Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

Friday Sunset

Why the Senate and the legal process was set up to be a slower, deliberative one. Or, as Washington once said, a saucer in which you pour your coffee to cool.

Today’s quote is from James Madison, from a letter to Benjamin Rush dated March 7, 1790:

If we are to take for the criterion of truth a majority of suffrages, they ought to be gathered from those philosophical and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason apart from every scene that can- disturb its operations, or expose it to the influence of the passions. The advantage enjoyed by public bodies in the light struck out by the collision of debate is but too often overbalanced by the heat proceeding from the same source. Many other sources of involuntary error might be added. It is no reflection on Congress to admit for one the united voice of the place where they may happen to deliberate. Nothing is more contagious than opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself. It is extremely difficult, also, to avoid confounding the local with the public opinion, and to withhold the respect due to the latter from the fallacious specimen exhibited by the former.

Next time someone forwards you one of those stupid e-mail tirades, send them this.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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