The Editor recently posted a podcast by his favorite conspiracy theorist Michelle Anderson, in which she interviewed a seemingly random tea party activist about the not necessarily simple issue of Federal court jurisdiction.
The random person was named Jeff Lewis, and in speaking about the recent Federal Court decision holding that Arizona’s “papers please” law was unconstitutional he said this:
The judges on American Idol have as much jurisdiction to hear the case against Arizona as the U.S. District Court for the district of Arizona does. So any rulings, injunctions, whatever that lady does — Judge Bolton — no offense to her personally, but professionally, she’s in violation of her oath of office.
Got that? She is in violation of her oath of office. Whoa, that sounds serious. How did she manage to do that?
Well, according to this guy who runs a coalition with a website logo featuring the Statue of Liberty sinking into flames, the Federal Judge violated her office by letting the United States sue Arizona in her Federal Court.
According to this random dude with no apparent expertise, the only Court in which the Justice Department could have filed a suit against Arizona was at the actual Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., because only it has “original jurisdiction.” Without original jurisdiction, the Federal Judge was overseeing a “kangaroo court.”
How did the Attorney General of the United States get it so wrong? And why didn’t Arizona raise the issue? And why do other states in other cases also ignore the question of “original jurisdiction?”
Interesting question. Even Jeff Lewis isn’t sure. He notes, somewhat flummoxed, that:
Virginia. I’ll mention this one. They’re fighting ObamaCare. Same scenario. A state, the commonwealth, is a party. They should have filed it immediately with the Supreme Court.
So everyone with any legal expertise whatsoever seems to think that this process works one way: you start in the District Court. This guy Michelle interviewed seems to think that is wrong and, what’s more, that everyone else KNOWS it is wrong but keeps doing it anyways. All these judges and lawyers are breaking their oaths of office.
Here is an alternative hypothesis, Michelle. Maybe this Jeff Lewis guy is wrong. Think about it. Let that thought sink in, slowly. Maybe the entire legal profession, including the attorneys on both sides of all these cases, have an entirely different understanding because, you know, THEY ARE EXPERTS. They know better. Maybe when this guy accuses them of something terrible like breaking an oath of office, you should make sure this is correct before you just give him a free platform to rant.
Near the end, Michelle asks:
Jeff, if we want to learn more about this or get ahold of you, how do we do that?
Gee, Michelle, here’s a neat idea on how to learn more about this: speak to a lawyer. Or hell, at least a paralegal. There are only a few million people in this country that could sort this out for you. But no, you let some crazy guy accuse some judge of a crime just for doing her job. That isn’t right, and you should be ashamed. If you actually cared about why these lawyers all seem to do the same thing, over and over, maybe you should try talking to some of them.
And you, Editor, should also be ashamed for letting this drivel be broadcast through your website. It’s just crap. Accusations like this against Federal Judges are serious. They are carrying out one of the most important duties under our Constitution and deserve a tiny bit of respect. I’m not saying you have to agree with them, but don’t lob these crazy accusations without, at the very least, trying to learn the reasoning of the other side. Especially when, as in this case, the other side appears to be everyone who ever went to law school.
It is astounding how little the facts matter to these people.