When a lawyer does the dirty, there are places to go. If it’s a crime, go to the prosecutor. If there’s a dispute over money or competence, there’s a civil suit. If there’s an ethical failing, go to the entity that governs lawyer discipline. The first could put the lawyer in prison. The second could cost the lawyer big money. But the third? The worst it can do is pull the lawyer’s ticket and deny the individual the right to practice law.
But what about a judge? One would expect Elizabeth Warren, who came out of Harvard Law School, to have some appreciation of how the system works and why it works that way. But these are passionate times, and she wants to run for president so very badly, so she’s come up with a plan.
When Kavanaugh rose to the Supreme Court, sexual assault and perjury complaints against him were dismissed.
“The basic premise of our legal system is that every person is treated equally in the eyes of the law ― including judges,” Warren said on Monday. “Our judiciary only functions properly when it lives up to this promise, and it risks eroding its legitimacy when the American people lose faith that judges are ethical and fair-minded.”
By “complaints against him,” it appears she’s referring to grievances filed in the aftermath of his Senate confirmation hearing. These weren’t grievances by any party individually harmed, or indeed, anyone who did more than watch the hearing on a screen. In these peculiar times, the unduly passionate are of the view that they are entitled to grieve conduct that inflames them, notwithstanding their complete lack of knowledge or involvement. Warren saw their sad feelings, and seized the opportunity.
Kavanaugh was elevated to the Supreme Court, 83 ethics complaints that had been lodged against him were dismissed — and because the Supreme Court is not covered by a Code of Conduct, no procedure exists to file new complaints.
If you have free time, lodge some ethics complaints. Get a few friends to do so as well. Do ten a day, and in about a week, some judge will have 83 ethics complaints lodged against him. It costs nothing, but then someone can do as Warren has done and try to play the number as if there were any substance at all behind them. Cool trick.
But in the case of Justice Kavanaugh, the issue is somewhat different. The Supreme Court of the United States is a co-equal branch of government. The president doesn’t get to tell it how to function. Congress doesn’t either. There’s a fairly obvious reason, as it would make the Supreme Court subject to the control of the other branches, which would neuter the Court’s ability to tell the President and Congress to pound sand.
Questions are often raised about the behavior of Supreme Court Justices, such as Justice Thomas’s 13 years of financial disclosures that failed to list $690,000 in payments to his wife from the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing judicial activist group — but these actions are beyond the scope of current rules. Enough. My plan applies the Code of Conduct for United States Judges to Supreme Court Justices — and places the Judicial Conference in charge of violations. My plan also allows individuals to file complaints against Supreme Court Justices, just like they can against all other federal judges.
There is no Code of Conduct for the justices of the Supreme Court. There is, of course, the avenue for impeachment should a justice do something impeachable, and if the good Senator believes that Justice Thomas’ wife’s conduct somehow impugns the judge’s independence (because wives are women, and obviously can’t think independently), she knows what to do. But she’s betting her supporters don’t, and so she panders to their emotions and ignorance by suggesting that she would be able to impose her will on SCOTUS if she were president.
But it doesn’t stop at the mere unconstitutional notion that she could dictate to the Supreme Court how it must function, but takes a dive into the toilet of opening the door to every flaming nutjob in America filing complaints against justices for every perceived impropriety of ruling in whatever way makes them cry.
Heller? Ten million complaints. Reverse Roe v. Wade, not that it would ever happen, but we’re indulging fantasy here? One hundred million. It might be fair to wonder, given her scheme, who Warren would have sit in judgment of Supreme Court justices.
My plan extends the authority of the Judicial Conference to former judges so that individuals under investigation cannot simply resign from the bench to avoid accountability. This provision would allow the judiciary to reopen the investigations into . . . Brett Kavanaugh, and any other judge who benefited from this loophole.
While this may seem as if it’s a way to get Kav, even Warren realizes that some of her passionate supporters will see through it. So she’s come up with an even better tool to keep those bad boys in line.
Create a new, fast-track impeachment process for federal judges who commit impeachable offenses. The Constitution reserves the impeachment of judges for only the most egregious offenses. But when a judge commits a serious offense or ethical violation, we need to make sure that there is a prompt investigation — and that Congress takes action. It’s time to fast-track the process for judges who commit impeachable offenses. My plan would strengthen the process to certify that a judge may have committed an impeachable offense, and would ensure that any impeachment referrals will trigger a series of automatic rules under which the House Judiciary Committee will conduct a thorough investigation and vote without unnecessary delay. These reforms will ensure that judges who commit serious, impeachable offenses will more likely be promptly removed from office.
Apparently, not even the House of Representatives can be trusted as far as Warren is concerned to act upon an impeachable offense (or, thrown in without distinction, an ethical violation), and so she would not only subject the Supreme Court to her vision of propriety, but the House as well by “triggering a series of automatic rules.” If you thought Trump wanted to own the judiciary by denigrating its independence, it’s nothing compared to Warren’s scheme to impose rules controlling the Supreme Court and its justices to make sure they behave the way she feels they should.
And Kavanaugh? He’s toast if Warren got her way. But then, she knows none of this can happen, and she’s just playing her supporters for woke fools.