The rule of law is officially dead in America.

Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersDetroit voters back committee to study reparations The faith community can help pass a reparations bill California comes to terms with the costs and consequences of slavery MORE (D-Mich.), a former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been placed on the ballot for re-election by a federal district judge in spite of universal agreement that he didn't meet the plain-language election filing requirements.


Judge Matthew Leitman ordered that Conyers be put back on the August ballot last week after the Michigan secretary of state had denied the congressman's appeal earlier in the day.

The dispute stems from the failure of Conyers — who has been in Congress for almost 50 years — to submit enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot under Michigan law. No one disputes that Conyers did not meet the legal requirements to be on the ballot, but Leitman ruled that "There is evidence that their failure to comply with the Registration Statute was the result of good faith mistakes and that they believed they were in compliance with the statute."

Not shockingly, Leitman gained his seat on the federal bench just two months ago, as a result of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) invoking the so-called nuclear option, where President Obama's nominees can be confirmed by the Senate without the need to reach a bipartisan consensus on their worthiness. After surviving the confirmation process with only a partisan fueled 55-43 vote, Leitman has already paid off for Conyers, one of their oldest warhorses.

In Obama and Reid's brave new world of the federal judiciary, the law doesn't apply to you if you are politically connected and liberal enough. And Obama's IRS scandal proves that the law will be used against you if you aren't.

Given this new reality, Congress and all elected lawmakers at every level of government might as well go home, because it doesn't matter what they decide — Judge Leitman and jurists of his ilk will simply wave the plain language of the law away if it is inconvenient to their cronies.

If Leitman is the norm for the nuclear-confirmed class of federal judges, Lady Justice has ripped off her blindfold and can be found at the corner saloon hoisting a cold one in memoriam to the American justice system.

Manning (@rmanning957) is vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. Contact him at