Due Process and the political spectacle

Edelman (1988) begins his book, more than begins as the book is about, a pessimistic assessment that your SN team has found more and more accurate as we have aged: the answer is not more communication. Many disagree thinking “citizens who are informed about political developments can more effectively protect and promote their own interests and the public interest. That response takes for granted a world of facts that have a determinable meaning and a world of people who react rationally to the facts they know. In politics neither premise is tenable…” (Edelman 1988, 1)

We would like to replace ‘rationally’ with ‘predictably’ (there are plenty of actions that are rational but not predictable because a person’s value system might be different than the observer), but aside from that modification we find Edelman to be so correct that his statement easily transcends political discourse into communications generally. This provokes some obvious concerns, but especially interesting is what this does to legal theory. Due Process is, after all, “the right to be heard” (Subrin et al. 2004, 1). If Due Process is founded on untenable premises then what happens to those very procedural protections?

Works Cited

Edelman, Murray. 1988. Constructing the political spectacle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Subrin, Stephen N., Martha L. Minow, Mark S. Brodin, & Thomas O. Main. 2004. Civil procedure: Doctrine, practice, and context (2nd ed.) NY: Aspen Publishers.

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