According to MLK, how can we tell the difference between just and unjust laws?  Understanding this questions is the most important part of this module, and I will ask it again during our second exam.

For MLK the difference between just and unjust laws is clear. In his words : “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality”. In short, an unjust law is that which denigrates people. Moreover, it is a law that serves to create inequalities between people. On the other hand, a just law is that which is created to protect and encourage the well being of all people no matter their gender, age, preferences or color.   

In your view, is this an important distinction (between just and unjust laws), do you think it makes a difference in the way someone (as an individual, or our society as a whole) lives their lives? Can it affect our politics?

Of course I agree. The distinction of just and unjust laws is essential to have a healthy society. Indeed, recognizing the difference between both allows people to realize that sometimes what is legal is not necessarily to the best interest of all. Furthermore, it is important because it makes people ask themselves questions about the Legal and Justice Systems. In a nutshell, learning about this distinction generates criticism of the system people have inherited. Later, allowing them to acknowledge its flaws and transform their government into something better. This is how it affects politics. An educated population has the ability to analyze their institutions, claim changes and pressure those in power to change what is not working for all.

Based on our discussion of Question 1, give an example each, of an unjust and just law, in the US today. Explain what makes it unjust or just (using MLK’s definition of those two types of laws).

According to Global Citizen, rapists can have parental rights in seven states : Most states have laws that prevent rapists from claiming parental rights, but seven states do not: Alabama, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In some cases, this has resulting in sexual assault victims having to coparent with their perpetrator, meaning the rapist has visitation rights and stays in contact with the child and mother. It is not necessary to say why this is an unjust law. It is completely insane that the law allows a man, who has raped a woman, to share parenting rights over the consequences of his felony. . . How can even a sexual perpetrator have the right to be alone with a child that is the product of his damage? It causes indignation.

On the other hand, a just law is the Freedom of Information Act. This law gives everyone the right to see and use records from any government establishment. According to hibernian digest : “The law lets citizens know happenings in government. Federal agencies must disclose any information requested under this act with exemptions to personal privacy, law enforcement, and classified information ”. In my opinion, this is a just law because it is a tool for citizens to regulate the government’s transparency. In fact, it is a law that allows Americans to get the necessary information to analyze their government’s actions. Then, decide if what is being done is equal to the best interest of all. Thus, this law protects and promotes a fair society.

Sources:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sexist-laws-in-the-us-in-2017/?template=next

https://hiberniandigest.com/2020/06/02/8-important-laws-you-need-to-know-as-an-american-citizen

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