I’ve been writing about partisan, Obama-appointed US attorney Tim Purdon (who, it should never be forgotten, was appointed to his current position directly from the Democrat National Committee) and his agenda-driven prosecution of oil companies over a couple of dozen dead birds, some of the companies for no more than one bird. The case was absurd, and the law was being inequitably applied.
Recently a federal judge here in North Dakota dismissed the criminal charges Purdon had filed against several oil companies, but as if that embarrassment wasn’t enough for the partisan hack currently serving as the state’s top federal law enforcement officer, the Wall Street Journal has piled on naming Purdon the “dodo of the year.”
In a ruling that can only be called withering, district Judge Daniel Hovland contrasted “incidental and unintended” deaths during “legal, commercially-useful activity” with “hunting and poaching.” The court rejected U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon’s “expansive interpretation of the law” because it “would yield absurd results”: If the government’s case carried the day, “many everyday activities become unlawful—and subject to criminal sanctions—when they cause the death of pigeons, starlings, and other common birds.”
The court wrote that among the potential felonious bird-killing habits are cutting brush and trees, planting and harvesting crops, driving a vehicle, owning a building with windows and . . . “owning a cat.” The court noted that cats kill “hundreds of millions” of birds each year and cars kill 60 million, while windows kill 97 million to 976 million. In short, every American could be an unwitting criminal bird killer.
Even the Obama Administration isn’t this “crazy”—to borrow White House spokesman Jay Carney’s favorite word—so this selective prosecution was probably an expression of its political hostility to oil and gas companies. By the way, Judge Hovland also noted that windmills kill “roughly 39,000 birds annually,” yet the Justice Department has indicted no wind power company under the Migratory Bird Act. Mr. Purdon takes the prize for dodo prosecutor of the year.
Here’s the WSJ’s Stephen Moore talking about the case:
Purdon ought to be ashamed of himself.