Because there is no way for individuals – that is, the hoi polloi so despised by our rulers, including of course their appointed robed toadies we euphemistically refer to as “judges” and “your honor” – to enforce them. The courthouse door may have been open, just the tiniest crack. But it’s pretty much been slammed shut now. Title 42 U.S.C. 1983 is now officially a joke, though not a particularly funny one.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Connick v. Thompson. Or rather, the SCOTUS does. It’s a 5-4 decision, one of many such. Nice to see that Kagan is in the minority. Other than that, I’m afraid, no comfort to be found.
Now, I dealt with this case in some detail about a month or so ago. In the interest of not re-inventing the wheel, I think this about sums up my take on the matter:
When stripped of the technical jargon, it boils down to this: in a legal regime which already essentially acknowledges effectively zero actual, actionable, compensable civil rights violations stemming from the government’s enforcement of the criminal law against individuals, the Supreme Court thought it was important to consider further restricting civil rights complaints by individuals against the government stemming from its enforcement of the criminal law, at the urging of the government. Apparently one case where a Plaintiff prevails for an an individually significant, though overall (in view of the $214 billion in law enforcement expenditures) paltry sum of $14 million is too much, and the SCOTUS is going to review it to see if there’s any way they can reverse, in a case where it is conceded that the prosecutors framed a criminal defendant.
And reverse it they did.
I might have more to say on this case later, after I’ve read the “opinions” more closely, but you know what’s the point?
The named prosecutor, Harry Connick senior, at least has a very talented son who spends his gifts entertaining people. Maybe the Supremes were just star-struck. They weighed in on Anna Nicole Smith’s cluster-f*ck for no apparent reason.