A federal court holds Trump accountable for his abuse of the law: Here's why that matters

Yes, Virginia, amid the clouds over Washington, D.C., silver linings sometimes do appear. One shone through brightly last

Thursday. A federal court held former President Donald Trump to account — serious account — for filing legally frivolous "revenge" lawsuits and congenitally abusing the judicial

system. True, silver linings don't melt heavy clouds — for example, the White House's ongoing mishandling of the classified documents found at President Joe Biden's home

and his think tank office; or the Supreme Court's avoidance of serious investigation of the leak that may well have helped end Roe v. Wade.  Still, it's important not to

miss powerful pro-democracy decisions in the lower courts. They are where, in actuality, most cases get decided.  By one definition, "A frivolous lawsuit … is filed with

the intent to harass, annoy, or disturb the opposite party." Sanctions for filing such suits are not common. Related Scene of the crime: Was there a conspiracy to

keep Cassidy Hutchinson silent? That is one reason why the $937,989 fine that the federal court in southern Florida imposed on Trump and his lawyer, Alina Hadda, is so

significant. The penalty appears to have registered on the former president: Within hours, he withdrew a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, a suit that the

court decision had identified as similarly frivolous and vengeful.