Politicians now controlling our executive and legislative branches of government are finally paying attention to that other, pesky third branch – although it may be less about “paying attention” than showing utter disrespect for the judiciary.
First, there’s the U.S. Supreme Court seat, which Congress basically stole. Read more about the fence here. Then there’s the administration’s “blatant disregard” of federal court rulings to block “Trump’s thinly veiled Muslim immigration and travel ban” – a policy apparently written with the assistance of Republican House Judiciary Committee staff. And who could forget when the White House wiped the judicial branch from its website this week? (Although it’s now been restored.)
Now comes something else. This Groundhog Day (as in, “we’ve seen this before,” and also, literally on February 2), the House Judiciary Committee will be rushing to vote on three civil justice bills, two of which are a direct assault on federal judges who serve local communities. No hearings. Just votes. Judges are that in need of immediate hamstringing by Washington politicians, most of whom have probably never stepped inside a courtroom let alone evaluated a specific case.
As explained by over 50 organizations nationwide, who signed a February 1, 2017, opposition letter with almost no advance notice, one bill (H.R. 720) would change federal rules to take power and authority away from judges. It would do this by removing all discretion currently provided to judges who are considering whether to sanction a frivolous claim or defense. In other words, sanctions would be mandatory. But let me assure you, this bill is not about frivolous lawsuits. It’s about stopping legitimate cases against companies that harm people.