Rabbi Defends Florida’s American Laws for American Courts Bill

During the 2013  Florida Legislature session, Jewish Defense group, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Civil Liberties Union declared that Florida version of American Law for  American Courts legislature regarding acceptance of foreign law in certain cases did not recognize Israeli divorces granted Florida residents by Jewish Rabbinic Courts.

Alone among rabbis who contested these arguments was Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, BA, MA and JD, spiritual leader of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Rabbi Hausman, who holds Orthodox Simcha (Ordination) is conversant in Hebrew and applicable Jewish Law, Halacha. Further because of additional education at the American University in Cairo, he is conversant in Arabic and  Islamic Shariah law.

His comments on this issue raised by Jewish defense groups were contained in letters to Florida Legislators and in articles published in both the New English Review and its blog, The Iconoclast.  In 2014, the Florida  version of American Law for American  Courts legislation was re-introduced as Senate Bill 0386 and House Bill 903.  In this video interview with Rabbi Hausman addresses:

1.     His background and  qualifications  to address the matter of  Recognition of Israeli Rabbinic Court Decrees in Family Law matters.
2.     Whether  Jewish and Civil Rights groups in Florida who object to SB 0386/HB903: “on acceptance of foreign laws in certain instances” on the grounds that the legislation would bar recognition of Rabbinic Divorce and Custody Decrees under Israel Law.is not correct.
3.    Independently research by a Tel Aviv University family law Professor Daphna Hacker  that Israel Law recognizes both Rabbinic and Civil Family Law Decisions.
4.    How are those Israeli Family Law Decrees  are currently recognized under Florida Family Law Practice.
5.    How  SB0386/HB903 protect religious ecclesiastical law for organized religions?
6.    How Jewish Halacha Law differs from other religious Law such as Sharia and how ancient is the Jewish doctrinal basis for recognition of the supremacy of Federal and state of Florida Constitutions.
7.    How SB0386/HB903 protects the fundamental  Constitutional rights  of  Floridians, especially women and children?

Watch this Vimeo video of an interview with Rabbi Jonathan Hausman by Jerry Gordon, Senior editor of The New English Review:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

FLORIDA ACTION ALERT: Support SB 386 – American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) bill

This is the first in a series of important alerts we will be sending to you in the days and weeks to come! Senator Alan Hays recently introduced SB 386, the Florida Senate’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) bill.

SB 386 is common-sense legislation that protects Floridians’ individual, fundamental constitutional rights from foreign laws or legal doctrines where the application of those laws/doctrines would violate those constitutional rights. No particular foreign law is singled out. The proposal applies to them all. It’s that simple.

The ACT! For America national staff have made the passage of this bill a top legislative priority. At this stage, it is up to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee whether SB 386 progresses to the floor of the Senate. We need to be sure that the members of the Committee understand the strong level of support across Florida for this bill!

Can we count on you to help us with this today?

Contact by you, a constituent, will be the best chance to see that this important bill passes in the Senate Judiciary Committee and ultimately becomes law. It just takes a moment of your time, but when your actions are joined together with the actions of thousands of other voters in Florida, it makes quite a roar.

Can we count on you to help us with the simple, but very important, Action Item noted below?

Important and Time Sensitive Action Item

Today, we need you to call and email all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (and pass this request on to everyone you know!). You can email each Senator by following the link to his or her legislative web site below:

Sen. Tom Lee:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S24
(850) 487-5024

Senator Darren Soto:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S14
(850) 487-5014

Senator Rob Bradley

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S7
(850) 487-5007

Senator Andy Gardiner

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S13
(850) 487-5013

Senator Arthenia L. Joyner

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S19
(850) 487-5019

Senator Jack Latvala

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S20
(850) 487-5020

Senator Garrett Richter

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S23
(850) 487-5023

Senator Jeremy Ring

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S29
(850) 487-5029

Senator John Thrasher

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S6
(850) 487-5006

Please respectfully relay the following sentiments in your own words in a phone call and e-mail:

Dear Senator,

I urge you to support SB 386, the Florida Senate’s American Laws for American Courts bill. This important piece of legislation was introduced by Senator Alan Hays and has already passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama and North Carolina.

Further, I ask that you do what you can to move this bill through the legislative process and to the Senate floor for a vote.

SB386 is tremendously important to all Florida citizens, as it protects their constitutional rights from the incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, if those laws infringe upon their state or federal fundamental constitutional rights.

No individual foreign law is singled out.

We must maintain the authority of the Florida and U.S. Constitutions.

As a resident of Florida and as a voter, this bill is of the utmost importance to me!

Thank you again for your leadership on this vital matter.

Sincerely,

(Your name and city)

Thank you for your help in seeing this bill passed in Florida, so that your state can join the others that now have ALAC laws on the books!

REMEMBER, YOUR VOICE COUNTS! IF EACH OF US DOES JUST A LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN ACCOMPLISH A LOT!

American Flag Buffoonery in the 9th Circuit Court

The 9th Circuit Court of Buffoons has done it again…made a ruling so blatantly unconstitutional the Supreme Court will have to spank them…again.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WLjfwDmAsBM[/youtube]

 

The featured photo is of Patriotic old women making American flags. They were born in Hungary, Galicia, Russia, Germany, Rumania. Their flag-making instructor, Rose Radin, is standing. The photo was taken circa 1918

Check Your History by B.K. Marcus

In a recent Freeman article, “Check Your Context,” columnist Sarah Skwire brought my attention to a popular meme on the political left, both online and off: “Check your privilege.”

At its gentlest, this is advice to raise our awareness of those aspects of our personal histories that may lead to complacent assumptions about how the world works, assumptions that may limit the scope of our moral imaginations.

When it is less gentle (which is often), it is a dismissal of the opinions of anyone who is insufficiently poor, or, more likely, insufficiently left-wing.

I hadn’t heard “check your privilege” before, but I did grow up surrounded by the assumptions that privilege has to do with money and education (no matter how they are acquired) and is ultimately something to feel guilty about. So I was very happy to see Skwire succeed in making the same points about context that I spent a silly amount of time failing to make to my peers in college:

No one is privileged at all times and in all ways. The teenager who rules the halls of the high school is just a punk kid when she gets pulled over for speeding. And even the most powerful politician, stuck in a dance club, is still just an old guy who can’t dance.

To augment her advice to check the social context in which we perceive a person to be privileged, I would like to make a different point about “privilege” and context—a historical point that has informed how I have heard the word ever since I learned its etymology. The history of the word—and how its connotation has changed—is critical, I think, for libertarians.

My own path out of the default leftism I grew up with was circuitous at best. For me it did not begin with Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard. Of greater influence was Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy.

In a scene in that book we find our anarchist hero Hagbard Celine all dressed up and undercover at a Council on Foreign Relations banquet. The topic of conversation is Mortimer Adler’s claim that “we and the Communists share the same Great Tradition . . . and we must join together against the one force that really does threaten civilization—anarchism!”

Our hero interrupts the ensuing conversation:

“I can put the Great Tradition in one word,” he said calmly. “Privilege.” . . .

“Privilege is defined in most dictionaries as a right or immunity giving special favors or benefits to those who hold it. Another meaning in Webster is ‘not subject to the usual rules or penalties.’ The invaluable thesaurus gives such synonyms as power, authority, birthright, franchise, patent, grant, favor and, I’m sad to say, pretension. Surely, we all know what privilege is in this club, don’t we, gentlemen? Do I have to remind you of the Latin roots, “privi, private, and lege, law, and point out in detail how we have created our Private Law over here, just as the Politburo have created their own private law in their own sphere of influence?”

Obviously the private law of privi-lege isn’t the polycentric legal system advocated by anarcho-capitalists and recently explored by Freeman writer Tom W. Bell (“What Is Polycentric Law?”). Rather, it is, as Etymonline puts it, “‘law applying to one person,’ . . . from privus ‘individual’ (see private [adj.]) + lex (genitive legis) ‘law.'”

In other words, unequal treatment by the State.

True privilege, in this older sense, means membership in the political class, advantages backed by coercive government.

The conflation between wealth in general and State-granted privilege is understandable: For so much of human history, the “upper” class and the political class were one and the same. And whenever the merchant class began to build significant wealth, it either joined the political class by seeking government favor and regulation against competition, or it was crushed by a political class that was jealous of its own privilege—in the original sense.

This pattern continues today, but it is not pervasive. Since the Industrial Revolution, more and more wealth has been created from production and voluntary exchange. The State continues to co-opt capitalists, but the rising general prosperity of the past century or two shows that, in the West at least, more and more wealth is the product of mutually beneficial exchange, not privilege.

Some readers may be rolling their eyes at a history lesson they see as pedantic and irrelevant to modern usage. But, as with the history of the term liberal, no discussion of the word privilege can really be complete without the context of both its origins and its transformation—or its confiscation and obfuscation, which was deliberate at least in the case of “liberalism.”

None of this is to argue with Skwire’s important point about context: Power dynamics aren’t linear, static, or simple, and neither are the individuals we may sometimes seek to dismiss for the power we perceive in them.

But certain classes of power are simpler than others, and more insidious.

The teenager who rules the halls of the high school may or may not have achieved her status through coercion. Either way, her victims do eventually get to opt out of her sphere of influence. The cop who pulls her over for speeding, on the other hand, exerts a privilege that we can’t escape.

The politician may feel powerless on the dance floor, but any social power the other dancers have over him is temporary at best, and does not take the form of direct harm—whereas he can return to work on Monday and initiate legislation against dance clubs. His is an entirely different category of privilege.

Those in the 21st century who are most enamored of the word privilege—and often wield it as a bludgeon—make two mistakes. First, as Skwire shows us, they underestimate the complexity of power dynamics and social context. But they often take it a step further. In the name of reducing their newer, fuzzier kind of social privilege, they often advocate increases in the simple, old-fashioned, government-based variety.

ABOUT B.K. MARCUS

B.K. Marcus is senior editor at Liberty.me and a publishing consultant at InvisibleOrder.com.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

When will the killing in Florida ever stop?

The title of my column comes from the March 9th front page featured story from the Palm Beach Post concerning the loss of forty children in 2013 who were under the control of the Florida Department of Children & Families. Losing forty innocent children in 2013 is forty lives that could have been saved, especially when you see the negligent ways these innocent children lost their lives while under the state of Florida’s care. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and I pray that the Florida Department of Children & Families does a better job protecting the innocent in 2014.

Now, let’s look at another topic that is near and dear to my heart. One that has been “killing” since January 22nd, 1973. One that has killed over 56 million babies in our country – ABORTION

In Palm Beach County alone 5,808 children were aborted in 2013. In the state of Florida there were 71,503 abortions in 2013. Once again, not to take away from the importance of the “forty” lives that were lost in the same year in Florida through the Department of Children & Families – how can one even begin to compare “forty” deaths to 71,503?

It doesn’t even come close. Just think about that for one minute. Same state, same year. While the article on these “forty” lives was rightfully featured on the front page of the Palm Beach Post – when are we ever going to see that 71,503 figure on any front page in any newspaper in our beloved state let alone the country?

Over 71,000 babies butchered in Florida this past year and not a word is spoken or written about it. How about a daily death count of the “56 million” who have been murdered in America since that now infamous Roe v. Wade decision 41 years ago? Their deaths will probably never see ink wasted to remember them or tell their stories.

danielsacks

Dr. Daniel N. Sacks

Only because we live in a “culture of death” and we have a liberal President in the White House who embraces it, endorses it, promotes it, and funds it. So, it is up to “Pro-Lifers” to go out during these “40 Days for Life” to pray at these abortion clinics and to demonstrate at abortionist’s offices like that of Dr. Daniel N. Sacks of Palm Beach-Wellington Women’s Care.

Who out there is going to join the Pro-Lifers tomorrow or on any of these 40 days? Who out there really even cares? Who out there has just given up and says “there’s nothing I can do to stop abortion?” Who out there claims to be Christian and just turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to these intrinsic evils that attack our beloved communities every single day? Who out there is just going through the motions each and every day and is more worried about whether it is going to rain tomorrow for the Marlins game at Roger Dean or whether they will be able to get to their favorite restaurant this evening in time to catch the “early bird” special”?

With more and more “selfies” taken on an hourly basis in our country – that is what our vain society has come to – SELFIES – as in SELFISHNESS. All about me. I guess that is the “thing to do” today. Take a picture of yourself with your own “self”-phone and send it to everybody you know – and hope it goes viral. Wow! That’s real meaningful. So productive and self righteous. With Facebook, Twitter and all these other annoying ways to entertain ourselves – we have forgotten about others and it’s all about “OURSELVES” – the evil foundation of the “selfie”.

What ever happened to the word “groupie”? That was big in the 60’s & 70’s with all the rock bands. I kinda wish that word would come back. I prefer the term “groupies” over “selfies” any day. But, only if those groupies are doing something constructive and Christian-like – as in praying in groups in front of abortion clinics and demonstrating in groups with our “Pro-Life” signs in front of abortionist’s offices. Put your “self-phone” away – delete all your “selfies”, skip an early bird special this Lent – and HAVE THE COURAGE TO PROTECT THE UNBORN!!

RELATED VIDEOS:

The first half of this is overlaid with good music and the second half is a talk by a scientist who explains that the complexity by which the instructions for human development are coded into our DNA and carried out by the mother are beyond all mathematical and human comprehension.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/FF4uR0MRGxA[/youtube]



This video is not secular but its short, heart-warming, and powerful.  It has an audio track of a young child singing and talking to his/her mother who aborted them letting her know how much they love her and want to be with her while they are safe and being loved in Heaven. THIS IS A VERY TOUCHING VIDEO…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8GzjO14Yetc[/youtube]

 

This video is from a business called “Baby Center” that has its own website and other related videos as well.  The video is good but short.  They have three more that I am aware of on their YouTube site that cover the remaining weeks of gestation.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/4l9GE_eaMSs[/youtube]

 

RELATED STORIES:

Conn. High School Blocks Pro-Life Student Group From Handing Out Information
Hillary Clinton: Abortion Needed for Equality —and Human Development…

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Miss Monica Elizabeth and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

‘Kangaroo court’ convicts pro-life activist for holding a sign

After having had phony charges against him dismissed several times, this was bound to happen eventually.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, pro-life activist Peter D’Attilio was convicted by a jury on three charges stemming from an incident when he held a pro-life sign in front of a school in Brockton, Mass. on March 21, 2012. After a two-day trial in Brockton District Court, the six-person jury found him guilty of disturbing a school, trespass, and resisting arrest. MassResistance was present for the entire trial.

Brockton District Court in downtown Brockton, Mass.

Those verdicts came despite the fact that Peter’s lawyer (using testimony by the prosecution’s own witnesses) clearly proved that he did not commit any of those crimes. This was a monumental miscarriage of justice. In the end, the facts and evidence mattered very little.

Seemingly everything in this trial was stacked against him: (1) A hostile judge who was new to the bench. (2) A jury that appeared to be made up of several people who were strongly pro-abortion. (3) A young prosecutor who largely ignored the facts and focused on demonizing Peter personally in the eyes of the jury. And (4) a police report with blatant untruths.

In our opinion, it seemed this was meant to send a strong message to pro-life activists. By local standards, this was a “nuisance” case that would normally never have gone forward. In Brockton there is a backlog of actual violent crimes. And this one, on its face, had no substance. It did not involve injury, damage, theft, etc., but was more political in nature. Nevertheless, neither the judge nor the District Attorney’s office would relent.

Peter D’Attilio’s pro-life ministry

Peter D’Attilio is a pro-life hero in Massachusetts. He is a religious Catholic who runs a pro-life ministry called “Defenders of Women.” Its mission is to educate high school and college students about the true nature of abortion, versus what Planned Parenthood tells them in school. He usually carries a sign with diagrams about a baby in the womb, and passes out bookmark-like pamphlets.

Peter gives a pro-life talk at Boston City Hall Plaza to kids who had gathered there — while a Jimmy Fund event takes place behind him.

Carrying a video camera

Unfortunately, he has been viciously harassed and even beaten up by local police who don’t like his message. A few years ago the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that people have the right to video police who are confronting them. So Peter brings a video camera for protection. It has come in handy; he has documented several illegal harassments by police with YouTube videos, such as this example. He is often falsely charged by angry police. Until now, every charge against him relating to carrying a sign has been dismissed by a judge.

A few months previous to the incident in this case, Peter had an encounter at a different Brockton school with the same police officer. He was similarly not doing anything illegal. At that time, the police harassed him but did not arrest him.

In 2011 Peter got this black eye when beaten by the police in Franklin, Mass. But there were no witnesses who would come forward. After that he decided to carry a video camera with him when holding his sign.

What happened on March 21, 2012

The incident took place on March 21, 2012 in Brockton, Mass. (Shortly afterwards, Peter submitted a detailed description of what happened to MassResistance.)

Basically, this is what happened:

Peter had been holding his sign with his handouts at the Brockton bus terminal about 7:30 am. A high school girl walking to school spoke to him. She said she was pro-life, and offered to show him where the school was. They walked to the school together, which was a few blocks away. She went into the school with some of his materials to give to others.

Peter with the sign he was carrying on March 21, 2012. (It folded in the middle for easy carrying.) You can see a closer view of it here.

Peter started walking down the sidewalk next to the school. There were only a few students around.

Suddenly the school principal came out of the building and approached Peter, telling him that he was disturbing students. Peter pulled out his video camera and asked him to repeat what he said, but he turned around and walked back into the school. Peter continued to stand on the public sidewalk.

Almost immediately a police officer came and began to approach Peter. Peter pulled out his video camera and turned it on. Peter asked the cop what he had done wrong, and told him that he had the right to stand on a public sidewalk. The cop got very angry and demanded that Peter leave immediately. He reached out and pushed the camcorder, but Peter held on to it.

The cop got angrier and more threatening, so Peter decided to leave. He started walking away, crossing the street. The cop followed him and continued to yell at him, telling him to go home. Peter’s video camera was still on and pointed toward the cop. He was also holding his sign and his handouts.

As soon as Peter got to the other side, without any warning the cop tackled him to the ground. Peter then realized he was being arrested but did not know why. Peter went limp, and the cop quickly handcuffed him and put him into the patrol car. The cop took the video camera, but the sign and handouts were left behind on the ground. When Peter asked about his sign the cop refused to gather it. Normally, a police officer collects the person’s property when arresting him.

\
ABOVE: Peter was on sidewalk next to school. Principal came out red door near tree. Police officer confronted Peter on sidewalk in front of tree. Peter then crossed the street to leave the area.

RIGHT: Police officer followed Peter across the street and tackled him to the ground here.

Peter was doing full-time pro-life work and not being paid. Without that sign, he told us, he could not do his pro-life work. He could not afford to replace it, either. (At the trial, the police officer testified that the sign was “too big” to put in the car. In fact, all of Peter’s signs have been about the size of a regular poster-board.)

The arrest

Peter was taken to the station, but not taken inside immediately. They left him in the car for 20 minutes, which is unusual, before taking him inside. He was booked, fingerprinted, and charged with (1) disturbing a school; (2) trespass; and (3) resisting arrest.

Afterwards, Peter had to go back to the school to try to find his sign. A crossing guard said he had it, but told Peter that the officer would not let him give it back. Peter was able to contact the officer and persuade him to allow him to have his sign.

Peter was arraigned the next day in Brockton District Court.

The missing tape from the video camera

The officer’s police report included several statements which Peter strongly denied. It said that the officer observed Peter “filming the students and school officials” and that he “informed Mr. D’Attilio several times that if he did not leave school grounds that he would be placed under arrest.” It also said that Peter was “on school grounds” rather than on the public sidewalk.

Is that true? Was Peter taping kids? Did the officer actually say those things to him? The tape in the video camera would certainly reveal that, since his camera was on the entire time the police officer was at the scene.

After Peter’s arraignment, the police finally gave Peter back his video camera. But the camera had been broken open and the cassette tape was missing. Peter asked numerous times about getting the tape back. A clerk at the police station told Peter that the police officer confirmed to her that he had taken the tape out of the camera and that he had the tape, but that Peter couldn’t get it right now, though possibly later.

Peter’s broken video camera right after he got it back from the Brockton Police Department. The cassette tape had disappeared.

They kept stalling. After Peter’s lawyer sent a formal letter to the department requesting the tape, the police changed their story and said that the camera had never had a tape in it. That’s what the officer testified at the trial.

The trial begins

Over the next 22 months there were several hearings and postponements. But the District Attorney’s office insisted on prosecuting him. Finally, a jury trial was set for Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Brockton District Court. The trial lasted two days.

The judge was Cynthia Brackett. She was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick last fall and had been a judge for less than four months. Before that, she spent her entire legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. From the beginning, Judge Brackett seemed to be hostile toward the defendant.

In particular, she would not allow Peter’s lawyer to question the prospective jurors about their position on the abortion issue, if they had been involved with pro-abortion activism, or any questions involving abortion. She said that the subject of Peter’s sign (and his ministry to students) had no bearing on the case. So there was no way to tell how the jurors felt about that often very emotional subject.

Judging by the body language and looks on the faces of jurors during the trial, it appeared that a number of them had pro-choice sentiments to various degrees. And the prosecutor took full advantage of that.

To make matters worse, the police officer testified that the sign Peter was showing students “pictures of dead babies” and the slogan “say no to birth control.” That was not exactly true. Peter’s sign simply showed drawings of a baby in the mother’s womb during the abortion procedure. But the judge ruled that the jury may not be allowed to see the sign.

The judge also prohibited Peter’s lawyer from asking prospective jurors whether they accept the principle that citizens have a constitutional right to free speech, even if it may be offensive to others, or the right to disseminate information in a peaceful manner.

The prosecution had two witnesses: The principal of the school and the police officer. In several key instances, the eyewitness testimony of the principal was at odds with the police officer’s testimony. And in many instances the police officer’s testimony conflicted with the apparent facts. Peter was the only witness for his defense.

Debunking all the charges against Peter

During the two-day trial, the actual evidence against Peter was virtually non-existent. All three charges appeared to be thoroughly debunked.

** Charge #1: Disturbing a school

It appears that false statements were added to the police report to conjure up the idea of “disturbing a school” when in fact Peter simply walked by the school.

The statute: Ch 272 Sec 40:

Whoever willfully interrupts or disturbs a school or other assembly of people met for a lawful purpose shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one month or by a fine of not more than fifty dollars . . .

The claim: Blocking access to the school. The police report said that the principal stated that Peter was “on school grounds preventing students from entering the building. “At the beginning of the trial, the prosecutor told the jurors that Peter was “blocking the door of the school” and “trying to block students from going inside.”

At the trial: Both the principal and the police officer testified that they did not actually see Peter blocking anything, or impeding anyone in any way.

The claim: Videotaping students. The police report said that the principal stated that Peter “was interviewing and recording students.” The report also said that the police officer observed Peter “with a recording camera filming the students.”

At the trial: Both the principal and the police officer testified that they didn’t actually see Peter filming any students at all.

In addition, according to the testimony, no students had complained about Peter in any way.

** Charge #2: Trespass

The public sidewalk is legally considered public property, not “private property” or “school property.” That fact was not disputed in this trial.

The statute: Ch. 266, Sec. 120:

Whoever, without right enters or remains in or upon the dwelling house, buildings, boats or improved or enclosed land . . . after having been forbidden so to do by the person who has lawful control of said premises, whether directly or by notice posted thereon, . . . shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days or both such fine and imprisonment.

The claim: The officer claimed that Peter left the sidewalk and briefly stood on the school walkway leading to the door — and therefore was “trespassing.”

At the trial: Peter strongly disputed that, and stated he is always very careful only to stand on a public sidewalk or public street, and that he never had any reason to leave the sidewalk.

The principal also testified that he only saw Peter walking on the public sidewalk. This conflicts with the police officer’s testimony. The officer said he saw Peter on the school walkway. But the principal was present the entire time the police officer was in the area. (Note: Neither was in the courtroom while the other was testifying.)

** Charge #3: Resisting arrest

This appears to be another trumped-up charge which fell apart during the officer’s testimony.

The statute: Ch 268 Sec 32b:

A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if he knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer, acting under color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another, by:

(1) using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the police officer or another;
or
(2) using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to such police officer or another.

. . . Whoever violates this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

The claim: The police report says that when the officer was placing Peter under arrest that he “proceeded to grab his right arm several times in order to place him under arrest. Mr. D’Attilio pulled back every time” — and that that constitutes “resisting arrest.”

However, the claim does not reference any “physical force or violence” or “a substantial risk of causing bodily injury” to the police officer, as the statute requires.

At the trial: The testimony revealed nothing remotely approaching the legal threshold for “resisting arrest.” The police officer testified that Peter “pulled a little bit” but “it wasn’t much of a struggle.” The principal, who witnessed it, said substantially the same thing. Neither of them mentioned any fear of violence or risk of bodily injury. Peter testified that he simply went limp when the police officer tackled him.

The real question is why the police officer tackled Peter to the ground. Peter was not running away. He was merely walking across the street. His hands were full; he was holding his sign and the flyers with one hand and the video camera with his other hand. He had no idea the police officer meant to arrest him.

The principal also testified that Peter was walking across the street with his hands full. It’s clear to us that the arrest came out of the officer’s anger towards Peter, and that he charged him with “resisting arrest” for no good reason.

A phony “resisting arrest” charge is unfortunately a common tactic. In another case in February 2012, a District Court judge actually berated the prosecutor for pursuing a phony resisting arrest charge against Peter.

Prosecutor’s strategy: Ignore the facts and demonize Peter

At various junctures during the trial when it was very clear that the case against Peter had no legal substance, his lawyer asked for a dismissal. Every time the prosecution vigorously contested it, and the judge steadfastly refused.

Even with a terribly weak case, the prosecution insisted on continuing. In fact, the prosecutor’s strategy had very little to do with the facts or the evidence. Instead, she focused almost entirely on demonizing Peter personally. She basically aimed to make the jury believe he was a dangerous threat to children and should be convicted no matter what happened in this incident.

For her closing arguments to the jury, she had Peter’s arrest photo introduced as evidence. She walked over and showed the photo to each juror and said something to the effect of “this is who he really is.”

This was a particularly odious trick. The photo was taken by the police department camera soon after Peter was tackled without warning, arrested, and brought into custody, and didn’t know what was going to happen next. He was under extreme stress.

The prosecutor introduced this police mug-shot of Peter as “evidence” and showed it to each individual juror in the juror’s box.

She twisted the nature of his pro-life ministry to make him seem like a child predator. Using Peter’s testimony of how he had gotten to the school, she harangued the jury that Peter was simply a grown man who had “picked up” a high school girl at the train station, walked with her to the school, and tried to approach other children.

And she persuaded the judge to allow Peter’s sign to be brought into the courtroom, but showed only the blank side — not the front side — to the jury. Thus, the jury was led to believe that the police officer’s testimony that the sign showed pictures of dead babies and a “say no to birth control” message was actually true. But they couldn’t see the front!

The verdict

The case was handed to the jury just before lunch on the second day. It wasn’t too long before they came back with their verdict. The foreman gave it quickly and deliberately:

Disturbing a school: “Guilty”
Trespassing: “Guilty”
Resisting arrest: “Guilty”.

They all seemed very intent and not the least bit unsure of themselves.

Peter was sentenced on the Trespass to 30 days House of Correction, suspended for one year. On the other two, he was placed on probation for one year with administrative (i.e. unsupervised) probation. He has to pay a “victim/witness fee” of $50 (mandatory on any guilty finding) and a $50 administrative fee each month — a total of $650.

Left to right: Peter’s attorney Stephen Foley, Peter, and Brian Camenker of MassResistance in the courthouse.

Stephen Foley is a smart, passionate pro-lifer who has represented Peter pro bono — and has stuck with him through thick and thin. Unfortunately, he can’t take on the appeal.

What’s next?

From now on — unless this gets appealed — all of the enemies of the pro-life cause, including the various police departments, can now label Peter a convicted criminal and treat him accordingly. This is outrageous. He was simply exercising his Constitutional rights for the pro-life cause, trying to reach the young people who most need to hear the message.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that an appeal costs a minimum of $5,000 just to prepare, and there is a very short time frame to do it.

Peter is currently trying to find an attorney to file it for him. We’ll keep you posted.

We need more – not fewer – people like Peter D’Attilio

A lot of people talk about being pro-life. Peter D’Attilio actually does it. He gave up a successful landscaping business to go into inner-city neighborhoods and educate young people on the truth about abortion. He has endured enormous abuse, been arrested several times, jailed, even been beaten up by police. How many people are willing to face that?

But he has had wonderful successes bringing the light of truth to hundreds of young people whose only other sources of information are Planned Parenthood and pop culture!

Right now he needs everyone’s support. You can contact his ministry Defenders of Women at: all.credit.to.god@gmail.com.

Google warns that court order removing Muhammad video will create Hollywood chaos

“The panel has adopted a novel interpretation of copyright law that will invite uncertainty and chaos for the entertainment industry, documentary filmmakers, amateur content creators, and for online hosting services like YouTube, allowing bit players in movies, videos, and other media to control how and when creative works are publicly displayed.” Indeed. And the panel did this, wittingly or unwittingly, in service of a Sharia agenda to forbid criticism of Islam. Cindy Lee Garcia’s real quarrel was with the filmmakers. She should have settled it with them instead of having the film taken down. Now she has handed a great victory to the Leftist and Islamic supremacist foes of the freedom of speech.

“Google Warns ‘Muslims’ Ruling Will Create Hollywood Chaos,” by Eriq Gardner for the Hollywood Reporter, February 28:

Google is really freaking out about Wednesday’s ruling determining that Innocence of Muslims actress Cindy Lee Garcia could assert a copyright interest in her performance in the film and that as a result, the controversial anti-Islamic film had to be wiped from YouTube.

The web giant has filed a new emergency motion to stay the disposition pending a rehearing before a larger panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In doing so, Google has some bold First Amendment warnings about the implications for allowing an actress with five seconds of screen time to enjoin its distribution of Innocence of Muslims:

“The panel has adopted a novel interpretation of copyright law that will invite uncertainty and chaos for the entertainment industry, documentary filmmakers, amateur content creators, and for online hosting services like YouTube, allowing bit players in movies, videos, and other media to control how and when creative works are publicly displayed.”

How so? Google continues:

“Under the majority’s analysis — absent contractual shifting — movie extras could register copyrights in their reaction shots, facial expressions, and mimed chatter. Background singers on a record could register their ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ The list goes on.”

Could the ruling be the end of YouTube? Google says:

“Most of the millions of amateur filmmakers who upload their videos and other creative works to YouTube presumably do not have written agreements with those who appear in their videos. That means anyone who appears in those videos — even for five seconds — will now have independent authority to contact YouTube and demand their removal.”

And what about Hollywood? More from Google:

“To be sure, many professional filmmakers try to obtain releases from participants. But how long have they done so? And how long do they keep them? And do they obtain them from everyone with even the smallest role? The majority’s approach opens the door to an extra in even Gone With the Wind contacting Netflix and demanding that it purge every copy of the film from its inventory.”

Google says the copyright system isn’t meant to deal with such fallout and points to something we wrote on the day the ruling was released.

“Nor would the implied-license doctrine solve the problem. YouTube, after all, could not meaningfully adjudicate a takedown dispute if a bit player asserted that he had been misled about what his role in the film would be. Implied contract claims are intensely factual and subject to defenses — such as the fraud-in-the-inducement defense the majority identified — that third-parties like YouTube are ill-equipped to adjudicate. Its only choice would be to roll the dice with an infringement suit or remove the video. As one commentator has already recognized, the majority’s rule will ensure that online service providers like Google and YouTube ‘will have tough days ahead of them in determining how to respond to copyright takedown notices from individuals who, before today, might not have been presumed to hold any interest in copyrighted material.’”

Here’s the full motion.

What Is Polycentric Law? by Tom W. Bell

Do you like having options when you look for a new bank, dry cleaner, or veterinarian? Of course you do. You want to find the service that will best satisfy your particular demands, after all, and you know that when banks, cleaners, and vets have to compete they have a powerful incentive to make you happy. A monopoly, in contrast, can take its customers for granted.

Polycentric law simply extends that observation from commercial services to government ones. Just as competition makes life better for those who seek banking, cleaning, and pet care, it can benefit those seeking fair and efficient legal systems. Competition helps consumers and citizens alike.

Polycentric law regards the sorts of legal services that governments provide—defining rules, policing their application, and settling disputes—as a ripe field for competition. When a government claims a monopoly in the law, it tends to neglect the needs of its subjects. In a polycentric system, however, providers of legal services care more about what consumers want. They have to, if they don’t want to go out of business.

Our Polycentric World

But won’t competition between legal services lead to chaos? Evidently not. We already live in a world that offers us a fair degree of choice between the sorts of rules we live under. Polycentric law simply takes note of that fact, sees the good in it, and argues for more of the same.

It may not always seem as if you can choose the legal system you will live under. If you like the culture and climate of United States, for instance, but not the commands that issue from the federal government, you indeed face a hard choice: Suck it up or hit the road.

And even if you do decide to leave in search of a better legal system, you have no guarantee of finding one. Because they typically impose uniform rules across large geographic areas, governments tend more toward monopolistic law than polycentric law.

Even so, excepting totalitarian regimes such as the former Soviet Union and present-day North Korea, most governments allow disgruntled residents the freedom to escape to better legal systems. Most also allow movement within their borders, from one state, county, or town to another, affording the freedom to choose between local legal systems. To some degree, therefore, governments already compete against each other. But the influence of polycentric law goes deeper than that.

From Plain Old Law to Polycentric Law

To fully understand the extent of polycentric law, you have to understand the nature of law itself. Legal philosopher Lon Fuller aptly described it as “the enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.” So described, the law is not just a service provided by public organizations. It also issues from private sources such as homeowners’ associations, businesses, religions, clubs, and myriad other organizations that subject their members’ conduct to the governance of rules.

Consider a residential cooperative corporation, for instance. Such a co-op’s members both possess shares of it and lease their homes from it; in effect, they own their landlord. And like other landlords, a residential cooperative corporation subjects its tenants to the governance of rules. A residential co-op might specify quiet hours, for instance, and establish a committee to resolve complaints between member tenants.

That may not sound much like the sort of legal system offered by a conventional government—until you reflect that many residential co-ops rival cities in terms of their size and range of operations. The largest of them, Co-Op City in New York’s Bronx borough, houses over 50,000 members. In addition to shelter, Co-Op City provides an elected government, parks, streets, security, and just about every other service you might expect from a conventional city.

Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) likewise often grow as large and capable as cities. The largest HOA in the United States, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, includes over 30,000 homes and 90,000 residents. In all respects but its origins and legal status, it resembles a conventional municipality.

Other private organizations also effectively duplicate cities on a small scale. Malls and hotels, for instance, provide their users with transportation networks, shelter from the elements, utilities, fire protection, security, and (most pertinently for present purposes) rules of conduct.

The scale and scope of residential co-ops, HOAs, malls, and hotels make it easy to see how the private sector can rival the public one in providing governing services. Polycentric law is not solely the province of huge, private quasi-cities, however. Under Fuller’s definition, even a small organization that regulates only a narrow range of behavior—a church that imposes strict dietary rules on its members, for instance—also qualifies as a source of law. Size and breadth matter less than whether an organization subjects human conduct to the governance of rules.

For More Polycentricity

We thus already live in a somewhat polycentric legal order. Except when they completely imprison their subjects, governments have to compete against each other for financial and human capital. This means that, in the long run, governments that fail to supply adequate legal services tend to end up poor and unpopulated. Alas for consumers of governing services, though, that “long run” can last for generations. To make governments better sooner, we need to make them face more competition.

Except when a totalitarian government completely eradicates them, intermediary institutions also compete in the market for law. Towns compete with residential co-ops and HOAs to provide housing arrangements; main streets compete with malls to provide shopping environments; religious institutions compete with each other to provide moral instruction, and so forth. Because each subjects human conduct to the governance of rules, each of these institutions competes in providing the law. Here, too, though, we might benefit from more competition.

How can we make the law more polycentric? We can start by recognizing that legal systems do not differ in principle from banks, vets, cleaners, or other services. All face some competition and, insofar as they do, consumers benefit. Legal systems differ from other services not because they escape the effect of market forces, but because they have for too long pretended to do so.

Once we recognize that competitive forces already shape legal services, we can turn to increasing their influence. We should seek ways to make it easier for disgruntled subjects to flee, either physically or virtually, from bad governments to better ones. Bitcoin, for instance, seems likely to help on that front. And we should encourage the rise of special jurisdictions, such as the ZEDE/LEAP zones recently introduced in Honduras, where locals can opt into legal rules imported from abroad.

From a Good World to a Better One

Far from a mere theoretical ideal, polycentric law already shapes our world. We need only appreciate its latent power and invite more of the same. Once more fully realized, polycentric law can give to the consumers of legal services the same benefits that free and open competition already gives to the consumers of banking, cleaning, and veterinary services.

ABOUT TOM W. BELL

20121126_TomBell

Tom Bell

Tom W. Bell is a professor at Chapman University School of Law.

Is America ready for Common Law Divorce?

In the course of human events we as a People need to divorce ourselves from statutes and regulations and bring justice to what has become a legal system. I have been studying Common Law and have learned that this union of States never had a legal system but a Justice system in place when it was founded. A legal system taxes you for making errors in what some legislator says is bad for society. In country known as the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, I ask you are free or brave enough to make a stand?

What is Common Law? It is the Law of the Land.

Our judicial system has you tricked in traffic court, or some planning and zoning employee telling you that your shed is too tall or has too many square feet and they file a complaint against you in Admiralty court. Did you know, you do not need to consent to Admiralty court or that you were even in Admiralty court?  Did you know that by pleading you have agreed to be ruled statutes and regulations in Admiralty court? That is not the Law of the Land but you have waived your rights by not challenging the jurisdiction of the court. Judges will object to your demand to know the jurisdiction and threaten you. This is just to keep you thinking they have power over you but they do not. You may even be lead out of court in handcuffs for challenging the jurisdiction. The people with cases behind you will not attempt to do the same by seeing this; it is just a power play.

A study of Common Law, and just 2 friends in the court as observers from the gallery, can bring back the justice system to ever case and every challenge of jurisdiction for every statute and regulation violation. Statutes and regulations are not Law.  You, a People in the land of the free and the home of the brave, will accomplish this by exposing the legal system hoax and its fraud upon the People. Those brave enough to help your common law friend in his case by signing an affidavit of an unconstitutional act against them by a judge a prosecutor or even a defense attorney appointed by a judge is the cure.

All IRS code, yes all 74,000 (plus) pages of it are not allowed in your Common Law Court of record, if it is your wish. You cannot defend against IRS code, because you have entered into Admiralty court. You need to file your complaint in your Common Law, court of record case and your case is a higher court then the IRS’ s court.

Imagine that no attorney has ever told you such a thing and many ask why?

It is simple that attorney can never pay for his “Law Degree” loan because he cannot represent you in a Common Law court of record. You have to stand on your own two feet and represent yourself. It is true you have a fool for an attorney if you represent yourself in Admiralty court but you are not attorney you are a People and you do not practice Law you perfect it in your court of record.

Common Law is common sense and has no written code but it allows a jury of your peers to judge it and nullify your bad complaints and remedy you good complaints. NO JUDGE RULES A CASE IN COMMON LAW. So many people today complain that judges do not give justice. That is not the job of a judge, they are in Admiralty court seeking monetary judgment for a party or denying monetary judgment to a party. Equity is all an Admiralty court does. Justice is from your action in court and your remedy sought to rectify you for your loss by a jury of your peers. Yes it is just that simple.

Corpus Delicti means with no injured party, you have no crime. When a government employee makes a complaint against you like a ticket for parking to far from the curb you must ask, who was harmed?  You own the road, the curb, the car and the officer is paid out of your pocket, which makes him your subject and employee.  In Common Law you cannot sue yourself but these Admiralty courts have you doing just that. It is a revenue generator that harms you and just by pleading you have an agreed to the Court’s authority. Do not plea; ask the court to see the complaint from a People, not one of your employees. Demand to see the International Contract that allows them to force you to make a plea in Admiralty court.

When a judge makes a plea for you learn to object. When judge denies your challenge to jurisdiction and has entered a plea for you as “not guilty” say the magic words “ let the record show the judge has ruled me not guilty” in Admiralty court.  A judge cannot practice law, from the bench, by entering a plea for you. He can rule you not guilty. Once spoken by a judge and my objection is disregarded by the judge and the prosecutor I may even add, “further proceedings will show the prosecutor is impersonating an officer of the court” and demand his arrest. Your friend in the court as observers can verify all things that may not be recorded by the court recorder. All they need to do is file an affidavit.

The courts will resist these measures and We the People of our states need to take these actions. It is not civil disobedience it is civil obedience that our founding fathers had in mine when they wrote the US Constitution and your State had in mind when in adopted its Constitution as a republic in this union of 50 republics. Since we have been fooled for so long it is time to make these truths self evident to the people that think they are Law makers. They are only statute and regulation makers. Know the difference and make a stand for Liberty. I see no need to correct the Law I only see the need to remove the corrupt people, by ignorance or intent, to deny the People what is the Law.

These things were taught to every kid that passed the 8th grade before 1900 and we do not even hear about Common Law unless someone is using it for a marriage agreement that was never made before a justice of the peace or clergy. We need the American People to know they can demand a Common Law Divorce from government Statutes, Regulations and Code. It does take about 100 hours of study and that is about the average amount of time people watch television in a month.

Turn off your TV, study Common Law. Never pay income tax again? This sounds like an affordable idea to most people.

Florida Sheriff: Medical Marijuana Amendment a very bad idea

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight did an op-ed in the Herald-Tribune on the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2. Sheriff Tom Knight is the 10th Sheriff of Sarasota County, serving since January 6, 2009. To pursue this office, he left a 20 year career with the Florida Highway Patrol where he held the position of Troop Commander, managing a seven-county region with more than 300 employees, a central communications center and a $20 million budget.

According to Ballotpedia:

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would legalize the cultivation, purchase, possession and use of marijuana to treat medical conditions when recommended by a licensed physician. The measure would also order the Florida Department of Health to register and regulate producers and distributions of medical marijuana and to issue identification cards to patients and caregivers utilizing marijuana.

The measure is sponsored by the People United for Medical Marijuana.

Sheriff Knight makes the following points in the Herald-Tribune op-ed:

  • There is overwhelming factual information pointing to the darker side of legalized marijuana, even when it is intended strictly for medical therapy. Messages in the $4 million-plus campaign to get this issue passed have tugged on our emotions and focused on isolated cases, without a thought or mention of the many negative, unintended consequences that are already playing out in other states that have legalized medical marijuana — even those whose ballot amendment language was far more restrictive than what is proposed in Florida.
  • Although many voters may think that medical marijuana will truly be limited to those with chronic, life-threatening conditions or severe, unmanageable pain, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that this will be our reality if it passes. Keep in mind that it will not be treated like real medicines — the kinds that are scientifically tested through clinical trials and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, it will be more like a homeopathic substance, sold not by pharmacists but marijuana retailers.
  • In Colorado, where nearly 107,000 patients have approval for medical marijuana, the average user is a male in his 30s with no terminal illness and a history of drug abuse. Only 2 percent of Colorado medical marijuana patients report being treated for cancer, less than 1 percent report treatment for HIV/AIDS, and only 1 percent report treatment for glaucoma. The statistics from other states that permit medical marijuana show similarities.
  • What we will likely (almost certainly) see is a proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in our communities, because the profit potential here is enormous. Census data suggests that communities with populations comparable to Sarasota’s in states that permit medical marijuana have already experienced this. To evaluate this for yourself, visit www.weedmaps.com. Thus, Venice, Florida, could mirror Venice, California, where marijuana dispensaries are a common sight along the famous beach.
  • Because federal law makes marijuana illegal, corresponding banking and credit card restrictions make medical marijuana a largely cash business. As with any cash business involving a commodity that people crave, the infiltration of organized crime has followed. In November 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided several Colorado marijuana dispensaries based on suspected ties to Colombian drug cartels. Given that Florida has almost four times the population of Colorado, this trend will easily migrate here.

Read the full op-ed by going here.

Recently Dr. Larry Reed was in Sarasota to discuss seven principles of sound public policy. In the context of the medical marijuana debate principle number three comes to mind:

Sound policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.

Sheriff Knight is considering the long-run effects and all the people.

RELATED STORIES:

Students Find Way To Secretly Smoke Marijuana In Class – CBS Denver
Pocket hookahs proliferate with young marijuana users, sources say – The Denver Post
LA Times – Pot candy ‘geared toward children’ seized at San Clemente checkpoint

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is attributed to Rachel S. O’Hara, Staff Photographer for YourObserver.com.

Lawsuit against malicious internet attackers

Image: “An Abyssinian Lawsuit”

Bill finally hits back against malicious internet attackers.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/GDj9CEei5mQ[/youtube]

“An Abyssinian Lawsuit”.

The featured image is based on the description of Abyssinia by James Bruce. The book notes:

Bruce also described the Abyssinians as never making a new law, as with their usual superstition and obstinacy they ascribe to their ancient statutes a Divine or sacred authority. Thus, when a case is before the judges, they say: “Let us hear what the Fitha Negust (their law-book) says.” It is opened solemnly, and the first passage which can be found bearing at all on the subject, is read and acted upon, all other considerations being disregarded. On the occasion of a lawsuit, both parties, accuser and accused, must find security or be fastened together during the continuance of the suit; and afterwards the loser must again give security on all the points for which he may be condemned. Also he must hand over a certain amount, according to the importance of the case, to the judges, who get no other pay beyond the numerous presents they receive on all hands.

A Rabbi’s Letter to Georgia Legislators on American Law for American Courts

Re: HB 895 – Foreign Law; prohibit the application of foreign law in Georgia courts; violations of rights guaranteed natural citizens by U.S. and Georgia Constitutions

Dear Congressman Hightower,

My name is Rabbi Jonathan Hausman. I have a BA in Judaic Studies, MA in International Affairs concentrating on the Middle East (both degrees from The George Washington University), JD from Emory University (licensed to practice in the State of Connecticut and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), and my Rabbinic degree from Kollel Lomdei Torah of The Tifereth Israel Rabbinical Yeshiva. I spent a great deal of time living and studying in the Middle East having lived and worked in Israel and studied at The American University of Cairo. I read, speak and write Hebrew and Arabic, and am conversant in Jewish and Islamic sacralized texts and literature.

It has come to my attention that representatives of the Anti-Defamation League gave testimony opposing the aforementioned legislation SB 895 – Foreign Law; prohibit the application of foreign law in Georgia courts; violations of rights guaranteed natural citizens by U.S. and Georgia Constitutions.

I write to you in response as one who possesses the unique skills to plumb the sources of two traditions (Judaism and Islam) along with the requisite legal training appertaining to US law and Constitutional governance.

Indeed, a comprehensive study was undertaken by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) in 2011 which uncovered the extent of the use of Sharia (Islamic Law) as the basis for legal decisions. 50 Appellate court cases from 23 States were reviewed in this study. Most of the cases referenced in this study involve Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process in cases dealing with divorce and child custody. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. However, all 50 Appellate decisions dealt with the application of Sharia in contravention to the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The CSP study’s findings suggest that Sharia law has entered into state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy. Some commentators have said there are no more than one or two cases of Sharia law in U.S. state court cases; yet the Center for Security Policy found 50 significant cases just from the small sample of appellate published cases in 2011. The number of lower court decisions that did not result in appeals is not known as such cases are generally not reported.

With all due respect to the claims of the ADL that the aforementioned legislation’s supposed purpose is to counter the infiltration of our judicial and legal system by Sharia (Islamic) law while subsequently claiming that no Georgia court decision, or any other court decision, demonstrating an actual need for this legislation can be found is demonstrably incorrect.

Many have asserted with certainty that state court judges will always reject any foreign law, including Sharia law, when it conflicts with the Constitution or state public policy; once again, the Center’s study found 15 Trial Court cases, and 12 Appellate Court cases, where Sharia was found to be applicable in these particular instances. The facts are the facts: some judges are making decisions deferring to Sharia law even when those decisions conflict with Constitutional protections. The complete study is available at http://shariahinamericancourts.com/.

Some have also claimed that such legislation is applicable to all religious law. So, for instance, the observant Jewish community regularly uses religious tribunals (Batei Din) to resolve all kinds of disputes, including divorce settlements, which often are the basis for civil court divorce decrees and orders. But this legislation would prevent a Jewish couple in Texas from voluntarily using a Bet Din to resolve their divorce settlement, and also would invalidate an out-of state divorce based on a Bet Din arbitration. This is incorrect.

There is a basic Rabbinic principle that has operated since roughly the year 226 CE. That principle is known as Dina d’malchuta Dina, the law of the country is binding and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law/Halacha. Rabbinical developments evidenced a practicality regarding dealing with and maintaining positive relationships with the governing non-Jewish civil society (e.g. Parthian and subsequent Sassanid Persian rulers of Babylonia) which surrounded the Jewish community. This extended to the Jewish communities of Europe and, subsequently, transplanted to the United States.

While it is true that Jews maintained their own courts in certain locales during certain historical periods whose decisions were enforced by the secular authorities, such Rabbinical court decisions always were set aside if there was a conflict with the society at large. As a member of the Rabbinate who engages frequently with many different issues regarding matters of personal status (marriage, divorce, property settlements, etc.), I can attest to one basic fact of legal life. If a Get (Jewish bill of divorce) is issued by a husband to a wife without a civil divorce, that couple is still married in every jurisdiction in this country. This is just one example amongst many.

Halacha/Jewish Law has this precept that one must be reconciled to changed circumstances regarding government, and that civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society. The result was an internal recognition of Judaism’s non-supercessionist and non-conversionary character. According to the Prophet Nehemiah, Jews should obey the laws of their rulers (Nehemiah 9:37). It extends to real property issues (after all, the government could/can confiscate property), common currency, taxes, recognition of administrative officers and documents and regulations issued by such authorities, as well as the appointed juridical positions within and outside of the Jewish community.

As for those issues dealing with personal piety (e.g. Kashruth, that is observance of the Jewish dietary rules), such only apply to Jews specifically and not to the world at large. There is nothing coercive vis a vis general society.

Sharia, on its face might be described as the religious code for living the moral system according to Islamic tradition; perhaps, in the same way the Bible would serve for Christians. The difference is quite stark, however.

Sharia refers both to the Islamic system of law and the totality of the Islamic way of life. It is immutable, perfect, unchangeable, static, and unchanging. Death penalty for apostasy, as well as homosexuality, adultery, freedom of speech issues when it comes to criticizing Islam or Muhammad or drawing satire cartoons, disfigurement for theft, depredations suffered by women (e.g. the increasing frequency of honor killings in the US protected under Shariah, female genital mutilation, child custody and absconding of minor children) and the irrelevancy of women’s testimony as well as lower percentage of inheritance and no rights regarding issues of child custody, plaintiffs exacting legal revenge (eye for an eye is taken literally), gambling, alcohol consumption all command exacting punishment under Sharia.

The only instance in the United States dealing with a criminal prosecution for female genital mutilation occurred in Georgia. Furthermore, there are known to be two cases of children of a marriage between a non-Muslim American mother and a Saudi Muslim father who absconded with the children because Sharia law dictates that custody resides solely with the Muslim father and male relatives.

The United States has a Constitution under which the government functions, and the Bill of Rights which protects basic human rights and freedom – rights derived from the Almighty according to the secular foundational documents of these United States – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of education and freedom to organize political parties. The pertinent question regarding Sharia is thus. Does Sharia, as a legal system act in consonance with the Constitutional legal principles so cherished by and supported by over two centuries of American case law or does it stand for a diminution of the rights of many segments of our population? If the latter, then legislation such as HB 895, The application of foreign law and foreign forum selection in certain family law proceedings certainly is one of the surest methods to protect the Constitutional rights of parties in family law matters under Georgia law and practice, as well as in front of the Georgia Judiciary.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman
BA,MA, JD, Rabbinic Ordination
Spiritual Leader
Ahavath Torah Congregation
Stoughton, Massachusetts

Cc: Congressman Wendell Willard, Chair, GA House Judiciary Committee
Congressman David Ralston, Speaker, GA State House
Congressman Alex Atwood, Secretary, Public Safety and Homeland Security
Committee

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured image is courtesy of David B. Strutt Photography, www.dstruttphotography.com.

Free Marie Winkelman: Pray for Justice Now!

Marie Winkelman’s guardianship has a large cast of characters who benefit from her status as a Ward of the State of Florida, including family members and quasi-family members, as well as a host of attorneys and numerous service providers that were unknown to Marie before she was forced into guardianship. This is the fifth in an investigative series on Marie’s case (see links at the end of this column).

A Large Cast of Attorneys

Economou_D

Judge Deno Economou, 12th Circuit Court, Sarasota, FL.

Marie’s first guardianship attorney, Erika Dine, was appointed by Judge Deno Economou, who single-handedly presides over the probate courts in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Florida. Dine was also the attorney who represented the guardian (Aging Safely, Inc.) of Al Katz, who was an 89-year-old Holocaust Survivor, as is Marie. See this writer’s previous investigative series on the Al Katz guardianship.

Barry Spivey, Marie’s next attorney, prepared and signed a mediated settlement agreement that he asked Judge Economou to adopt in his incapacity and guardianship order, which declared Marie to be incapacitated and made Sabal Trust Company her Trustee. Spivey never showed the Agreement to Marie before or after it was signed and never told her he had a closed hearing with the Judge to declare Marie incapacitated and put her into guardianship, losing all control of her millions of dollars in trust.

Rebecca Proctor, P.A.

Rebecca Proctor, P.A.

Also attending the secret hearing on December 2, 2013, was Rebecca Proctor, the attorney for Marie’s two guardians, Raymond Millman and Alina Koren, Marie’s sole blood relative, who was rescued by Marie from Poland as a toddler after the Holocaust. Attorney Proctor is a Director of Aging Safely, which is the agency that was Al Katz’s guardian for two months, during which time he went from fully verbal and mobile to “imminent death” status.

Both Proctor and Alina Koren (plus her husband, Dr. Yoram Koren) signed the Mediated Agreement that made Marie’s trust part of her guardianship and transformed it from revocable to irrevocable, thereby sealing the beneficiaries of the trust forever, including Alina Koren. Thus, its primary beneficiaries, Marie’s stepdaughters – Corinne Szychowski and Diane Winkelman – are set to inherit millions of dollars each from the trust.

Quasi-Family Members and Even More Attorneys

Corinne’s husband and Ruttger’s administrator, Robert Szychowski, initiated Marie’s guardianship, which automatically made him the successor trustee to her trust. All of his legal bills and transportation costs to fight Marie in court are paid from Marie’s assets without any oversight by Marie or the court. Robert Szychowski hired two attorneys, Christopher Likens and Kim Bald, who fought to have all of Marie’s civil rights taken from her. Their fees, likely amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, are paid from Marie’s accounts.

Audrey Bear PA

Audrey Bear, P.A.

At this time, Marie’s lawyer is Audrey Bear, a friend of Rebecca Proctor and Christopher Likens, who had promised Marie she would litigate her case zealously, but instead asked the court to once again mediate Marie’s incapacity and guardianship behind closed doors, with no record made and no evidence presented on Marie’s behalf. This mediation has been ordered by the court to take place on February 28 in the offices of attorney and mediator, Gary Larsen.

Medical Professionals Added to the Cast Members

JosephJLarkin

Joseph J. Larkin, M.D.

Behind the scenes from the beginning of Marie’s case were medical professionals. Dr. Joseph Larkin, Marie’s physician, sent visiting nurse, Lori Gaetano, to Marie’s residence, and Gaetano then recommended a psychiatrist, Dr. Miguel Rivera, to see Marie. In early July 2013, Gaetano accompanied Rivera to evaluate Marie without telling her the purpose of their visit. It was Rivera’s subsequent report that was used by Robert Szychowski in court to initiate Marie’s guardianship. Rivera was later paid more than $900 from Marie’s assets by Robert Szychowski, who later hired Gaetano to be Marie’s “care manager,” at her expense without her knowledge for months.

Also hired by Robert Szychowski is an agency (Bright Star) that visits Marie twice everyday, although Marie is in good health for her age and has outstanding health for a Holocaust Survivor. Somehow, unbeknownst to Marie, Lori Gaetano is still being employed at Marie’s expense to supervise this staff of nursing assistants.

In a depressed economy, at least dozens of professionals are faring very well from fair Marie.

RELATED COLUMNS:

The taking of Marie Winkelman 1-2-3

Florida places Holocaust survivor in guardianship without due process

Marie Winkelman’s Case demands Litigation, not Mediation, to protect her Life, Liberty and Property?

Exposed: Florida’s Judicial Star Chamber

Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna wins parole!

In what has to be a true miracle, Army 1LT Michael Behenna has won parole. Apparently he was notified that his clemency request was denied but the parole request was granted.

Michael was serving a 15-year sentence for unpremeditated murder of a known terrorist in Iraq. His trial and sentencing had created a firestorm and grassroots movement. I went to Ft. Leavenworth to speak at a rally on his behalf and have met his mother and father on several occasions.

Congratulations to the Behenna family; Michael is coming home. Michael, God has rewarded you for your faith as he heard yours and many others’ prayers. Next we have to get justice for 1LT Clint Lorance.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com. Featured photo of LT Behenna and his girlfriend Shannon Wahl is courtesy of BobMcCarty.com. Bob has been following the Behenna case from the beginning.

RELATED COLUMN: Army Leadership Failures Continue to Destroy Lives

Catherine Engelbrecht v. United States

Catherine Engelbrecht’s testimony at House of Representatives hearing on the IRS targeting her and True the Vote.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/xxcMKtsm5BU[/youtube]

ABOUT TRUE THE VOTE:

Unfortunately, Americans have lost faith in the integrity of our nation’s election results and fraud and law-breaking has become all too common in our electoral system. We hope to change that perception. True the Vote is a citizen-led effort to restore truth, faith, and integrity to our elections.

True the Vote is an initiative developed by citizens for citizens, meant to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. We promote ideas that actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation.

We are working to restore integrity to the American system of electing its leaders. With True the Vote, we have, “deconstructed the entire process, focusing on educating voters, examining the registry, recruiting, training and mobilizing election workers and poll watchers, training how to collect data all along the way, then use the data to shape government action and legislative agendas to support desperately needed election code reform.”

Our government was built upon the belief that election results represent the true will of the people and our election processes were always intended to be supported by citizen volunteers. We are helping stop corruption where it can start – at the polls.

Our initiatives include:

  • Mobilizing and training volunteers who are willing to work as election monitors
  • Aggressively pursuing fraud reports to ensure prosecution when appropriate
  • Providing a support system for our volunteers that includes live and online training, quick reference guides, a call bank to phone in problem reports, information on videotaping at polling places, and security as necessary
  • Creating documentaries and instructional videos for use in recruiting and training
  • Raising awareness of the problem through strategic outreach efforts including advertising, social networking, media relations, and relational marketing
  • Voter registration programs and efforts to validate existing registration lists, including the use of pattern recognition software to detect problem areas

Based in Houston, Texas and headed by Catherine Engelbrecht (President), True The Vote is staffed by volunteers all across the country. Essentially, True The Vote is you and me. Every day Americans interested in the integrity of the elections in the home district.