Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear the appeal of Sholom Rubashkin, sentenced to 27 years in prison in a case that involved a federal judge who was in on the planning of the case with government agents from the original raid on his business. The court is saying, in essence, that federal judges are not bound by any appreciable rules of conduct, and that there is no recourse for the citizen who is victimized by judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
To the casual observer, the SCOTUS did the right thing. Here is a guy who broke the law, defrauded a bank, and got what he richly deserved, or at least that is how the media has portrayed this case. However, a number of people have taken a hard look at the conduct of Judge Linda Reade and have come up with a much different opinion: that what she did was an outright travesty of justice.
Judges and prosecutors have awesome powers and the SCOTUS already has ruled that they are immune from any challenges from private citizens. In the end, we have yet another example of the government "investigating" the government and declaring that the government has acted justly.
In rejecting Rubashkin's appeal, the SCOTUS also ignored legal pleas from a large number of former officials of the U.S. Department of Justice and civil liberties advocate Harvey Silverglate. When people of disparate political opinions are willing to join together and ask the High Court to examine the conduct of federal officials, this is something not to be taken lightly. Instead, even their opinions were blown off as though they were nothing.
Friday, October 5, 2012
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