Injustice abounds. At a time when we the people face the growing existential threat of climate change, we look for legal and peaceful ways to stop impending tragedies. However, as I described in “50 Years of ‘Legal’ Climate Change” political forces have often thwarted justice for the people. 1 And now the Trump administration is accelerating the tilt of the judiciary against the people.
Injustice abounds. At a time when we the people face the growing existential threat of climate change, we look for legal and peaceful ways to stop impending tragedies. However, as I described in “50 Years of ‘Legal’ Climate Change” political forces have often thwarted justice for the people.1 And now the Trump administration is accelerating the tilt of the judiciary against the people.
The New York Times reports:
“In the weeks before Donald J. Trump took office, lawyers joining his administration gathered at a law firm near the Capitol, where Donald F. McGahn II, the soon-to-be White House counsel, filled a white board with a secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges.
Mr. McGahn, instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy, according to two people familiar with the effort: Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings and where Democratic senators up for re-election next year in states won by Mr. Trump — like Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania — could be pressured not to block his nominees.” 2
Judges Matter Sometimes More Than the Law. As I learned the hard way, judges do matter. And what the public does not know can be fatal – for generations. I have created Early Death Clocks due to air pollution with estimates based on a MIT study. The Trump Auto Air Pollution Early Death Clock indicates that nearly 43,000 Americans suffered early deaths in the year 2017 alone, so far. 3 4
As I wrote in Legal Reader, as a Whistleblower my experience in the courts has been fatally tragic for the American people since 1975.
“1975 Law Suit to Open National Academy of Sciences. Upon my firing from EPA, I tried to obtain access to the documents of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that had a role under the Clean Air Act to study the feasibility of meeting the 1975 emission standards. The NAS denied me access to their deliberations for 50 years.
A young public interest lawyer at Georgetown University’s Institute for Public Interest Representation was willing to represent me. Before I agreed, I asked the elderly Professor of Law who headed the Institute what my chances were. He said it depended on which Judge was appointed to hear the case. Republican John Sirica became the Judge, sided with the team of lawyers from Steptoe & Johnson and ruled in favor of the NAS.
Thus Ruckelshaus, the EPA, the NAS, Judge Sirica, and the appellate judges were able to prevent disclosure of weakened air pollution regulations that allowed excess air pollutants to be emitted into the air. As a result, both the people and the planet have been damaged by excessive amounts of air pollutants for the past nearly 50 years. I was right and they were wrong.” 5
The young Georgetown lawyer who represented me told me that later, at a ceremony at Georgetown, he approached Judge Sirica and introduced himself as the lawyer who argued the case Lombardo v. Handler before him. Judge Sirica laughed and said he remembered that case and that he could have decided it either way. 6
Courts of Law v. the Court of Public Opinion. As in the time of King George when the laws were controlled by England, the court of public opinion was needed to rectify the injustices of the crown.
That is the vital role that Legal Reader is contributing to today – helping Lady Justice save the people from the political power of Big Money. 7
Editor’s note: The tireless contributions of people such as Mr. Lombardo should be recognized. Without them, the already precarious balance between corruption and doing the right thing would have tipped us into oblivion long ago.
- 50 Years of “Legal” Climate Change
- Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.
- Trump Death Clock
- Air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths each year in the U.S.
- Right v. Wrong: True Story on Air Pollution, Science & the Law
- 1970s Pollution Control Efforts
- Legal Reader publishes Article on the Purposes of Law Schools. Lawyers, and Our Laws