Judge Questions Government’s Persecution of DADT Activists

I’m busy watching this hearing today (and trying to watch one that happened last week). It’s hard to watch two hearings at once!

But I didn’t want you think I was still celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, so for the moment I’ll direct you to this story, another example where DOJ is taking an unreasonable stance against democratic activists:

Just got a report from Paul Yandura who is at the Federal Court House where the arraignment is for the 13 DADT protesters. As reported yesterday, the protesters, who were arrested on November 15, 2010 in front of the White House, are facing tougher charges than usual for cases like this. The government’s lawyers intend to prosecute the 13 defendants for “violating the orders of a federal law enforcement officer,” which could result in jail time. This is the first time DADT protesters have been in federal court. The other defendants were processed for minor misdemeanors in DC’s court system.

At today’s arraignment, Mark Goldstone, the lawyer for the 13 protesters, explained to Federal Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola that the statute under which the defendants are being charged was unusual. He noted that it had not been used in recent past against people engaging in civil disobedience at the White House. For whatever reason, the government has decided to pursue the more serious criminal charges.

What happened next was surprising to those in the Courtroom. Judge Facciola got up out of his chair, while pacing, gave a speech about the history of the civil rights movement in the United States. He intimated that there were trumped up charges back in the 50s and 60s, too. And, he evoked the Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham case, Martin Luther King’s “letters from the Birmingham jail” and how civil rights protesters were often brought to court to face stricter charges. The judge clearly linked the protest over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to those earlier civil rights protests.

The Judge asked the government prosecutor a lot of questions, including why the government didn’t charge the protesters under the lesser crime of disorderly conduct.

You may remember Facciola from the White House email case, in which he ordered the White House to actually keep its emails.

I’m glad the Magistrate judges are pushing back against DOJ’s unreasonable positions.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

0 Responses to Judge Questions Government’s Persecution of DADT Activists

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @CarlGWoodward U full of shit
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@CarlGWoodward Frankly, your simpering ignorant tripe is not worth the time.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@CarlGWoodward Yes, it is a patent misrepresentation of what @ggreenwald said, and of the entire basis of his over-criminalization argument
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @attackerman Well, you probably DID look younger, more punk, and more tattooed (?) two years ago. It's been a while.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @armandodkos No, I kind of regret having initially clicked myself.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Welp, this is rather large load of crazed horse manure: https://t.co/fkvux5Y1hX
21mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @MDAppeal: Though it's too late for the Motorola petition, would anyone be interested in an amicus group promoting regularity in appella…
30mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Just scratching the surface of the constant narcissistic overreaching by Richard Posner. https://t.co/0EvUacFuWd
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Reminder: Bulk spying being authorized by dragnet order older than even garden variety Pen Registers. https://t.co/ZySYAe0rcF
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @KenDilanianAP: Rand Paul wouldn't be able to force expiration of surveillance provisions if Senate Rs hadn't blocked a USA Freedom Act …
50mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Ouch, but arguably fair. https://t.co/xoLJB4SrOj
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NathanielDWhite Agree. But Mitch has been playing chicken thus far and now he has Paul to take the blame. @JakeLaperruque @HarleyGeiger
1hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2011
S M T W T F S
« Feb   Apr »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031