A withering and witty examination of how the American legal system, burdened by complexity and untrammeled growth, fails Americans and threatens the rule of law itself, by the acclaimed author of A Generation of Sociopaths.
Does the American legal system work as advertised? Does it work at all?
In The Nonsense Factory, Bruce Cannon Gibney shows that that the entire legal factory is falling apart, a victim of its gigantic and chaotic production. As law becomes incomprehensibly vast, the system survives only by ignoring its own rules, including the Constitution, leaving Americans vulnerable against the arbitrary power that the rules supposedly curb. Gibney shows how tragedies like police abuse, prosecutorial misconduct, and an inert Congress are the consequences of a legal system that becomes weaker as it grows, and that has forgotten its duty to serve citizens, not itself.
We rapidly approach a point where no one can understand what law is or should do. Law’s essential products–order, justice, and legitimacy–are in ever shorter supply. And legal turmoil under the Trump Administration is just one manifestation of a decay that began long ago and that will continue long after he leaves office.
The legal system can be salvaged; indeed, it must be. The risks of inaction are immense–the stability of our country, and the withdrawal of Americans’ Constitutional birthright. Comprehensive, deeply researched and written with wit and candor, The Nonsense Factory is more than just essential reading for attorneys and law students–it’s an urgent primer for all Americans who want to understand why and how their legal system fails them.