Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 10, 2006
LAW: Who Is John Flym?
When the Senate Judiciary Committee is done with Judge Samuel Alito, it will move on to the witnesses for and against him. The Democrats have promised an attack on Judge Alito's character, and specifically his credibility, focusing on two stories: Alito's apparently inactive membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton ("CAP"), and the bogus Vanguard story.
The Democrats have already taken one hit to their witness list when it was revealed that their witness on the CAP story was an animal-rights extremist who compared eating meat to the Holocaust, promting them to withdraw the witness.
That leaves much of the attack on Judge Alito's character on the shoulders of the witness dealing with the Vanguard story, retired Northeastern Law School Professor John G. Flym, a former law partner of left-leaning civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate, who involved himself in the plaintiff's attempt to raise the Vanguard issue in 2002 after she had already lost her appeal. Flym will no doubt be painted as a high-minded academic who involved himself in this case out of concern over a gross breach of judicial ethics. But we should ask: who is John Flym?
As it turns out, the answer that comes from Google and other research on Flym is that the man is a longstanding far-left-wing activist, who most likely jumped into the Vanguard case principally for the purpose of damaging a judge who had been mentioned as a Bush Supreme Court short-lister. Consider:
*In 1983, Flym made a joint appearance with left-wing "historian" Howard Zinn in support of a "Nuclear Free Cambridge Referendum". Flym argued that opponents' protests about a city council interfering in national defense policy came down to "some people think that democracy is unconstitutional."
*In 1984, Flym defended James Barrett, a member of the domestic left-wing terrorist group the Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit. A 2005 FBI report described this group as follows:
The Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit (SMJJU) was responsible for seven bombings and one attempted bombing from April 1976 to February 1979.
More on the group here.
*According to marijuananews.com, in 1998, Flym appeared at a panel to address "the racially-oriented history of federal drug laws".
*According to wagingpeace.org, in 2004, Flym was a signatory to a letter calling for "sanctions, including impeachment and removal from office of any civil officer of the United States responsible" for coercive interrogation practices in Iraq. What appears to be an Arabic version of the letter is here. Flym also offered support to all-purpose crackpot Francis Boyle in this online discussion about impeaching Don Rumsfeld.
Does Flym sound like an impartial ethics expert to you?