One argument against cameras in the courtroom is that judges, being human and fraught with the frailties of the species, might play to them. Who doesn’t want to look good for their close-up, Mr. DeMille? This seemed to terminally afflict Judge Rosemarie Aquilina as media focused on her.
There is a peculiar expectation that anyone would demand, or need, a deep discussion of how despicable Larry Nassar was and is. Is there a doubt? Is there anyone arguing that what this guy did isn’t absolutely horrible and outrageous?
Even so, in this age of emotion, this devolution into never-ending catharsis, both for the victims of crime as well as the distant on-lookers who want to share in the outrage as if it was their own, there is often thunderous applause for the person who expresses a feeling shared by many who need their outrage fix. Judge Aquilina saw her opening and went for it.
In a companion post today, Chris Seaton runs through Aquilina’s “intemperate” remarks. Rather than jump onto that pile, the death warrant, the wish of rape, the pandering to fury and hatred emitting from the mouth of a judge who is too well aware that her image, her words, will be broadcast far and wide for all to see and hear, the reactions to her audition reveal a fundamental lie that pervades the forces of love and tolerance.
They love who they choose to love, not because of any principled reason but because of identity. Nassar? They hate him. They are only too happy to see him suffer. He is a sex molester, a rapist of young women, and there is nothing that can be said of him, done to him, that is too harsh.
Aquilina’s words were just fine with them. Indeed, they didn’t even see a problem, and can’t understand why anybody else would. One would have to be a male rape apologist to find Aquilina’s words improper. And even if someone with sufficient feminist bona fides to avoid the apologist characterization objected, they were beaten into submission from their principled stance by shrill scolding voices chastising them for speaking out in this instance.
It’s true that the forces of wokeness are not required to call out every unprincipled evil that arises, even if they would hypocritically challenge others for their failure to speak out for the victims. But the flip side is that they aren’t similarly entitled to spew nonsensical rationalizations, or using the smaller word, lies, to cover their tracks.
Why Didn’t Judge Use A Nicer Tone When Sentencing That Man Who Was Just Convicted Of Molesting More Than 140 Children, Concerned Internet Gentleman Wants To Know
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) January 24, 2018
But Petri, disingenuous as she is in trying to recharacterize the problem, at least brings nothing to the table to persuade the groundlings that she possesses any special knowledge beyond snarkiness. In contrast, a former “business” lawyer who now works for Thomson Reuters as a Senior Legal Editor, David von Ebers, did the unforgivable.
If you think the judge’s comments were somehow biased or inappropriate, you’ve probably never heard a judge sentence a defendant for a violent crime.
— David von Ebers (@Dave_von_Ebers) January 24, 2018
The irony of this “business” lawyer, turned editor, denigrating “twitter lawyers” who have “never heard a judge sentence a defendant for a violent crime” wasn’t just idiotic, but a violation of the fundamental rule that you don’t make people stupider. He used his “lawyer” status to pretend he had a clue about sentencing. For this, he was ripped to shreds by lawyers and even judges who, unlike him, were not poseurs.
And his attempt to salvage his dignity having been caught spewing utter nonsense was to tone police the lawyers who knew what he was faking.
One of the strangest things you see on social media is lawyers who completely lose their composure when they see other lawyers tweet things they disagree with.
— David von Ebers (@Dave_von_Ebers) January 25, 2018
Lawyers didn’t disagree with Ebers. Lawyers, including myself, called bullshit on Ebers for spreading false legal information to non-lawyers to deceive them, to make them stupider.
There are a lot of very angry criminal defense lawyers out there who are willing to die on this hill. There are plenty of examples of bad sentences and judges who make questionable comments from the bench. But they chose to get angry today. Go figure.
It’s not that von Ebers is particularly disgraceful, flagrantly misrepresenting his scope of knowledge to delude people, or more likely confirm their bias, into believing their desired outcome isn’t absolutely disgraceful and devoid of principle. It’s that the entirety of their cause is a lie, a sham, that the same words hurled at a defendant being sentenced for a crime that’s not on their list of hated offenses would evoke the exact opposite reaction. It’s not about the propriety of what happened, but about what crimes and criminals offend their sensibilities.
When this comes from the usual SJW and feminist suspects, like Petri, it’s merely wrong. When this comes from judges and lawyers, it undermines the integrity of legal system. As broken as the system may be, this makes it worse, more cynical, more hateful.
It seems almost impossible that in the sentencing of a defendant like Larry Nassar to the slow death penalty, anything could happen that would shift the focus away from his horrible crimes to the flagrant impropriety of the judge enjoying her moment in the limelight, or to social justice apologists lying to the woke as if their legal ignorance and wholesale lack of integrity wasn’t revealed by their thirst for blood from a defendant they despised.
And yet, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina managed to do so, and enablers like von Ebers sold their soul and law licenses to make non-lawyers stupider. On the bright side, criminal defense lawyers and people of integrity took to social media to call bullshit. The lies cannot be ignored.