That the American justice system is corrupt to its very roots has been obvious to anyone who has followed Mark Steyn’s “trial of the century”. Steyn has just provided an update on where things are.
On the vast placid frozen lake stretching unbroken beyond the horizon that is the Mann vs Steyn case there has been a small development. As our more elderly readers may recall, four years ago, before Barack Obama’s re-election, climate mullah Michael E Mann sued me and various other parties for mocking his global warm-mongering in general and pooh-pooh-ing his “hockey stick” in particular.
That was in the year 2012. Notwithstanding that it’s the most consequential free-speech case in half-a-century (as the ACLU, NBC, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune et al recognized in their amicus brief), in the DC courts it just sits there, with no discovery and no trial date. . . .
This sclerotic court system can’t expedite nuttin’. The case has now been stalled for two years in an interlocutory appeal. If you don’t know what an “interlocutory appeal” is, consider yourself lucky. If you do know, you’ll be thrilled to learn that one of the questions at the heart of this interlocutory appeal is whether, under the relevant DC law, the interlocutory appeal is even interlocutorily appealable at all. Fascinating! Adding to the fun, as I noted in my recent testimony to the US Senate, one of the judges hearing the interlocutory appeal, Vanessa Ruiz, takes up to three years to issue an opinion. . . .
My legal chums at Popehat and the Volokh Conspiracy seem to think that, when I gripe about the dysfunctional DC courts, I’m somehow showing disrespect for the justice system. Au contraire, it’s because of my profound respect for justice that I would like this bizarre perversion thereof to return itself to the community of functioning Common Law jurisdictions. (While we’re at it, this judge in the Trump University case seems all too typical.)
Ah yes, the Trump case. Trump is determined to show every piece of dirty linen that makes the US fit only for the very wealthy and the dirt poor. Middle class and bourgeois is a definite mistake in modern America.
Alberto R. Gonzales: Trump has a right to ask if Judge Gonzalo Curiel is fair.
But there may be other factors to consider in determining whether Trump’s concerns about getting an impartial trial are reasonable. Curiel is, reportedly, a member of a group called La Raza Lawyers of San Diego. Trump’s aides, meanwhile, have indicated that they believe Curiel is a member of the National Council of La Raza, a vocal advocacy organization that has vigorously condemned Trump and his views on immigration. The two groups are unaffiliated, and Curiel is not a member of NCLR. But Trump may be concerned that the lawyers’ association or its members represent or support the other advocacy organization.
Coupled with that question is the fact that in 2014, when he certified the class-action lawsuit against Trump, Curiel appointed the Robbins Geller law firm to represent plaintiffs. Robbins Geller has paid $675,000 in speaking fees since 2009 to Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, and to her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Curiel appointed the firm in the case before Trump entered the presidential race, but again, it might not be unreasonable for a defendant in Trump’s position to wonder who Curiel favors in the presidential election.
These circumstances, while not necessarily conclusive, at least raise a legitimate question to be considered. Regardless of the way Trump has gone about raising his concerns over whether he’s getting a fair trial, none of us should dismiss those concerns out of hand without carefully examining how a defendant in his position might perceive them — and we certainly should not dismiss them for partisan political reasons.
And that’s from The Washington Post. Here’s someone more likely to see Trump’s point: Never “dumb” to shine the spotlight on activist judges.
“Lou Dobbs of Fox Business News, in a recent interview with Gingrich, read from a list of ethnic organizations in which Judge Curiel holds membership. All are activist Spanish-heritage groups. Dobbs also pointed out a possible conflict of interest in the case. One of the attorneys in the law firm appointed by Curiel to represent the plaintiffs has contributed money to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for President. (American Spectator)
“When Lou Dobbs made the case that Trump could have reason for concern, given the judge’s associations and conflicts of interest, Gingrich brushed him off responding that Trump’s spotlighting of Curiel’s heritage “in a negative way” was “dumb.”
“First, pointing out a judge’s heritage when that heritage probably leads to bias, especially against Trump because of Trump’s commitment to build a wall on the Mexican border, would seem neither negative nor dumb. Second, Trump’s concern that this judge is an activist, as are so many ethnic legal professionals, is not racist. It’s not at all unreasonable to think that Curiel wants to officiate this particular lawsuit, as a strike at Donald Trump, the wall-builder.”
When you remember that the fall guy after Benghazi was a movie producer who was sent to jail for a year, you might think of the American justice system in a far less benign way.