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Op-Ed

Conspiracy theories

May 9, 2022

If you're going to pin the blame on someone without any evidence, at least be imaginative about it. Also, assorted lawsuits last week are signs of the times.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Are we not tired of conspiracy theories? Haven’t we had enough space lasers and vaccination chips and pedophile rings?

Apparently not and, with the “leak” of a Supreme Court ruling on abortion laws last week, both the left and right have gone into creative mode to explain who could have done this dastardly thing.

I know I don’t have to summarize the most common themes from each side. I tried to focus on the Kentucky Derby and May the Fourth last week but Roe v. Wade drowned out almost everything.

The left thinks someone on the right leaked. The right thinks someone on the left leaked. I disagree with both. As noted legal scholar Judge John Hodgeman would put it: “All guesses are wrong.”

Think about it. Is there really some court insider so strategic — or deluded — that they believe releasing a draft ruling a month early will change anything? Isn’t the ruling, if not the wording, exactly what pretty much everyone expected?

And why are people mad that this came out prematurely? Yeah, it’s probably not a good thing, but it’s hardly tragic. Is the chief justice upset because someone spoiled the surprise?

What we need at a time like is to think logically. There are so many better possible explanations for the ruling leak — based on no evidence just like all the other current theories. If we’re going to do this conspiracy thing, we need to be imaginative. Otherwise, it’s no fun.

Consider these:

A dog. I think this is the most likely scenario. A justice’s dog — I’m thinking probably a border collie — spots a draft ruling right next to a partially eaten hot dog on a desk while a justice is in the bathroom. He grabs the food and the ruling and makes a run for it. A Politico reporter happens to be walking past the justice’s house at just the moment the dog drops the paper to focus on the food.

The leaker?

Beer. I believe there’s at least one justice who enjoys beer. He may have had one too many and left the ruling at the bar.

The copier. Originals get left in the copy machine all the time. Or there might have been an extra copy.

Russians. They hacked the DNC. Why not the Supreme Court? Chaos is the name of the game. There was a lot less Ukraine talk last week.

The wind. Some careless person left a window open and out flew the ruling. A Politico reporter happened to be walking by.

Oil companies. There was a lot less climate change talk last week.

George Soros, Bernie Sanders and John F. Kennedy (still alive). Aided by an enslaved group of abused, enslaved kindergarteners, the leaders of the Illuminati, dressed in skintight black ninja body suits, dug their way from their lair below the White House to the Supreme Court building where they employed trained cyborg raccoons to locate controversial rulings. Nicolas Cage was on hand to research his next documentary, which will be marketed as fiction.

The janitor. He thought it was trash. Many of us agree.

I should note here that the sudden, even if justified, outrage over the abortion ruling is a little depressing. We never seem to get outraged enough to demand action until the horrible thing we all knew was coming actually happens.

I’m really old, and I can say we’ve known about catastrophic climate change my entire life. Have we done anything significant about it?

Heck no. Apparently, we can’t stop burning gas and destroying forests until we’re choking and boiling.

Some timely outrage before the bad thing happens would be a lot more constructive.

Frightening times. Litigation, as usual, reflects the tenor of the times. Here’s a quick sampling of unsettling stuff we saw last week.

A suit was filed in Maricopa County, Arizona, on behalf of a girl injured at a place called Fear Farm “when she was chased up the bleachers by an employee dressed as a clown with a chainsaw.”

In Alameda County, California, the Oakland Athletic Rowing Society claimed that a woman “orchestrated a group of parents of rowers registered with OARS to engage in a coup to take over the OARS.”

According to the complaint, the defendant was mad that a former coach had been fired and replaced by another coach. Apparently, the job was stolen. No word on whether the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys were involved in the coup.

A school guidance counselor filed a federal suit in Kentucky against the Franklin County Board of Education because some officials entered her school office without permission, searched her bag and then had her arrested after a gun was found in the bag.

The plaintiff said she forgot the gun was in the bag.

Here’s the part that’s the sign of the times: “Plaintiff has a concealed carry license to carry firearms in the Commonwealth and, generally, and where permitted, she regularly carried a firearm for purposes of self-defense…. Plaintiff had a prescription for anxiety medication that she would occasionally take.”

Imagine the guidance you could get from this woman.

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