Thank goodness for the Courts

I don’t always say this, but thank goodness for the courts. They are not perfect. Far from it in fact. They don’t always find the truth. Especially when they become slaves to precedents. They make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. But at least they tend to follow the evidence. Not weak speculation or windy lawyers. Lawyers must present evidence and rational argument. Not speculation or disinformation. The public might, but courts won’t buy that.

This is exactly what the United States needs now in this time of deep peril brought on by a shameful aspiring autocrat who can’t bear the thought of losing and is willing to defile the most sacred of their institutions.

As we all know by now, the Trump administration is trying to hold on to power with remarkable tenacity and a phalanx of lawyers. Maybe you want to contribute to their cause. They are accepting donations.

Since months before the election Trump was readying his supporters in case he lost the election, by claiming entirely without evidence that the election would be the most corrupt and fraudulent in history. As soon as the counting was nearing completion the Trump campaign sent those lawyers out to challenge the votes in states where they claimed the Democrats had “stolen the election.”

One interesting case occurred in Pennsylvania a state that is critically important to the Trump campaign. They alleged massive voter fraud. At least that is what they said in public. The Trump campaign has already been caught saying that in public, but then making much milder claims in court. The problem with milder claims is that they won’t be enough to overturn the election even if they are proven in court.

This was at the time the 29th lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign that was recently dismissed or withdrawn. Since then 5 more have been dismissed and none has succeeded as far as I can tell. The only good thing about those lawsuits is that a lot of lawyers got gainful employment.

That  particular lawsuit tried to invalidate millions of Pennsylvania mail-in votes. The federal court judge, U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann, a registered Republican, threw the case out of court because the argument of the Trump campaign just did not hold up water. This was the case in which 2 prior law firms withdrew from the case causing former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani to take over at the last minute. He tried to argue that Pennsylvania should be prevented from certifying the election because some municipalities allowed some mail-in ballots to be cured because they had technical errors or glitches which they argued meant all the ballots in Pennsylvania should be thrown out.

The judge made very clear what he thought of the legal argument of the Trump team of lawyers:


“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome plaintiff’s lawyers would come to court formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption. That has not happened. Instead this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”


The Washington Post described the judge’s opinion this way:

“Trump’s attorneys had haphazardly stitched this allegation together ‘like Frankenstein’s Monster’ in an attempt to avoid unfavorable legal precedent.”

The arguments were not nearly enough for the judge to disenfranchise nearly 7 million voters in the State of Pennsylvania. 34 Trump campaign lawsuits have now been dismissed in various U.S. courts.

It has been very difficult for people to get at the truth amid the blizzard of claims of corruption and fraud by the Trump campaign and it is nice to see a court not swayed by empty rhetoric.

There is still hope for American democracy when the courts seek the truth. It’s enough to make an old recovering lawyer proud. Sometimes the law is an ass as Charles Dickens said, but sometimes it does good.


2 thoughts on “Thank goodness for the Courts

  1. the orange monster’s real legacy will be his court appointments – supreme, appellate, circuit courts, district, etc. almost 500 overall.
    this will be transformative. his new supreme court appointee offered an opinion at the appellate level where she argued that former felons had the right to own guns.
    get ready. the evangelicals have the keys.

    1. Sadly, it won’t be his only legacy but it will be big. I wonder if his legacy about disparaging truth, democracy, decency, morality, and honour won’t be just as important. The one thing about judges, is that they have the ability to independent. Once appointed there is nothing the President can do about him. But unfortunately, Trump’s legacy on the courts will be profound and long lasting. You couple that with the inherently undemocratic Senate (where the 2 Dakotas have 4 Senators and California 2) and the electoral college, and you are guaranteed big problems in the future. I fear for your country good sir. And because your influence is so great on us we will not avoid the affect.

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