Jim Johnson is a Candidate for Injustice
There's just a few days left in the campaign for Supreme Court Justice. I will be posting over the next several days examples of why you should vote for Stan Rumbaugh and oust the incumbent, Jim Johnson. Caveat: These examples were provided by the Rumbaugh campaign, and I am simply posting in whole:
With just four weeks to go until the primary we'll be taking a look at Jim Johnson's record of injustice on the Supreme Court.
Date July 20, 2010
Landmark Regulation of Predatory Banking Practices Nears – but There’s a Dissenter:
Contact: Brendan Williams, (360) 791-3979
This week President Obama signs landmark bi-partisan legislation tackling the predatory banking practices behind the current recession.
Yet most Washingtonians don’t realize Justice Jim Johnson defends those practices.
On June 24, the Washington Supreme Court decided McCurry v. Chevy Chase Bank.
At issue was a bank deceiving customers by gouging their transactions with illegal junk fees like a “fax fee” and “notary fee."
The Court recognized Washington law protects individuals and businesses from such abuse, quoting precedent stating, “‘The state cannot dictate to the Bank how it can or cannot operate, but it can insist that, however the Bank chooses to operate, it do so free from fraud and other deceptive business practices.’”
Yet Justice Jim Johnson sided against Washington consumer protection law and wrote a dissent designed to inappropriately cherry-pick weaker standards and virtually immunize federal banks.
Instead of following our laws, Johnson worked to shield the financial industry, writing that, “a successful lawsuit by Anne and Chris McCurry…would effectively regulate a federal savings bank[,]”. Johnson and the special interests he routinely sides with on our Supreme Court would prefer to exempt all such banks from state laws including our Consumer Protection Act.
What is particularly egregious about this judicial activism is the grasping for legal foundation—beyond splitting hairs in defining the word ‘incidental’, Johnson relied only on an argument that the lawsuit would cost the bank money. The majority was equally bothered, writing,
“Basically, the dissent hypothesizes that litigation that causes “extensive” expenses—regardless of the merit of the claim—might cause Chevy Chase to alter its lending practices—here, by ceasing to charge fees precluded by contract…The dissent would preempt the generally applicable state law that sets the groundwork necessary for any meaningful commercial and contractual relationship between Chevy Chase and its customers. The dissent cites no case law or regulation to support the over-expansive interpretation it applies here.” (Emphasis added.
Even Justice Johnson’s campaign co-chair disagreed with him. Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office argued that if the McCurrys’ claim was not recognized, it would undermine the attorney general’s ability to protect Washington’s citizens from fraud and abuse. The majority agreed, writing, “It is unclear under the dissent how any state law would survive…Ultimately, the dissent’s novel interpretation of preemption would prevent Washington consumers from enforcing contracts[.]” (Emphasis added).
At the heart of this case is simply a refusal on the part of Johnson to apply Washington’s consumer protection laws because forcing the financial industry to stop committing fraud would cost them money. Chevy Chase Bank is headquartered in Maryland and is part of an international conglomerate owned by industry giant Capitol One, major players in the subprime crisis that causes the global economic recession. A Supreme Court justice should impartially apply our laws and Constitution as they come to him, not work to rewrite them from the bench to protect corporate criminals’ injustice.
For the McCurry majority, see http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/818967.opn.pdf
For the Johnson dissent, see http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/818967.no1.pdf
To learn more please visit www.johnsonsinjustice.com
To learn more about Stan Rumbaugh please visit www.rumbaughforjustice.com