One of the things that Republican politicians start complaining about during election cycles is “lawsuit abuse,” the idea that trial lawyers are clogging the judicial system with pointless lawsuits in order to extort money from corporations and other public entities.
But for some reason, they never seem to complain about groups like Judicial Watch which, asPolitico notes, for many years existed almost solely for the purpose of harassing the Clinton administration, along with the Clintons themselves, and is dusting off its briefs now that Hillary Clinton is poised to become Secretary of State and preparing to get back to its incessant lawsuit-filing roots:
[Last week, Judicial Watch President Tom] Fitton announced his group was considering filing suit to prevent Hillary Clinton’s Foggy Bottom appointment, based on the Ineligibility Clause of the Constitution … this latest saber-rattling over the secretary of state appointment calls to mind the habits of the [Larry] Klayman era. Thus, the Clinton world collectively took a heavy sigh last week as some Clintonites wondered aloud whether Hillary Clinton’s nomination and the cast of former Bill Clinton staffers in Obama’s White House could breathe new life into Judicial Watch.
As the group ponders its latest legal action, it still awaits a pending FEC complaint it filed back in April against the junior New York senator over a fundraising event where Elton John performed. The complaint alleged that John wasn’t permitted to help Clinton raise money because he is not a citizen of the United States. (Fitton notes that his organization had also filed a similar suit against John McCain, after he hosted a fundraising event in London. That case was dismissed.)
Also, last week a Judicial Watch investigator went down to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., to comb through papers that had been released on account of a Freedom of Information suit. The group expects more papers to be released in the future.
Fitton defends his group against charges that its litigation is excessive and political.
“We don’t file our lawsuits unless we think we’re going to win them and we’re pleased by the attention brought to our lawsuits,” Fitton says.
Jake Siewert, who served as Bill Clinton’s White House press secretary, tells Politico that they “initially underestimated the amount of damage that [Judicial Watch] could do through the press and nuisance lawsuits,” which is a lesson I hope that he has imparted to the incoming White House staff, who’ll not only have to deal with these Judicial Watch’s lawsuits, but seemingly an avalanche of lawsuits from the conspiracy theorists who still refuse to accept that Barack Obama is qualified to become the next president.
As Alan Keyes’ running mate, Wiley Drake, tells the OC Weekly, that they intend to make this issue dog the Obama administration “much like the Monica Lewinsky controversy dogged the rest of Bill Clinton’s presidency”:
[I think] it will be even more so than the Lewinsky thing. I think it will dog him because one of our attorneys, Gary Kreep [of the United Justice Foundation] said we will do everything we can to fight this battle. If we win this case, we will keep him out of the White House. If we lose, Gary and his committee of lawyers, and many of us are supportive of this, if Mr. Obama is indeed inaugurated, we will file a lawsuit against the inauguration for being illegal and against the chief justice of the Supreme Court for swearing in a usurper. And then, typically on the first day of office, the president signs a bunch of bills. Every bill or document he signs, we will file a separate lawsuit. For every decision he makes, it’s gonna to be tied up in court.