Skip to main content

Say you own a big coal company that's been sued for fraud, and hit with a judgment for $50 million. Not small change, right? Of course you have to appeal. This is "bet the company" litigation, and you have to win.

And let's say that there happens to be a judicial election coming up. What do you do? Well, maybe you drop $3 million on the election campaign of one of the candidates, more than all his other supporters, including his election committee, combined. and he wins by 50,000 votes.

And then you have to do your appeal in front of the court that now contains the candidate you spent $3 million to elect.

What does he do? Does he recuse himself? Does he tell the world that you've invested all that money in him and he can't judge the case fairly? Or does he decide that the appearance of impropriety is enough to mandate that he recuse himself?

No, in this case what he does is stay in the case and then rule in favor of the coal company that gave him $3 million. Probably just a coincidence.

Although that's not how the Supreme Court saw it. What they decided today is that all of us, even those of us who don't have $3 million to spend on a judge, have the right to due process of law, and that includes the right to have a court that hasn't already been bought and paid for by the other side.

At least, that's what the majority thinks. The minority, Bush's two appointees and the Scalia/Thomas twins, take a different view. They think it's going to b too burdensome for a court to decide if the judge was unduly prejudiced by the pots of money that the corporate party (and it's always going to be a corporate party, isn't it?) has thrown around.. After all, we can't really expect a court to spend the effort to make sure its processes are fair, can we?

So when the Senate is considering the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Court, and deciding whether she's too biased to sit on the Court because she likes to eat beans, think about the four right-wingers who are on the Court now, and how they favor a party that would spend millions of dollars to buy a vote on an important case.

Originally posted to JackMcCullough on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:07 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site