by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Private Eye, a British satirical magazine with a rollicking history as the defendant in lawsuits, mocked its persecutors as Messrs. Sue, Grabbit & Runne, a fictional firm of shyster lawyers whose name spoke of avarice and plunder.
In Washington today, there must be a firm called Sue, Settle & Swagger, which works for left-wing groups and Democratic administrations, using litigation to sidestep democratic legislating and regulating.
Here’s how it works. The Bureau of Land Management agreed this month to settle a case that had been brought against the Trump administration by environmentalist groups such as the Sierra Club and the less-well-known Citizens for a Healthy Community. The lawsuit accused the bureau of not doing enough to consider climate change and putative harm to sage grouse. The agency, which now works for President Joe Biden, agreed to settle the case by stopping oil and gas leasing on more than 2 million acres of Colorado.
The pattern is familiar. When economic activity is approved by a business-friendly administration, left-wing activists go to court and tie it up until a friendly administration such as Biden’s arrives. Today’s administration, stuffed with militants who used to work for activist groups, can then be trusted to abandon the case.
Once the settlement is approved by a court (there no longer being any controversy between the parties), the Left pockets another anti-business policy achieved without any input from people who’d prefer to pay less rather than more to light their homes or run their cars. …
… So hypocrisy isn’t the central issue in the modus operandi of Sue, Settle & Swagger. It is, rather, that the Left-Democratic litigation complex is exploiting the judicial system to hogtie initiatives it doesn’t like until a friendly administration arrives to hand it its preferred policy on a silver platter.