2 Countries, 2 Courts, Too Cockamamy Conclusions

Garen Yegparian


By now you know we took a couple of good thwacks in the judicial sphere over the last fortnight.  Both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and France’s Constitutional Council handed down decisions inimical Armenian interests.  But, as if that’s not bad enough, both decisions don’t even make sense!

The more recent French decision is easier to address, so let’s dispense with it first.  I did not have access to a translation so I have not read the decision itself.  But simplicity is elegant, as in simple solutions to seemingly complex mathematical solutions.  And here, we have such a situation.  France ALREADY has a law on the books making denial of the Holocaust illegal.  Now, the law found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council would have made any genocide recognized by France illegal to deny. This is a simple, self-evidently parallel pair of concepts.  Yet, somehow, the latter law is not, in the esteemed Council’s considered opinion, constitutional (the reason given being that it curbs freedom of speech), while the former is.  Perhaps this difference arises from Holocaust deniers only using mime, in the grand tradition of Marcel Marceau, thus criminalizing their expressions is not really curbing speech…

The Ninth Circuit’s decision takes a little more to ditch into the dustbin of legal drivel.  The court based its decision on the “precedent” established by three other cases it had ruled on over the last half century.  All three were use in the court’s decision to bolster the contention that the California law in question improperly interfered with the Federal government’s Constitution-based exclusive prerogative to administer U.S. foreign policy— state and local governments are preempted from doing so.  Yet, this law which enables those cheated out of payments by insurance companies to sue the latter for just compensation is about a contract, not about foreign policy.  The simple mention of a time frame and historical events doesn’t change that fundamental reality.

Nevertheless, the court, citing Turkey’s cry-baby reactions to instances of Genocide recognition (referring specifically to the most recent, French, situation) chose to interpret the law as an imposition of foreign policy.  Yet, if the Armenian Genocide had not been mentioned, would the court have found differently?  Would it not have found a breach of contract between insurer and insured?  Also, if the measure of “establishing foreign policy” is the loud, over-reaction of a foreign government, where will the line be drawn?  If China decides to whine over civil rights, environmental, labor, or other human-needs based laws that impact on its export oriented manufacturing juggernaut, will the court interpret those as the establishment of foreign policy by whatever agency(ies) has(ve) passed them?

Both the French and American cases reek of political influence on the judiciary.  The French case is glaring— Turkey raises a hue and cry, the Constitutional Counsel makes a finding with a result that is inconsistent with the undergirding of an existing law, as explained above.  In the American case, the political influence is a bit less obvious.  It would probably be a useful exercise to have a law student research the background, thinking, appointer (which president), and judicial voting histories of the judges who ruled on the on this case.  But even without that the tenuous logic and fact that Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State knew about the decision, speak volumes about the arm twisting that must have occurred behind the scenes.

Shame on the judges in both countries who have sullied the ideal of blind justice!  Don’t let them get away with it.  Write them letters expressing your indignation and concern over inappropriate political meddling in the judicial process and their succumbing to it.


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  1. danoog said:

    Thought you loved that 9th District Court, Garen. It’s packed with left-wing whackos, so i thought you’d love it. This is what happens when Democrats run things. Justice takes a backseat to agenda-driven politics.

  2. zareh said:

    Armenians should stop begging for justice.
    Justice for small nations is never given it is always taken.

  3. Peter Megerdumian said:

    The French Armenians should appeal to higher EU courts.

  4. Hrant K. said:

    Garen, the more we incur injustices, the more should our resolve be, not to succumb to those
    unfair decisions, but fight back much more ferosciously to defend our rights and just causes!
    Writing to judges won’t be enough, we have to find ways and facts to expose their corruptness,
    and the parties that have been tampering with their impartialness and siding with the enemy!!!

  5. Peter Megerdumian said:

    Armenian genocide survivors living in Greece and Cyprus should file lawsuits against the German insurance companies .Greece or Cyprus where have a strong pro-Armenian sentiment.The Greek and Cypriot courts would be more likely to favor Armenian claims and if the Germans somehow block that, then the appeal could be applied in EU courts. Why is it that Jews are allowed to file all types of lawsuits against German interests and win but we don’t have the right to get justice.

    • Gaidzag said:

      Not because Jews are working harder than us. Just, because Germany lost the war.

  6. Peter Megerdumian said:

    Mr.Galliano , the supposed holocaust denier is being tried in France for holocaust denial (statements which he made when he was drunk) should file an appeal declaring that if the Armenian genocide denial bill is unconstitutional, than the holocaust denial bill is also unconstitutional and that he should be set free because of the ruling of the French constitutional court.

  7. John Markarian said:

    French Armenians need to get a promise of support from Francois Hollande,, the socialist presidential candidate of France to get the Genocide denial law passed and then he will get every Armenian vote.
    Sarkozy stabbed the Armenians in the back and he can’t be trusted.

  8. Alexander The Great Armo said:

    I don’t think they would even read the letters we write them, unless we put money in it and enough of it so they would open the letter.

    • Gaidzag said:

      Yes, you are right. Only money talks with corrupt politicians.

  9. Alex Postallian said:

    The two judicial decisions only reaffirms,the more work that has to be done for the Armenian cause.We must get more politically involved, so we can have decisions rendered in our behalf.That is why the obummers and hilary clintons prevail in politics,and render our cause neutral.by representing their clients.REmember most of them are for sale.So be active and infuse some integrity inpolitical ambitions,to further our cause.GET THE STINK OUT OF POLITICS.

  10. Arsu said:

    Armenians are whining, whining, whining. Why are you whining all the time The USA and the French court have delivered the justice so you should enjoy

    • Alex Postallian said:

      If you dont have crime,you dont need a police force.It is not whinning,its a reminder,of a sordid past.Its always easy to display INDIFFERENCE,when your ancestry is not involved.Indifference is cowardice of the highest plateau,it will make you victim,some day.It is rather amusing,that cowards always stick together and hide.

  11. gary_s said:

    I think both France & the US want to do what’s right, but Turkey has too much sway in an area that’s CURRENTLY important to both interests–oil. But there is progress being made in replacing oil with algae and seaweed–both create oil. Once this becomes feasible, Turkey loses its influence! Then more nations can do what is morally right.