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County Hall Corner: Lady Liberty has Dropped Her Scales

In 1831, a young French diplomat named Alexis de Tocqueville was charged with researching this country’s penal system but found himself more enamored with our judicial system. After going about the country, he returned to France and put his observations into a book, Democracy in America, published in 1835. It would become one of the most influential books ever written about the United States. What makes it so amazing is that our governmental heritage has stretched for two centuries. This is why we should be greatly concerned about the current deterioration in our country’s judicial system.

I have interacted with most of the Lycoming County judges in one way or another (but not for prosecution!) and have marveled at how hard they work to ensure impartiality. Several years back, I was jury foreman for a case brought before Court of Common Pleas Judge Marc Lovecchio. He must have taken nearly half an hour emphasizing how we should evaluate every witness’ statements without partiality. This was hard for us as we were to reconcile conflicting stories on the same event, one from a Williamsport police officer and the other from the accused, who already had a criminal record. But we did as the judge charged us because that is the law.

Our symbol of justice in the United States is a woman holding a set of scales while blindfolded. This is to symbolize that justice is to be impartially ‘blind.’ Our standard is the Rule of Law, which Wikipedia describes as “a political ideal that all citizens and institutions within a country, state, or community are accountable to the same laws, including lawmakers and leaders. It is sometimes stated simply as ‘no one is above the law.’”

Yes, no one is above the law, but also it should never be used as a weapon, either. The fact that there was vote tampering in the 2020 presidential election has been verified through a number of sources, but not by the standards required in a court of law to nullify the results. The January 6th “insurrection” on the Capitol Building was regrettable but hardly held a candle to the months and months of riots and destruction across many major cities in the United States considered “mostly peaceful protests” by the mainstream media.

Yes, Donald Trump wanted to challenge the 2020 election. Just as Al Gore challenged his loss in the 2000 election, John Kerry challenged the election results in 2004; Hillary Clinton even claimed that Russians interfered with the 2016 election, resulting in her loss, later to be discovered that it originated from her own campaign staff itself. All of these were accepted as legitimate protests by the mainstream media, yet Trump’s challenge is a threat to democracy.

The same is true for the civil charges against Donald Trump. Paula Jones’s rape accusation by President Clinton was ignored. Tara Reade’s allegation that Senator Joe Biden sexually molested her in his Senate office was shoved under the rug. However, E. Jean Carroll, who admitted she needed to make headlines in order to increase her book sales and who has a history of accusing numerous men, funded by Democrat billionaire Reid Hoffman, is awarded $83 million for her sexual claim against Trump. Yet she initially asked for damages of $10 million, which increased to $24 million in the final arguments.

Judge Lewis Kaplan showed his importability by declaring “inadmissible” the fact that Ms. Carroll couldn’t recall the date, month, season, or even the year the incident happened. However, she distinctly remembers the dress she wore when it happened — yet that particular dress itself was not sold until two years later (“inadmissible”). Carroll had a previous rape accusation against a boss that was tossed for lack of veracity (“inadmissible”). Carroll’s rape followed exactly the plot line of an episode of “Law & Order,” one of her favorite shows (“inadmissible”). How blindly impartial was the judge in this case when, as the New York Post discovered, Judge Lewis Kaplan and Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, both worked in the same law firm in the past?

The same questions are being asked now about the prosecution case in Georgia against Trump by Fulton County DA Fani Willis, who paid her lover Nathan Wade with state tax money for services as a special prosecutor. Yet, these funds were used to pay for their vacations together to Florida, Napa Valley, Caribbean cruises, and other vacation spots.

Was it coincidence or design that 91 felony charges against Donald Trump arose from four different cases across two state courts and two different federal districts as it became clear that he was the presidential front-runner for the Republican Party? Coincidence or corruption? Lady Liberty must be crying underneath that blindfold today.