Entering Law School


Am I too vague?

Week one of law school is under my belt, and I’m proud of myself; I’m no more of a hot mess than I typically am. I’ll put that one into the WIN column.

This week was surprisingly fun.

I’m enjoying law school despite the fact that I’m the oldest person in the room by a decade. I’m hopeful that – come August – I will have a compadre or commadre (or two) who are also juggling work, family and school. I may propose a secret sign or handshake that those troublemaking youngsters won’t be able to understand, but the “old, wise Responsibles” will totally get.

So… I’m over it. By it, I mean the vagueness doctrine. Four days of school, four days of cases related to whether or not something is constitutional or unconstitutional because it’s vague. Okay, I think I get the point – you must be given fair notice and it cannot encourage arbitrary discriminatory enforcement. Done. Next. I know this stuff isn’t easy; I know that it means something, and it’s a real life legal question, but it’s okay to be over it in four days, right? Of course, I kid. I know that in the fall I will be swimming in a sea of cases not knowing which way is up and just trying to keep my head above water.

I did some thinking about this vagueness doctrine and how it relates to me and my family. Upon reading the cases, I realized that sometimes I can be vague – too vague and too arbitrary. My poor children live with a woman who doesn’t always give them fair notice about what conduct she expects; and at times, these “ordinary people,” my children, are brought up on charges that are arbitrarily and discriminatorily enforced; and they are punished for them.

I started out feeling a little bad about it. I thought about making myself clearer and explaining what I expect to them so that there would be no question what conduct I expect. But I stopped myself.

I must run these seven kids like a military unit. Otherwise, daily home life would be too much to handle. Beds, laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, reading toddlers bed time stories…how the heck would we get it all done if they didn’t help contribute to the greater good?

That’s when I remembered Parker v. Levy. Ah, yes, the good ol’ military. I knew last week would pay off in one form or another. In Parker v. Levy, the Supreme Court held that the Uniform Code of Military Justice regulates a far broader range of the conduct of military personnel than a typical state. That the military “is the executive arm” whose “law is that of obedience.”

Yup, that did it. Guilt – BE GONE.

I am the Chief Executive in my home; I command obedience, and therefore, the US Constitution does not apply.

So, tonight, I will give my children fair notice that the US Constitution and their right of due process under the 5th and 14thamendment does not apply to them while they’re in my charge. So they’d better look around, and consider joining together to start their attack plan to oust me from my post of Commander Mom in Charge, or they can shut up, hurry up, grow up, get a J-O-B, turn eighteen and GET OUT!

Too vague?


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