Jurisprudence without Moral Consensus: Constitutional Arguments in Idd for Driving on the Right or Left Side of the Road
Adams, Nathan A., IV, Constitutional Commentary
The same laws cannot suit so many diverse provinces with different customs, situated in the most various climates, and incapable of enduring a uniform government.
Conventional wisdom was that Iddians should drive on the right side of the road. During Idd's first hundred years, most Iddians believed this was one of the ten divine Traffic Commandments. For the most part, traffic seemed to flow smoothly too. Those who violated the rules usually did so negligently, not intentionally, and they were dealt with harshly. To be sure, there were doctrinal differences among Iddian sects about, for example, how far right of the striping on traffic lanes vehicles should travel, but these disagreements were minor.
That was all to change in the Nineteenth Century when immigrants began arriving from neighboring civil law countries. Immigrants argued that driving on the left side of the road is divine, a belief Iddians thought heresy. Iddians initially responded to this doctrine by hanging its most visible proponents. But over time, some Iddians, who became known as "liberals," were persuaded that the immigrants' faith was more accurate or at least not inconsistent with historic Iddian theology. Immigrants and liberal Iddians formed sects that drove on the left side of the road only at night in secluded areas. The State did not enforce its "right-side only" driving laws in these enclaves between 1 and 5 a.m. Although fatalities increased, most agreed this approach was "progressive."
At the turn of the century, still other Iddians rejected their historic religion altogether. These "ultraliberals" followed Dariddian, who claimed that driving on the right side of the road was prevalent in Idd only because Iddians were naturally right-handed. Dariddian said immigrants, on the other hand, tended to drive on the left side of the road because they were left-handed. Dariddian speculated that it might be natural for others to drive in the middle of the road or not to drive at all. Fossil evidence suggested the same. Thus, ultrahberals and liberals began arguing that Idd's traffic laws were themselves an impermissible establishment of religion - a relio of what they termed "theocracy."
Still, the "silent majority" in Idd, although less cohesive as each decade passed, persisted into the late-twentieth Century, holding to a slightly liberalized version of the Nineteenth Century liberal view. That is, the silent majority came to believe that driving on the right side of the road in the morning and afternoon was proper, as was driving on the left side of the road in the evening. The atheists in the silent majority came to this view because they thought it was practical, whereas the liberal theists in the majority decided it was consistent with historic Iddian theology. So-called "fundamentalists" continued to insist left side driving should only occur between 1 and 5 a.m. Once more, "ultrafundamentalists" called for a return to driving on only the right side always. They demanded conscientious exemptions from what they called the anti-family, liberalizing trend in the law, but ultraliberals argued that exemptions would be an establishment of religion.
Nobody predicted what happened next. On June 4, 1998, the greatest mass tort in recorded history occurred when, suddenly, Iddians everywhere disobeyed Idd's traffic laws. Ideologues claimed the long-awaited proletarian revolution had arrived. At least one-quarter of the population began driving on the right side of the road; another quarter drove on the left; another, in the middle. The rest of the driving population stopped their vehicles in the road, unsure what to do. Collision after collision followed, maiming and killing hundreds in what has become known as the Lane Rebellion.
Legal scholars who have evaluated the Lane Rebellion argue that the Supreme Court was to blame, either because it failed to protect basic, substantive rights of Idd's minorities or, depending on the scholar's views, overly protected them. …