In a fashion we must now regard as entirely predictable, the Supreme Court of the United States has dismissed (i.e., thrown out) the various state challenges to the 2020 presidential election.
Any decisions on these challenges were determined by the majority to be “moot” because the election had already been decided, and Donald Trump has conceded to Joe Biden. (Associate Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch objected in varying degrees.)
In other words, a stolen presidential election—if it happens, we don’t really know in this case—has an almost immediate statute of limitations, although the results of that election can affect hundreds of millions, if not, as in the case of the United States, nearly the entirety of humanity.
This is true, apparently for a majority of the Supremes, although all sorts of crimes, some not particularly onerous, have statutes of limitations that can go on for years.
The Supremes also cited the issue of “standing,” a term of legal “art” that has always struck me, despite all the precedents on which it is supposedly based, as wide open for biased interpretation of the most self-serving sort. One person’s “standing” can be another’s closed door, almost at will and certainly by vote of a “majority.”
If I sound cynical about the Supreme Court, I have to admit I am. It’s even true of the law in general, which I want to believe in and admire, but increasingly no longer do.
In the real world, legal results tend to mirror A.J. Liebling’s 1960 comment in The New Yorker about the press: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
The law belongs to those who have the deepest control of a society at the time.
We want Lady Justice to be blind but, in actuality, she’s a cyborg with all-seeing, rotating night vision similar to the kind you might find on many urban street corners today from Beijing to Chicago, using the latest algorithms to isolate presumed enemies of the state.
And, yes, I am no lawyer. I haven’t taken even one course in the law and spent my time in college and graduate school studying now-questionable white men such as John Milton.
But over my decades as a Hollywood screenwriter and then, as founder and CEO of PJMedia, I employed many lawyers—some very good and some not so much—and came to understand the limitations on what they did.
Contracts, it turned out, weren’t worth much more than the paper they were written on unless both parties wanted to honor them. Enforcing infringements, unless they were hugely egregious, was rarely worth the expense and effort.
Lawsuits—win or lose— tend to take over your life in highly deleterious ways. Few want to get involved.
The Supreme Court is the apotheosis of this system—an organization that puts its finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing (assuming that’s even necessary) and then writes its opinions based on pre-conceived notions designed to offend the least number.
Sadly, it's the last place to look for justice in a presidential election—or anything, really, that tilts against that prevailing wind.
They wouldn’t even, as Justice Clarence Thomas requested, explore the blatantly unconstitutional malfeasances in various states where unelected officials clearly and unlawfully superseded the legislatures in changing election law by fiat, something we would think would only happen in totalitarian countries.
But it happened here, my friends, several times. We could cite the Supreme Court for dereliction of duty ... or we could look elsewhere for justice.