Thursday, November 26, 2015

Steyn: No Change at the Climate Court

I read Mark Steyn's agonizing update of his legal matters yesterday, and have been thinking about it at great length.

I would urge you to read the whole thing primarily because it is such a disturbing and succinct summary of what has happened and what has not happened. But please read it also because if you are reading this, you will note that there is a polite and highly understated call to action toward the end of the post, in which Steyn appeals for contributions to his fight by way of donations to his legal fees; a most worthwhile cause.

(And although I have no direct confirmation of the sums involved, I am sure the numbers are edging very close to the million dollar mark, if they have not reached that already.)

About halfway through, Steyn points out two possible explanations for the inexcusable delay in bringing this matter actually to trial. Note the PDF embedded in the post, the ruling in which a judge already ruled that Steyn has a right to have matters addressed in a speedy manner.

To wit:

3. The charge that a man is a defamer is a serious one and profoundly damaging. With criminal charges, this nation provides a constitutional right to a speedy trial. It offers no such protections in civil court, even though to be accused as a defamer is certainly as damaging to one's reputation and honor as all but the most serious criminal charges. For an independent writer such as Defendant Steyn, this is especially so: His livelihood depends entirely on his reputation, and as long as this charge stains his character without being answered he is being damaged. As the accused, he asserts his right to confront his accuser in open court in a timely manner."

For some reason, the courts have all the time in the world for this case, while Steyn's legal bills tick away by the thousands of dollars per billable hour.

Of course, as Steyn has noted in the past, the "process" is the actual punishment itself.

SLAPP litigants can drag anyone they want through the courts for years, for the sheer joy of bankrupting them financially, and destroying them psychologically, socially and professionally-to say nothing of the physical toll the process takes on the victim's physical and emotional health, and personal relationships.

In an extra sadistic twist, the litigant can, at any time, also decide to drop the case, presumably once they have wreaked sufficient havoc on their target's life.

Here are Steyn's theories of why this is dragging out so long: 

1) Some wag in the courthouse bet the bench to see if they could come up with a Ruling Pause that lasts as long as the current Global-Warming Pause.

2) Alternatively, it may be that, on "climate change", they would like to find a way to allow Mann's suit to proceed ...but without entirely gutting DC's anti-SLAPP law for any non-climate clients who come down the pike. Evidently that's not the easiest thing to do - particularly when the ACLU, The Washington Post, NBC News, The Los Angeles Times and many others have all come out against Michael E Mann as a threat to free speech."

These are the judges sitting on the case:

Judge Vanessa Ruiz, who has a particular interest and expertise in "issues of judicial independence and on civil society initiatives to improve and strengthen the judiciary, including the importance of citizen understanding of the courts and judges’ participation in civic education in a democratic society". 

Then there are Judge Corrine Beckwith and Judge Catharine Easterly (appointed by President Obama in 2011). 

By their credentials, it would appear that they really do know the law. These are not recent law school graduates. They are clearly highly educated in the law and also highly experienced. But just upon a cursory glance of their respective bios, one could make a case for markers of left-liberal leanings, as the bios are replete with lefty buzzwords here and there, like journalism background, defending the indigent, etc..

So, with that in mind, I'd like to propose a third possibility.

Now, stick with me and be patient, because of course I'm not very bright. I'm just a simple, suburban Jewish Mom with a massive hero-worshipping fangirl culty aroused moderate degree of affection for Mr. Steyn and his work. 


*composes self*

What if the point of the delay is simply to imprison Mark Steyn in the case ad infinitum

It's certainly not costing Michael Mann anything to not respond. But it would certainly cost a lot of jobs and a lot of perks to a lot of different individuals, NGO's, bureaucrats, fart-catchers, policy-makers and politicians if the whole climate change house of cards came tumbling down. 

With this legal matter plodding along in perpetuity, there is no risk to any Climate Mafia jobs, no risk to any Climate Change policy, leftist politician, carbon tax,  or any other ridiculous Gaia-worshipping lefty action or any of their hypocritical environ-Mental lifestyles and livelihoods. 

So ask yourself: cui bono?

I would argue that the political left benefits from this particular legal limbo situation more than not. 

Therefore, in the absence of a clearly articulated, documented, reasonable and publicly stated explanation from all three judges for the appalling and inexcusable delay, it is reasonable to ruminate on the possibility that Steyn's ideological and legal foes have a vested interest in prolonging this punishment-as-process litigation kabuki for as long as humanly possible and for as long as the courts-to their great shame-will allow.