Definition of “Frivolous Lawsuits” Depends On the Eye of the Litigant


In politics, words take on different meanings depending on who’s talking.

Take “activist judges” — always considered to be a bad thing, apparently. Yet the definition of what constitutes “activist judges” is this: judges who decide cases against my beliefs. Republicans decry “activist judges” who, in their view, have made bad liberal choices. Democrats decry “activist judges” who, in their view, have made bad conservative choices.

Or “special interests” — always a bad thing. “Special interests” always belong to the other side while our side supports important issues.

The latest entry is “frivolous law suits.” According to BusinessWeek, former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork condemned frivolous suits in a famous Washington Times op-ed in 1995.

In 2006, while speaking at the Yale Club in NYC, Bork fell while walking to the dais. He sued the Yale Club for more than $1 milllion. Here’s BusinessWeek’s take: “Asked if there was an inconsistency in championing the curtailment of litigation and then pursuing his own, Bork told BusinessWeek: ‘That’s idiotic. I never said nobody should be able to sue for injury…. I was talking about frivolous lawsuits.’

Apparently, Bork considers “frivolous lawsuits” to be those brought by other people. By definition, his lawsuits are not frivolous. Good to know. The next time you hear someone talk about frivolous lawsuits, ask yourself: WWBS — What Would Bork Sue?

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