I am not a Lawyer. I am, however, a Programmer — also known as a Coder — by education, and trade.
And it occurs to me that the debate over Garland’s DoJ (in)action, is a lot like the debates on writing code.
Balloon Juice readers have years of experience with applications built on code that means well, but has real flaws. Watergirl (among many) has done amazing work to keep the ship here, upright, in the face of some real “oops” in the areas of technology this blog requires.
Yet the level of coding you need to keep a blog up, is not the same level you need to keep an airplane up. The risks for the former coming down are, well, very obviously different.
So, too, the risks around the work centered on Former President Trump and his acolytes. I can only imagine — again, as a non-lawyer — how much work it takes to ensure these cases don’t fall out of the air.
And yet: that’s Justice.
Justice — real Justice, not the stuff we get on TV, or in my fave comic books — isn’t Vengeance. It isn’t swift. It sure as hell isn’t satisfactory from an emotional POV. I’ve not met a lot of Public Defenders, but they don’t strike me as a happy go-lucky bunch of people. Delivering people from poor decisions — including jailing them over those decisions — is work.
Justice takes time. And that means toxic people have chances to disrupt it. To derail it. To shutter it. We saw that with both how the Muller Investigation didn’t have the best start, and certainly was torpedoed in the ending, assisted by a GOP-addled Fourth Estate unable to process nuance and deflection.
I’ve seen something like rushed Justice, in the code that built wobbly Applications. So much of what we’ve built this Internet on is rushed, for a host of reasons. That rush makes it easy to exploit — again, as so many here will recall, just recently.
Garland cannot afford exploits. The code — the legal arguments — this DoJ writes, must be solid. Not solely, as some many has said, because of Democracy being on the line — rather, the reputation for impartial Justice in America, is on the line.
That is the reputation that these Authoritarian Asswipes should fear! Good laws, and wise enforcement, are critical to protecting Democracy. Bad laws? Well, from Dred Scott to Dobbs, we’ve seen how they rip up the landscape of Democracy.
And that is why it pains me to also say this: far too much of what happens in courtrooms in America, is Not Justice. And that’s relevant, as well.