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Re: Summary of voting irregularities



On Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 10:19:14AM -0400, Robert D. Hilliard wrote:
> Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:
>  
> > On Tue, Oct 10, 2000 at 04:44:20PM -0400, Buddha Buck wrote:
> > > 1. The Social Contract cannot be modified under the Debian Constitution.
> > 
> > This is the least controversial interpretation, because it allows for very
> > little subjective projection of desired meaning onto the text of the
> > Constitution.
> 
>      I disagree.  This is, in my view, the most controversial
> interpretation.  I fully agree with the rest of your analysis. 

Yeah, "controversial" is a poor choice of terminology there, since it
appears to be an entirely subjective phenomenon.  I should probably have
said something like "least surprising", or "most literal".

> > Adjudicating disputes about the meaning of the Constitution (7.1.3) does
> > not mean unilaterally introducing rules that have no foundation within it.
> 
>      This is the heart of the matter.  It is akin to the U.S.
> controversy over `activist' judges, who rule based on their beliefs of
> what should be, rather than on what the law says.  At least in U.S.
> jurisprudence several levels of appellate review are available.  Under
> the Debian Constitution no such appeals are available.  This is a far
> more important point than the fate of John's GR.

Yes, the long-running debate in the U.S. legal community comes consistently
to my mind as well, but certain people accuse of lawyering quite enough
without me pointing out parallels to the real-world legal profession,
however apropos they might be.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson             |    Software engineering: that part of
Debian GNU/Linux                |    computer science which is too difficult
branden@debian.org              |    for the computer scientist.
http://www.debian.org/~branden/ |

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