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The spirit of the law.
The letter of the law.

Are lawyers the enemy of the spirit and the champions of the letter?
Are the judges the defenders of the spirit in the war against the letter?

I listen to the corporate attorney's analysis of this item and wonder are they daft or do they care about what the words mean? Not just the meaning of the words in English but also in that rarefied air of legalese. I hear and read the words of the lawyers and wonder if even the letter of the law is available to them any longer. The spirit gone but for the words in the opinions of the highest court. Perhaps it is found in lower courts but i read those judgments too infrequently to know.

I fear it is all lost, letter and spirit, in our culture today when even the law makers are lawyers fighting over the letters, all spirit gone except the spirit they profess to follow while doing the work of the beautiful liar.