The courts aren’t the right place for deciding JCLS controversies.
Don’t get me wrong. RI House Minority Leader Blake Filippi is right to be pursuing his lawsuit against the Joint Committee of Legislative Services, which is undoubtedly a central hub of our legislature’s corruption. But the judiciary isn’t where these disputes should have to be resolved. Think about it:
Filippi, the top Republican in the R.I. House of Representatives, filed an initial complaint against his fellow legislative leaders nearly two years ago, alleging he’d been unlawfully excluded from meetings of the powerful Joint Committee of Legislative Services.
Two years. Think how thoroughly that sort of timeline stacks the deck in favor of corruption.
The problem is that our political system is pretty thoroughly locked up for the benefit of a single party, so our political system cannot foster accountability. If power could conceivably change hands from election to election, those controlling the JCLS, one, wouldn’t be as comfortable creating such a powerful entity, because it could be handed over to their opponents in the next election, and two, would be compelled to back off when this sort of controversy arose, because they’d be afraid that not doing so would have political consequences.