Roger I. Roots
Attorney At Law
113 Lake Drive East
Livingston, MT 59047
“My Client Is Liberty!”
Civil Rights, Federal Criminal Appeals, First Amendment, and Jury-Related Issues.
Licensed to practice in the State of Rhode Island and the U.S. First, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.
Author of The Conviction Factory: The Collapse of America’s Criminal Courts (2014).
Never in American history has government had so much unchecked power to hurt people as it does now. Few lawyers are prepared to challenge the modern governmental leviathan. I view the struggle against government as a lawyer’s highest duty.
If the rule of law means anything, it means that the government must lose at least some major cases. Yet the modern legal profession has mostly ceased being an obstacle to expansive and intrusive government.
Sadly, most Americans are left to fend for themselves when government targets them. Friends, employers, and associates abandon them. Even worse, most members of the modern legal profession view the state as a source of warmth and comfort, and most modern lawyers will never challenge the state.
I am reminded of the legacy of Lord Camden, the great libertarian judge who presided over the British Court of Common Pleas throughout the 1760s. Lord Camden’s far-reaching decisions and opinions paved the way for American Founding Fathers to draft and enact the Fourth Amendment and to enshrine principles of free speech and the right to jury trial in the Constitution and laws of the United States.
The American Founding generation revered Lord Camden. Camden, New Jersey, Camden Yards (where the Baltimore Orioles play baseball) and many other places were named for Lord Camden.
If a similar libertarian judge were to rise in the judiciary today, he would live forever. Monuments would be built to honor him. But there are no Lord Camdens on the benches of American courts today. The vast majority of American judges fuel and empower expansive and intrusive government.