Donald Trump and The Art of the Litigation

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We all know that Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner and reality star is a keen litigator. The cases may not reach court, but he loves the “Art of the Litigation”.

Remember when he sued a journalist for $5 billion – that’s one journalist who might even be richer than Trump, evidently – for under estimating his net worth.  The lawsuit was thrown out of the New Jersey court, but of course The Donald was just happy to have created the fuss and worry, he told the Washington Post.

He also threatened a lawsuit on Ted Cruz in respect of the Canadian birth issue, although he’s never filed.

He has pursued a variety of legal actions against business partners, journalists and now potentially the Republican Party.

His threats relate to the likely contested convention and follow concerted efforts to derail the Trump train before it arrives in town – Washington DC for instance.

donald-trumpNothing has rivaled this primary fight of course with every childish, outlandish, insulting, embarrassing and downright dirty trick already played. So what’s left but litigation?

“Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than [Texas Sen. Ted] Cruz—Lawsuit coming,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

As TIME report, with the GOP race potentially heading to a showdown in Cleveland in which no candidate holds a clear majority of delegates at the convention, every remaining state contest to accumulate committed supporters could face similar scrutiny. With the stakes so high, it seemed such lawsuit threats would abound.

But less than 24 hours after Trump’s tweeted threat, his campaign backed down. Barry Bennett, a Trump senior adviser focused on his delegate operation, said Monday that Trump’s “lawsuit” was not in fact meant for a court of law, but for the Republican National Committee’s committee on contests—which under GOP rules hears complaints over the allocation and selection of delegates.

As TIME’s report shows, it’s quite apparent why there was the Trump backdown.

Election lawyers and party operatives said challenges to the arcane state-by-state delegate selection rules being used to outfox Trump would face an unwelcome reception in court.

Political parties are non-democratic entities, and while individual states may set laws governing some of the conduct of primaries and caucuses, national party rules generally have supremacy in federal court.

“The parties are given broad leeway to choose their nominees,” said Heather Gerken, a professor at Yale Law School who specializes in election and constitutional law. “The courts are generally averse to jumping into politics generally—they never want to be seen as choosing the winners—and judges are particularly reluctant to interfere with the nominating process.

As a general matter, then, they treat the parties like adults and let party leaders sort things out.” The problem is when you have politicians acting like children, Donald Trump being the most childish, then how do you treat them like adults.

Ignore them though, at your peril.  That’s the unfortunate thing about this primary circus.

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