Monday, January 28, 2008

Pleading the Fifth

Obsessive readers of this blog will remember the dream I had a few years ago where I found myself the newest justice on the United State Supreme Court. Jurisprudence was apparently on my mind last night again, as I dreamt that I was at a grocery store where the Governor of Rhode Island happened to be holding a public bill signing ceremony. I stuck around to watch, but before the ceremony started, a number of people got up and gave speeches. The first speaker began his speech by asking if anyone in the crowd could name the first five amendments in the Bill of Rights. The crowd went silent, until a guy in the crowd chimed in with the first two, said something plausible for the third (I had to look that one up while writing this post and apparently, my subconscious mind had forgotten it too), skipped the fourth, and then said that the fifth amendment gives Americans the right to deal arms. No one corrected him on this statement, but I thought about it some more after I woke up, and there is some logic to his statement. If the government suspects you of dealing arms illegally but they have no evidence against you, they can't compel you to testify against yourself, so in a way, the fifth amendment does give you the right to be an illegal arms dealer, as long as you don't get caught.

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