Federal Prosecutors Warn Judge Not To Interfere

The victims are that much less important than the people being protected by DOJ's exercise of discretion in this case.

1 comment:

E Hines said...

From the Miami Herald's article: Pak, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, went so far as to warn the judge....

A typically and cynically (but I repeat myself) slanted description of events. Pak, of course did no such thing. There was no threat, not even any implied "or else." Pak did advise the judge of his legal opinion that the judge had no authority to dictate to an Executive Branch lawyer what that lawyer must do.

Beyond that, there are a couple of things here. One is that the judge, whether or not he can order what the government must do in the future, as Pak so pearl-clutchingly put it, has no inherent obligation to accept the plea deal. He can simply reject it and instruct the parties to try again, against the alternatives of going to trial or dropping the charge(s) altogether.

There's this, too: the judge is constrained by what the law before him in this case says and by what the Constitution--which is always before him in every case--says. How justice is implemented from the definitions in our social compact documents is, in our American system, a political endeavor, not a judicial one.

The disability for an honest American judge (which is to say, one who adheres to his oath of office) to deviate from the law or the Constitution in order to implement his personal view of justice will inevitably lead to what most of us might consider an unjust ruling. And more than once (but not nearly so often as Living Constitutionalists would have it). But that's not on the courts, that's on the political arms of our government and on us for electing such politicians. And: it's not the courts who hire the lawyers, but the politicians we elect.

Eric Hines