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Lucas: Consider where you stand in the national debate

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EidtPerspLucas-sigI had a journalism professor in college who was very fond of saying, “Remember, every story has two sides. It is your job as a reporter to take neither of them.”

Frankly, I think that is impossible. Journalists are human, too, (although I realize some might argue this point with me) and we are all prone to opinion. I always thought it would have been much more appropriate for my professor to have said, “Every story has two sides, but it is your job as a reporter to never let your reader know which side you take.”

Last week was a difficult one for those covering the news to avoid taking sides. The constitutionality of several very important issues – including the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act – were ruled on by the Supreme Court of the United States.

To quote a law school scene from one of my favorite movies – “the law is reason, free from passion.” (The quote is actually from Aristotle but, “Legally Blonde” fans, you know where I’m going with this.) As Elle Woods pointed out at her Harvard Law graduation, “No offense to Aristotle, but I have found … passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law.”

While it might not have a place in the decisions of the court, passion clearly poured from those waiting for and affected by the decisions.

Take the immigration issue, for example. A nation must have laws and those laws must be upheld to maintain order. There is a process in place for those who want to immigrate to the United States, and is it fair to those who follow the rules and go through that process to allow those who don’t to stay in this country? It is understandable why some ask and demand answers to that question.

But the answers aren’t as defined as our borders. What about those young people who are in this country because they were brought here at a very young age by their parents. The reasons their parents came vary. The Indiana Lawyer reported last fall the story of a young woman who was close to earning her college degree but had to drop out of school because a change in Indiana law in 2011 no longer allowed her to receive in-state tuition. She could not afford to pay out-of-state rates. True, she was an undocumented immigrant and the law is the law. But her reality is that she has lived in Indiana most of her life and only in the last couple of years learned of her undocumented status. Whether the change is fair or not can be debated, but the situation for one young girl was still heartbreaking.

While the IL staff recognizes the passion that many who are involved in these cases feel, we strive to report the news, provide ample facts, and allow you to come to your own opinion. On Page 3 we report on the Supreme Court’s immigration decision and its possible impact in Indiana, and on this page immigration attorney Angela Adams explains the potential impact of the policy change concerning young undocumented immigrants announced by the president in June.

While politics is undeniably a part of these debates, more than one analyst has opined that the split of the court in its opinion on the Affordable Care Act could be viewed as dampening arguments some have made about the politicizing of the Supreme Court. That verdict is still out. But as discussions continue about immigration, health care, and many of the other controversial issues on the national agenda – and about the only thing we know for certain at this point is that they will continue – I hope that many of us can spend a little less time worrying about what side we are on, and a little more time thinking about where we should stand.•

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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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