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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

From all over the place, but I'll pick on Hugh Hewitt as representative, since he's got an informal symposium going on it. Target has decided to ban Salvation Army bell-ringers from its stores. The official excuse is, they're finding it increasingly difficult to make an exception, for the Salvation Army, to their policy that otherwise bans solicitors.

Here's some news for you, Target. I know it will be hard for you to believe. Are you ready for it? Here it is....

You're not a court of law.

Big shocker, right? Not at all fashionable these days, is it, for a corporation to think that way. I assure you, though, you're not. So there's no reason why you can't make whatever exceptions you wish to whatever policies it pleases you to have, for whatever reason seems good to you, or for no reason at all. And guess what? There's no appeal.

On the other hand, there are really good reasons not to irritate your customers. And -- just in case you haven't had enough surprises -- there's no appeal there, either.

-- posted by Clayton 11/18/2004 11:00:00 PM

Comments: 4

  1. On December 05, 2004 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The problem, of course, is that while Target isn't a court of law, if they DO go ahead and make the exceptions they feel like, they'll be dragged into a real, honest to goodness court of law. Where they'll be forced to admit the solicitors they DON'T want on their premises.

    It does no good to tell people that they're not courts, and they don't have to reason like courts, in a society where courts wield vast power. Understanding what the courts will punish you for is a matter of self defense.

  2. On December 09, 2004 8:18 PM, Blogger Clayton said…

    ... And naturally, the proper way to protect yourself from said courts is utter submission to each fresh abuse that comes along. Of course.

  3. On December 11, 2004 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No, I'd actually prefer that they take a more "in your face, judiciary!" attitude. I'm really free with other people's legal budgets that way. ;)

  4. On December 11, 2004 4:46 PM, Blogger Clayton said…

    Absolutely. It's not like Target is part of a broader society, or anything like that; certainly it bears no responsibility, whether legally or otherwise, for any consequences of its actions to any other than its shareholders, and its erstwhile customers are bound by law to keep coming back no matter what.

    And after all, once everyone else's freedom of association has been whittled away, you'll still have yours, right? So what does Target's cowardice matter?


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