Are All Government Lawsuits Against Us Bad?
Recently, there have been a number of News Articles that have questioned the role of the United States government in the lawsuits against Us. Many such as those written by Judge Advocate General Michael J. Suter of the District of Columbia Circuit have referred to the fact that the US government bears “no Constitutional power” over the lawsuits. Such an argument is entirely ludicrous and has no bearing on the merits of the lawsuits. It is the contention of those who support the lawsuits that the government has indeed a role to play in ensuring that justice is served, that the will of the people is respected and that lawsuits are brought when harm is caused to others. Such a view would seem to place all of America’s citizens within the same umbrella as the government. Such an opinion flies in the face of the fundamental notions of our system of law and of democracy.
One reason why it is so important to determine the scope of the government’s role vis-a-vis lawsuits against us is that some people make the very argument that the lawsuits are government-sponsored, designed to chill speech and inhibit lawsuits against the United States.
Such an argument is without merit. The lawsuits were initiated and are being pursued by private parties, not the government. Private citizens acting in accordance with their individual or limited-liability status under the law are perfectly within their rights to bring lawsuits against those who they feel are guilty of wrongdoing-even if that involves suing the government. No one, other than a US citizen, may bring a lawsuit against the government under the Constitution.
One could also make the argument that because lawsuits against us are the result of government action, the government’s role in them must be limited.
This would certainly seem to rule out the role of the government in any way. So then, if the government’s role in any lawsuits against us is totally null and void, who is to say that the government’s role in any lawsuits against others is any different? If someone feels that he or she has been a victim of fraud or another injustice, or even a crime, can the government really be sued for that?
Further, there are two questions here.
First, can the government really be sued for its role in creating the law? Second, can the government’s role in creating the law be used against the government? There seems to be an implied interpretation that the government can always sue the people who brought suits against it. But, as noted earlier, lawsuits are basically remedies for wrongs done to an individual. If the government created the law and is sued for law-justified actions by the same people who brought the suit, where is the line between a government action and a private action?
Of course, some will say that lawsuits against us are a distraction from the real issues and problems our nation faces.
It may very well be true. But, let’s face it, the lawsuits are a reality, and the fact that so many people have them today is a sad indication of our problems. And, it is also a sad sign of how our government has not been effective in fixing our nation’s myriad problems. That, I submit, is the real issue. Those who bring frivolous lawsuits are doing so in order to get publicity and, perhaps, elect politicians who will put their political agenda ahead of solving our nation’s problems.
Now, all this is a legitimate argument, and it would be irrelevant to argue that lawsuits can be a useful tool in correcting government problems if the government wasn’t interested in using them as well.
But, if the government’s role in creating the lawsuits is so important, why are so many lawsuits against us occurring? Those are the questions we must address if we wish to understand why the lawsuits are happening, and their purpose is to serve as a distraction from our real problems.