The law can tell us a few things about love. Legislation, jurisprudence and doctrine.
Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I’ve told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law.
And Auden goes on to contrast that with love – but you really should read the work yourselves.
Let’s start with legislation. All young lawyers should be familiar (intimately perhaps) with The Restatement of Love by Jamie G. Heller and Gretchen Craft Rubin, Reporters,
[From the definitions section]:
¤ 1.4. Love
Parties in “love” are those parties to a relationship who consider themselves engaged in the highest level of emotional intimacy attainable and who generally presume that such state will continue indefinitely.
The English language contains no precise alternate term for “love.” This fact is often decried as a constraint on the expression of emotional subtlety. For the purposes of this Restatement, however, one term is sufficient.
I offer one tiny extract from this innovative work:
Because reasonable minds disagree so strongly on the issue of spending the night, the Reporters cannot responsibly advocate one position. Rather, the Restatement cautions that a party initially taken aback by another’s approach should recognize that both methods enjoy ample support in the caselaw.63 Note that to avoid “spending the night,” a party must depart by 5:45 a.m.
Next jurisprudence. It will come as no surprise to legal researchers of as innovative a bent as Slaw readers that the courts have had a field day with Valentine’s Day:
For a discussion of whether mushrooms constitute aphrodisiacs for the purpose of Valentine’s Day, see the the Reply Brief for the petitioner in United States of America and United States Department of Agriculture, v. United Foods, Inc.
We know that florists shops do a roaring trade on Valentine’s Day.
We know that stalking can reach fever pitch on Valentine’s Day and at least one beau gave a package of cigarettes as a Valentine’s Day gift – how romantic.
The controversial Honourable David Emerson featured in one BC law suit
And finally doctrine: check out
Erotic melancholia: law, literature, and love. Peter Goodrich.
Law and Literature, Spring 2002 v14 i1 p103-129
Amatory jurisprudence and the querelle des lois. (Symposium on Philosophical Hermeneutics and Critical Legal Theory) Peter Goodrich.
Chicago-Kent Law Review, Winter 2000 v76 i2 p751-778
‘Besieged’ by beneficience: love, justice, and the autonomous self. (Dimensions of Law and Literature) Annalise Acorn.
Saskatchewan Law Review, Wntr 2000 v63 i1 p69-86
The love connection: human emotions are too vital to be left out of court decisions. Zick Rubin.
ABA Journal, Feb 1997 v83 p108(1)
Law in the courts of love: Andreas Capellanus and the judgments of love. Peter Goodrich.
Stanford Law Review, Feb 1996 v48 n3 p633-675
Desmond Manderson and Paul Yachnin, Love on Trial: Nature, Law, and Same-Sex Marriage in the Court of Shakespeare (2004) 49 McGill Law J 475.
Echoes of the love command in the halls of justice. Mark B. Greenlee.
The Journal of Law and Religion, Wntr 1996 v12 n1 p255-270
‘Sue me, sue me, what can you do me? I love you’ a disquisition on law, sex, and talk. Dan Subotnik.
Florida Law Review, July 1995 v47 n3 p311-409
Love, rage and legal theory. Robin West.
Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Spring 1989 v1 n1 p101-110
Justice and love. Raymond B. Marcin.
Catholic University Law Review, Wntr 1984 v33 n2 p363-391
The supreme courtship: in honor of Valentine’s Day attorney couples were asked to share their love stories of meeting and dating in the legal world. Nevada Lawyer Feb 2005 v13 i2 p10(5)
Valentine’s Day brings smiles – even for the judge.
Each Feb. 14, Goodheart, a judge of common pleas court, has honored his name by marrying couples in his courtroom at City Hall. He began this tradition somewhat accidentally, during his first year on the bench. Monday marks his final ceremony. He plans to retire later this year, when he turns 70.
The first ceremony interrupted a jury trial as an unsuspecting couple wandered into Goodheart’s courtroom on Feb. 14, 1977. The judge watched as a court officer turned them away. Minutes later, with testimony over, Goodheart asked why. When the judge discovered that this couple had hoped to find a marrying judge, Goodheart issued an informal order of the court: Go find them. “How could I turn them down?” he says. “I wouldn’t be worthy of my name.”
Since then, Goodheart’s name has attracted more than 500 couples, including Norman Madsen and Charlene Brockington of Northeast Philadelphia, who plan to be married Monday. Rob Maaddi.
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Feb 14, 2000 v146 i31 p1 col 4 (35 col in)
And back to Auden for Law Like Love, Jeffrie G. Murphy
Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 15-32, 2004
Happy Valentine’s Day, Slawyers