James Comey, Director of the FBI, is not unsung himself; he has a big resume. And he has just stomped into the hornet's nest of an election with his October 28 Friday Night News Dump (do a search) Some sites already are touting the propriety of his acts according to "law", see https://newrepublic.com/article/138247/james-comey-can-clean-mess-made-hillary-clintons-emails. That view is truncated and wrong. It ignores the second half of the law: equity. Mere law is not justice. Yet, that avoidance of an equity analysis in justice is understandable because the US merged the two sides of justice some time ago, see Equity Jurisdiction in the Federal Courts.
Law and equity: both factor into justice. Here, New Egg statute, always changing; and Old Egg equity, principles speaking through centuries in the West.
2. What, in equity, did James Comey do wrong, requiring consequence? See https://www.scribd.com/document/293299051/20-Maxims-of-Equity
How did equity get so shunted aside that Director Comey's acts could even have been conceivable by his legal team?
- The idea was that after merging law and equity in courts, equity would still have a role: its emphasis on context and fairness would be applied where the law is
- a) inadequate to provide justice, and
- b) shocks the conscience.
- Where law is inadequate and there has been such unfairness as shocks the conscience, then, go to equity for balance.
- That balance did not happen. Equity gets short shrift, as though only legality counts.
- In the public mind and in legislation, then law drives the train, with its literalism and fixed sentencing, and messy equity with its drive to prevent exploitation, is shunted to the caboose as we all head into the fog.
- Education: use as background this site on equity, a work stated to be still in process, but since it is online, it invites citation even with that proviso: see http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/law-theory-workshop/files/bray_the_system_of_equitable_remedies.pdf
Law and Equity: Into the fog. Watch law shove equity to the caboose.
b. Double check the legal rights here. Analysis:
Was Comey authorized to release his own letter to whomever he chose? Probably. 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI Investigations, see Cornell Law Review vol 69, Issue 4, 1984
Whether a government servant's acts are culpable, requiring a consequence imposed, usually stops at legality. Was the act within the parameters of a mandate. has been eclipsed in the United States by the focus on law.
Whether an act was legal, within the statutory mandate, too often ends the discussion and leaves wrongs unrighted. A literal finding of yes, this is allowed legally fair, must be balanced with examination of the manner, so there is not unfair exploitation a) of the less educated, less able to vet issues, and b) of the educated who are under such time constraints to make a case in time for election, that the timing of bombshells shocks the conscience.