Trump's view remains a minority one, if not a belief washed from the social picture entirely. More lawyers.
Sure, we could come up with other solutions, like just not voting for blowhard demagogues who can't even respect a straightforward civil proceeding. Or, we could take the easier approach and simply enroll more people in law school.
If everyone in Trump's circle - or even Trump himself - had a law degree, there would be more of an understanding of the abhorrence of his conduct. His outbursts are a symptom of too few lawyers. This is what we call proof, and it is what wins trials.
At a minimum, this episode should put into perspective the whinging nonsense we hear about 10,000 new lawyers being jobless every year. Even were that true - and I think we can all agree the employment numbers are bogus, yes? - the temporary hindrances to a few thousand at the start of their careers are worth slightly less than national confidence in the Rule of Law.
Indeed, Hillary Clinton, like many establishment candidates before her, has a closet full of skeletons and an attic's worth of baggage. But at least she and her fore-bearers respected the Rule of Law sufficiently to evade or manipulate it. Trump, going after it head-on with cheap slander and media-mode potshots, is an odiousness we can ill afford.
We need more troops in the rank and file. I don't care if it takes 100,000 or 200,000 law graduates a year, by God we are going to support the Rule of Law against reality show dictators.
The overwhelming odds are that there is a law school within 100 miles of where you, dear reader, are currently sitting. Please make a donation or nudge a lemming. Preferably full price-paying. Support building law schools where they are desperately needed, in places like New York, Massachusetts, Florida, California. America needs you now more than ever.