L.A. Times Can’t Be Bothered to Tell You Who Appointed the Three Judges Who Are Planning to Release Thousands of Prisoners Into Society
The L.A. Times has a story titled Federal judges weighing solutions to California’s prison overcrowding crisis. The story approaches the issue based on the assumption that the state has behaved irrationally, which requires Three Wise Men in Robes to step forward and assume the mantle of responsibility:
Although the trial is only halfway over, the judges are speaking and acting as if they have already decided to take action against the state. Now they seem only to be searching for answers on precisely what action to take and have openly contemplated a groundbreaking order to release prisoners and impose a cap on the state prison population.
“The question from our point of view is developing an effective set of orders that will protect society . . . and ensure there is a constitutionally sufficient level of care,” explained U.S. District Justice Lawrence Karlton, who said later that the trial wouldn’t be needed “if the state were to wake up and start behaving in a rational way.”
But what if the judges themselves are the unreasonable ones?
The problem is that the story doesn’t give readers any facts that give the reader perspective on where these judges are coming from, philosophically.
Or that Lawrence Karlton is the same judge who ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional — a decision that legal experts across the land derided as absurd. Or that Thelton Henderson is the judge who blocked Proposition 209, California’s anti-affirmative action proposition — a decision that was later reversed by the Ninth Circuit in a unanimous ruling. Or that Stephen Reinhardt is so pro-defense that (like Rose Bird) he has never met a death penalty case where he didn’t reverse the death verdict — in over 25 years as a federal judge.
You don’t need to know these things. In fact, you need to be protected from these inconvenient facts.
Luckily, the editors are there to protect you.