Why are some of the most privileged students in the nation plunging into a racial grievance culture and upending their campuses as though oppressed by Halloween costumes they don’t approve, imagined racial slights, portraits of Woodrow Wilson, a tiny handful of real racial epithets, and the like? The reasons are of course multifaceted. But one deserves far more attention than it has gotten: Many or most of the African-American student protesters really are victims — but not of old-fashioned racism.
It’s not news that countless bogus lawsuits are filed in this country every year. What’s less well known is that because of obscure procedural rules, even the most self-evidently absurd lawsuits typically cost blameless defendants plenty of money, time, and anguish before any judge even considers whether to throw them out. Take the angry man who sued a Washington, D.C. cleaner for $67 million in 2007 for allegedly losing a pair of his pants. The damage claim was obviously absurd. In a sensible system the judge would have tossed it out without dragging the cleaner into court or forcing him […]