Not since the Chicago Cubs has anyone assembled as impressive a losing streak as Ken Cuccinelli. With his reverse Midas Touch, every major case that Virginia’s chief legal officer champions just ends up swirling down the judicial toilet. The latest flush came today, as the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected his baseless challenge of the US EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse gases represent a threat to human health.
If the man were capable of embarrassment, now would be a good time to show it.
This, of course, is not the first time he’s been thrown out of court on a climate change case. No, actually it’s the THIRD time. First, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. ruled in August 2010 that Cuccy didn’t have any “objective basis” for his witch hunt against former U-VA climate scientist Michael Mann. Bravely, our Ayatollah General then took his case to the Virginia Supreme Court — which in March of this year ruled that he had read the law wrong and didn’t even have jurisdiction to challenge U-VA in the case.
This of course is on top of the smackdowns that Cuccinelli received from the courts in his challenge to President Obama’s health care law. After somehow winning his first round on the issue, he lost his next two. In September 2011, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously found that he lacked standing to even bring the suit, derisively commenting that allowing standing in such cases would “convert the federal judiciary into a forum for the vindication of a state’s generalized grievances about the conduct of government.”
The next month, the Supreme Court left Cuccinelli’s health care appeal off its docket, even as it took on other state attorneys general’s cases on the matter.
One of the striking things about Cuccy’s loss record is how often his position is struck down on basic, threshold issues that you would expect a wet-behind-the-ears legal intern to get right. Basic issues of who has standing to sue, what sorts of entities are subject to the laws in question, etc. are matters that you’d think a man with a position as important as his might spend a few minutes on Wikipedia to double-check.
You may say that none of this matters to Cuccinelli or his rabid supporters — it’s not about winning, it’s about going down fighting! Well, fine and dandy, but a habitual loser is generally not what Americans admire. The man has lost so many times because he takes positions that make no sense legally, logically or morally — and then fights them, unbending, to the death.
Perhaps that’s the rebel spirit of the Confederacy, but what does it get you? Just another reason to be pissed off and blame the commie socialist pinkos who nefariously run the world, I guess. (Never mind that many of the judges who’ve laughed Cuccinelli out of court have been Republican appointees.)
Meanwhile, the hero of the tea party courageously continues his quixotic quest, proclaiming, like the Black Knight of Monty Python fame: “It’s just a flesh wound!”