July 7, 2010

Madison Capital Times: Arbitrary or capricious?

So the Madison (WI) Capital Times's editorialist Dave Zweifel doesn't care for a federal judges's decision last month to deny U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's attempts to enforce a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico:
That moratorium was overturned, however, by an appointed federal judge who snarled that the administration’s moratorium order was "arbitrary and capricious."
Well, that's the standard the judge had to apply under the circumstances. He didn't make it up, he was following settled law. Contributing to Sec'y Salazar's rebuff was his having messed around with an affidavit in support of the federal government's position that deliberately misrepresented the views of oil & gas industry experts.

That's not the sort of presentation you want to make to a court where your initial threshold* is convincing it you're acting in a rational manner. That chicanery set Salazar to floundering in shallow water without a life raft, so to speak, and Mr. Zweifel needn't even reach the question of how many Exxon-Mobil shares Judge Feldman owned.

In any event, it's certain there is an untold variety of decisions made by appointed judges that Mr. Zweifel might enjoy and could easily pick any one of those to support the direct converse of his argument.

* Beyond showing proper jurisdiction and venue, I should add.

No comments: