Good Jurors Nullify Bad Laws

Originally posted at LadiesInKeene.com

August 13, 2012, Ademo Freeman, founder of CopBlock.org, was found guilty on three counts of felony wiretapping after recording his conversations with public officials in an attempt to bring accountability to a situation where it was noticeably absent – an incident where excessive force was used against 17-year-old Frank Harrington, a student at Manchester’s West High School, by Darren Murphy, school resource officer and an employee of the Manchester Police Department.

If you are not familiar with Ademo’s situation,learn more.

Ademo was sentenced to one year in Valley Street Jail, all but 90 days suspended, as well as 1-3 years in NH State Prison suspended for 5 years of good behavior.

In a letter from jail, Ademo wrote: “By the time this is posted, we’ll already know the outcome and hopefully the jury is understanding of my position. I don’t, or won’t, blame them if they find me guilty.”

Ademo may not blame them, but I do.

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Military “Cuts”: Don’t Believe the Hype

by Ron Paul

Grover Norquist, the influential conservative activist, recently made some very frank and sobering remarks about the U.S. military budget. Unlike many conservatives, Mr. Norquist understands that American national security interests are not served by the interventionist foreign policy mindset that has dominated both political parties in recent decades. He also understands that there is nothing “conservative” about incurring trillions of dollars in debt to engage in hopeless nation building exercises overseas.

Speaking at the Center for the National interest last week, Norquist stated that “We can afford to have an adequate national defense which keeps us free and safe and keeps everybody afraid to throw a punch at us, as long as we don’t make some of the decisions that previous administrations have, which is to over extend ourselves overseas and think we can run foreign governments.”

He continued: “Bush decided to be the mayor of Baghdad rather than the president of the United States. He decided to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan rather than reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That had tremendous consequences… Richard Nixon said that America’s national defense needs are set in Moscow, meaning that we wouldn’t have to spend so much if they weren’t shooting at us. The guys who followed didn’t notice that the Soviet Union disappeared.”

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When Two Paths of Nullification Collide

Say the word jury nullification and people say they can’t do it. Say state nullification and people will say it is a no-go. The reason for this is that the fear that most people have of the government will punish them prevents them from doing this on their own.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where people regularly had the courage to defy their government when it is acting unjustly or unconstitutionally but we live in the real world where such courage is rare. Those who believe in these concepts have to accept the idea that people are not going to risk their lives, liberty, and property when attempting to disobey the government. There has to be a legal path for these things in order for the average person to use them.

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Detainment of Virginia Marine veteran NOT an NDAA issue

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (Aug. 22, 2012)  – By now, you have likely heard about Brandon Raub, the Marine veteran in Chesterfield, Va. involuntarily committed to a mental hospital for evaluation due to posts he made on Facebook.

FBI and Secret Service agents, along with Chesterfield police, reportedly questioned Raub last week. Police then took him into custody and transported him to Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. Police, the FBI and the Secret Service all said Raub was not arrested. Chesterfield police issued a statement Monday saying Chesterfield mental health crisis intervention workers recommended that officers take Raub into emergency custody and bring him in for a mental evaluation.

On Monday, Special Justice Walter Douglas Stokes ordered Raub detained for up to 30 days for further psychological evaluation “for statements that are controversial and terrorist in nature,” according to his Rutherford Institute attorney.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen numerous posts linking Raub’s detainment with the detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act. While his detainment raises many red flags, it is NOT an NDAA issue.

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Multi-front war against NDAA detention, federal spying on citizens

Push back against indefinite detention without due process written into the National Defense Authorization Act, along with unconstitutional provisions in the Patriot Act and other surveillance oriented federal legislation continues at many different levels.

Here at the Tenth Amendment Center, we focus primarily on state and local solutions, specifically state nullification and local non-cooperation with federal agents acting against people on American soil without due process.

But efforts to repeal indefinite detention and reform the Patriot act also continue in Washington D.C.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee recently kicked off a grassroots lobbying effort to coincide with Congress’ fall recess. The break offers the perfect opportunity to track down senators and representatives in their home districts and push them to pass civil liberty preserving legislation.

“The constitutional abuses of our national security state are too entrenched for any individual, or any politician, to overcome.  Even though the PATRIOT Act and FISA allow the NSA and FBI to monitor law-abiding people en masse, and the NDAA could allow the military to kidnap and detain activists and journalists without trial, a movement of millions — visible in all the places where we find ourselves — can still restore democracy in America. It’s happening right now all across the country, one city at a time,” BORDC executive director Shahid Buttar said.

The JUSTICE Act counts among the most important bills up for consideration. The act would reform the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendments Act and other surveillance authorities to protect Americans’ constitutional rights, while preserving the powers of our government to fight terrorism. According to the BORDC, the JUSTICE Act includes:

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Jefferson’s 19-Year Rule

I bring this up not to endorse or criticize either Jefferson or Madison, but just as a good example of the feedback members get in the Liberty Classroom forums. Someone asked, “In a letter Jefferson wrote to Madison about the Constitution he talked about how laws should have a termination date of 19 years. This option was better than just allowing for the repeal of the law. Is there more to it or if we were to follow Jefferson’s word should the Constitution have been rewitten many times over?”

Kevin Gutzman, who teaches U.S. History to 1877 for us, replied:

The letter you mention was sent to James Madison. Jefferson had been pondering the question whether we should inherit any government obligations, whether in the form of constitutions, statutes, public debt, or private debt. Having tentatively concluded that we shouldn’t, he wrote to Madison with this idea.

In response, Madison made several observations: 1) Obligations incurred by government in one generation may well yield benefits to the next. So, for example, if the government sells bonds to finance construction of a bridge, the succeeding generation may find itself facing the previous generation’s obligation, but it will also recoup most of the benefits associated with that obligation. To insist that every obligation have a 19-year sunset would make such government programs impossible. 2)

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