How the left is weaponizing the American legal system.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by FieldingMellish, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    #1
    Interesting take on leftist activism by Daniel Payne. He contends the process of bringing suit is a punishment in and of itself.


    The author writes:
    Various progressive factions have undertaken an effort to criminalize dissent using the courts and statutory law

    For quite some time the American Left has been busy turning American law into a partisan political weapon. Various progressive factions have undertaken a disparate and uncoordinated but still ideologically homogeneous effort to criminalize dissent using the courts and statutory law.

    By most traditional metrics, these efforts have been failures: the liberals have often lost, and the conservative targets have avoided jail time or crippling criminal or civil convictions or penalties. But the weaponization of our legal system should not be judged by traditional metrics.

    The point is not for liberals to “win” any particular lawsuit or legal enforcement so much as it is to use lawsuits and the law as the weapons in and of themselves.

    The process is the punishment. And in most of these cases the punishment is very severe. That’s the idea.

    The rest here:

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/08/how-the-left-is-weaponizing-the-american-legal-system/
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    As with many lawsuits by the Left, the punishment is the cost of lawyers in the defense. Four hundred bucks an hour to defend against irrational, idiotic silliness.
     
  3. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #3
    Weaponized legal system. Nice ring to it.

    So this is the mechanism by which the McConnell vs FEC (2003) case was brought, and the Citizens United case (2010) was brought, and the one by which families of Benghazi victims now attempt to pursue the former Secretary of State.

    My my. One just never knows whom the left will scarf up next.
     
  4. FieldingMellish thread starter Suspended

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    Mr. Payne continues:

    "In large part this reflects growing liberal opposition to a pluralistic society: not merely opposition to ideas but rather opposition to ideas about ideas, a strong and deliberate enmity towards intellectual diversity and dissenting thought."

    "Gay marriage, the “settled science” of climate change, the morality of abortion, the wisdom of allowing grown men into little girls’ restrooms—all of these things (and many other liberal ballyhoos) are assumed to be unassailable."

    “It’s 2016,” many on the Left will say, sneeringly. Meaning: “It is no longer appropriate or acceptable for you to say or think things with which I disagree.”
     
  5. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Seems like you admired right wing Judicial Watch weaponizing the legal system here.
     
  6. FieldingMellish thread starter Suspended

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    Those are inquiries of law breaking.

    Payne describes being pursued for ideas. Such as this recent combining of global warming and RICO statute. (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)

    Payne posits:
    "After years of alarmism and hysteria, climate change activists are dismayed to find out that the general public really doesn’t care all that much about global warming. Angry and embarrassed by the failure of the climate change campaign, liberals are turning towards a new tool to help quash dissent on the subject: lawsuits"

    "Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse proposed using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute fossil fuel companies for “climate denial.”

    "Earlier this year a professor from the University of Wisconsin argued the same thing. Multiple climate scientists subsequently advocated in favor of prosecuting climate dissidents. Incredibly, the U.S. attorney general signaled an openness to the idea.""
     
  7. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #7
    well trump has had his share humm.
     
  8. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #8
    And Citizens United? The "idea" that corporations are entities entitled to free speech rights as if human? That political contributions may represent free speech by corporate proxy?

    It was not the left that brought that case.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Apples and oranges, LizKat. Sure, CU was nasty, but the purpose was not harassment.
     
  10. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Tom-a-to, to-mah-to.
     
  11. FieldingMellish thread starter Suspended

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    To demonstrate the difference further, here's another case of strategic suing written by Mr. Payne, in the prosecution of gun manufacturers:


    "Another public policy area in which liberals have consistently suffered humiliating defeats is that of guns. From the Supreme Court’s recent landmark Second Amendment rulings to the liberalization of gun laws at the federal, state, and local levels to continued widespread support for American gun ownership, the Left surely cannot help but feel embarrassed over firearms."

    "As a result, liberals have indicated a willingness to repeal a law that protects gun manufacturers from frivolous anti-gun lawsuits."

    "The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act shields gun companies from being held liable for criminal use of the firearms they produce. This makes sense: one would not, after all, sue Ford or Chevrolet if one of their cars was used in a drunk-driving incident (like the one for which Lehmberg was arrested)."

    "But liberals recognize the power of strategic lawsuits, so in recent years have been clamoring to repeal the PLCAA and allow people to sue gun manufacturers for crimes the manufacturers had absolutely nothing to do with."

    "Earlier this year Democrats in Congress proposed a bill to allow just that. If liberals eventually get their way, gun ownership could be targeted not by traditional and fair democratic means but by the cynical and vindictive use of the court system."

    "American citizens could have their rights stolen from them through crazy and indefensible lawsuits."
     
  12. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    We're building a nuclear court

    Gon take out all dem righties!!:D:rolleyes:
     
  13. thermodynamic Suspended

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    All large businesses have had to at some point. 500 buisinesses, 3500 lawsuits over 30+ years, if we do the math then compare other big businesses under the ownership of one man, does Trump's ratio then look bigger, smaller, or on par under other CEOs with virtually identical setups to keep skew low?
     
  14. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #14
    Putting aside the merits of those cases, Citizen's United and McConnell were lawsuits directed to a federal agency, the Federal Elections Commission. What Payne is talking about is lawsuits directed to individuals or corporations, not government entities.

    The idea isn't new. Basically, the plaintiff uses the legal system as a harassment mechanism to get them to change policies or settle for some large amount of cash. There have been reports of individuals being sued for their beliefs, or positions they take, and in some jurisdictions these suits can last years. What's worse, if the government brings the suit, many times they will settle with the defendant for a sum that is "donated" to their favorite (usually liberal) cause. Just like a shakedown Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton would do. We've seen this with statutes on guns, as well as antidiscrimination statutes (read way too broadly IMHO).

    Frankly, I think we should move to a loser pays system or put more teeth into Rule 11 sanctions to prevent this kind of stuff. IMHO, it's abuse of the legal system, ties up and stresses the courts, and no good when anybody does it.
     
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    Sounds like just what Trump does to stiff his creditors and vendors
     
  16. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    Not so fast. Citizens United was a lawsuit agains the likes of you, and me. Stacking up the power of MegaCorpoationX's "free speech" versus the speech of someone who if they bought a full page ad in the New York Times would be putting at risk both home and dinner plate to do it.

    You need to rethink your concept of what "an idea" is, as well as what "an individual" is.

    Look at Duke Energy dragging its heels for 15 years in a clean air violation lawsuit. imo the people of North Carolina one by one were the object of Duke's raft of lawyers trying to lay down the idea that clean air was some kind of government boondoggle -- in the face of the facts laid out by scientists who had identified specific air pollutants as carcinogens. When came time for trial, suddenly they settled. Suddenly it had become too expensive, the company decided, to try to prove their "idea" had merit.

    I agree there is such a thing as a frivolous lawsuit. That is entirely distinct from lawsuits mean to avail of equal protection under the law. So far it seems to me that our jurists seem aware of this distinction. Particularly as issues move up the hierarchy of judicial appeal.
     
  17. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #17
    I was referring to the context of the OP and the mere act of bringing a suit as a punishment mechanism, that's all.

    If you want to go off topic and debate the merits of CU, fine. But I will say at the outset that like many people here, I don't think you know the first thing about what Citizen United stands for, how free speech works, or who the law identifies as a person. It was not a lawsuit "against" you and me. Exactly the opposite. The statute in question essentially banned a form of political speech. CU was a lawsuit that upholds free speech rights for a variety of organizations, including corporations and labor unions. More speech, especially political speech, is a good thing. Why would you want to shut it down?

    You said once you were around in the 1940s. Well here's the relevant part from the 1947 Dictionary Act (1 US Code Section 1 -- it doesn't get any more basic than that) where "persons" are defined to include corporations et al.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/1/1#

    The actual history of this usage is even older than you are, and goes back to 1600s England where corporations were identified as persons.

    So it is quite simple. Corporations (or labor unions) are groups of persons working together for a common enterprise. Those groups of persons have individual and collective free speech rights, and one way of exercising those rights is to make donations to various candidates and causes. Period, full stop. Liberals don't like this because they have an irrational hatred of all corporations, but have no problem when a labor union (covered exactly the same way under CU) makes political donations.

    So to you, Huntn, and a few others who have recently commented on the Citizen's United case, do yourself a favor. Whatever you currently think of the Citizen's United case, you are flat wrong. Think the exact opposite and then you will be correct.
     
  18. LizKat, Aug 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016

    LizKat macrumors 68040

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    #18
    No, we will not. And the damning effects of CU on our politics will go away one way or another in the next decade. Either by constitutional legislation that rights the ship of state and puts a free people in charge of free speech again, or by the rather rare but always interesting process of the Supreme Court having another look at what's in its own rear view mirror.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2016 ---
    Didn't even see this one earlier this morning. "not harassment"... just suppresion.
     
  19. Limey77 macrumors regular

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    @LizKat, not saying you're wrong about the above but I'd love to see a source for this going back to the 1600s in England because here corporations do not have the same rights as people.

    My understanding (which may be wrong) is that sadly the CU decision was based on US precedents which in turn were not based on law but a clerical error by a court clerk. However since the later cases were found to be precedent then CU succeeded.

    To the OP, I won't get into every case but the RICO case against BP(?) is completely correct. They financed internal research in 1975 that showed conclusively that man made climate change was real but surpressors it. Since then they have been denying what they knew to be true and have profited by trillions of dollars. There are minutes or meetings where they acknowledged the facts and agreed to suppress them. This is clearly an illegal conspiracy to defraud people out of trillions. A perfect example of racketeering.
     
  20. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    #20
    If you mean source for this? (I didn't post it, @tgara did): "The actual history of this usage is even older than you are, and goes back to 1600s England where corporations were identified as persons."

    So if that's what you refer to, I don't have a source for it.

    I do kind of like that he realizes the 1600s were before my time..
     
  21. Limey77 macrumors regular

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    My sincere apologies @LizKat, you're right that was aimed @tgara.

    I'm just intrigued as its before my time too and certainly isn't part of our law now.

    Perhaps @tgara will be good enough to provide a source?
     
  22. FieldingMellish thread starter Suspended

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    #22
    Here’s another case of prosecuting as revenge / punishment:



    Mr. Payne writes:

    David Daleiden and Planned Parenthood

    Daleiden is the founder of the Center for Medical Progress and the undercover investigator who exposed Planned Parenthood’s program to chop up aborted babies and sell their body parts to medical technology companies. Daleiden pretended to be a buyer interested in purchasing baby body parts from Planned Parenthood, and he secretly recorded high-ranking Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of dead baby organs.

    Planned Parenthood was humiliated globally and implicated in countless felonies, so Daleiden had to be punished.

    He was charged with the purchase and sale of human organs, a misdemeanor, as well as tampering with a government record, a felony. His home was raided, with damning Planned Parenthood footage allegedly seized.

    ————>> Exemplifying the corrupt and partisan bias behind the charges, the prosecuting attorney general had financial ties to Planned Parenthood, and the attorney general’s office allegedly shared evidence with Planned Parenthood even though a judge had ordered them not to.


    After months and months, a judge dismissed both charges against Daleiden (and one against his partner). The dismissal surely represents a great victory for the First Amendment (and for the pro-life movement).

    ——————>> But the message was also clear: if you cross the pro-abortion Left—especially if you embarrass them in front of the whole world and expose their barbarous practices—you may face a costly, time-consuming, protracted legal battle.
     
  23. Limey77 macrumors regular

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    I don't think this post could be more fatuous and full of fallacies if you tried.

    Planned Parenthood was not embarrassed and was not implicated in any crimes whatsoever. As they did nothing illegal.

    Whereas the person filming committed numerous felonies including impersonating a doctor, illegally filming in a medical centre and attempting (but failing) to deal in body parts.

    Geez, I had very little respect for you before this thread. But this surely is as low as you can possibly go. Surely even for you trying to make someone who tried and failed to entrap people into dealing with embryos seem like a victim is the bottom of the barrel????

    Even if you can prove me wrong, please, please don't. Do not go there. It is despicable and utterly disgusting that you side with the criminals.

    I'm literally lost for words that you (or anyone) would attempt and clearly fail to justify this heinousness.
     
  24. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    I hate to break it to you, but free speech no longer exists. And I'm not talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater. If you say something that offends someone even the slightest bit, then you are branded a racist or sexist or homophobe. And that is a hard label to shed. So yes, you are still allowed to say what you want, but the exchange of ideas is going to be lost because the price will be too high.
     
  25. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Free speech cuts two ways.

    You have the freedom to say what you like, and people have the freedom to react to your words with whatever words they like.

    You appear to want protection from other people's free speech.
     

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