Apparently it’s okay to harm people, so long as you harm enough of them, and you do so abstractly.
The Democratic National Committee was facing a class-action lawsuit that alleged that the party rigged its own primary elections in favor of Hillary Clinton. If true, this would actually be in violation of the Party’s charter, which stipulates that the party will remain neutral in primary elections. Last week, a Federal judge agreed that the DNC likely did rig the primaries in favor of Clinton, but also dismissed the case.
Specifically, the Court said in its ruling:
In evaluating Plaintiffs’ claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true——that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponents.
However, the court ultimately ruled that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove that they had suffered a “ concrete injury”. Personally, the disenfranchisement of millions of voters and donors seems like a concrete injury to me. Unfortunately, the Court did not believe with my assessment or the argument of the plaintiffs themselves. The Court also claimed that this was not in its jurisdiction.
This dismissal came even after the Court took issue with the DNC and Wasserman Schultz’s claim that:
“the DNC charter’s promise of ‘impartiality and evenhandedness’ as a mere political promise——political rhetoric that is not enforceable in federal courts.”
In other words, DNC leaders know they are flat out lying by claiming to be impartial, they simply don’t care. The claim to impartiality was an empty political lie to part people with their time, money, and energy.
While the Court did not “accept this trivialization”, it ultimately refused to do anything about it. According to the Court, when it comes to generalized grievances, harm alone apparently is not enough to warrant jurisdiction. The Court also argued that the harm suffered by voters was “abstract.”
So, apparently it’s okay to harm people, so long as you harm enough of them, and you do so abstractly.
Without Court Protection, Can There Be True Democracy?
Many Americans believe that the Republican and Democratic Parties both threw a lot of support behind their favored establishment candidates during the 2016 Presidential race. While Trump was able to power through headwinds to first secure the GOP nomination, and then the Highest Office, Democrat Bernie Sanders was not able to overtake Hillary Clinton.
Could Sanders have won the Democratic nomination on an even playing field? It’s fair to wonder. Alas, there was no playing field, and while the Court did acknowledge that the primary election may have been rigged, the judge ultimately shrugged off responsibility. If the violation of national charters is not in the Federal Court’s jurisdiction, than which Court does have jurisdiction? Seemingly none, which means that such abuse can continue in the future without fear of legal ramifications.
When donors donate money and time to an organization, they do so in good faith. Among other reasons, charters are written to protect donors and party members from abuse from higher ranking officials. With Courts refusing to even acknowledge jurisdiction over such charters and potential violations, it leaves voters and donors open to abuse.
Sadly, the DNC’s candidate acknowledgement that it has rigged the system, along with the Court’s refusal to accept oversight, makes it all the more likely that the Democratic Party will disregard impartiality in the future. This will make it more difficult for non-establishment politicians to secure Party nominations. If President Trump’s election victory proved nothing else, it was that Americans were fed up with the Establishment.