I’m not as much of a populist as some might think. In fact personally, my political tastes tend toward monarchy.
But that’s not the world we live in, so let’s move on.
The constitution is not some esoteric sacred scripture reserved for high priests, but mysterious and obscure to the profane. But we sometimes treat it that way. In no area has the drive to exclude the profane from having a voice in constitutional matters been so pervasive as in constitutional litigation by the rabble: 42 U.S.C. 1983.
As we more or less saw again on Monday, this federal statute – which on its face permits any person no matter how lowly or uninstructed or profane to bring suit in federal court against officials who have allegedly wronged them through a violation of constitutional rights – has been eviscerated by the courts through various immunity rulings and whatnot. Especially the US Supreme Court.
Yet although section 1983 deals with alleged constitutional violations, it should be remembered that the restrictions the SCOTUS has been placing on actions brought under the statute are not a matter of constitutional law, but rather statutory interpretation. The SCOTUS has read the immunity and other restrictions into a statute, not the constitution.
Statutes can be amended by a simple act of Congress.
So if the people of the US ever recover their gumption, they might want to browbeat their federal legislators/congress-critters into amending 42 U.S.C. 1983 to provide a few things to counteract the execrable rulings of the SCOTUS. Such as:
1) no immunities for public officials, including judges;
2) no statute of limitations;
3) no summary judgment permitted (F.R.Civ.P Rule 56 won’t apply)
4) Make it all retroactive.
There are a lot of underemployed lawyers out there. This would certainly give them something to do.
“Floodgates”? Who gives a damn? Hire more judges.
It’s a pipe dream, I know. Who’s going to
pay the bribes make the campaign contributions required to get something like this off the ground?
We’d have to get Goldman Sachs interested. Maybe they could form a company and do an IPO, but then they’d be betting against it all in one of their other departments.