This is the third time in a month that a judge has struck down a hot topic policy that the Bush administration supports (this time it’s an immigration policy that got the ax) and it’s the third time that the judge was a Clinton appointee. This time the judge was Charles R. Breyer, who sits in San Francisco, and about whom I can’t say much that is good — although, to be fair, I’d have to say the same about most Bay Area judges who have decided matters on which I’ve worked. It’s not that my work is so stellar that the judges should bow down before it and rule in my favor. Nope. I has more to do with the fact that so many Bay Area judges manifestly rely on gut feelings and prejudices, without making even the semblance of a bow to the controlling law. But back to topic:
Without know the legal issues, I’m not going to stick my neck out here to challenge Justice Breyer’s opinion. For all I know, he’s absolutely right. I’m just noting a trend in federal court rulings lately. I’ll also note that, for litigation attacking federal policies, forum shopping is easy.
As a complete aside, Justice Breyer is the younger brother of Justice Stephen Breyer, one of Clinton’s Supreme Court appointees.
UPDATE: The Captain, who has actually taken the time to examine the issue and the ruling, is dismayed. His post on the subject begins as follows: “It’s hard to imagine what Judge Charles R. Breyer had in mind when he issued a ruling that prevents the government from detecting identity fraud, but clearly it wasn’t the law or the interests of the American community.” You’ll want to read the rest.