And the Evidence Shows . . .

By Harold Stearley

There are two categories of blog postings of mine that I have not posted to very often. Law and politics. You can see them listed on the left-hand sidebar. ๐Ÿ™‚

Although admittedly, I did post a piece on administrative law that gives you a peek into how executive agencies have the power to create legislation and how that power is exercised. See: Framers, Federalists, and the Reality of the Administrative State. And I did do a series on marriage and divorce.* There are a few other posts there as well.

I’ve intentionally avoided these categories during the past four years because politics, in my country anyway, has been a very contentious topic. To say the least. And when I’ve tried to explain the Constitution and statutes, well, let’s just say that people have notions about how the law is “supposed” to work that are largely based on TV shows and outright fantasy.

But today, I’m going to go ahead and post something, very brief, about evidentiary law. Which is relevant to all of the litigation currently swirling about the US election.

But first, a disclaimer. Whenever I write about the law, it should never be construed to be legal advice. I have no attorney-client relationship with any of my readers. If you are involved in a legal situation, I suggest you seek out the advice of competent legal counsel.

And finally, obviously, this is not supposed to be entire encapsulation of evidentiary law. What I’m presenting is a very boiled down summary of what constitutes evidence that attorneys spend their entire legal careers practicing and learning about the various nuances of how to present it. Moreover, the rules of evidence are different in different states and there are differences between the state and federal rules of evidence.

With that disclaimer in mind . . . read on. ๐Ÿ™‚

In case anyone is wondering about all of the current litigation going on, which from what I can see there was only one valid filing so far, here is what constitutes evidence.

There are four basic types of evidence recognized by the courts – demonstrative, real, testimonial and documentary.

To be admitted as evidence, an offering must be relevant, material, and competent.

Evidence is relevant if it indicates a relationship between facts that increases the probability of the existence of the other.

Evidence is material if it is offered to prove or disprove a specific fact in issue. Thus, evidence is material if it relates to one of the particular elements necessary for proving or disproving a case. In all cases, there will be numerous elements, all of which must be proven, to succeed on any particular claim.

Evidence is considered “competent” if it complies with certain traditional notions of reliability.

The weight of the evidence, once admitted, is based on the believability or persuasiveness of evidence. The credibility of witnesses falls into this category. The probative value (tending to convince a person of the truth of some proposition) of evidence does not necessarily correlate to the quantity of the evidence but rather the persuasiveness of the evidence.

Then the evidence received and admitted must meet the burden of proof in the case. There are three different burdens depending on the case – preponderance of the evidence for most civil trials; competent and substantial evidence for administrative law cases; and beyond a reasonable doubt for criminal cases.

Allegations in the petitions drafted and filed by attorneys are not evidence.

The statements and arguments made by attorneys are not evidence.

The statements made by persons who are not even party to a case, or not presented as a witness, are not evidence.

Even affidavits, sworn and signed statements by witnesses and offered into evidence, do not become evidence unless meeting these standards and then being formally admitted to the record. There are many evidentiary rules that are followed to ensure that evidence is credible.

In fact, while the term “evidence” is thrown about willy-nilly, in the legal context, there is no “evidence” at all unless the offering passes the legal thresholds to be formally admitted into the court record.

Otherwise, it’s all just bullshit.

And courts can issue summary judgments based on the pleadings and filings alone when there are no material facts in dispute, while applying the proper legal standards.

What I’ve seen so far in these case filings is a lot of bullshit and no substance.

In Metta

Photos: The feature photo is of the Clay County Courthouse in Brazil, Indiana. There’s a great family story about this courthouse and how Clay County became the “county seat.” It seems that, beginning in 1825, the original county seat and courthouse was in Bowling Green, Indiana. The people of Brazil had to travel some 20 miles to Bowling Green to conduct various business because of this, and traveling 20 miles back in the 1800s was a pretty big deal. Pictures horses and buggies.

I’m unsure if the following events were correlated as there have been several stories told. But it’s said that the folks in Brazil showed up one night in Bowling Green, broke into the courthouse there, packed up all of the county records, and carted them back to Brazil to make Brazil the county seat. And the Bowling Green Courthouse then mysteriously burned to the ground. This all happened around 1877. My Great, Great Grandfather was the county sheriff during this time period, and his contribution to this hijacking was to do nothing. No one was ever arrested or prosecuted for this grand theft. ๐Ÿ™‚ No case. No parties. A lot of hearsay. No Evidence. ๐Ÿ™‚

The feature image and the first picture above are of the Clay County Courthouse. Those two pics were found on the Internet in the Public Domain. You may refer to the web page for Clay County.

The final picture is a close up of the retired F-86 Fighter Jet that sits on the Courthouse lawn that I took. This Korean War era jet fighter found its final landing spot here due to my Great Uncle’s influence. He was a Major General in the Air Force, with his origins in Brazil, and he was the Commander of Kadena Air Force Base in Japan during the Korean War. His planes were providing the air support for General MacArthur during the Korean War.

*If anyone is interested and hasn’t already read these posts, here are the links to my series on marriage and divorce. It’s not pretty.

Requests Anyone?

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 1 โ€“ Myths of Old and New

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 2 โ€“ Contract, What Contract?

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 3 โ€“ Where the Rubber Meets the Road

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 4 โ€“ A Zigging and a Zagging

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 5 โ€“ The Alpha and the Omega

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 6 โ€“ Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Property Go?

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 7 โ€“ Bedtime Stories

To Have and to Hold โ€“ Part 8 โ€“ Dodge the Bullets

Advanced Camping And Chemical Chaos

21 thoughts on “And the Evidence Shows . . .”

  1. Well done~! Now you might point out the real reason these accusations were presented in a court of law, sans evidence, in the first place. Bullshit is a good summation, but does not give the real reason, which unfortunately is not realized by many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point Sam. Some people may not agree on the “whys” behind this little game, but it is pretty clear what effect these false filings are creating. They breed distrust in the electoral process, and distrust with our democratic system. They breed distrust with our system of adjudication and pollute the concept of an independent judiciary. They fan the flames of authoritarianism. They provide cover for the failure of the individuals and the party instigating the nonsense. They feed the base of people supporting this politician and create further polarization. In their most extreme form, if these tactics worked, they would help allow a tyrant to seize power illegally. There is no real loss for these people, though, because even if they fail to undermine the election, they will have left the country so divided that the extremists will try to “rise again.” And they are trying to make it virtually impossible for the incoming administration to govern effectively. It’s truly a scary situation. But it has also been very revealing, sadly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. YES~! A good addendum to your post. I often think about the German “Grundgesetz” which was to assure that the Government and Homeland was for and by the people to prevent another Hitler from coming to power. But it was never ratified and we may learn from this. My fear is that so many “air brains” do not see what is happening and if we can not get better control our congress or courts the same COULD happen to us. Wish we could sum it up as “Bullshit~!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The court got it right – no evidence presented to substantiate claims of fraud. Even assuming, arguendo, that the claims were valid, they would not affect enough votes to change the outcome of the election.


      3. And the wording of that Judge’s decision is priceless. โ€œThis Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,โ€ U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote. โ€œIn the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.โ€ . . . โ€œThis Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated,โ€ he said, โ€œOne might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption โ€ฆ That has not happened.โ€ . . . โ€œThis claim, like Frankensteinโ€™s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent,โ€ Brann wrote.


  2. I’m not sure about everyone else? But the line reading “Its all bullshit” is what jumps out at me! The injustice of acquitting any and all matters of violence involving the police force even when death is the result. Corporations slapped on the hand at most, for egregious environmental atrocities. Decisions indirectly favoring racism, the government intrusions of privacy, the list goes on and on.

    All with sufficient evidence, that in the end means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of corporate influence and political sway. Just the fact that the higher courts are managed, judges biasedly appointed by parties in power to heed to their bidding’s not the public’s, should be enough “evidence” โ€” That its all Bullshit!

    Now we find that the system itself can be used not for justice, but for the intentional promoting of chaos for self-agenda. Clearly the justice system no-longer represents the people. It’s all Bullshit Harold. Has been for a long, long time. My apologies if I wavered off your topic point of evidence my friend. Though I guess my point is that evidence in today’s justice system doesn’t really seem to matter anymore?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No apologies necessary. I love seeing the discussion go a million different ways. What we have is a “legal system” not a “justice system.” And the concept of “justice” can be different for everyone. Right now, right-wingers think they are “just” for arguing for the over-turning of a completely legitimate election. If they succeed, we will have a fascist dictator at the helm. The examples you give are on-point since we are living in the age of rabid capitalism – money can buy anything- freedom from prosecution – elimination of environmental regulations – exploitation of people in minimum-wage jobs. The weaknesses in this system have always been present, but not all, until perhaps now, have they been exploited. This country is on track for a massive failure because of the selfishness of a few. Time will tell …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well said Harold! I realize I was stating the obvious in my reaction describing the justice system but I truly believe it’s how most of us feel today. And why wouldn’t we being it so obvious. They must truly think us dullard sheep or more likely don’t even care anymore flagrantly posting their injustice time after time. And how self-servingly arrogant is that? No wonder the reactions of civil unrest!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You nailed it. They don’t care anymore. They are blatant in their transgressions, their ethical violations, their unlawful actions, and their constitutional violations. It is all about power and money to them. And they will gladly let the death toll rise in this pandemic since it serves their lopsided interests.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The law is quite the chess game. A game of skill. But it can still be manipulated with false and frivolous suits. The goal there is not to win a legal action, but to create a nuisance, to harass and intimidate, or to run out the clock or another person’s resources and ability to fight back. Some are very skilled at manipulating, much to the frustration of honest and impartial judges.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Indeed it is. It’s one the things I hated most about the practice. So many real issues could be solved so much easier than using an adversarial model. And then you have the phoneys on top of that.


  3. I love how you admit you don’t talk about Law and Politics very often, and then continue to do so without actually alluding to the law and politics being affected. Very well done, my friend. I could see reading this post in a few years and not having a clue as to what you are referencing. I could learn a thing or two from you!

    An another note, we have a “Stolen Church” up here in Windermere. It was torn down and rebuilt from one town to another, at about the same time as your county seat was stolen. Perhaps that was just the way things were done back then.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In Texas it definitely was, we have several “old county seats” with the old building still standing, but another “old” but then new one, in another nearby town. One such is near me in Blanco, which was raided during the night and moved 18 miles to the nearby town, of Johnson City of Lindon Johnson fame. I live in the far north point of Hays County but our county seat is over 40 miles from me to the south east end of the county, Now if it were like the “old days”, I would be in favor of “moving it” as they did, to the center of the county as Texas county seats were supposed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s