This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."
As an attorney, I love this idea. Well, the opposite.
Every card deserves the strongest, most vigorous advocacy. That’s the only way we know it really deserve to be restricted.
Cards aren't people, Steve. There is no ethical imperative, no presumption of innocence.
Presumption of innocence isn't a universal legal principle; it's a standard for criminal cases, and that isn't even true everywhere. Most legal cases in the United States are civil, and the usual standard in civil cases is prepronderance of the evidence.
I never said that there is an ethical imperative.
The point I was making is that a designated advocate, like an attorney, would make the best possible case for card, even against a mountain of opposition. That would help make sure that a card is deserving of restriction or banning, even if the grain of opinion is against it.
The point of zealous advocacy is to get to the truth, when contesting the weight of general opinion. General opinion, inflected by prejudice, is often wrong. Only a zealous advocate, like an attorney, can help make the best possible case and not risk social opprobrium, or go along to get along. Only when the best possible case is made, can a neutral body weight the merits.
The way that DCI has historically operated, like a committee, is not actually a good way to get to the truth. Juries get to truth, but only when presented with both sides of a case. The DCI committee-style approach is not a very good one for getting to truth. That's why academic journals use peer review, etc. There are actual standards for truth-seeking.
The point wasn't that the DCI hire attorneys as part of DCI debates. My point is that I like the idea that card's be given the strongest possible defense on their behalf, and that that is the only way we can be sure that a card truly merits that treatment, as opposed to meretricious treatment.
My broader point is that I like the sentiment, if not the operationalization, of the view that 'every card on the banned list needs a defense attorney,' or, to sharpen the analogy, a good appellate lawyer.