On the election
One thing that's emerged from this election is that the media is threatening to replace our courts as the tribunal that decides disputes in America. I was watching the media coverage of the count this past week, and the bias against Trump was obvious, but for a while at least, the media seemed to be just reporting the numbers, which is fine. But then Trump gave his defiant speech declaring himself the winner, and also the victim of fraud and election interference on the part of the media. The media pushed back, calling Trump a fraud and a sore loser. All of this was business as usual, no big deal as far as I could see.
But then this Saturday I went for a long bike ride, and then found out when I got back that Biden had been declared the winner. I asked my neighbors how this came about, and I found out that basically the media had made the decision. And then I saw that people in big cities were out celebrating.
Ok, the problem with this is that even if you think Trump's claims of fraud are bogus, the fact is that he has made this a contested election now. He has taken upon himself the burden to prove his allegations. These are serious allegations and we're talking about a big election for a big office, so even if the Plaintiff has major credibility and motivation issues, it still has to be addressed, especially since he does have a fan base. So somebody with AUTHORITY has to issue some rulings on these allegations, after examining whatever evidence there is, according to a lawful procedure - i.e., the courts.
But what happened on Saturday is that the media made the call and people accepted it all over the world, before the courts could get to it. Obviously, the media can move much faster than the courts, because the media has few procedural or evidentiary rules to follow, whereas courts have lots of built-in rules designed to safeguard the truth, and fairness to both sides. Media does not. Media can blurt out anything it wants whenever it wants.
Now the media had been saying that Trump's claims of fraud are bogus. They may well be. But how would the media know? The evidence has not yet been brought forth. The media assumed that was because none existed. That may be true, but it also may be not true. If you put enough lawyers on a trail to dig up irregularities, I would bet they'll find some, on both sides, given there were 150 million votes. So there is likely to be at least some evidence. It may end up being not enough to make a difference. But we don't know that until we see it.
But the media assumed it was just Trump being a sore loser and making stuff up, and then telling his lawyers to go find it. Probably correct. But even so, even Trump is entitled to his day in court. And if he fails to produce, his fall will be even more spectacular. But under our laws, he is entitled to have a shot at it.
But by calling the race, the media effectively issued a ruling before the courts got to it. AND THE PUBLIC ACCEPTED IT AS AUTHORITATIVE! That's the real news. Those people dancing in the streets have handed judicial authority to the media. The media is on its way to actually replacing our courts as the judicial authority in this country. Because by issuing a ruling, and having it accepted by a large portion of the country, the media has put enormous pressure on the courts to follow suit. A judge looking at an election case is now likely to factor in the public's pre-acceptance of the media's ruling. So if that judge sees evidence of voter fraud, he will have a huge incentive to disregard it, because what if he rules against the winner announced by the media? That judge will know that all those people celebrating in the streets will now want to kill him. That judge will know that by ruling against the media's call, he will cause civil unrest and will personally be the target of death threats. That judge's life and his family's life will be in danger, and he will be held responsible for causing a civil war. Therefore, he may want to overlook any evidence of voter fraud and pretend it doesn't exist, for the sake of peace. This means the media has effectively issued the ruling in this case, not the judge, not the courts. In this way, the media is replacing the judiciary as the tribunal where disputes are decided.
There may or may not be enough evidence for Trump's cases to make a difference. But the fact that the media can issue rulings that the public accepts, and that by doing so can pressure judges to follow suit at the risk of their own personal lives, means that even without legal authority, the media is becoming a judicial power that competes with the actual judiciary, and may soon supersede it in terms of actual power, if it hasn't already.
Chief Justice Roberts said that the sole basis for authority in the Supreme Court rests in the respect that the public held for its 9 justices - their quality of reasoning, their wisdom, and intangibles like that, because the Court has no army or physical power to enforce anything. Once they lose that respect, they lose their authority, and therefore Justice Roberts was super concerned about maintaining the prestige of the Court and its reputation for fairness. However, maybe the Court has already lost it. Maybe the Supreme Court is already becoming moot, when the media can take its place and issues its own rulings that carry more weight with the public. In this election, I think this has already taken place. A lot of people don't care what the Supreme Court would say about the Trump election case. The media's ruling has already carried the day. The world is not waiting for the Supreme Court's word on the election. The world already knows from Bush v. Gore that the Supreme Court are partisan hacks, and so carry no real credibility. The media has already decided, and the media's decision has been given AUTHORITY by the people. The Supreme Court is moot already. If the Supreme Court ends up ruling for Trump, they will have no credibility, both because of Bush v. Gore and because it is filled with Trump appointees. It will look like Trump packed the Court so he could take the presidency without the votes, and the Supreme Court knows it. So they will have to side with Biden, in order to maintain their own reputations. So the Court cannot make a ruling based purely on evidence and the law. This means their reputation has been severely compromised already. Maybe this is why they are moot, and there is a vacuum of judicial authority, which has been filled by the media. But it's clear that the media is edging out the judiciary in terms of actual power to decide legal disputes, and have the public accept its decisions as authoritative.
Leave a Reply.