Lawfare Perceptions?

 

A perception is building among many people that the political elites are applying the law unevenly against people inconvenient to the political elites while favoring people the political elites favor. That perception is not without reason.

I bring this up now because at the State of the Union speech Thursday night a Gold Star father was arrested (not just ejected from the room) after he made an outburst inconvenient to the political elites.  https://www.dailywire.com/news/man-removed-from-sotu-for-shouting-united-states-marines-at-biden

This happened while people who chanted pro-Biden phrases remained undisturbed.

Past episodes people point to include:

As a lawyer I can follow the details of the law and how each of these cases individually might be justifiable and meet the particular terms of the law. There have been many informative discussions here on Ricochet about such details. This thread is not to continue those detailed discussions. If you want to review or to discuss those details, find those threads.

I also know that there are now so many laws on the books that every person in America could probably be charged daily for violating something. See the book, Three Felonies a Day. https://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229/ref=sr_1_1?crid=25PCTI8S0JS66&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.BfRz7lqpNtJ-JY74OPzw49sqUGuVLttl8y3gpumztEQ.zqtaTIklnzzgOHFa2bvxL-Xm2CcHyvsuoeKhaAtJf68&dib_tag=se&keywords=three+felonies+a+day+how+the+feds+target+the+innocent&qid=1710003461&s=books&sprefix=three+felon%2Cstripbooks%2C94&sr=1-1

My professional career in law was trying to keep my clients (generally large corporations) away from courtrooms. I was usually more interested in larger trends and identifying big threats than I was in the details of which side of a fine line of the law we were on. And explaining the law in broad terms to corporate executives for whom the law was but one of many factors on their minds.

From that experience I can also understand how people who are not lawyers are not into the details of the individual cases, but might see patterns that suggest uneven application of the law in the above incidents. They might see the possibility that those charges likely would not have been brought but for who those people are or what causes they support. Especially when people see the contrast of no apparent legal consequences:

  • For people who disturbed the State of the Union speech by chanting pro-Biden phrases
  • for people who trespass, parade, and take over government property for reasons the political elites like (teacher protests, Hamas, climate activism, etc.)
  • for people who enter the country illegally
  • for people who beat up police officers
  • for people who destroy government buildings when protesting against police
  • for people who steal or destroy the property of other people.
  • for people who attack pro-life pregnancy centers
  • for people who block people from living their normal lives while protesting for causes the political elites like, such as Hamas or climate activism.

I don’t think people are being unreasonable when they worry that, between the vast number of laws they are expected to follow and an appearance that those laws are unevenly applied depending on whether a person is convenient or inconvenient to political elites, they could suddenly find themselves targeted based on their beliefs or politics. It is not the details of each case that matters to them. It is the perceived general appearance of uneven application of the law. That is bad for upholding the principle of “rule of law” upon which a constitutional republic depends. When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult. And once lost, that confidence is hard to rebuild.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It is not appearance, it is fact.

     

    • #1
  2. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Full Size Tabby: It is the perceived general appearance of uneven application of the law. That is bad for upholding the principle of “rule of law” upon which a constitutional republic depends. When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult.

    It becomes unjustified. When laws are not applied evenly justice is absent. When justice is absent, no law need be followed until justice is restored. We can’t even call what is happening civil disobedience, because we (Obama) jailed a YouTube creator as a scapegoat for Bengazi. He did nothing but creatively express an opinion. More recently, it was someone who created memes. 

    The system works as long as it isn’t abused. It’s been abused for years, FST, and it’s getting worse week by week. It can be restored, but people have to recognize the reality of what’s happening.

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Œuf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Full Size Tabby: When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult. And once lost, that confidence is hard to rebuild. 

    Nigh impossible.

    At least, not without a complete top to bottom reform of the justice system in this country. By which I mean all existing structures must be uprooted and thrown in the fire, to be replaced by something new which has the people’s confidence. And I’m not sure what that looks like, but I know the current system cannot be salvaged.

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Œuf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Reminded of this: “Not law but fraud.”

    (Blatant self-promotion above.)

    “My enemy is not the law,” he found himself saying under his breath as he walked — talking to himself was not a good sign — “but the enemy of the law, against which the law is too weak to defend itself. If the law is complicit in crime, is it the law? If, when not complicit, it not only fails to protect but proscribes self-protection, then it is not law but fraud. Anarchy arises not from those who defend themselves by natural right, but from officials who fail in their calling, look the other way, succumb to threats and blackmail, or who are themselves criminal. If without defending me the law says I can’t defend myself, it is no longer the law, and I have to defy it.”

    • #4
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby: When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult. And once lost, that confidence is hard to rebuild.

    Nigh impossible.

    At least, not without a complete top to bottom reform of the justice system in this country. By which I mean all existing structures must be uprooted and thrown in the fire, to be replaced by something new which has the people’s confidence. And I’m not sure what that looks like, but I know the current system cannot be salvaged.

    The current structure might still be valid, but that doesn’t mean all the current occupants of the structure don’t need to be uprooted and thrown in the fire.

    • #5
  6. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    Feels to me that there are four factors contributing to the inequity that cranks us up, and I have no solutions.

    Judge shopping is nothing new, but judges willing to beclown themselves like Erdogan have no business on any bench. 

    Jurisdiction shopping is a thing. Seems like there are a few cities where you can’t find a single honest juror.

    Too many laws and regulations to fall afoul of. Then magically link a questionable misdemeanor to a felony and the tilt gets a lot steeper.

    Attorneys General and District Attorneys who abuse prosecutorial discretion to consciously prosecute one side only or simply ignore laws. Here’s where the process usually turns into a punishment.

     

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Joker (View Comment):

    Feels to me that there are four factors contributing to the inequity that cranks us up, and I have no solutions.

    Judge shopping is nothing new, but judges willing to beclown themselves like Erdogan have no business on any bench.

    Jurisdiction shopping is a thing. Seems like there are a few cities where you can’t find a single honest juror.

    Too many laws and regulations to fall afoul of. Then magically link a questionable misdemeanor to a felony and the tilt gets a lot steeper.

    Attorneys General and District Attorneys who abuse prosecutorial discretion to consciously prosecute one side only or simply ignore laws. Here’s where the process usually turns into a punishment.

    Erdogan is president of Turkey.

    The judge is Engoron.

    You trying to be Joe Biden or something?

    • #7
  8. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):

    Feels to me that there are four factors contributing to the inequity that cranks us up, and I have no solutions.

    Judge shopping is nothing new, but judges willing to beclown themselves like Erdogan have no business on any bench.

    Jurisdiction shopping is a thing. Seems like there are a few cities where you can’t find a single honest juror.

    Too many laws and regulations to fall afoul of. Then magically link a questionable misdemeanor to a felony and the tilt gets a lot steeper.

    Attorneys General and District Attorneys who abuse prosecutorial discretion to consciously prosecute one side only or simply ignore laws. Here’s where the process usually turns into a punishment.

    Erdogan is president of Turkey.

    The judge is Engoron.

    You trying to be Joe Biden or something?

    I was wondering about that judge’s name, thinking it can’t be Erdogan or I would have noticed it before. 

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):

    Feels to me that there are four factors contributing to the inequity that cranks us up, and I have no solutions.

    Judge shopping is nothing new, but judges willing to beclown themselves like Erdogan have no business on any bench.

    Jurisdiction shopping is a thing. Seems like there are a few cities where you can’t find a single honest juror.

    Too many laws and regulations to fall afoul of. Then magically link a questionable misdemeanor to a felony and the tilt gets a lot steeper.

    Attorneys General and District Attorneys who abuse prosecutorial discretion to consciously prosecute one side only or simply ignore laws. Here’s where the process usually turns into a punishment.

    Erdogan is president of Turkey.

    The judge is Engoron.

    You trying to be Joe Biden or something?

    Or he made a simple mistake.

    • #9
  10. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    Duh. Thanks guys. I don’t trust either one a the bench.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Joker (View Comment):

    Duh. Thanks guys. I don’t trust either one a the bench.

    One of them is a little man who is only too happy to abuse the concept of the rule of law in order to crush those whose politics offends him.

    So is the other one.

    Did that clear it up?

    • #11
  12. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):

    Feels to me that there are four factors contributing to the inequity that cranks us up, and I have no solutions.

    Judge shopping is nothing new, but judges willing to beclown themselves like Erdogan have no business on any bench.

    Jurisdiction shopping is a thing. Seems like there are a few cities where you can’t find a single honest juror.

    Too many laws and regulations to fall afoul of. Then magically link a questionable misdemeanor to a felony and the tilt gets a lot steeper.

    Attorneys General and District Attorneys who abuse prosecutorial discretion to consciously prosecute one side only or simply ignore laws. Here’s where the process usually turns into a punishment.

    Erdogan is president of Turkey.

    The judge is Engoron.

    You trying to be Joe Biden or something?

    Or he made a simple mistake.

    I thought it was sarcasm.  It fits.

    • #12
  13. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    For what it’s worth, it’s not just the US with this issue. Here is a video from the UK where a man (an Iranian activist) was on the street counter-protesting a pro-Hamas rally. He was holding a sign that said, Hamas is Terrorism. The protestors assault him at which point the police intervene and arrest him. 

    This rot has infected the West in general, not just the US. It will take a cultural change across the West to resolve this. It amazing to me that 35 years after Communism collapsed that the seeds they sowed have undermined the West almost totally. 

    • #13
  14. JAW3 Coolidge
    JAW3
    @JohnWilson

    The only way to respond to the double standard Lawfare is the Trump effect to punch back twice as hard!  Some of those perpetrators need to pay a price and the hefty legal fees that go with defending yourself from the heavy hand of the law! What would Smilin Jack Smith feel if he was to dig in and pay his lawyer to defend himself from charges?

    • #14
  15. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Next time a democrat is on TV claiming Donald Trump is a threat to ‘democracy’, I wish the “journalist” would ask a follow up question. How is he a threat? Who (whom?) has he had arrested for protesting him? etc, I am sure there are dozens of good questions that could be an excellent follow up…

    Democrats are so used to saying anything on tv without any push back, to living their corrupt lives unexamined and without consequences or accountability. That they think they can hire their boyfriends, pay them thousands of dollars, and nobody would notice or bat an eye?

    Its weird to me, that they would pin so much of their lawfare on an incompetent and corrupted DA. But what if thats the norm? What if they’re all doing that? I mean if they had any better option wouldnt they have taken it?

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth, it’s not just the US with this issue. Here is a video from the UK where a man (an Iranian activist) was on the street counter-protesting a pro-Hamas rally. He was holding a sign that said, Hamas is Terrorism. The protestors assault him at which point the police intervene and arrest him.

    This rot has infected the West in general, not just the US. It will take a cultural change across the West to resolve this. It amazing to me that 35 years after Communism collapsed that the seeds they sowed have undermined the West almost totally.

    If the cops had tried to do anything about the pro-Hamas demonstrators they – the cops – might have gotten hurt.

    • #16
  17. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    kedavis (View Comment):
    If the cops had tried to do anything about the pro-Hamas demonstrators they – the cops – might have gotten hurt.

    Likely true, but honestly it comes from the London Mayor on down. 

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    If the cops had tried to do anything about the pro-Hamas demonstrators they – the cops – might have gotten hurt.

    Likely true, but honestly it comes from the London Mayor on down.

    Probably so, but the cops may have at least stalled on any instructions – and may have outright refused – to deal with the actual demonstrators with force, because of that.

    • #18
  19. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    The Lawfare is entering dangerous territory. We see it against Trump. There are two civil judgements against him from the Carroll case and the NY real estate case where the fines are absolutely egregious, yet he is forced to pay or put up exorbitant bonds to cover those judgement before he can appeal. You can have partisan prosecutors combine with partisan judges to obtain ridiculous judgments meant to bankrupt the defendant before an appeal can even proceed. How does that not run afoul the 8th Amendment protection against excessive fines? 

    • #19
  20. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby: When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult. And once lost, that confidence is hard to rebuild.

    Nigh impossible.

    At least, not without a complete top to bottom reform of the justice system in this country. By which I mean all existing structures must be uprooted and thrown in the fire, to be replaced by something new which has the people’s confidence. And I’m not sure what that looks like, but I know the current system cannot be salvaged.

    I would say, not without implementing comprehensive justice for egregious past wrongs committed in the name of the law.

    • #20
  21. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby: When a substantial portion of the public loses confidence that the law is applied with some level of evenness, using the law for its intended purposes becomes difficult. And once lost, that confidence is hard to rebuild.

    Nigh impossible.

    At least, not without a complete top to bottom reform of the justice system in this country. By which I mean all existing structures must be uprooted and thrown in the fire, to be replaced by something new which has the people’s confidence. And I’m not sure what that looks like, but I know the current system cannot be salvaged.

    I would say, not without implementing comprehensive justice for egregious past wrongs committed in the name of the law.

    Yes, there are people who need to be destroyed for their destruction of our rule of law.  

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    The Lawfare is entering dangerous territory. We see it against Trump. There are two civil judgements against him from the Carroll case and the NY real estate case where the fines are absolutely egregious, yet he is forced to pay or put up exorbitant bonds to cover those judgement before he can appeal. You can have partisan prosecutors combine with partisan judges to obtain ridiculous judgments meant to bankrupt the defendant before an appeal can even proceed. How does that not run afoul the 8th Amendment protection against excessive fines?

    Yeah, and how do you appeal it on that basis?

    • #22
  23. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    The Lawfare is entering dangerous territory. We see it against Trump. There are two civil judgements against him from the Carroll case and the NY real estate case where the fines are absolutely egregious, yet he is forced to pay or put up exorbitant bonds to cover those judgement before he can appeal. You can have partisan prosecutors combine with partisan judges to obtain ridiculous judgments meant to bankrupt the defendant before an appeal can even proceed. How does that not run afoul the 8th Amendment protection against excessive fines?

    Excessive Bail Clause of the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Bail, which is basic to our system of law,1 is excessive in violation of the Eighth Amendment when it is set at a figure higher than an amount reasonably calculated to ensure the asserted governmental interest.2 The issue of bail is only implicated when there is a direct government restraint on personal liberty, be it in a criminal case or a civil deportation proceeding.3 In Stack v. Boyle, the Supreme Court found a $50,000 bail to be excessive, given the defendants’ limited financial resources and the lack of evidence that they were a flight risk.4 The Court determined that the fixing of bail for any individual defendant must be based upon standards relevant to the purpose of assuring the presence of that defendant, and [u]nless this right to bail before trial is preserved, the presumption of innocence . . . would lose its meaning.5

    These rulings in both the supposed bank fraud case and the completely evidence free sexual assault case are not justice. They are vengeance. It is a meritless political attack against an individual and, if allowed to be executed, will destroy this country as one built on law and order.

    • #23
  24. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Orwell said it best: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    The erosion of our liberties has been on going ever since the Nineteen Teens when various  new principles of “right action” came into play.

    First would be the Creation of the Federal Reserve. Then came  the installation of an income tax, whose survival  was managed by the newspapers insisting  to a gullible public how it would “only affect the top one percent of all wage earners.”

    Then there was the requirement that all young men inducted into the US military for the purpose of fighting in The Great War had to be vaccinated. Some now theorize that this meningitis vaccine was the actual source of the “Spanish flu” that took out 50 million people world wide.

    Now we have witnessed a perpetual Military/Industrial/Health and Surveillance state that has consumed and continues to consume so much money that our nation’s indebtedness is around 33 trillion, and set to rise by one trillion dollars every 100 days until the American empire ends.

    Lawfare is simply the latest wrinkle to enslave people. Whereas before, a more minor  lawfare only existed by the court system to allow Big Corporate Interests to suck the life blood and money out of an underclass, now it is going after political enemies, even extremely rich and popular political icons like Trump.

    God help us all.

     

     

    • #24
  25. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Orwell said it best: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Orwell? Lord Acton. From a letter to Bishop Creighton, 1887.

    Good points well made, the same people who now support modern peonage system, also want to bring back early income tax rates, like 91% of top earners from the 1950’s tax code… They forget that these brackets were almost empty. In the whole country only 3 people paid tax in the 91% bracket… They all happened to be outfielders for the NY Yankees.

    • #25
  26. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Orwell said it best: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Orwell? Lord Acton. From a letter to Bishop Creighton, 1887.

    Good points well made, the same people who now support modern peonage system, also want to bring back early income tax rates, like 91% of top earners from the 1950’s tax code… They forget that these brackets were almost empty. In the whole country only 3 people paid tax in the 91% bracket… They all happened to be outfielders for the NY Yankees.

    Thank you, OccupantCDN.

    I had the feeling it had been stated by someone other than Orwell. But the several weeks of  my HS Eng lit teacher referring to this  theme while we were reading “Animal Farm” had captured much  more grey matter than Lord Acton ever had.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Orwell said it best: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Orwell? Lord Acton. From a letter to Bishop Creighton, 1887.

    Good points well made, the same people who now support modern peonage system, also want to bring back early income tax rates, like 91% of top earners from the 1950’s tax code… They forget that these brackets were almost empty. In the whole country only 3 people paid tax in the 91% bracket… They all happened to be outfielders for the NY Yankees.

    Thank you, OccupantCDN.

    I had the feeling it had been stated by someone other than Orwell. But the several weeks of my HS Eng lit teacher referring to this theme while we were reading “Animal Farm” had captured much more grey matter than Lord Acton ever had.

    Orwell had plenty to say:

    Shortly, Professor Hayek’s thesis is that Socialism inevitably leads to despotism, and that in Germany the Nazis were able to succeed because the Socialists had already done most of their work for them, especially the intellectual work of weakening the desire for liberty. By bringing the whole of life under the control of the State, Socialism necessarily gives power to an inner ring of bureaucrats, who in almost every case will be men who want power for its own sake and will stick at nothing in order to retain it. Britain, he says, is now going the same road as Germany, with the left-wing intelligentsia in the van and the Tory Party a good second. The only salvation lies in returning to an unplanned economy, free competition, and emphasis on liberty rather than on security. In the negative part of Professor Hayek’s thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often — at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough — that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of.

    — “Review of the Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, etc,” The Observer (9 April 1944)

    • #27
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