Natalie Jones’ article “Talbot County files motion to dismiss …” provides a good starting point for discussion of the legal battle Talbot County has joined. What is most interesting to me is the contrast between the clear and calm legal reasoning in the County’s motion and the hysterical repetition of charges of racism in the ACLU’s immediate press release. The county’s attorneys provided a sophisticated and detailed analysis of why the ACLU’s case has no merit on purely legal grounds. The reasoning was clear even to a non-lawyer like me, and the abundant citations of previous cases and relevant laws were impressive.
Even before I had time to read the county’s motion — and one of our members retrieved it from the docket within minutes of its being filed — the ACLU had put out an attack on the county council, not for the content of the motion but for its existence. The ACLU reiterated its political slogans about racism, with not a single reference to the content of the county’s response. It attacked the County Council for exercising the right of the citizens of this county to their day in court.
Comparing the county’s devastating motion to dismiss to the scurrilous statement from the ACLU reinforces my conclusion that this lawsuit is just political theater, a way to lob accusations of racism and malfeasance at the Council in a very public way. It was clear from the beginning that the ACLU was adopting a strategy of legal intimidation, bringing in a law firm whose annual top line revenues are probably 10 times the revenue of Talbot County. Now it appears they do not even care if their lawsuit made sense legally.
I congratulate the members of the County Council who decided to contest this unjustifiable effort to convince a Federal court to usurp decisions that are clearly reserved to legislative bodies by the Constitution. It took courage of the highest order to challenge these well-financed national organizations, that probably expected our little county to surrender after the first shot. Then they could have moved on to a lawsuit to compel our schools to teach Black Lives Matter materials, and another to take charge of our police, until we were totally under their thumb. The Talbot Boys were just the start, and that is when a bully has to be stopped.
President, Preserve Talbot History