“Once You Have the Courts…”

It’s very useful to own the refs.

The first part of this story is obvious, and would not even shock Captain Renault:

A judge that Trump appointed sided with Trump in a criminal case against Trump, in a ruling that stunned virtually every credible legal expert.

Also: dog bites man, water is wet, and the Jets suck.

Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo and dervish-like spin from the right wing trying to explain and defend this decision, the standard GOP tactic when it has shamelessly exploited the system for its benefit and wants us to believe it has not. So before we go into the details, let’s step back and take a one-over-the-world view of the philosophy — and the threat — undeniably underpinning this decision:

That the modern Republican Party does not bat an eye at weaponizing any aspect of American life to advance its own autocratic agenda, no matter how clumsy or hamhanded that effort may be. Amount of fucks they have to give? An Elvis Costello-like less than zero.

The judicial system is very high on that list. Or in the words of Jason Stanley, a philosophy professor at Yale, and the author of How Fascism Works:

“Once you have the courts you can pretty much do whatever you want.”

A Zero on Rotten Tomatoes

The full array of America’s aforementioned legal experts have already thoroughly summarized the faults with Judge Aileen Cannon’s eyepopping decision granting Trump’s request for a special master in the government documents scandal, so I’ll recap only briefly:

Andrew Weissmann, former general counsel to the FBI and lead prosecutor in the Mueller probe, called it “Nutty. Crazy. Appealable.” His fellow New York University law professor Chris Sprigman said the ruling was “partisan hack judging,” while the prominent attorney Ted Boutrous said “Judge Cannon’s order is riddled with fundamental legal errors and is the opposite of judicial restraint.” Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote: Frankly, any of my first year law students would have written a better opinion.”

Samuel W. Buell, a professor at Duke University law school, told the New York Times that the ruling was “laughably bad,”…



Robert Edwards / The King's Necktie

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie