MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
One check on the federal criminal court system is trial by jury. But those are not happening as much as they used to.
We’ll talk about why.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket. Also today on the Monday Moneybeat—the jobs recovery. It’s not full, but it is fast. A third of the coronavirus job loss is recovered months ahead of schedule.
Plus, the WORLD History Book. Thirty-five years ago, a 17-year-old German tennis player becomes the youngest ever to win Wimbledon.
And WORLD commentator Kim Henderson on the joys of midlife.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, July 6th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Holiday heightens virus fears as spread accelerates » With coronavirus cases still on the rise in most states, health officials are worried about an even bigger spike in new cases on the heels of the holiday weekend.
Florida, Texas and Arizona are among the states reporting more record increases over the weekend even as many held social gatherings.
On Saturday Arizona saw a record 821 admissions to intensive care units.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS’ Face the Nation that all of our gains against the virus in the United States have been erased.
GOTTLIEB: We’re right back where we were at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak. The difference now is that we really had one epicenter of spread when New York was going through its hardship. Now we really have four major epicententers of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, cities in Florida, and Arizona.
And some local governments are asking for more authority to tighten restrictions.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler told CNN that his city is on track to overwhelm intensive care units in the “next week to 10 days.” He said having enough physical beds is not the issue, it’s having enough ICU staff to man them.
ADLER: What I’m being told is that there’s not the staffing to go along with the surge. And if this is going on in Austin and Dallas and Houston and San Antonio all at the same time, we’re in trouble.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner echoed those concerns.
TURNER: If we don’t get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks, our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.
Adler said he wants Texas Governor Greg Abbott to return more control to cities in case another local lockdown is needed.
Scientists warn WHO that the coronavirus is airborne » More than 200 scientists from 32 countries say the evidence shows the coronavirus is highly airborne. That stands in contrast to the long-held stance of the World Health Organization.
It maintains that the virus mainly spreads by droplets expelled when people sneeze or cough, but that those droplets rapidly fall to the floor.
The scientists have penned an open letter to the WHO challenging that position and asking the body to revise its guidelines.
If the virus is highly airborne, that could mean that it spreads in most any building in which the air is recirculated, even with social distancing. That could make masks necessary in all indoor public settings. And it could mean public buildings need more powerful air filters and perhaps other measures like ultraviolet lights to kill the virus.
The researchers plan to publish the data in a scientific journal this week.
India surpasses Russia in recorded COVID-19 cases » Meantime, India has reported another record 24-hour jump in COVID-19 cases.
The Health Ministry added nearly 25,000 confirmed cases on Sunday. That brings the recorded nationwide total to just under 700,000 surpassing Russia for third-most in the world.
India’s official death toll rose to more than 19,000. But with sparse testing in the country, the numbers are likely much higher.
The agency leading India’s COVID-19 response said last week that it had set August 15th as a target for developing a coronavirus vaccine. Though, some health officials are warning that India is rushing the process.
Trump, Bide appeal to voters over holiday weekend » President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both made appeals to voters over the holiday weekend.
President Trump rallied supporters at the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day. The president vowed to halt the agenda of the radical left, condemning those who vandalize or destroy statues and monuments. And the Trump campaign released a new ad criticizing those who on the left who call on local governments to defund police departments.
AUDIO: You have reached the 911 police emergency line. Due to defunding of the police department, we’re sorry, but no one is here to take your call.
Biden used Independence Day to cast the race as a battle for the “soul of America” and a chance to defeat racism. He said the United States has never quite lived up to the words “all men are created equal.”
BIDEN: We have a chance to live up to the words that have founded this nation. This Independence Day, let’s not just celebrate the words. Let’s celebrate that promise. Commit to work, the work we must do to fulfill that promise.
A recent average of national polls shows Biden leading the White House race by about 9 points.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead on Legal Docket the decline of courtroom litigation.
Plus, Kim Henderson on good friends and finishing well.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning. This is The World and Everything in It. Today is the 6th of July, 2020. Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. I get a lot of solicitations to read books written by lawyers. I got one the other day that caught my eye. It’s titled The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of its Passing.
You know I’m all about the U.S. Constitution. Especially Article III, the section that established the court system. Article I, the legislature. Article II, the executive branch. Article III, that’s our specialty here on Legal Docket.
But I wanted to find out about this idea of trials vanishing. So I called up the author to talk with him. Robert Katzberg had served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and spent 40 years in courtroom litigation.
So he knows a thing or two!
And I asked him about the notion that a lot of people think we just have too many lawyers.
KATZBERG: Well, I think oftentimes we hear the famous Shakespeare quote: “The first thing we’ll do is to get rid of the lawyers?”
But what’s left out of people who use that quote is the line that follows. And the line that follows is something like, “And in that way, we can get rid of justice.” And that’s the truth.
Whether we have enough lawyers, whether we have too many lawyers, or whether we have enough lawyers in the right places, the fact of the matter is that it’s attorneys who are the frontline for the average American citizen to get justice. Simple as all that.
Continuing in the simplicity: the lack of trial lawyers and the jury trials are a threat to the republic.
I asked him how he connects those dots.
KATZBERG: Mark Geragos, who’s a pretty famous criminal lawyer here in Los Angeles, as he puts it, the book discusses the dirty little secret of the federal criminal justice system. And that is that there are no more trials. They’re very few trials.
The statistics, roughly speaking are as follows: in the mid-1980s, which was really the height of time when trials were abundant, 1 in every 10 federal criminal cases went to trial, which meant that before the result would come in, we would have 12 average citizens selected for their impartiality, determine the fate of the case. That 10 percent by the latest statistics of 2019, that 10 percent of cases going to trial is now 2 percent.
So, as a result of that, the average citizen, the juror who’s supposed to be playing a crucial part in the administration of justice has been frozen out of federal court! Plays no role! …
As I explained in the book, trial lawyers are performance artists. There is no Juilliard school, for lawyers, for trial lawyers to get into. Juilliard in New York, where if you play the cello, or you sing for the opera, or you’re pianist, they can test you in advance before admitting you, and they can see either your actual talent now, or your promise in the future. There’s no legal equivalent to that.
Lawyers become trial lawyers by trying cases in the courtroom.
Now, I’ve had plenty of young people come up to me and say, hey, when I grow up, I want to be a lawyer. And I think the image most people have is that being a lawyer means being a trial lawyer. But now those opportunities are vanishing because the training opportunities are vanishing. Vicious cycle.
KATZBERG: The closest analogy that I can make is standup comics. My particular favorite Chris Rock, for example, I guarantee you that when he first started out, he was nowhere as funny as he is now. It took night after night of perhaps bombing and nobody laughing for him to become Chris Rock.
Same thing with trial lawyers. In my book, I discuss my first case prosecuting criminal cases in the Eastern District of New York, as an assistant U.S. attorney, I was something less than great. It just took years and years and years.
So the bottom line is what’s happening now is we are losing our talented trial lawyers. The old ones are dying or retiring. The middle aged ones, having the skills rusted from inactivity. And the younger ones aren’t learning the trade.
Now, I’d placed the blame for that on law schools. But that’s not right.
Katzberg says it started in the 1980s, when the “lock ’em up” mentality took hold. That resulted in a high level of incarceration, the highest per-capita rate in the world right here.
KATZBERG: There are a lot of factors supporting that beyond the politicians. There’s a thing called the prison industrial complex. You have a lot of small towns in this country. I mean, take, for example, upstate New York, where you have some small towns, the only commerce is the prison. The only place where people in these rural areas, in New York, for example, or Illinois, the major employer is the prison.
And so if the prison is full, people are working. If the prison is not, they’re not….That’s a very strong lobby for more and more incarceration. Just like if you own a hotel, you want the beds filled? Same with the prisons.
Fill the beds. Katzberg explained to me that when he was a federal prosecutor in New York, if a defendant pled guilty or a jury found him guilty of a crime that had a five-year maximum sentence attached to it, the judge had some discretion.
That five-year max could be something less: from four years all the way down to no time at all. It was within the trial judge’s discretion, as the one who’d heard the evidence.
But that also created a statistical disparity and a call for change that Congress answered with federal sentencing guidelines. With that, discretion went out the door.
KATZBERG: And what the federal sentencing guidelines did in 1987, ’88, when it first was unveiled on the world, it took away the discretion from the judges. And it created numerical equivalents for all aspects of criminal conduct. For example, if a crime takes more than “minimal planning,” end of quote, certain numbers are added to the mathematical computation.
Once the guidelines were figured out that way, based upon these in numerical equivalents, for all kinds of things, how much money was lost, how much money was stolen, those kinds of things, there was a sentencing range, which the judge had to impose, no matter what. And these guideline ranges were much higher than what the average judge was giving.
Plus, what they did was in the old days before the guidelines, if I was sentenced to three years in jail, it was the thing called the parole commission. And after one-third of my sentence, I would be eligible for parole. The guidelines did away with parole and you must serve 85 percent of the sentence.
And so people were serving much higher minimum amounts of time in jail for much longer sentences. So what ended up happening was the risks of going to trial became so great that people just gave up their right to go to trial and pled guilty. And that’s what’s happened.
Katzberg says this means judges with lifetime appointments administer the court system—basically cutting citizens out of the process.
KATZBERG: There’s a very noted judge in the Southern District of New York named Jed Rakoff, who has been railing against the sentencing guidelines for decades now. And Judge Rakoff really has labeled it exactly what it really is, unfortunately. And that is, justice, quote, “behind closed doors.” That’s the last thing we want. We want the public involved. We want people to serve on juries. We want people to let the people’s voice, the people’s power become involved in our federal criminal justice system.
You know, there are two ways, if I can just pull back a little bit, they were there. There were just two ways the average citizen impacts the power and the administration and how their lives are run by the government. The first one of course is voting in elections. That’s the average citizen’s ability to control what the government does and how it does it. Everybody knows that.
But it’s the second aspect of power, the only other aspect of power that the average citizen has is serving on a jury. And if we are eliminating intentionally or otherwise that role, that duty— it’s called jury duty! It’s our duty as citizens. If we’re eliminating that, not good, not good at all.
These days, the American experiment as conceived in liberty needs to be remembered.
Our third president and inspiration for our Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson, wrote in 1801: “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.
MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER: As the American economy continues slowly opening back up, lost jobs are coming back. And they are returning much faster than economists expected.
For the second month in a row, millions of jobs have returned: The government counted nearly 5 million for June, on top of nearly 3 million for May.
These are record increases.
But they’re also signs of how far we’d fallen when states began shutting down businesses, stores, and restaurants and travel ground to a halt.
Because even with 7-and-a-half-million jobs added in two months, we’re still almost 15 million jobs below where we were when the coronavirus arrived on our shores.
The official unemployment rate for June fell from 13.3 percent the previous month to 11.1 percent.
Still double-digit unemployment—a staggering number—when you consider the February rate was just 3.5.
Time now to talk with David Bahnsen, financial analyst and adviser. He’s in New York with his family, traveling outside of California for the first time in a long time.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Yes, it is good to get back out here. It’s been a crazy few months.
EICHER: Let’s talk about the jobs report. Another big surprise, 4.8 million jobs gained in June. Way ahead of economists’ expectations.
BAHNSEN: Well, I think it’s a theme you and I have talked about a couple times and it does apply to this report, but it applies to so many past and you have to think future reports, which is the provable inability of economists, analysts, and pundits to necessarily project with even a proximity of accuracy on some of these things. And I’m not saying that as a criticism. I’m saying it as an actionable comment around the reality of how unprecedented this moment is.
And so when they’re projecting 3.2, 3.3 million jobs and you end up at 4.8, that’s a 50 percent miss. We know how off it was last month, where not only were they off; you can’t even apply a percentage because they were off by the wrong direction. I think that this is just simply a comment on the unprecedented nature of what we’re seeing.
EICHER: Right, because even this record rise doesn’t make up for the worst-ever job loss in April and the second half of March. Together, 22.1 million jobs lost and that set the clock back all the way to the end of the last financial crisis. We’ve got a lot of digging out to do still. So to the extent the new job report is positive, it’s positive against a negative backdrop.
BAHNSEN: Well, it’s very negative. It may be worse than that.
Now, again, when I say worse than that, it’s because you don’t know who’s left the labor force altogether. But the point is from a trajectory standpoint, you are nowhere near this economy operating at full capacity.
You have the largest states in the country still in a quasi-shutdown and some of their entire sectors. You look at the city of Manhattan that I returned to this week, which is the largest restaurant city in America, and they’re not even open inside yet and over half are not open outside. And yet you still see this type of job recovery.
So, yeah, there’s certainly a lot of room to go. I can’t imagine anyone would say any different. But the point is, as to where we are this quick in the cycle, these are numbers many people thought we might see—might—by middle of September, not by middle of June. And so to get a report at Fourth of July instead of Labor Day of this type of leisure, hospitality, retail job recovery, it speaks well to the lower income parts of the economy that I think you have to have a heart for right now.
EICHER: Digging deeper into that Labor Department report, we also had a rise month-over-month in labor force participation rate. It’s still below the 63.4 percent in February, but it did tick up to 61-1/2.
BAHNSEN: I think that, honestly, Nick, it’s hard to look at month-over-month and the reason why is that unlike the great recession, the financial crisis, where it was these totally structural things happening that were leading to this kind of mental and emotional frustration that caused people to leave the job force altogether.
If anything right now, there’s this excessive hopefulness that people kind of really believe a job’s coming back very quickly. And so I don’t expect that you’re going to get the same impact for labor participation force unless they end up extending that unemployment benefit at a federal supplemental level in a meaningful way at the end of July. That, I think, would do incredible damage to the labor participation force.
When President Obama extended those unemployment benefits out of the financial crisis, ended up being for two years—and that dollar amount was nowhere near what this level is now—but my point is that gives an economic incentive for people on the margin to not work. And to then classify themselves as not looking for a job, which is what the labor participation force essentially measures.
So, we have to watch that data because you’ve got to remember, this unemployment number here that we’re a little bit encouraged by today, that’s with a $600/week supplement from the Fed still paying.
So, we don’t know what they’re going to do by the end of July, but if anything is going to represent a meaningful improvement to unemployment, they will be taking away a paid incentive for people who might have access to work to not work.
EICHER: So that unemployment benefits bonus remains a disincentive, but I wonder whether it’s too soon to conclude that jobs recovery we’re seeing validates the Paycheck Protection Program to bear up small business? Can we say it’s a big success?
BAHNSEN: Well, the Paycheck Protection Program has been a big success in terms of the fact that it put off a lot of money very quickly in the hands of small businesses. I don’t think any of that is really disputable. But for me to say the whole program has been a big success, I’d like to wait a few more months because you want to see what kind of forgiveness is applied for.
Ultimately, if a bunch of people got free liquidity for a few months and then paid it back and still fired their people anyway, that’s not going to be a success. Now, I’m not expecting that. I think most of these people who took PPP loans are going to want forgiveness, meaning they’re not going to want to pay the loan back because they kept the payroll intact.
No question, the premise in your question is right. Circumstantially it really looks like PPP played a big role, I mean big, in holding some payrolls together. But I think we’re going to measure that with more specificity and perhaps an even bigger magnitude of success in a couple months.
EICHER: Let me get your read on the market week. A holiday-shortened week, but it’s like 3 percent gains on all the major indexes.
BAHNSEN: Yeah, the S&P 500 was up all four days this week, only the second time in five months. 800 points on the week on the Dow and that’s with an explosion of headlines around COVID case growth. So, to me, the market is making a really firm stand, not against some of the economic vulnerabilities, not against where U.S.-China can go, not against valuations maybe getting too rich. All of those vulnerabilities are out there.
But at least as it pertains to the incessant, nonstop drumbeat of “Oh my gosh, there’s more COVID cases coming” so forth and so on. There’s no way the media could have played this more sensationalistically this week and yet the market has just completely shrugged it off as mortality rates continue to drop, as hospitalization rates still look quite benign. I think we’re getting to a point where not only the markets but the economy are saying, “OK, fine. We’re going to have COVID cases. Let’s get on with our lives.”
EICHER: David Bahnsen, financial analyst and adviser. David, thank you.
BAHNSEN: Thanks so much.
NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, the 6th of July. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: The WORLD History Book.
35 years ago, German tennis star Boris Becker becomes the youngest man to win Wimbledon.
Plus, 51 years ago this week, divorce in this country becomes a lot easier to obtain.
EICHER: But first, 170 years ago, a U.S. president enjoys what will prove his final meal. Here’s Paul Butler.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: July 4th, 1850, Washington D.C. It’s a hot summer day in the nation’s capital. U.S. President Zachary Taylor sits in the pounding sun as an Independence Day commemoration drags on. The president finally finds an excuse to return to the White House and heads to the kitchen. Historian and author Sidney Blumenthal picks up the story in an interview with Ryan Grim.
BLUMENTHAL: He goes back to the White House. He’s famished. He’s thirsty, and he gobbles down all sorts of strawberries, vegetables, water, milk. It’s all contaminated, and he gets cholera…
Before becoming president, Zachary Taylor had a long military career beginning before the War of 1812. His exploits during the Mexico-American War were well known in newspapers across the country. He earned the nick-name: “Old Rough and Ready” because he insisted on leading from the trenches—often sleeping with his men under the stars.
His political commitments were relatively unknown, but he earned wide support during his short run for the White House—announcing his campaign just six weeks before the 1848 convention.
He earned 57 percent of the Electoral College and 47 percent of the popular vote. His biggest challenge as our 12th president was the debate over the expansion of slavery into the country’s new western territories. Historian John Sykes:
SKYES: He was able to convince rather strong handedly to keep the north and south together early. He often took a very strong stand to make sure people believed in the union.
During his 16 months in the White House, Zachary Taylor made many enemies—both inside and outside his party. So when Taylor died five days after the Independence Day celebration, rumors of assassination by poisoning began almost right away.
In 1991, researchers exhumed his body to test for arsenic poisoning. The results were negative—though some still suspect foul play. Only two U.S. presidents served shorter terms.
Next, July 6th, 1969, California becomes the first state to adopt no-fault divorce. It allows for the dissolution of marriage on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” Up to this time, marriages could only be annulled by proving fault of one of the parties due to adultery, abandonment, or a handful of other serious offenses.
The sexual revolution, women’s lib, and other cultural changes in the ‘60s became a driving force behind California’s move. Many other states soon followed suit.
Over the next two decades, divorce rates more than doubled. Today, the sociological, financial, and spiritual effects of divorce are well documented, and it is particularly damaging to women and children in poor communities.
During a 2016 interview with Eric Metaxas, author Peter Hitchens points to “no-fault divorce” as one of the most significant turning points in the anti-family revolution.
HITCHINS: Until the divorce laws, marriage was an agreement entered into by two people freely of a life-long union. After the divorce laws, it was entered into in the same way, but it was extraordinarily easy to get out of even by just one party in the marriage. What’s more, to divide up the property and children of the family in favor of the person who initiated the breakup of the marriage. This interference of the state in private life is unprecedented in a free society.
The governor of California at the time was Ronald Reagan. Later, he changed his mind about divorce and confessed that he regretted The Family Law Act of 1969 bears his signature.
SOUND: WIMBLEDON MATCH
And finally, July 7th, 1985 at the All England Club championship.
The unseeded Boris Becker from Germany and the eighth-seeded American Kevin Curren face off in the Wimbledon final.
At age 17, Boris Becker becomes the youngest player to win Wimbledon. Sportscaster Bud Collins speaks with the teenager following the victory:
COLLINS: What are you feeling right now? BECKER: I just can’t describe my feelings now. It’s like a dream, you know. I’m just happy and that’s it. COLLINS: Can you imagine, you’re 17 years of age, what do you look ahead to? BECKER: I think I have a lot of responsibility to the game now and I think the pressure is a little more on me, but I hope that I will do my best.
Over the next decade, Becker is a successful men’s player. He retired from the sport in 1999, holding a handful of records, dozens of titles, and even a gold medal.
In 2006, Tennis magazine ranked Boris Becker the 11th best male player between the years of 1965 and 2005.
That’s this week’s WORLD History Book. I’m Paul Butler.
NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, July 6th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Commentator Kim Henderson now on the importance of strong friendships.
KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: The restaurant server mouthed at me silently, “Almost time,” then joined her posse of pizza toters behind a customer unaware.
Good thing she gave me a heads up, since I had to find my phone (which is notoriously unfindable) and set the recorder (at which I am notoriously unskilled).
In spite of my deficiencies, though, I somehow managed to video it, that mélange of clapping and singing and a crowd being called to birthday attention. Yes, I got it (well, most of it), and the look on my friend’s face, too. You have to love a device that lets you store away a moment like that.
Because it isn’t often that six of us soul sisters (as in “walking the narrow road that leads to life” soul sisters) walk right on past the pile of whites that need folding and the floor that needs sweeping to drive somewhere solo at supper time. But we did that night, because we had some big celebrating to do around a gourmet Wild Greek pizza. Significant birthdays, you see, demand extravagance. No plain old sausage will do.
We were having an initiation of sorts—into the 40s club—and not a single one of us was wearing black. Or discussing that it’s the decade you start to fall apart. Oh, no. We at the birthday table chose to pass our plates and focus on the positive.
We mentioned mid-life achievements, like finally getting rid of those jeans we’ll never fit into again. And being okay with it.
We discussed how it feels to receive dividends from investments that are reaching maturity. (That would be our children).
We noted that reading glasses really are a great fashion accessory.
And we told stories—a heap of them—the kind that take a bit of mileage to acquire.
Somewhere in there, the wonder of technology allowed me to send footage from our party to the birthday girl’s mother four states away, all in the space of about a nanosecond. What mom wouldn’t delight in seeing her child celebrated, whether she’s turning 4 or 40? I should have sent her a photo of the birthday cake, too–a stack of chocolate-drizzled biscotti balanced on a piece of fine china.
Because later, over that birthday biscotti, we soul sisters put away the stuff of this world and focused on having half a life left and how we need to be living it. We talked the truth of who we are in Christ and what we hope to take into eternity.
It was a Proverbs picture of an abundance of counselors and iron sharpening iron and wounds that can be trusted.
It was good. Real good. And when we left that pizza place and returned to our laundry piles and unswept floors, we took something with us. A fresh desire to finish well.
For WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Christian camps in the summer of COVID-19. We’ll tell you about the challenges they face.
Also tomorrow, dissatisfaction—to put it mildly—dissatisfaction with social media giants has given rise to new options. We’ll talk about the likelihood that any new platforms can replace Facebook and Twitter.
And here’s a newsflash: Mary Reichard is taking a break! That’s well-deserved, my friend. Have a restful vacation.
MARY REICHARD: Thank you, thank you!
Really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. A little time to reset, get to know my family, and renew myself.
Well, The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
Ecclesiastes teaches that we should eat and drink and take pleasure in our toil, as this is God’s gift.
Go now in grace and peace.