Thursday, April 7, 2016

THE HYPOCRISY OF HILLARY CLINTON

THE HYPOCRISY OF HILLARY CLINTON
©Wendell Griffen, 2016
Justice Is A Verb!

            I am a state court trial judge.  The ethics that govern my work prohibit me from endorsing partisan political candidates.  I am not endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. 

            However, I am allowed to comment about controversial matters of public policy as long as the controversy does not involve pending or impending cases before me.  There are no cases pending before me involving claims by persons seeking personal injury damages against manufacturers of any firearm that Adam Lanza used to massacre 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, after he had already murdered his mother. 

Secretary Hillary Clinton, her supporters, and media pundits have criticized Senator Bernie Sanders for saying he does not support extending laws to allow relatives of the massacred Sandy Hook victims to sue the manufacturers of the firearms Adam Lanza used for money damages.  As someone with more than passing knowledge about personal injury law, I know that what Senator Sanders said squares with what the law is, and what Secretary Clinton knows, or ought to know, has always been the law.

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer.

Every account one reads about the Sandy Hook massacre indicates that Adam Lanza intentionally committed those murders using firearms.  He selected children and adults, including his mother, as targets.  He fired the firearms and killed his victims.  No gun manufacturer did those wrongful deeds, nor did anyone else.

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer.

Adam Lanza killed those people because he wanted to kill them.  The firearms he used did not malfunction and accidentally fire bullets into people while Lanza was engaged in nonviolent activity.  They fired because Adam Lanza intentionally and deliberately used them to shoot people. 

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer.

Manufacturers are correctly held liable for injuries and deaths caused by defective products.  Manufacturers are also liable for injuries and deaths caused by products that are inadequately labeled to warn potential users about their dangerous propensities. 

But Adam Lanza knew firearms are dangerous—deadly, in fact.  He knew the firearms he used to kill his mother and the other victims would cause death.  He intentionally and knowingly used them for that purpose.  The law calls that murder. 

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer.

There is no law that makes any manufacturer in the United States liable for personal injuries and deaths caused by someone who deliberately and knowingly uses a lawful product to commit a crime.  There has never been such a law. 

Secretary Clinton has a law degree from Yale Law School.  She taught law.  She practiced law.  She knows, and has known for decades, that a product manufacturer cannot be sued for personal injuries, including death, caused by someone who deliberately uses a lawful product for an unlawful purpose. 

It is unlikely that Secretary Clinton would support making manufacturers of matches and butane lighters liable for fires, property damage, injuries, and deaths committed by arsonists.  I doubt she would support making pesticide manufacturers liable for injuries and deaths caused by people who intentionally and purposely misuse them to poison their neighbors. 

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer.

Refusing to support changing the law to make gun manufacturers liable for the massacre Adam Lanza committed has nothing to do with the Second Amendment.  Refusing to support changing the law so that gun manufacturers would become civilly liable for murders committed with firearms does not mean someone lacks compassion for murder victims and their surviving relatives. 

The law does not make gun manufacturers liable for civil damages for murders committed by people who use firearms to kill people for one basic reason.  To do so would be factually, morally, and ethically wrong.  That is why it would also be legally wrong. 

Anyone who does not know it is wrong to make gun manufacturers liable for the deaths  that murderers cause with guns is not smart, whether that person is a lawyer or not.

Secretary Clinton is a very smart lawyer. 

 Anyone who knows it is wrong to make gun manufacturers liable for what murderers do with guns—yet who criticizes someone else for refusing to support making gun manufacturers liable for what murderers do with guns—is not intellectually honest, whether that person is a lawyer or not. 


We have a word for such intellectual dishonesty--hypocrisy.

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