Obeying our U.S. Constitution will short-circuit a great deal of political and media arguing and missteps simply by asking, is it in line with our U.S. Constitution, and then act accordingly
The greatest danger to our country are those ignoring their
Oath of Office to uphold
the U.S. Constitution.
Our Freedom of the Press, electronic or ink is being infringed upon, by some "private" companies, and should not be allowed.
Before the Internet, the argument was made, "we just don't have the space during our broadcast and/or in our newspaper to allow everyone to comment." That argument no longer exists, and therefore the censorship of opposing views is unconstitutional.
The 14th amendment demands equal protection of the laws. When someone or a group of individuals are censored, or denied EQUAL ACCESS on social media platforms, it is a violation of the Constitution. A monetary fine, and imprisonment for the human(s) in charge of the company will begin to alleviate this menace. No new legislation is necessary!!!
Over the decades, many have, and still try to water-down our Constitution, to fit their own betrayal. In a social media exchange I had regarding Constitutional rights and privileges, I offered the following:
The word, interpret is found nowhere in the Constitution. And, if you still insist on applying the word, privilege as being equal in strength to the word, rights, then I refer you to our U.S. Constitution, Article 4, section 2: "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States," which means, restrictions imposed on the rights & privileges of some are unconstitutional if those rights & privileges fully enjoyed by other States are not extended to everyone, thus making liars to their oath of office to uphold the Constitution, an anathema to our citizens.....well.....our honorable citizens.
Politicians get away with only what
We the People allow.
Keep in mind, the oath of office words are, support and defend the Constitution of the United States, NOT interpret the Constitution. As one of the three branches of our constitutional government, it is up to the Supreme Court to ultimately decide if legislation is unconstitutional.
Due process allows concerns to wend their way through the court system, often ending up at the Supreme Court. But until a constitutional challenge is decided upon,
OBEY THE LAW as legislated.
By the way, the word, interpret is found NOWHERE in the Constitution; the word should be stricken from the judiciary, law offices, and legislatures.
Precisely put, a judge and or jury is charged with deciding if the accused broke the law or not. The severity of punishment should then apply equally, lest it run afoul of the 14th Amendment of equal protection in the law.
I don't believe we have a racism problem in our country; what we have is a resentment problem.
Article 3, section 1: The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior...
Often we hear it said that Supreme Court Judges serve for life....this is not necessarily true. If We the People decide these judges have behaved unfavorably to the constitution, the impeachment process allows the U.S. House of Representatives to draw up "articles of impeachment."
When We the People say, want to remove a particular judge, or any other elected official, then each of our representatives, who by the way work for us...not the other way around, are obliged to act according to our wishes. If the House votes to impeach, then the Senate must decide, and so on; this is why it is vitally important we elect people of virtue to represent us in all branches of government.
How about a law demanding equal treatment to all U.S. citizens, no matter who and what they are, period? If equal treatment is the goal, and not special treatment, then this type of law is exactly the one needed.
Think about it. This one law, supreme over all others would make unnecessary all current civil rights laws, rules, and regulations, which according to many in the news today are inadequate. Add to that, all special treatment regulations not enacted by Congress (separation of powers and judicial review remains intact) , for any group of people, become automatically invalid and excised from “the books.”
Everyone treated equally, according to the law, and those breaking this law will face Federal charges.
Abolition of national, state, and local bureaus, and government employees heretofore charged with enforcing the myriad civil rights laws, rules, and regulations; think of the tax dollars saved with this alone, while everyone is treated equally!
And, best of all, the equal treatment law of which I speak will make it unnecessary for politicians to push for new civil rights laws in their effort to get elected/reelected.
I love this law….do you? By the way, this law was adopted July 9, 1868, and is called the 14th Amendment. Over the decades, it has been ignored by “liars to their oath of office” to uphold the Constitution. And attempts to water it down have been unsuccessful because it states, equal protection of the laws. It does not state, equal protection of the laws if you are a particular race, creed, color, lifestyle adherent, and does not state, unless you are a private company exercising censorship.
Current abuse of the 14th Amendment equal protection of the laws: President Biden's executive order mandating federal workers get the vaccine, created to inoculate against the Communist China Wuhan Covid-19 virus, and subsequent exemption to this order enacted by congress for their own, does not apply to every American citizen, and therefore is in violation of the amendment.
Know you Constitution!
Facebook Friend Question
Ohio is now moving to go permit less, no-training open carry, and I have an honest question. I understand - but do not agree with - much of the 2A people's arguments. However, I do not understand why they would want untrained people carrying guns in public.
This question is not for my friends to denounce "gun lovers" or "ammosexuals" or anything like that. It is an honest question. Be respectful and let others answer, please. I am trying to learn something.
Because there is no amendment to either modify or change the second amendment demand, to wit: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
Notice the words, shall not be infringed, and realize our rights have been infringed many times, from registering guns, permit laws, etc. Many of the commonsense laws, though unconstitutional, I agree with, but not as far as the laws infringe.
The honorable oath of office abiding way to have established laws relating to firearms would have been, and must be via the amendment process, a long and deliberately arduous process to assure “mob rule” does not carry the day, much like it does these days with government intervention increasingly creeping into our lives.
In my view, a great many of the problems dividing our country would be rendered moot if everyone simply obeyed our U.S. Constitution. Currently, social, and traditional media violate the first amendment through censorship, and the “liars to their oath of office” to uphold the constitution allow it. The FCC bureau issued rule 230 allowing social media to avoid liability. This violates the 14th amendment regarding equal protection of the laws but is only one current example of politicians, bureaucrats, and a vast number of other citizens ignoring the constitution; many choosing to do so because they know their desires will not be met with the test of an amendment.
An amendment to modify or change the first amendment rights of free speech, free press (digital and ink), freedom of religion, et al is the only constitutional (highest laws in the land) way to govern. It is easier to shove a law down the throats of the people, as opposed to obtaining their/our permission through the amendment process, ergo, we are buried in an avalanche of unconstitutional laws, and a long history of what I continue calling liars to their oath of office.
July 28, 2021
Shooting themselves in the (lower extremity, and I don’t mean foot), the Remington weapons manufacturer is offering to settle a lawsuit with nine families for $3.7 million each, after a judge denied dismissal of the suit. Remember when tobacco companies bent over forward and settled lawsuits against them for selling and marketing a LEGAL product. Remington capitulation is no different; hence, the money machine of law and politics wrapped within disgrace.
This post is not meant to diminish the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, for I have children too, and support common sense measures with gun ownership, but not at the flagrant disregard of our U.S. Constitution by officials ignoring their oath to uphold it.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. What part of “shall not be infringed” is misunderstood?
Infringed: to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress.
The amendment process is the only constitutional way to modify or change constitutional rights enjoyed by all American citizens, and because there has been no amendment modifying/changing Amendment II, every law, regulation, rule, and decisions by courts and bureaucracies was/is infringing on our right to have guns without infringement.
The amendment process was deliberately designed as lengthy to hold back emotionalism, and “government by mob” to allow the voice of the people, through their representatives to be heard and taken seriously.
Dishonest and ignorant people cite the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution, thinking government is given a free hand in making up whatever fits their whim or intent:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 18:
[The Congress shall have Power . . . ] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof;
……necessary and proper within the constitution is the salient point.
According to historian, Lyman Victor Bioseth: From 1768-1776, King George lll, and the British Parliament attempted the control of guns in our American Colonies; we had a revolution over it.
copyright 2021 Ronald L. DeMoor
Only legal, officially documented citizens of the United State of America shall receive and/or derive United States taxpayer funded government benefits and assistance, whether monetary or services and in-kind services. Any private, charitable, or business providing financial aid and services, to non-citizens while obtaining taxpayer funded and/or subsidized assistance shall be denied all United States tax-derived money and in-kind services.
~This proposed amendment to our U.S. Constitution does not preclude private, charitable, and business organizations from giving monetary or service-related assistance to whomever they choose, and in no way authorizes private, charitable, and business organizations the right to harbor criminals, including those in the United States illegally.
~This proposed amendment dovetails within Article lV, Section lV of our Constitution on the subject invasion.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a *Republican Form of Government (not the party), and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
*At the writing of our Constitution, to date, "Republican Form of Government" is defined as:
~The power of government is held by the people.
~The people give powers to the leaders they elect to represent them and serve their interests.
~The representatives are responsible all the people in the country, not just a few.
If you wish to comment, please email me: email@example.com
This is a non-partisan website; my allegiance is to our U.S. Constitution!
Here is why some of the electoral votes should not have been certified by Vice President Pence.
Ignoring the U.S. Constitution they swore to uphold, officials in six states, including four swing state judges and other election officials, decreed what amounted to extensions to Election Day, lax signature verification, and other non-legislated procedures.
*In addition, the Pennsylvania legislature violated their own state constitutional procedures for changing laws pertaining to elections, and therefore the electoral votes should not have been certified.
*Congress certifies Electoral votes as being lawful or not. The 6 (some argue 8) states, whose non-state legislative officials/bureaucrats changed election laws did so unconstitutionally, and therefore their (states) Electoral votes should NOT have been validated, no matter to whom they were pledged. Constitutionally, this would have thrown the 2020 Presidential election into the House of Representatives to decide.
Each state receives one vote to elect the president in this process, and because the Republicans at the time were in the majority (House of Representatives) their votes would have been for Donald Trump. Vice President Mike Pence voted to certify ALL the Electoral votes, despite the unconstitutional/illegal actions by the aforementioned 6/8 states. (Liars to their oath of office are the greatest threat to our country, including the Supreme Court judges who decided not to weigh-in in this critically important election challenge.) This is why supporters of Donald Trump claim the election was stolen.
Conversely, until there is an amendment to supersede Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, legislatures remain the sole power with enacting election laws for their respective states.
In June of 2021, the Biden Justice Department sues the State of Georgia over the passage of election laws. Biden, as well as Attorney General Merrick Garland and all other sworn officials involved with challenging said legislation, having sworn to uphold the Constitution, make themselves liars to their oath of office.
Protesters' accusations of Voting Rights Act of 1965 violations are either too ignorant, or don't care that our U.S. Constitution specifically reserves the rights of State Legislatures to enact election laws. The Constitution is the absolute set of laws in these United States of America. NOTE: Officials take an oath to uphold the law, not interpret the law.
On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State of Arizona legislature (election laws) decision with a 6-3 ruling. The 3 justices against the decision, Elena Kagan (author of the dissent) wrote on behalf of herself and Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor; another example of liars to their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
Articles 1 & 2 below specifically reserves to congress, and state legislatures the power to decide election procedures.
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.
(My notation) Obviously, the 2020 presidential election falls on the same day as the election of Senators and Representatives, and therefore the procedures are uniform.
Congress sets a national Election Day. Currently, electors are chosen on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November (the first Tuesday after November 1), in the year before the president's term is to expire. The electors cast their votes on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December (the first Monday after December 12) of that year. Thereafter, the votes are opened and counted by the vice president, as president of the Senate, in a joint session of Congress.
North Carolina, a settlement announced by the State Board of Elections said ballots postmarked by Election Day would count as long as officials receive them within nine days after the election.
Wisconsin, a federal judge similarly ruled Monday that ballots postmarked by Election Day would count as long as officials have them in hand within six days after Nov. 3.
Source: The Epoch Times Newspaper: Guidance issued by the Wisconsin Elections Commission resulted in municipal clerks filling out missing witness addresses on absentee ballot certificates, contrary to the plain language of the state law, according to Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice.
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court said ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day will be counted so long as they're received within the next three days.
Michigan state judge last week also ruled that absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be counted if they arrive up to two weeks after Election Day.
The electoral votes in each of the six states, which acted unconstitutionally, should have NOT been certified. The disgraceful Supreme Court decision(s) to not take up the cases heretofore mentioned, is a blight against the Supreme Court itself.
Had I been in congress at the time, I would have called for the immediate exercise of Article 3, section 1 of our U.S. Constitution to wit, the judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior. I would have called for their impeachment.
Here is a result when our U.S. Constitution is ignored/not applied.
While reviewing, keep in mind:
14thAmendment: Equal protection of the law.
U.S. Constitution; Article 1, section 8, clause 3: Congress shall have power to legislate commerce.
Judges do NOT swear an oath to interpret anything; they swear an oath to uphold the law.
Source: The Tennessean Newspaper
Jonathan's Grille suit against Nashville over COVID-19 mandates dismissed in federal court
Nashville Tennessean February 8, 2021
Jonathan's Grille, the business in Nashville most cited for COVID-19 public health order violations, lost a lawsuit against the city in federal court.
A judge ruled late last week the restaurant's owners had failed to prove that the Metro's restrictions on restaurants and bars violated their rights under both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions.
(My reply, begin)
~U.S. Constitution; 14thAmendment: Equal protection of the law.
~U.S. Constitution; Article 1, section 8, clause 3: Congress shall have power to legislate commerce. (End)
It's the first major ruling in a series of lawsuits the owners have filed or joined regarding Metro Nashville's restrictions on downtown venues.
"It is, at best, cold comfort for Plaintiffs (Jonathan's Grille) to hear that the Court sympathizes with them for their plight. The Court does not deny the difficulties that restaurants have faced during the pandemic," U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson wrote in a Friday opinion. "Nor does it deny the role that small to mid-sized businesses have played in keeping the U.S. economy afloat during the pandemic (and, for that matter, at all other times)."
The lawsuit was filed in September by the restaurant's owners, claiming they and other restauranteurs have faced "economic devastation" from the restrictions on capacity imposed by public health orders that they feel are "vague."
Under the city's health orders since March, bars have faced strict restrictions. The city has slowly lifted restrictions since then, steadily increasing the number of customers allowed inside.
Their businesses have been "crippled by the overreaching, severe restrictions placed on restraints and bars in the name of 'flattening the curve,'" the lawsuit claimed
The owners asked the judge to determine the city overreached its authority in issuing and enforcing several public health orders aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, including orders that differ for restaurants, gyms and gatherings like protests.
It included as evidence news coverage of the unfounded allegations, based on a false and retracted FOX17 story that the mayor's office purposely withheld the number of cases linked to downtown bars.
The Jonathan's Grille location on Third Avenue in Germantown leads businesses the city with the most citations — as of Monday, at least eight — filed against them for reasons including employees and patrons not wearing mask, packed bar seats and improper social distancing.
The establishment is one of several Nashville establishments cited for violations of a citywide mask mandate. They are plaintiffs in a separate federal lawsuit fighting the citations.
Richardson dismissed the case Friday without prejudice, leaving the door open for the suit to be refiled if the owners choose. One claim was dismissed after the restaurant failed to follow up on the city's response to their claims.
In his opinion, Richardson said he does not "begrudge" the restaurant for feeling the mandates may be "bad policy, unfairly slanted in favor of or against various constituencies, and ultimately not supported by sound science."
(My reply, begin)
~It is Unconstitutional……not bad policy. (End)
"The Court takes no position on these beliefs, however, because it need not do so, and indeed so doing is beyond its role. Also beyond the Court’s role is telling the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County how, within constitutional boundaries, to respond to the threat of COVID-19," he wrote.
(My reply, begin)
~It’s precisely the role of the court to uphold the U.S. Constitution (End)
Richardson went on to cite an opinion from U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh that clearly assigns the responsibility of fighting COVID-19 spread to be in the hands of "state and local governments, not the federal courts."
(My reply, begin)
~Fighting the spread of COVID-19, yes…but NOT acting unconstitutionally. (End)
Jonathan's Grille has also filed an ongoing suit against the mask mandate citation in Davidson County Circuit Court.
A request for comment sent to the attorney for Jonathan's Grille was not immediately returned.
Reach reporter Mariah Timms at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-259-8344 and on Twitter @MariahTimms. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/08/jonathans-grille-loses-suit-nashville-coronavirus-restrictions/4435880001/
My supposition: If the court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor, city and state governments, throughout our nation, would be sued into bankruptcy. Even if the State of Tennessee 1974 Sovereign Immunity law was applied, the law states, “Immunity from suit shall be removed when such conduct amounts to willful, wanton, or gross negligence.” The state’s action in favor of some businesses, and not equally applied to all, is both willful and wanton. (End)
Liars to their oath of office are the greatest threat to our republic ~John DeMoor
Legal Peaceful Protest Course of Action: Make sure your protest is anchored within the U.S. Constitution, against the unlawful act(s) of those swearing an oath to uphold it; this should be the linchpin of your argument.
~Ronald L. DeMoor
Authority to Act or Not Some claim state's rights: 10th Amendment ~the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
However, Article 1, section 8, clause 3 of the Constitution states, Congress shall regulate commerce, which in the case of the Covid-19 virus panic, it did not do, yet retains the authority. In addition, because of the 14th Amendment, equal treatment in the laws, congress would only have the power to shut down all businesses or none.
Virus Panic: Businesses: State & Local officials have no constitutional authority to close or restrict businesses, nor order businesses to regulate actions by customers.
Masks: The constitution does not mention whether or not the states may order certain garments be worn during a state of emergency, and therefore, under the 10th Amendment, states can mandate safety precautions.
However, under the 14th Amendment-equal treatment in the laws, state and local authorities would have to mandate everyone wear a mask, at all times, or the action is unconstitutional.
Due Process: In the Constitution, we are bound by "Due Process" procedures. Sometimes, when “liars to their oath of office” want to ignore the U.S. Constitution, they will offer excuses and procedural delays, instead of honoring their oath; these are the ones who should be removed from office, or certainly not reelected.
Side Note: The word, interpret is found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. Judges and attorneys swear an oath to uphold the law, not interpret it! An opinion by a judge or attorney is not law; only the legislature can make a law.
Disorder in the Court
“Lawmaker” call for judge’s removal fails (March 10, 2021). Tennessee Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro was well within his oath of office in demanding the removal of Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs-Lyle, after Judge Lyle deliberately ruled to expand absentee voting.
Our U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 4, The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators is evidence enough Lyle is guilty of disobeying her oath to uphold the law, and in my opinion, so are those supporting her illegal act.
In addition, the March 12 Opinion piece, Effort shows judicial independence matters, seems to condone Lyle’s lack of fidelity to her oath; judicial independence does not include independence to one's oath to uphold Constitutional law.
Add to this, as outlined in The Tennessean (March 1, 2021), Setting aside bail laws cost taxpayers, and the Tennessee Criminal Justice system dirty little secret, requiring the accused to pay for their freedom before trial, exposes a lack of honor to one’s oath within much of the Tennessee judiciary.
Push to remove Nashville judge over absentee voting ruling fails at Tennessee legislature
Nashville Tennessean March 12, 2021
The state legislature will no longer consider removing a Nashville judge from her position.
The resolution to remove Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle from the bench failed Tuesday after more than an hour of debate in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.
Lyle came under fire from the state legislature this month when a Republican state lawmaker filed a resolution pushing to remove her from the bench over her 2020 ruling to expand absentee voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move drew condemnation from members of the legal community concerned it is a threat to the independence of the state's judicial system.
Tennessee Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, who chairs the House subcommittee on elections and campaign finance, said he filed the bill in response to Lyle’s 2020 ruling — an action he deemed judicial overreach.
In comments Tuesday, legal experts spoke in favor of Lyle.
Retired Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Joe Riley spoke before the subcommittee to express his dismay at the chilling effect the legislation could have on the decision-making process of judges.
"It's a sledgehammer, and you don't use a sledgehammer very often," he said of the constitutional provision for removing judges if needed. "There's a time and a place for it, or it wouldn't be there, but it is an extreme remedy. It is like the death penalty for a judge."
The resolution drew staunch opposition from Democratic lawmakers, who were joined in part by Republican colleagues on Tuesday to speak against the resolution in subcommittee debate.
Rudd had previously gathered nearly 70 fellow Republicans in support of the bill, which he hoped would create an ad hoc removal committee.
In a statement emailed Tuesday afternoon, Rudd called the decision "unprofessional" and maintained he believed Lyle to have acted improperly.
"The actions today by a small handful of members of the House Civil Justice Sub-committee was beneath contempt and very shameful," he wrote. "Tennesseans have been relying on Republicans to protect the integrity of our democratic form of government. The opponents (lawyers, judges and liberal activists) implied in committee that unless a judge has committed indictable criminal acts, only the judiciary should judge a fellow judge."
Lyle declined to comment.
Opinion:: Effort shows judicial independence matters March 12, 2021 The Tennessean newspaper
Bob Boston, Aubrey Harevll and Billye Sanders Guest columnists The people of Tennessee confronted a major issue this week when the legislature’s Civil Justice Subcommittee defeated an alarming resolution that threatened to destroy judicial independence and abolish the separation of governmental powers that protect every citizen who comes before our court system. The Resolution called for the removal of
Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle because some legislators disagreed politically with just
one of her hundreds of decisions over a decades-long, distinguished career.
That effort side-stepped that Judge Lyle is an exemplary jurist: fair, impartial, respected and skilled.
This was the first time in Tennessee history that any part of the general assembly considered ousting a judge based upon a specific ruling. Imagine the consequences if this had passed into law, setting a precedent that would affect every judge. Tennessee citizens would no longer have the assurance that legal matters are resolved by fair, independent and impartial judges. Justice for those before a court could be subject to the exercise of power as opposed to consideration of the merits of a case.
Legal decisions would become influenceable by the politics of the day, and by who is in office, as opposed to the law. Fortunately, justice prevailed and we share a collective relief and thanks to the Subcommittee for listening to all positions. We now reflect on why we must be vigilant in supporting an independent judiciary.
First, let’s review what we witnessed over the last few weeks.
Once the resolution was filed on Feb. 24 , it quickly picked up interest among many House members, and the threat that the resolution might pass spread like wildfire across the state. Within days, growing opposition and sincere concern were shared. From the Tennessee, Memphis and Nashville Bar Associations to the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Lawyers Association for Women and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, the legal and judiciary communities presented a swift and united front.
Our group, the Committee for an Independent Judiciary, formed on March 3 to channel the support of a huge number of lawyers, judges and citizens – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – from attorneys in rural counties and in major metropolitan law firms to concerned citizens across dozens of communities. All unified to advocate for our proven system of justice.
Our elected officials admirably took notice of the collective concerns. An important number of legislators listened and weighed all sides in a respectful dialogue. During an era when there is chronic concern about lawmakers who vote party above all else, Tennessee looked beyond politics to do the right thing for its citizens.
It was an open exercise in civics and Subcommittee members, even those opposed to the defeat of the resolution, are to be commended.
We point out that justice has indeed worked since this matter emerged in court last summer.
First because the case was randomly assigned to Judge Lyle’s docket — and then because its appeal moved to the Supreme Court which functioned appropriately in providing review and oversight of Judge Lyle’s rulings.
Then, the legislative process functioned to reject what many believed to be overreach into a judicial process in which independence is critical. This entire episode is a not so gentle wake-up call.
We must educate ourselves and each other about the balance of power that enables our democracy to thrive.
From the Bar Associations to our fine Tennessee law schools and public forums, and through the willingness of legislators from all perspectives to listen and debate, we will preserve and defend our independent judiciary.
It is a collective duty and honor to uphold the Tennessee judicial system, that in fact upholds us all.
Bob Boston, Aubrey Harwell and Billye Sanders are members of the coordinating committee of the Committee for an Independent Judiciary. Visit
A USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE INVESTIGATION
Setting aside bail laws cost taxpayers March 1, 2021
Judges insist they are not ignoring the law
Jamie Satterfield Knoxville News Sentinel USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE
KNOXVILLE — It is the Tennessee criminal justice system’s dirty little secret: For decades, judges and magistrates have been brushing aside state law by making it the standard instead of the exception to require the accused to pay for their freedom before trial.
The law is clear: Cash bail should be a last resort, not the first choice. All defendants are presumed innocent and — except for those accused of capital murder — presumed eligible for release without forking over cash. Tennessee even passed bail reform in 1978 to standardize the rules. “We haven’t been doing it right since we passed it,” veteran Nashville attorney David Raybin said
Now, a federal court decision has declared unconstitutional Hamblen County’s practice of requiring cash-for-freedom without a hearing. The decision sets up the possibility that all Tennessee counties will be required to give poor defendants lawyers and all defendants hearings before tossing them in jails, a decision made hundreds of times every day, a USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee investigation shows.
And, without a statewide injunction or a flurry of daily appeals, no one can stop them. “I think there’s a fundamental failure on the part of the judges to even know the law,” said Dawn Deaner, Nashville’s former public defender. “Many times these judges get on the bench having never practiced criminal law.”
The price for this judicial approach is high — for those too poor to buy their pretrial freedom; for the children left behind as the incarcerated sit in jail; for the state’s economy as defendants lose jobs; for Tennessee’s welfare systems; and for taxpayers and local governments who must build and maintain jails.
The fix for this decades-long reliance on cash bail as a first option, Deaner and others say, is simple.
“The default position judges need to be taking is … this person is presumed innocent,” Deaner said. “I do think it’s that simple. Release (without cash bail) is supposed to be the default. (The law requires) a meaningful bail hearing with legal representation to determine whether or not cash bail is required.”
Judges insist they are not ignoring the law.
“The general consensus among our conference is that all judges currently comply,” said Davidson County General Sessions Judge Lynda Jones. “We are unaware of any who currently do not.”
Got cash? Go free. Broke? Stay jailed
USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee conducted a months long investigation into the bail-setting practices of Tennessee’s sessions court judges. There are more than 160 of these judges statewide, and they draw salaries as high as $185,000 annually. They’re elected. Some have experience in criminal law; some don’t.
Many, the investigation found, rely upon judicial magistrates – private attorneys with no specialty in criminal law – to decide at night and on weekends whether an accused citizen should go free for free as required by law. A few rely on magistrates who aren’t even attorneys.
Court clerks, who aren’t lawyers, are often forced to fill in on nights and weekends in rural counties to set cash bails for absent judges. The law allows clerks to make emergency bail decisions but it limits the amount of cash bail a clerk can set.
Clerks often set some of the highest cash bails for low-level misdemeanors, such as being drunk in public, the investigation found. The investigation shows Tennessee’s magistrates – paid by taxpayers – are brushing aside the law, too. Judicial Commissioner Ray H. Jenkins said he and Knox County’s sessions court judges started worrying about lawsuits over bail practices two years ago.
Jenkins — the only magistrate contacted who readily agreed the bail practices he follows aren’t legal — said it was the threat of a jail overcrowding lawsuit that led Knox County judges to recently adopt a pretrial release program.
Cash bail amounts vary widely across the state and even within the same county.
A person accused of vandalism in Knox County may well be released without forking out cash.
But the same person facing the same charge in Sevier County, by comparison, likely will face a cash bail of at least $1,000, if not more.
“You may be behind bars in one county and then, one county over, you could be released on pretrial,” said Jasmine Heiss with the Vera Institute of Justice. “(Being jailed pretrial) makes poor people even more poor, and they’re more likely to wind up in jail again.”
Boon for business, bad for taxpayer
The decades-long bail process, the media group’s investigation shows, has created winners out of private bail agencies and what Knox County Public Defender Eric Lutton and others call the “jail services industry.”
The poor locked up in county jails across the state, meanwhile, have lost jobs, cars, homes, marriages and children whether they were later acquitted or not. Public defenders who handle the lion’s share of the work defending the poor say people forced to stay in jail under cash bail are more likely to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit than people who came up with cash to go free within hours of arrest.
Accepting a wrongful conviction to go free has its own costs. It’s harder to get a job with a conviction. It’s almost impossible to get housing. That, in turn, often leads to a higher reliance on taxpayer- funded services for the poor, veteran Hamblen County Public Defender Ethel Rhodes and others point out.
County taxpayers have forked out millions of dollars in the past three decades to pay for new jails, each one bigger than the next, budgetary records show. If judges followed the law and made cash bail a last resort, the daily populations in nearly every jail in Tennessee would drop, by as much as half in dozens of counties across the state, data reveals.
Poor people detained across the state are every day forced to pay high price tags for basic toiletries and snacks. They often have to pay to see a nurse or a doctor. They always have to pay to talk to their children, their spouses and other loved ones.
Private companies give financiallystrapped county governments a cut of the profits for all those “services” and are allowed to charge fees many experts – and even some courts – say are exorbitant. The firms also kick in all the equipment to run the jail’s commissary, phone service and video visitation.
Judges’ reliance on cash bail has spawned more than 1,400 bail agencies across the state.
They offer poor people locked up in county jails across Tennessee the chance to go free if they can come up with enough cash or a credit card to pay 10% of the cash bail amount and a fee as high as $50.
Bail agencies don’t care who ponies up the cash, and sessions judges rarely make them cough up the full cash bail amount they promised to pay to the court if a defendant doesn’t show, the investigation reveals.
The state’s bail firms are lobbying state legislators right now to change the decades-old law to further benefit the industry. Bill Nolan, one of the state’s most influential lobbyists, says the bail agencies think the threat of losing cash is directly tied to whether the accused will skip or miss court – the higher the cash bail amount, the safer for the public.
Judges, including Jones, said the same thing. But statistical analyses reviewed and replicated by the USA TODAY NETWORK show little or no correlation between the cash bail amount and the likelihood that a citizen accused of a misdemeanor or nonviolent offense will skip court or hurt someone while free.
State prosecutors aren’t happy with the bail system, either. In a surprise move, 9th Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson said that he and other state prosecutors are pushing for the elimination of cash bail via private bail agencies.
Hamblen County Assistant Public Defenders Willie Santana, left, and Ethel Rhodes stand in front of the Public Defender Office in Morristown on Sept. 3.
Deaner BRIANNA PACIORKA/NEWS SENTINEL
A DIRECT VIOLATION: Governors, Mayors, Bureaucrats, and other officials closing and/or restricting some businesses, and not others is a direct violation of constitutional law.
Article 1, section 8, clause 3: (Congress) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.
This means the aforementioned politicians had NO POWER to close or restrict any businesses! Even some who claim 10th Amendment "States Rights" are ignorant of the verbiage in Amendment 10: (annotated) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. The constitution gives the sole right to CONGRESS to regulate commerce/business, not to liars of their oath of office.
Further, the 14th Amendment, section 1: (annotated) nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Ergo, if CONGRESS had acted on their responsibility to restrict or close businesses, they would have had to close ALL or NONE of the businesses to assure EQUAL TREATMENT.
Note to grammarians: I capitalize wherever I want, because this is my website ;-)
Know your Constitution
When you choose to protest or object, be sure your argument is rooted in the U.S. Constitution, our supreme set of laws, which politicians, (other) officials, and bureaucrats swear an oath to uphold.
The lasting effect, after you've "blown off steam," should be pointing out, and holding the "liars to their oath of office" accountable for not being faithful to the Constitution, ergo, they will have no legitimate argument!
The Supreme Court, in "Marbury vs Madison" (1803) decided, and I paraphrase, any laws counter to the Constitution are null and void. Therefore, as mentioned above, when your argument uses as it's shield, our Constitution, your protest will prevail, lest liars be exposed. Liars can be impeached, recalled, and/or certainly not reelected.
"Click" below, and download the U.S. Constitution.pdf file, so you can easily look up items such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.