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Monday, November 15, 2021

JudCom Correctly Upholds Unjustified Harlos Suspension

(Disclosure: I wrote a minority opinion in the 2011 Oregon case, and the majority opinion in the 2012 floor fee case. While I was then re-elected to JudCom in 2012, I've since steered clear of LPUS drama, after concluding that the Platform we drafted in 2008 would endure. Instead, I've been serving as Silicon Valley's sole remaining elected Libertarian.)

Chuck Moulton's majority opinion for the Judicial Committee is nearly flawless -- as I would expect from Chuck. The LNC's grounds for suspending Harlos ran the gamut from weak to comical. The only close question here is: at what threshold of for-cause weakness should the JC substitute its judgment for the LNC's?

The only LNC charge rising above comical was "behavior detrimental to the party".  Mary Ruwart's dissent gives good guidance as to how such a charge should have been substantiated. But instead the LNC offered a pile of bland evidence showing various kinds of dysfunction, but with no real evidence of material harm to the party. When 2/3 of the LNC uses such charges to remove an enemy "for cause", the proper venue of recourse is not the JC, but the LNC elections at the next national convention.  The JC's job is to make sure the rules are followed -- not to make sure the rules are used only for good outcomes.

Alicia Mattson's concurring opinion mostly covered the same topics as Moulton's. Less is more, and the majority should try to unite around a single opinion. Mattson should have limited her concurring opinion to the for-cause grounds she thinks are defensible. When your candidate majority opinion loses to another, edit it down so that the majority speaks with as singular a voice as possible.

Many of the arguments deployed by respondents, appellant, and dissenter Robinson are just as weak as the LNC's for-cause case. Proceedings before the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee should show the world how the party's most sober minds can follow the rules to which Libertarians have voluntarily agreed, without government intervention. I'm appalled and embarrassed at the arguments that had to be processed in this case -- even more so than by the LNC dysfunction that motivated it.

C'mon people -- the enemy is not in this room. The cause of liberty is too important. Grow up. 

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