Judge Rules Attorney Donziger Guilty of Six Contempt Charges; Faces Jail Time; and Samuel Moyns Unprincipled Attack on Human Rights Giant Michael Ratner is Shameful

Judge Rules Attorney Donziger Guilty of Six Contempt Charges; Faces Jail Time

Steven Donziger, who listeners will recall has been embroiled in a decades long fight against Chevron over their pollution in the Amazon rainforest the size of Rhode Island, was found guilty this July of criminal contempt by US district judge Loretta Preska. She ruled that Steven was guilty of six contempt charges for refusing to turn over evidence in a complex legal case that has pitted the lawyer directly against Chevron.

In a 245-page judgement, Judge Preska said Steven had repeatedly and willfully defied court orders adding that its time to pay the piper, with Steven facing six months in jail.

It has now been two years since Steven has been wearing a monitoring bracelet and under house arrests in his NYC home. He said he expected the decision and will appeal.

In 2016, US judge Lewis Kaplan granted Chevron seizure of the lawyers laptop and phone. When Steven appealed, he was slapped with the contempt charges and placed under house arrest.

Judge Preskas judgment explicitly denies the lawyer has been the victim of a conspiracy, however. Contrary to Mr Donzigers assertion that his conviction was pre-ordained, the court finds him guilty on each count for one reason and one reason only: Mr Donziger did that with which he is charged. Period, she wrote.



Guest – Attorney Martin Garbus, one of three pro bono lawyers representing Donziger in an attempt to get his law license restored. Garbus has a long and distinguished career as a civil rights and first amendment litigator. Attorney Martin Garbus has represented Nelson Mandela, Daniel Ellsberg, and Cesar Chavez and worked in Rwanda, China, and the Soviet Union, among other countries.


Samuel Moyns Unprincipled Attack on Human Rights Giant Michael Ratner is Shameful

A controversy was ignited two weeks ago when the New York Review of Books published an article by Yale Law Professor Samuel Moyn. The article singled out human rights attorney Michael Ratner, the cofounder of Law Disorder Radio. Ratner was the longtime president of the Center for Constitution Rights. He died five years ago. Professor Moyn uses him as a whipping boy to support his bizarre theory that punishing war crimes prolonged the wars in the Middle East by making them more palatable.

Professor Moyn disingenuously claims that enforcing the conventions against torture and opposing illegal war are mutually exclusive.

Moyns book Humane: How the United States abandoned Peace and Reinvented War was recently published. It was a chapter from this book that appeared in the New York Review of Books. Moyn makes the false and astonishing claim that no one perhaps has done more than Ratner to enable a novel sanitize version of permanent war.

Moyn wrote that Ratner and the CCR prolonged the Middle Eastern wars by suing the Bush- Cheney administration to stop them from abolishing the right of habeas corpus for Muslims the American government had imprisoned on its offshore prison in Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus is ancient. It allows for a person held by the government to be informed of the charges against him, to be allowed to have a lawyer, and to be given a trial.

Guest – Marjorie Cohn, former criminal law defense attorney and professor emeritus at the Thomas Jefferson school of Law. She was the past president of the National Lawyer Guild and is a member of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Professor Cohn has published four books about the war on terror. Last week she had published an article in the prestigious online magazine Jurist titled Samuel Moyns Unprincipled Attack on Human Rights Giant Michael Ratner is Shameful.

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