Late on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 26, we saw the rule of law once more prevail, this time with a federal court jury awarding $83.3M in favor of E. Jean Carroll and against Donald J. Trump. Of that amount, $65M was for punitive damages, damages intended under our rule of law to punish, in this case for what Trump did to continually defame Ms. Carroll after a previous jury in 2022 found that he had sexually assaulted her and awarded her a separate $5.0M verdict. And after that first trial, the federal judge who presided over it (and the one with the $83.3M verdict), Hon. Lewis Kaplan, found that Trump has essentially raped her, which was his finding and his word.
Part of Trump’s lawyer’s closing arguments before the Jan. 26 erdict was rendered focused on what we lawyers call jury nullification, viz, that Trump wanted the jury to disregard the instructions provided it by the judge, to disregard their role, and, basically, to disregard the rule of law applied to Trump, notwithstanding that each one of us must adhere to it regardless of the county in which we live. So that includes those of us who reside in Sumter, or Marion, or Lake, or wherever.
Regardless of what any of you may think of Trump as a political candidate, anyone wanting our vote in the next election needs to adhere to, and NOT denigrate, the rule of law as has been content of Trump’s vocabulary constantly. Rest assured, part of our rule of law is to provide him the time and resources to appeal which he has or will be doing, and then let the appeals process play out.
Miles Zaremski is a resident of the Village of Dunedin.