Morality and the Role of Law In Society: An Analysis of Devlin and MacKinnon Introduction Conservative legal moralists like Lord Patrick Devlin and radical feminists like Catharine MacKinnon sometimes disagree about critical moral issues based in part on very different understandings of the role of law in society. Unlike MacKinnon, Lord Devlin believed the law should reflect the moral values and standards prevailing in society and should thus be used as an enforcement mechanism to uphold those values and standards by making nonconformity with them illegal. Despite their disagreements, Devlin and MacKinnon have similar general views regarding the role of the law in sanctioning immoral speech or conduct, but MacKinnon is justified in...The end:
..... of taking protest speech to the very limits of the First Amendment; the feminist movement, apparently a bit tired right now, knew how to do this, but has lost the will. People, men, are not ignorant or totally unable to see connections and parallels. Educate women to educate men that there is no moral difference between sexual violence and any other kind. Mackinnon would say this cannot work, but I believe it has not effectively yet been tried, loud enough, for long enough. Free speech can promote equality, but censorship never will. When government declares that it will use censorship for this purpose, it should not be believed. Thus, Mackinnon's solution, of asking government to use censorship to promote equality, is dangerous and wrong.