Friday, October 6, 2017

The most appalling thing a judge can say . . .

During the recent oral arguments of a hotly debated case -- Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis -- Chief Justice John Roberts, in a back-and-forth with University of Virginia law professor Daniel Ortiz said the most appalling thing a judge can say: Let the desired results dictate the law.

In that case, Justice Roberts observed that a decision in favor of Ortiz’s client would invalidate employment agreements covering 25 million people – a step that several of the justices would be reluctant to take.

I find this appalling for Justice Roberts is not concerned with what the law requires, but rather with what effect enforcing the law will have.  This is contrary to the very spirit of the Rule of Law which requires that the law dictate the results, not the desired results dictates the law.

Stated another way, if those 25 million employment agreements violate the law -- and a very considerable weight of the legal analysis points to that conclusion -- then those agreements violate the law and they must be invalidated. Justice Roberts is arguing that certain cases are "too big" to be determined by law but rather must be determined by the amount of inconvenience to the employer.  Sickening from a jurist, particularly one who sits as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.


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