When Blind Justice Had A Good Day

Jim Blasingame

As you likely remember, the question asked last week in our online poll was: “What do you think about Hunter Biden's plea deal failing this week?” And we offered these four response options:

  • It’s just more Conservative/MAGA theater to divert from Trump’s assault on the Constitution.
  • Thank God something/someone slowed the Biden DOJ’s banana republic approach to justice.
  • Doesn’t matter. Our country isn’t going to survive as a constitutional republic for much longer anyway.
  • What if we presented both the Biden and Trump cases to a court without names?

Below, along with the other responses, you’ll see that three-fourths of our folks went for #2. They were relieved to see that there’s still some level of blind justice in America today.

Is Hunter Biden, et al, guilty of all of the things being alleged? Well, when allowed to work as designed, that’s what the architecture of the American system of justice is designed to resolve. But as we’ve known since Henry II’s 12th-century legal reforms spawned the immortal English common law upon which our system is modeled, the mill grinds pure when unimpeded by politics.

And that perfect grind is exactly what Judge Maryellen Noreika accomplished on July 27, 2023.

I haven’t read the plea documents, nor the hearing transcript. But I have followed closely enough to know that by trusting our tried-and-true process, the answers given by the attorneys to the judge’s prescribed, by-the-numbers questions, led the entire assembly to witness and accept the collapse of what seems a legally defective – if not politically motivated – plea deal.

Indeed, the attorneys’ own answers did them in when placed on the scales held by the lady whose eyes are covered. The result was so perfect that the litigators couldn’t muster an argument against the result. In a world where litigant names are irrelevant to the proceedings, such a dance would be universally hailed as a thing of beauty.

It’s not for nothing that, except for a handful of dependable talking heads on the left, there’s been scant righteous indignation about how this hearing turned out. Don’t take my word for it. Read this piece from no less than the New York Times, essentially lauding the judge.

Let’s call all of this: Blind justice, 1. Politics, 0.

For months to come, there will be many more such hearings that involve high-profile political litigants. You know their names. As those processes play out, clearly each one with the potential to be infused with dark and dangerous political motivations, let’s pray that those guarding the last line of defense of blind justice – especially judges and juries – will make common cause with the values, courage and technical legal expertise demonstrated by Judge Noreika.

Finally, please allow me to offer a path forward to help Americans reverse the unfortunate predisposition we’ve fairly recently acquired to seeing all things through the lens of personal politics (by recently, I mean since 1992). Over the next 16 months, when faced with any news or situation of a legal nature (courts or Congress) where the defendant is connected to politics, try this exercise that appealed to 17% of our poll respondents this week:

When considering an action associated with a politician you don’t like – indictment or impeachment – consider what if the same was against the one you favor. Holding that thought, then follow the facts, impose the red-letter elements of our legal system, and overlay all of that with your own personal morality and reasoning.

Facts + blind justice + morality. From now on, we’ll call that equation “Noreika’s Razor.” Give it a try.

Write this on a rock … Wednesday, July 26, 2023. A good day for blind justice.

Jim Blasingame is the author of The 3rd Ingredient, the Journey of Analog Ethics into the World of Digital Fear and Greed.

Print page