Tag Archives: Chuck Douglas

Chris Sununu Has No Intention of Draining New Hampshire’s Judicial Swamp

Governor Sununu’s announcement yesterday of a Judicial Selection Commission makes it clear that he has no intention of draining New Hampshire’s judicial swamp.  The announcement:

Not the first sentence.  The criteria for judicial selection will be “experience, good character and temperament.”  Not a mention of judicial philosophy.  In other words, Sununu is just as inclined to nominate a judicial liberal like President Obama’s nominee to fill the late Justice Scalia’s seat, Merrick Garland, as a judicial conservative like President Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch.   (See here for an explanation of a judicial liberal and a judicial conservative.)

The “Chair” of the commission, Chuck Douglas, is an opponent of tort reform and once sued the State claiming that the judiciary has a right to “adequate funding” (the amount of which the State’s supreme court gets to determine).  During his time on the State’s supreme court, Douglas was anything but a judicial conservative:

Without question, the member of the Court leading the new judicial federalism charge in New Hampshire was then Justice Charles G. Douglas III, the author of many of its decisions recognizing rights under our constitution unknown at the federal level. This is not surprising because Douglas, writing only months after he had been appointed to the high bench, was one of the first in the nation to jump on Brennan’s bandwagon. See Charles G. Douglas III, State Judicial Activism – The New Role for State Bills of Rights, 12 Suffolk L. Rev. 123 (1978). See also, Charles G. Douglas III, The Unique Role of State Constitutions: Raising State Issues in New Hampshire, 28 N.H.B.J. 309 (Summer, 1987).

The Vice “Chair,” Jack Sanders, is a Democrat who served on Governor Hassan’s judicial selection commission, which is like President Trump having Attorney General  Loretta Lynch advise him on nominations to the federal bench.  Sanders’ presence on the commission indicates that Sununu sees no problem with the liberal, activist judges his Democrat predecessors put on the New Hampshire bench.

The mission statement of the commission and its composition signal that Sununu has no intention of draining New Hampshire’s judicial swamp.  Instead, it will be more of the same  liberal, activist judges that countenance drive-by voting, meddle in education policy and block even modest reforms of the judiciary and legal profession.

Federal Court Quite Right in Dismissing Lawsuit of Man Arrested at Gilford School Board Meeting

Remember William Baer?  He was the man who was arrested at a school board meeting in Gilford in 2014, supposedly in violation of his First Amendment rights.  As reported by WND, when Baer’s criminal charges got tossed by a New Hampshire judge in December, 2014: Continue reading Federal Court Quite Right in Dismissing Lawsuit of Man Arrested at Gilford School Board Meeting

Poetic Justice – Duncan Case Means No More Claremont Cases (Almost)

I have been meaning to post this for a while, but just have not had the chance.  I previously posted about the Duncan case here and here. Continue reading Poetic Justice – Duncan Case Means No More Claremont Cases (Almost)

Why Does Jeb Bradley Want Turn New Hampshire Courts Into a Super-Legislature?

Lat year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its decision in Duncan v. State, which involved the constitutionality of a law that allowed businesses tax credits for funding scholarships for private schools.

The trial court had found the law unconstitutional (see related post here).  The Supreme Court reversed, finding that the plaintiffs (the parties who brought the lawsuit) did not have “standing” to sue. Continue reading Why Does Jeb Bradley Want Turn New Hampshire Courts Into a Super-Legislature?

Union Leader Editorial — Putting Lipstick on the Democratly-Elected Speaker of the New Hampshire House

Today’s Union Leader editorial claiming Speaker Shawn Jasper is as conservative as they come and warning conservative Republicans to line up behind him is a doozy.

The Union Leader begins by claiming that Jasper’s selection of Chuck Douglas as the House’s legal counsel “underscores further Jasper’s own conservative roots.”  The Union Leader doesn’t say whether they mean political conservative, judicial conservative or both.  But as for Douglas’ politics, he has opposed tort reform and has sued the State arguing that courts have a right to adequate funding (the amount of which they get to determine).  And as for Douglas’ credentials as a judicial conservative, a strong argument can be made that he was anything but.

Later, the editorial purports to defend Jasper’s conservative credentials:

What we will weigh in on is the silly claim that Shawn Jasper is not a true Republican conservative. He is, from our experience, as much a conservative as is former Speaker Bill O’Brien. We think either would do a good job of leading the House.

If it is such a “silly claim” how about a few examples of Jasper proposing reductions in spending and taxes?  There are none.  And the reason there are none is that what is really the “silly claim” is the claim that Jasper is a fiscal conservative in the mold of a Bill O’Brien. Continue reading Union Leader Editorial — Putting Lipstick on the Democratly-Elected Speaker of the New Hampshire House