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View Diary: Let’s Sue the GOP (38 comments)

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  •  Excellent. Do it. Even though... (15+ / 0-)

    ... Representatives and Senators are immune to civil or criminal liability for anything they do in either institution, we can still sue the GOP itself, the party apparatus, for the policies that its flunkies in Congress follow.

    Know what? I think that might even have a decent chance of getting heard in court.

    But whoever puts their name on it ought to be judgement proof (too poor to countersue or stick with the costs if it fails), and the law firm needs to take it pro bono.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:19:17 AM PDT

    •  I still say Small Claims Court. (6+ / 0-)

      You ... we ... May lose but it's great theatre.

      E.g. sue Andy Harris for 1/400000 of his salary if you are, like me, in Md-01.

      I'll have to look at the Md small claims process.

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:45:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Class action small claims suit (8+ / 0-)

        The following 130 million people vs. The Republican Congress.

        We have one thing immediately in our favor that the republicans lack in their lawsuit against the President. Everyone of us can claim we have been actually harmed by the (in)action of our republican congress.

        •  Are Suits Possible for That Type of Negligence? (3+ / 0-)

          I mean they're not doing anything, which is the problem, but I would think there would need to be a very well defined obligation to act before a suit would have much chance.

          INAL but I wonder if a suit for failure to act would be thrown out before even a hearing, especially coming from the occupants and lodged against the reps of ownership.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:21:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been involved with a few small claims... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gentle Giant, dadadata

            lawsuits in California. One was a class action with 21 plaintiffs. At least in California, rules for small claims cases are very lax. You don't need to hire an attorney. You don't go through formal acts of discovery and other pretrial requirement for municipal court. Basically, you fill out the paperwork, pay the small fee, pay to have the person your suing served with legal notice and wait for a court date to be assigned.

            On the day of court you bring all your paperwork and evidence and plead your case to the judge. Damages when I went to court were limited to $5000 so you won't get rich talking someone to small claims court, But in our case, after the defendant appealed to a higher court and lost again, each of the 21 were awarded $4000. That hit the defendant for $84,000 and he spent at least that much on the lawyer who handled his failed appeal. He should have just paid us the original $5000/each and saved the attorney fees and aggravation.

            The problem with suing the republican congress is coordinating the filing of the lawsuit. I found trying to get 21 people to do something on the same day was a heroic effort. Getting 130 million or so would take an act of God. And then you have to wonder where they'll hold court? It's going to take a longtime to get through 130 million personal stories!!

          •  Taking their pay and not doing their job (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dadadata, allison88
            I mean they're not doing anything, which is the problem, but I would think there would need to be a very well defined obligation to act before a suit would have much chance.
            If you paid someone to re-roof your house, and they didn't, you could take them to court, right?

            Well, what's the difference here? I'd say Congress has pretty well-defined obligations. They sure haven't performed as required but they're still getting paid.

            I want to live in a civil society. Political compass: -7.88, -5.08

            by dragonwerx on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:31:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i've said this a couple times out here i think (0+ / 0-)

              this whole "since they brought it up, fine, let's sue the republicans" idea.  but it was just in the comments and probably lost.

              if you need to have "damages," that's certainly not hard to find.  how about anyone in...Wisconsin...who has been harmed by the governor's refusal to expand Medicaid file a suit in small claims court?  do they all have to file together?  i wouldn't think so.  does it have "more effect" that way, in small claims court?  i have no idea.

              i'm thinking it would be more like that woman who took...Honda or some foreign car company to small claims court for some minor defect that affected a huge number of their vehicles.  other attempts to get the company to respond hadn't worked, and she just decided to try to get $5K out of them, at least.  i don't know if she won (this was a couple years ago, i think).  anyway, she said if others wanted to do the same thing, she had all the info and instructions and would be happy to help them file their own suit.

              so....set up a site where Wisconsinites who've been harmed by walker's refusal can get all the info they need to file in small claims court.
              set up a site for each state.  if the claims just trickle in, rather than 150 filing together, does it really matter?  death by a thousand cuts, and all that.

              anyway, that's governors, and since some repub govs DID expand medicaid, it can't be linked to the GOP/party.  so that example can't be national.

              but there are other issues.  national level, um....by refusing to hold "yes" or "no" votes on important issues, voters aren't able to know where a rep or senator stands on an issue.  they are hiding behind their inaction.  how is this damaging, on a personal level?  hmmm....X many hours required to research positions on important topics, X many hours spent trying to contact that pol AND get an answer (and this may include costs for postage, mileage, etc.).  heck, we can even go into the health costs--increased stress, anxiety, depression, resulting in expenditures for...[fill in].  geez, there are creative people out there, let's figure this out.

              do i actually think any lawsuit against a sitting repub, or the GOP/party, would "work"?  no.  but boehner doesn't think his will either.  it's a stunt.  and one done by the people against the "do nothing party" would also be a "stunt" designed to do a couple of the things boehner hopes to achieve--make a point, and encourage the faithful.

              •  I don't like lawsuits or the law or lawyers (0+ / 0-)

                Who have made it very difficult to sue government.

                I would support laws that enable workers and unions to think of themselves as tenants in common with their employers in an enterprise.

                Then as workers doing work and as tenants in common to place mechanics liens on their employers businesses. for the work they do under an agreement or contract which isn't honored.

                We need to recognize that the places where workers work under contract are really their business as well.

                Its just as if the city hired a plumber or a carpenter to do work on its physical plant when it hires a teacher to do the work of teaching.

                When  they do the work they were hired to do, that they signed a contract to do, establishes a lien which takes precedence over a first mortgage, on the buildings and the ground they stand on as well as all the equipment.

                I'd argue that just as the teachers in a union are workers doing work so are policemen, firemen, people cleaning buildings, air traffic controllers, people employed in a factory or in a restaurant or store are workers doing work.

                When after doing the work someone decides it would be a good idea to pay them less than their pensions and other contracts called for don't sue just place a lien; De Domo Reparanda.

                In the common law and reflected in many statutes is the principle that if you are joined in ownership of a property whether its a commonwealth or a household or a joint venture which involves the ownership of property such as a household or farm or a commonwealth, the principle of De Domo Reparanda allowed

                "a writ which lay for one tenant in common to compel his co-tenant to contribute towards the repair of the common property".
                As soon as you do any work on a property you have an ownership interest through a mechanics lien and become a tenant in common.

                Let's take the city of Detroit for example. Obviously its broken and in need of some repair. Just as two people who share a household can force eachother to repair the roof when it leaks and share the cost, the occupants of the city can force the city to repair the water supply system, roads, bridges, water sewer utilities in general.

                We the people have a share in the ownership of our country, our states, our cities our public lands. It doesn't matter who is in charge of them,  we can lien the interest of anyone involved, corporations which use or benefit from the property that we reside on and share tenancy in.

                If teachers and other municipal employees perform work under a contract which entitles them to certain payment in cash and others deferred as benefits, and the benefits are not forthcoming because the municipalities have been "privatized" under a "manager" then I would expect the unions to be able to lien the municipalities just as the municipalities would be able to lien a resident who didn't pay their property or excise taxes. .

                Now if the municipalities go bankrupt then its the peoples right to seize its assets as owners and to repair them and to bill for their work to repair them and to place a lien to enforce their interest.

                "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                by rktect on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:19:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Very picky point (mostly snark) (4+ / 0-)
      Representatives and Senators are immune to civil or criminal liability for anything they do in either institution
      [or for that matter while travelling to or from the sessions]

      Actually, I suspect that if one Representative shot another on the floor of Congress, he'd find that he was not immune from liability. [Deliberate avoidance of he/she.]

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