What a 1940s New York Democrat can teach us about justice

Robert H. Jackson was a Democrat from New York. That’s the first thing to know. He also didn’t have a law degree, which may explain why he understood the law so well.

If you want to better understand what the Democrats in New York did to Donald J. Trump this week, it’s perhaps best to have it explained by a New York Democrat — an old-school Democrat like Robert H. Jackson, a former U.S. Supreme Court justice, FDR’s attorney general, as well as the lead U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials after World War II.

Jackson would be a pariah among today’s Democrats, as you will soon see. He wasn’t big into frame-ups, kangaroo courts or lynchings, high-tech or otherwise.

This column is taken from an address Jackson delivered in 1940 to federal prosecutors who worked under him at the Justice Department. It’s entitled “The Federal Prosecutor,” but it applies to prosecutors in general.

Jackson outlines what can happen in a nightmarish, worst-case scenario, with a corrupt, lawless lawman, which is exactly what has transpired in Manhattan.

“If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases,” Jackson said, “it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.”

Paging Alvin Bragg…

“With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone.”

Paging Jack Smith…

“In such a case, it is not just a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.”

Or, as Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria put it, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”

Beria, it goes without saying, would be a lot more at home in today’s Democrat party than Robert H. Jackson would be.

Jackson continued:

“It is in this realm — in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects of group of people whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of prosecuting power lies.”

Paging Fani Willis…

“It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Paging Merrick Garland…

“In times of fear or hysteria, political, racial, religious, social and economic groups, often from the best of motives, cry for the scalps of individuals because they do not like their views.”

Sound familiar? Crying for the scalps of people because you disagree with their politics? This was written in 1940 by a Democrat from New York. From Robert Jackson to Alvin Bragg and Letitia James…

“Particularly do we need to be dispassionate and courageous in those cases which deal with so-called ‘subversive activities.’”

Now more commonly called “threats to democracy,” always by Democrats who assert that they must destroy democracy in order to save it. Back to Jackson on so-called “subversive activities.”

“They are dangerous to civil liberty because the prosecutor has no definite standards to determine what constitutes a ‘subversive activity,’ such as we have for murder or larceny.”

Thus, in 2020 bands of thugs looting, marauding, murdering with impunity across the nation — those were described by their Democrat fellow travelers as “mostly peaceful protests.”

But trespassing in the Capitol a few months later became an “insurrection.”

In the 40’s, when Jackson was alive, Democrats went after “subversive activities” with their House Un-American Activities Committee. Always it’s the Democrats with the mobs, firing on Fort Sumter, starting the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow, jailing Martin Luther King Jr. 29 times… always, it’s the Democrats.

And now we come to the present, as forecast by Jackson 84 years ago:

“Those who are in office are apt to regard as ‘subversive’ the activities of any of those would bring about a change of administration.”

Make America Great Again — the latest subversive activity, according to the same party that stopped women’s suffrage for 50 years. Trump leads the polls, so he has to be brought before the bar of “justice.”

What makes a good prosecutor, Justice Jackson?

“The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman. And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway. A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power…”

Another safeguard might be voting all these white-collar thugs out of power Nov. 5.

“… and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”

Humility? That’s not a word you hear very often from any modern Democrats.

They’re not making Democrats like Robert H. Jackson anymore. Especially not in New York.

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