Law’s Prayer: Town of Greece v Galloway
In his ethnography of the French Conseil d’Etat, Bruno Latour describes the effect that law has on life as being analogous to faxing pizza. The Making of Law brilliantly and hilariously shows how law flattens life, remaking it for law’s own purposes. One sees all of the color and taste drained out of the drama of local government and politics as it makes its way up through the relentless contouring of each fact to suit the public purposes of the French administrative courts. Similar effects can be seen in any legal system. But, as Talal Asad and others have shown, the shaping of life to suit the law has backstream effects as well, beginning long before life enters the courts. One feature of the modern world is the thorough juridification of life in its very subjectivity. Law does not need the courts.