On the way to Boston soon for an in-and-out ethics seminar for young Massachusetts lawyers…
1 Why is the New York Times acting as if the 2016 campaign is still going on? Today’s Sunday Times includes a long scold from the Times editors urging the President to “please read the Constitution.” Then it reaches back all the way to 2015 for TrumpTweets that proposed or mused about Constitutionally impossible policy ideas. How does the Times know that the President’s Constitutional acumen hasn’t been enhanced since 2015? It doesn’t, of course. The criticism would be legitimate during a campaign, but a year after an election, it tells us only this: The New York Times is still in the mode it announced during the campaign. The existence of Donald Trump, in its view, justifies the suspension of journalism’s core principles. In the view of many of the Times’ voices on its op-ed page, his existence also justifies the suspension of the Constitution that the paper piously insists the President read. The Times editors have not told those who have claimed in its pages and from the floor of Congress that President Trump should be impeached based on no “high crimes and misdemaeanors” to read the Constitution. It didn’t tell Hillary Clinton to “read the constitution” when she advocated “the Australian approach” to gun control, or grandstanding Democrats in the House to ‘read the Constitution” when they behaved as if the right of Due Process didn’t exist, so citizens arbitrarily placed on a no-fly list by the FBI could nonetheless be denied the right to own a gun. It didn’t tell “the resistance” to “read the Constitution” when it attempted to distort the operation of the Electoral College to undo the President’s election.
“He has showed disdain for the separation of powers by repeatedly attacking the federal judiciary and individual judges who have ruled against him.” the Times sniffs, but it did not tell Barack Obama to “read the Constitution” when he attacked the U.S. Supreme Court in a State of the Union address. Then the Times goes off into the hyper-partisan stratosphere, suggesting that its editors also need to “read the Constitution”:
He has abused the pardon power by granting his first, and so far only, pardon to a former sheriff who was found in contempt of a federal court for defying an order. And he has failed to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, whether by trying to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, leaving hundreds of critical executive branch positions vacant or threatening to prosecute his former political opponent.
The Constitution places no limits whatsoever on the pardon power; it is absolute, beyond appeal, and can’t be abused as a matter of Constitutional law. The Times’s definition of the duty to faithfully execute the laws is incomprehensible, since it did not object to Barack Obama circumventing crystal clear laws against illegal immigration by ordering them not to be enforced, or when the Obama administration refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act while it was still a valid law signed by the previous Democratic President. The Constitution does not demand that the Federal government be a bloated, deficit-making bureaucracy; the President, not the Times, gets to decide what positions are “critical” in the Executive Branch. That’s in the Constitution. As for “threatening to prosecute his former political opponent.,” the President’s statements regarding Hillary Clinton can be and should be taken as questioning whether the Justice Department under Barack Obama was placing its thumb on the sales of justice for political purposes.
It is increasingly beyond argument that the mainstream news media, led by the Times, is trying to abuse its Constitutionally enshrined immunity from responsibility to engineer a virtual or actual coup. That is dangerous and unforgivable, as well as directly contrary to how the Founders wanted our democracy to operate.
2. I checked the news early this morning to learn the identity of the latest celebrity to have a finger pointed his way as a chorus shouts “HARASSER!” To my surprise and alarm, I discovered that the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck had entered my world: jet-set hotelier André Balazs was accused by actor Jason Bateman’s wife of groping her crotch in 2014. André Balazs grew up across the street from my childhood home in Arlington, Massachusetts. His sister, Marianne, was a good friend and classmate all the way through high school. I knew André as Marianne’s annoying little brother.
It appears that the idea in Hollywood now is to accuse someone else before you or your significant other gets accused. This is because sexual harassment and misconduct has been an accepted part of power-player culture in Hollywood forever, even while the Left’s component of that culture proclaimed that the Right was wielding a “war on women.” The country should not forget how dishonest and hypocritical this was.
I never liked that kid….
3. MSNBC Chris Hayes deserves some watered down version of Ethics Hero recognition for breaking ranks with his colleagues on the progressive propaganda network and tweeting, “As gross and cynical and hypocritical as the right’s “what about Bill Clinton” stuff is, it’s also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.”
Ya think? I’ll water down the award because there is nothing gross, cynical or hypocritical about pointing out that Clinton getting a pass while Democrats and journalists rail on about conservative pigs is gross, cynical and hypocritical. It’s only gross, cynical or hypocritical when Clinton’s example is used to try to excuse misconduct by Republicans.
To give Chris the benefit of the doubt, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a requirement in his MSNBC contract that he can’t ever criticize a Democrat without simultaneously attacking Republicans.
4. The GOP’s nauseating choice of Roy Moore to run for the open Alabama U.S. Senate seat cannot be condemned, mocked and derided enough for me. However, I find it interesting that no stories about the current scandal remind readers or viewers that President Trump did not endorse Moore’s candidacy in the primary, and campaigned for his opponent, who was bad, but nowhere as horrible as Moore. The new rules decree that this President must never be given credit for being right or effective–after all, how can the mews media get the election overturned if they allow that-— so Moore is being called a “Trumpist.”
5. Here is a story that probably deserves a longer post, but I don’t want to think about it right now. It suggests that Louis C.K, is popular among prison inmates:
Six Chicago-area assistant public defenders have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that claims they have been subjected to a hostile work environment as a result of inmates who masturbate in front of them at the jail and courtroom lockups in Cook County.
The would-be class action alleges violations of the equal protection clause and the Illinois Gender Violence Act. …
The “toxic work environment” forces female assistant public defenders and female law clerks “to regularly endure heinous sexual misconduct, robbing many of their love of the job, maybe permanently,” the suit says. Some employees have quit and some have taken less desirable assignments to avoid the harassment, the suit says.
I think that this lawsuit undermines efforts to take gender bias out of the legal profession. Ladies, representing prisoners and criminal defendants IS a hostile work environment. These aren’t nice, genteel people. You can’t meet with them and maintain attorney-client privilege with others watching or listening. Your lawsuit makes no sense.
I had an imprisoned client who showed me a sculpture he had made out of his own fecal matter. “That’s…nice!” I said. Another client chased me around the steel table in our meeting room while I called for a guard. Yet another client described how he was nightly “chained to my bed by my dick—-see that red mark?” This all occurred within a few months of my representing prisoners in Washington D.C., and only part-time. I didn’t sue. I quit.
Nobody has a duty to make an inherently unpleasant job that requires working with sick, hostile, angry and usually guilty people easy. Your choice is to do something else, or accept the conditions that your job requires.
6. Finally, if you dare, check out this terrible story.