Harry Reid’s nuclear option is a red herring — but the effects will still be profound

Mitch McConnell is too often a GOP stalwart (as opposed to a conservative) for my taste, but when he’s good, he’s very, very good.  He was very, very good this morning, as he attacked Harry Reid’s attempt to change Senate rules so that only 51 votes are needed to get judges onto federal benches (except for the Supreme Court):

Even though Harry Reid’s nuclear option is a red herring meant to distract from Obamacare’s many and varied failings, it’s still an enormously consequential thing. I know all about ideologically packed courts, having practiced in the Bay Area for my entire legal career, and I can tell you that blind justice is never seen in those halls.

As with everything else the Left touches, law is not about applying settled, reliable principles to known facts.  Instead, on the civil side, it becomes purely redistributive. I cannot tell you the number of cases I’ve handled that saw the judge rule against my corporate client, even while admitting that my client had the better legal case. Nor can I count how many times judges have engaged in obscene intellectual contortions to ensure a redistributive outcome. I’ve even worked on a few cases in which appellate court justices have out-and-out lied about the facts in order to achieve a specific end — and then they’ve published those cases, making them case precedent in California.

A court that owes its fealty to a political ideology, rather than to applying settled law to undisputed facts, is an inherently corrupt institution. That corruption spreads far beyond the parties standing in the courtroom. Take just one example:  I worked on a case where a woman defaulted on loan. The bank sued. The woman’s defense was that she hadn’t read the loan documents. Settled law going back to forever says that the failure to read documents is not a defense to a default. The far Left judge felt differently. On the one hand, he had a mean bank; on the other hand, he had a poor little old lady. You can guess the outcome. You can also guess that, in future, the bank increased the cost of loans to offset bad debts such as this one.  You can also bet that the little old lady went home and let her community know that defaulting on a loan in San Francisco county was a reasonably safe thing to do.

The problems with an ideologically corrupt judiciary don’t flow solely from the lessons people take away as they walk out of the courtroom, even though such lessons resonate throughout the community and affect future behavior. There’s an even more insidious problem with a system in which the judge’s pick winners and losers based, not upon facts or law, but upon their place in their hierarchy of Leftist victim-hood.  It’s also the fact that the law is utterly unpredictable if the outcome is dictated by each judge’s personal redistributive biases. Businesses cannot operate in a system that isn’t predictable. They go one of two ways: they become as corrupt as the courts, since lawlessness is contagious; or they retrench, taking their services, products, and investments out of a market that is too unreliable for them to risk.


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  • mdgarnett

    The lady justice graphic reminds me of an old Wizard of Id cartoon:  “Why is Lady Justice blind-folded?”  “So she can’t see the corruption.”
    I think Harry will regret today’s vote and I hope it is as early at November 2014.

  • 94Corvette

    Let’s face it, the possibility of the demoncrats going nuclear has always been there.  I just hope that the conservatives do not let up on the failure of Obamacare and continue to focus on it and the other scandals of this régime.  I hope that in December 2014 when the demoncrats have lost their majority and they undo the option, the Republicans promptly reinstate it.  When you look at the history of our country, the passage of the 16th and 17th Amendments will stand as the start of the end of our greatness.

  • Simplemind

    You should get a guest lecturer gig.  Panel discussion at least.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Whereas I do believe in “Justice”, I’m not so sure that I believe in the “Law”, anymore…anymore than 13th Century Englishmen believed in the Law of King John.

  • jj

    It will not work to distract anybody’s attention from what a mess Obama and his care are; and who didn’t already know Harry Reid is a pustulant sack of shit?


    I thought Obama wanted to cut our nuclear arsenal – just not in the Senate.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Aristocrats deserve nukes. Peasants owning nukes is illegal.

  • Matt_SE

    “I hope that in December 2014 when the demoncrats have lost their majority…”
    Dangerous to start thinking like it’s a done deal. We haven’t won anything yet. Considering recent news about fudging official govt. numbers, there’s no reason to believe there won’t be cheating in 2014.

  • Jose

    I look forward to the time when the Republicans win back the majority in senate.  When the Dem’s whine about how unfair it is, they should be reminded just who implemented “Reid’s Rules”.