Laws are Laws…ish…

Since We, the People don’t walk the walk of our awesomeness in reality anymore, we like to pretend by quoting various aspirational aphorisms. In this case, I’m referring to the so-called ‘Rule of Law.’ What the ‘Rule of Law’ is supposed to mean is that no person is above the law. There’s not one law for some and one law for others. It’s all the same law and it applies, equally, to everybody across the board. That’s what it’s supposed to mean and we hear it all the time.

Of course, we also all know that the actual rule of law in America is that there are laws but their applicability depends on one’s wealth, connections, and, sadly, skin color. Studies have shown, for example, that if two people with the same criminal history commit the same crime and one is “black” and the other is “white,” the “black” person will commonly receive a far harsher sentence than the “white” guy. The rule of situational application of law, as America really operates, is often confusing and can be contradictory. That can make it difficult to predict the outcome of some cases.

Elizabeth Holmes was the CEO of a tech company that lied about it’s ability to test blood. They claimed they had a bold, new system that could accomplish the same tests with less blood, in less time, and for less money. It was a lie and the whole company was built on it. They ended up getting busted and Holmes was put on trial and found guilty of fraud. Now, Holmes is blonde, young, and pretty. She’s currently pregnant. Those facts might very well come together to render a lighter sentence for her. Holmes is also quite rich, which, in normal circumstances means little to no jail time. Perhaps she pays a fine, does some community service work (aka, makes a donation to some charity) and provides a public statement in which she declares her contrition and promises never, ever to do that again. That should have been quite an advantage for her. I’d bet she went to trial feeling confident, first that she could be acquitted, then, after the guilty verdict, that the sentence wouldn’t hurt the pretty, blonde, young, pregnant, rich “white” woman too badly.

I think Holmes forgot the other part of the rule of situational application of law. Holmes was accused of defrauding investors. Investors tend to be rich. In many cases, investors were richer than Holmes and better connected. Sure, she COULD have received the “white” person discount, but she forgot the Madoff exception. Like Bernie Madoff, Elizabeth Holmes defrauded rich people, the ultimate no-no. Bernie committed the same crime as Elizabeth, investor fraud. Bernie was also “white” and rich but had an additional point in his favor – one Elizabeth could only dream of – a penis. Being a rich, “white,” man, Bernie likely expected a couple of years in prison and a fine. To what was likely his ever-lasting surprise, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison and a $17 BILLION dollar fine. Again, he defrauded rich people. Holmes received her sentence this week. 11 years in prison and a – wait, can this be right? According to CNN, the sentence includes a $400 dollar fine. Four hundred dollars? (Apparently, a restitution amount will be set later.)

Sure, it’s a harsh sentence but it seems to have enjoyed the pretty white girl discount after all, when compared to Bernie Madoff. Still the message is clear: you don’t defraud rich people. THEY defraud YOU and if you defraud them, it upsets the apple cart and they WILL make an example of you. The rule of situational application of law demands it…

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Here’s a weird thing. Rafael Warnock’s campaign is suing the State of Georgia over one of Georgia’s many, many campaign restrictions. For some reason (mostly that Georgia Republicans don’t like actual voting) Georgia Republicans instituted a law that says the state cannot have voting on the second Saturday before an election if there is a holiday on the previous Thursday or Friday. The Thursday before the Warnock/Walker run-off is Thanksgiving and the day after is a generic “State Holiday.” (Specifically, it’s the day Georgia celebrated the birth of the traitor Robert E Lee – who was born in January – but they had to drop the “Robert E. Lee’s Birthday” name during one of the recent political correctness purges so now it’s just “State Holiday.”)

Setting aside the questionable idea of honoring a traitor who took up arms against his own country and shares responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in a failed effort to maintain slavery, the two things, that State Holiday and Saturday voting seem to be unrelated. But the Georgia GOP saw an opportunity to maybe restrict some voting and they jumped on it. The Secretary of State, one Brad Raffensperger, (remember when all the Dems loved him because he stood up to the Dumbass who had asked him to “find” 11,000 votes?) initially said the Saturday voting would be allowed, then backtracked. No Saturday voting, after all. (Hey, he said right after the coup attempt he was still ‘Team GOP.’)

The Warnock campaign seems to be picking at a small nit but I actually think they’re right. The law, as written, says it applies to primary and general elections but doesn’t mention run-offs. One might argue that Georgia simply implied run-offs (as I’m sure the State will) but because they specifically mentioned run-offs elsewhere in the same law, the Warnock campaign argues, it wasn’t implied and because it’s not specifically mentioned, the State should allow Saturday voting on November 26. I can’t find the reference now but I had read that the wording of the law was inadvertently changed during an amendment but leaving out “run-offs” accidentally or on purpose doesn’t matter. They left it out. Whoops! Remember, in America, words might occasionally matter in law. The Jim Crow Georgians messed up. I’m guessing they’re going to have to let people vote on the 26th, no matter how badly they wish they wouldn’t. Bummer for them…