One of the most popular and often cited legal positivism examples is the argument of the case of Michigan v. Johnson. In this case, the court ruled that the state could not force a man to take medication for a disease that he had no desire for. In so doing, the court left the door open for other citizens to have the same rights. This was not done, however, and the case was lost. Since the ruling, there have been more lawsuits won in favor of the plaintiff, and the legal positivism of this decision has since become controversial.
Another of legal positivism examples is the No Child Left Behind Act. The original Act was created to help children receive an adequate education, and the government has continually re-introduced bills to enforce this Act since it was first introduced. However, there are many who believe that these laws help children achieve lower test scores and that this is an infringement on the rights of parents. However, the argument here is not that parents can do wrong, but rather that a law is needed to ensure that the educational standards are being met. In other words, if the government cannot ensure that the educational standards are met in a given classroom, then it is the responsibility of the government to do so.
Another of legal positivism’s examples is the tort reform act. Tort reform laws were implemented after the famous Los Angeles school stabbing. The point of the tort reform act was to limit the damages that could be awarded to the victims. Originally, there was no limit, but later changes were made. This would prove to be a turning point for the legal system, as it began to recognize that although no monetary value can be placed on human life, pain and suffering can be awarded in cases such as this.
A brief list of some other less well-known legal positivism examples would also include the Animal Rights Act, the Naturalization Act, and the Right of Collective Appeal. All three of these acts were created in order to protect animals. The importance of this protection extends beyond the animal rights itself, however. Animals are considered to be a part of the natural environment, and as such, they are protected under the natural laws of the land. Additionally, all living things are considered to be a valuable resource, and are entitled to rights just as much as people are.
One other legal positivism example is the philosophy of consequentialism. This concept is closely related to utilitarianism, and both theories believe that the ends of the universe are strictly governed by the actions of humans. In other words, the only thing that you can do is what will benefit you and not harm others. Although both theories hold strong appealing to the moral majority of society, most individuals find that the main difference between them is that utilitarianism does not offer any guidance for how to live your life.
It has been said that there are countless laws out there that nobody read, and while this may be true, this still does not change the fact that these laws do affect you in some way. For example, you might have to abide by the law against stealing, but if you did not, then this would be against the law. Therefore, the moral of the story is that you need to at least know your legal rights. Of course, this also includes the right not to break any laws that you may personally have broken. While many individuals would agree that the ends of the universe are strictly governed by the laws that human beings make, most would not want to live their lives according to such a philosophy.
The question that remains is how to approach legal positivism. If you want to apply it to your daily life, then you must first get educated as to what the philosophy is all about. If you know that it all boils down to individual rights and the separation of powers, then you should already be on your way to using legal positivism. However, if you are looking to change the world as we know it, then you would have to go about it in a different manner. To do this, you would need to use legal positivism as a tool to make changes that you feel are necessary, but which do not violate any other rights.