I’ve long perceived how individual and class action lawsuits–especially against municipalities and corporations–can often be the only way to obtain justice for an injury and even change or initiate laws.
In this light–and in our current state of horror–I was so pleased to see this article in the New York Times, headlined: In Lawsuit After Lawsuit, It’s Everyday People v. Trump – The New York Times
Here’s how it begins:
The papers each bore two names, one unknown, the other ubiquitous, facing off across the letter V. The V was important. It meant that in America, anyone could sue the president of the United States and hope to win.
In New York, there was Darweesh v. Trump. In Colorado, Hagig v. Trump. There was also Ali v. Trump, Zadeh v. Trump, Bayani v. Trump, Albaldawi v. Trump.
This was the same America whose president had declared a ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries that trapped people in airports and interrupted lives. And the same America where an Ali or a Hagig could do what, back home, would have been the unthinkable: call a lawyer; stop the president.
“It was never my intention to go against the president of the United States,” said Mohamed Iye, a Somali-born American citizen whose Somali wife and two American daughters were stranded in Nairobi after President Trump’s first travel order prevented them from joining him in Minnesota. “I was just following the law and doing everything the way it’s in the books. And it came to this.”
It came to this: more than 50 lawsuits across the country, with at least as many individual plaintiffs; a reprieve from a federal judge in Seattle; a new ban; and, on March 15, a new set of roadblocks from federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland. On Wednesday, the judge in Hawaii turned his temporary restraining order against the ban into an indefinite one, fixing it in place unless it is overturned.
So exciting. And without a genuine Department of Justice to pursue these cases, it will be up to individuals, classes of citizens, and terrific pro bono organizations like the ACLU, to leap over this breathtakingly corrupt federal government and go directly to the courts.