I watched the movie Marshall which is now out in theatres and this morning was reading more about the life of Thurgood Marshall.
The wiki article on Marshall says that Marshall had a legal philosophy of, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”
On one hand I assume that Brennan and Marshall contributed to American progress in some important, useful ways. On the other hand, some federal judges in our day, it appears to me, take a similar approach and at times have a very disrespectful view to the law.
I actually tend to think that the Supreme court should use its best common, moral sense to strike some laws and precedents when those laws and precedents are against justice.
On the other hand, I am in a federal lawsuit against the city of Seattle on the topic of knives and against the state on the topic of switchblades. And the article III federal judge first given the case seems to have taken the liberal approach to very bad extreme in handling the knife lawsuit case.
After seeming to adopt the position of Seattle that the city has some need to prevent generally law abiding persons from carrying a knife, the federal judge bends and twists to avoid a ruling on the question of the constitutionality of suppressing knife carrying and to avoid applying the SC principles on the matter.
In ruling on a motion for preliminary injunction, the supposed federal judge managed to write ruling of many pages and not once quote the principle enunciated by the Supreme court on evaluating weapons, which is that they are prima facie constitutionally protected.
Though I like Brennan, I think that Brennan and Marshall got the death penalty question wrong. And it appears to me that federal judge Robart was practicing some form of conclusion first, reason to fit a desired-conclusion, when he wrote a ruling without citing the leading US SC principle on the topic.
For reasons we do not know, the case was moved away from Robart to Marsha Pechman, who seems to be taking a month or so on whether or not I have standing to sue, on the questions of whether or not a negative and discouraging stop of Zaitzeff for walking with a sheathed katana by SPD officers was a Terry stop and whether or not a Terry stop and vigorous passionate warning of arrest by the officers re subsequent stops by officers predicated upon an unconstitutional law creates standing.
Now, I would like to think that the stress of writing evil decisions troubles the heart of this careless and morally sloppy judge and he has turned the stress of it over to Pechman, but mostly we might presume there is some completely innocent but unknown explanation.
At least, that above is what I think the issues are, in the current motion re standing.
A few weeks ago I was listening to some podcast on the topic of the Supreme court and its decisions. The podcast is part of a series called more perfect, from the phrase a more perfect union.
The podcast was about some voting rights decision, Baker v Carr. The state of Tennessee was using some weird reason to not redraw some district lines and thereby, in effect, substantially reducing the voting power of minorities, intentionally or unintentionally. The older districting lines of Tennessee were favoring the rural areas over city areas, in terms of representation.
Some of the court at the time was conservative or pragmatic and the conservative approach tended to be to allow the bad district lines. Brennan took the view that equal protection of the laws required a more regular redistricting based on population and he persuaded half of the conservatives to come with him.
The case came before the court and the case resulted in 1) one supreme court justice who did not like making decisions based on morality and justice resigned, partly cause he was having a nervous breakdown, partly caused by the stress, allegedly due to this decision; 2) the leading evil-doing supreme court justice who voted against the majority and in favor of the state of Tennessee had a stroke shortly later and was replaced by a more liberal justice.
I like Gorsuch, but at one point, Gorsuch said I do not criticize my superiors or those in charge. When a federal judge has cases which involve obeying or disobeying bad, unwise or evil precedents, the federal judge in district or appeals court should identify and argue against the evil precedents, even if he feels compelled to apply them. There was a case with the apparently morally sloppy Posner judge in Chicago who wrote a decision critiquing a precedent, and then, on appeal, the SC reversed its own precedents and adopted the reasoning of the at-times questionable Posner.
One question is whether or not the stress of arguing for and trying and failing at affirming a decision of evil rendered a federal Supreme Court justice half-dead.
How interesting, though God does not always go knocking off justices for writing bad decisions or decisions of evil. The idea that God or stress might have done so once or twice in a hundred and some years is a nice idea . . . That is more comforting than an idea of complete non-intervention.
The book Gunfight by Adam Winkler has interesting details . . . about the Heller case. The question raised is whether or not God nudged things slightly in a few areas to help the decision be what it is.
God or a health crisis may have got rid of two morally poor justices in 1962 . . . though God and the health crises seem to be inconsistent in operation. Maybe in 50 or 100 years they will be more consistent.