Kentucky Cloaking, err, Clerking Devices

So, the lone Kentucky clerk is now in jail. On charges? Of contempt. Well, h*ll, I’ve bushels contempt for a whole lot of jurists, elected officials, and public scalawags pretending to serve the people while most assuredly not doing so. I hadn’t realized holding in contempt those well deserving of same is actionable.

Her jailing is apparently (“bad optics”) is a meme going around. Ya think?

But aside from that, this jailing is done by the feds. This is a state (actually county) clerk enforcing state laws. Her failure to do so doesn’t violate federal statutes, but state ones. Apparently the state hasn’t decided to censure her or prosecute. What is odd that … those who think this sort of thing is wrong, fully supported those who decide that the biased non-supporting of federal immigration statutes by just deciding not to is in the purview of the federal law enforcement and prosecutors is just peachy.

Either supporting the law (all of them) is the job of the President, the Attorney General, and every public official on regards to immigration and every other statute on the books … as well as by county clerks or disobeying such statutes because they are inconvenient or against some personal principles is ok. Both are wrong nor neither. You cannot and maintain any principles declare that these statutes can be disobeyed by those you like and those you don’t like can’t.

Which reminds us, why exactly is Ms Clinton not being arraigned on security related charges? Hmm. Could it be politics. See above. If the clerk goes to jail, so should Hilary. They could share a cell. Last thing I read about Ms Clinton’s “emails not marked confidential” included an email detailing all the known locations of North Korean nukes. On what planet does anyone pretend that isn’t confidential or higher in security clearance (answer apparently: Democrats with inactive grey cells).

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10 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    Either supporting the law (all of them) is the job of the President, the Attorney General, and every public official on regards to immigration …

    Not sure what this means, Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any previous administration.

    But aside from that, this jailing is done by the feds. This is a state (actually county) clerk enforcing state laws.

    You have your jurisdictions confused here. In some areas state laws trump federal laws, in other areas federal laws trump state laws. In all areas, though, both are trumped by the US Constitution.

    Her jailing is apparently (“bad optics”) is a meme going around. Ya think?

    I’m fine with it. Contempt of court may catch the ignorant by surprise but it’s a centuries old part of our legal tradition and courts would be greatly handicapped in defending our rights without it.

    Which reminds us, why exactly is Ms Clinton not being arraigned on security related charges? Hmm. Could it be politics

    Do you have an actual criminal law she violated? “Security related charges”. Rather vague isn’t it?

    The problem here is email for high level politicians is equilivant to their personal papers. Every President leaves office with hundreds of thousands of documents that are their ‘papers’, which they typically put in their libraries but also pull from to write their memiors. Strictly speaking it is actually their copyrighted work, which means their personal property but there is no doubt a lot of complexity here since this work would also have other people’s work embedded in it (every time you hit ‘reply’ you’re copying the previous email) as well as stuff with security classifications. Legally Mrs. Clinton probably would have been within her rights to have printed out every email that came too and from her inbox and stored them in binders that she took with her when she left the State Dept. Doing it on her own server is a security issue, but I think she wsa correct when she pointed out previous State Dept. heads used their own private email accounts as well. Given China’s already hacked gov’t email the irony is that her emails were probably more secure than other departments.

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Not sure what this means, Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any previous administration.

    I see. Obama publicly proclaimed he “wasn’t going to enforce” DOMA … that was meaningless. When cities claim they are safe zones Obama does what???

    You have your jurisdictions confused here. In some areas state laws trump federal laws, in other areas federal laws trump state laws. In all areas, though, both are trumped by the US Constitution.

    Actually that isn’t true. Nobody goes to jail for “breaking the Constitution”. Newsflash. The Constitution isn’t a statue you can break. The Constitution is a meta-legal document by which laws are judged. It isn’t a law.

    I’m fine with it.

    You wear your “I’m a partisan hypocrite” badge proudly I see. Seems to me to be consistent you have to be against the administration and others casual flouting of statues according to their beliefs in order to be against someone else doing the same.

    Do you have an actual criminal law she violated?

    I’m not a lawyer and have no clue as to how to look up laws. But I’m certain you can’t transmit our highest security cleared documents in open channels without breaking law to which you asserted you’d uphold in order to gain said clearance. Apparently you aren’t familiar with the document handling security clearance laws.

    Doing it on her own server is a security issue, but I think she wsa correct when she pointed out previous State Dept. heads used their own private email accounts as well.

    I see. If I rob a bank I can claim it’s been done by others how have not been prosecuted? Hmm? Claiming others have broken laws that you have isn’t a defense is it?

    Given China’s already hacked gov’t email the irony is that her emails were probably more secure than other departments.

    Of that you have no proof or even reason to say that.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    This is not unrelated to our discussion.

  4. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Recall our prior discussions on this. You argued that selected enforcement of the law was right. I argued that the executive/legal parts of the government must obey and enforce the laws, if they find a law disagreeable, they should still enforce, but then challenge that law in court. You disagreed, essentially agreeing that the clerk was acting correctly in doing what she is doing, i.e., this is how she should enforce her beliefs on the law as did those you defended.

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton
    And this (the last sentence and following that sentence as link) is the principle on which you base your “she should be jailed” claims.

    If it is not. Explain why that is not how we should understand your position.

  6. Boonton says:

    You’re kind of confused here. Obama never proclaimed he wasn’t going to enforce DOMA. What exactly did DOMA require him to enforce? To send the FBI to arrest state gov’t officials that recognized SSM? Obama’s administration proclaimed they weren’t going to argue for DOMA’s Constitutionality in front of the S.C. Only after DOMA fell did the administration actually take steps to reverse DOMA provisions such as reversing the IRS’s refusal to recognize returns from SSM couples.

    I have no idea what you think Obama should be doing about ‘safe cities’. There are no such things if by that you mean a city where it is impossible to be picked up and deported for being here illegally. Plenty of people are deported every year from very immigrant friendly cities like LA, NYC, etc.

    Actually that isn’t true. Nobody goes to jail for “breaking the Constitution”. Newsflash. The Constitution isn’t a statue you can break. The Constitution is a meta-legal document by which laws are judged. It isn’t a law.

    Heh, ‘meta document’ huh? It actually says it is the ‘law of the land’. Mind citing a passage from the document itself or even the Founders claiming it is a ‘meta document’.

    Anyway, no one has gone to jail. The court ordered the clerk to issue licenses, the clerk refused hence is in jail for contempt of court. She isn’t required to hold the job of clerk, she is free to resign any time and then the court order will not apply to her.

    You argued that selected enforcement of the law was right. I argued that the executive/legal parts of the government must obey and enforce the laws, if they find a law disagreeable, they should still enforce, but then challenge that law in court. You disagreed,

    Your memory here is faulty. Prosecutorial discretion is built into many laws and the Executive is given a wide berth to selectivey enforce criminal laws. That is how, for example, prosecutors can cut deals to let murderers off in exchange for their testimony against other criminals. Congress cannot claim any ignorance here and if Congress happened to want a particular law to be fully enforced they could do so by actually writing legislation requiring it. Absent that the Executive has every right to make pragmatic calls such as using limited resources to deport only serious criminals just as your local police have a right to set up their DUI checkpoints on New Years Eve rather than at 11:30 AM on Tuesdays.

    Now in issuing licenses we are no longer talking about criminal law which is enforced but administrative law which is simply executed. Discretion here is much more limited and I’m not seeing any valid argument why just because a police chief may be selective about DUI checks or a President may target deportation resources that means a town clerk gets carte blanche to make up her own rules based on her religious beliefs.

    Your analogy fails here. If you wanted an analogy imagine Obama ordering deportation to be concentrated in Catholic communities only because his church says the Pope is the antichrist or a Catholic President announcing the Dept of Agriculture would sit on farm subsidy applications from communities that were over 50% Baptist.

    In both those cases the courts would undoubtably rule prosecutorial discretion and administrative discretion were exceeded and order the gov’t officials involved to release potential deportees or begin processing applications, if those officials refused warrants would be issued to jail said officials.

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    There are no such things if by that you mean a city where it is impossible to be picked up and deported for being here illegally.

    “Santuary Cities”. Google is your friend.

    It actually says it is the ‘law of the land’.

    Ok. Cite me one person fined or jailed for “breaking the Constitution”.

    Your memory here is faulty.

    Is not. There is a difference (which you deny and still deny) between “discretion” and refusing to enforce. You denied the difference then and still do.

  8. Boonton says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary_city

    The term has no meaning on the Federal level. It applies to cities who, beginning in the early 80’s, decided to not have local police investigate and question the immigration status of people they either arrest or come into contact with during their day to day job.

    I’m unclear what that has to do with Obama as the Federal gov’t does not control local police and states are note required to enforce federal law anymore than FBI agents are required to give people speeding tickets. Since that is the case how is this analogy relevant to Kim Davis?

    Ok. Cite me one person fined or jailed for “breaking the Constitution”.

    You are aware that criminal law is only a single branch of the law?

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Since that is the case how is this analogy relevant to Kim Davis?

    I don’t know. Seems to me Ms Davis broke no federal laws, so by your argument since the Feds don’t control local police and the state isn’t required to enforce federal laws … how is a federal judge having any say here at all? Hmm. The point is it is unclear on how your supporting non-enforcement of laws at all but only for policies you approve is principled.

    Speaking of which, can you cite when you called for censuring Ms Parker?

    You are aware that criminal law is only a single branch of the law?

    Ok. Yes. There are civil laws. There are other statues. On what court case might be a person be brought in which the accused is told they “broke the Constitution”? What “branch” of the law arraigns you on Constitution “breaking”?

  10. Boonton says:

    I don’t know. Seems to me Ms Davis broke no federal laws, so by your argument since the Feds don’t control local police and the state isn’t required to enforce federal laws … how is a federal judge having any say here at all? Hmm. The point is it is unclear on how your supporting non-enforcement of laws at all but only for policies you approve is principled.

    Well a Federal judge has a say because the 14th Amendment clearly applies to the states as well as Federal gov’t. You seem to continue to be confused over the scope of criminal law. You seem to think the only way you can end up in jail is by breaking a criminal law.

    No, lots of types of laws can end up with you having to present a case before a judge. Common examples would include divorce court, civil claims, IRS claims, custody disputes etc. Many of these can generate court orders and courts have the right to enforce their orders via the doctrine of ‘contempt of court’. Hence if you and your wife are fighting over custody of yoru child and the court orders you to surrender the child for visitation every other weekend and you don’t…you can be jailed for contempt of court even though there is no criminal law saying having your child every other weekend is a crime. She attempted to argue to the court that the Constitution didn’t require local clerks to do something, others argued that it did, she lost and the court ordered her (as clerk) to do it. She refused hence the court has the right to impose fines or imprisonment via ‘contempt of court’. This is hardly a new concept.

    It is also quite constitutional. For example, the Constitution clearly gives Federal courts the right to hear cases between parties that cross state lines. Say two companies, in different states, get into a dispute over some property transfers between them. A federal court might order some properties go to one party and others to the other. As a result they may order the local property deeds to be updated to reflect that order. Again this may easily result in a court order that would apply to some local clerk and if that clerk refused the outcome would be the same.

    Ok. Yes. There are civil laws. There are other statues. On what court case might be a person be brought in which the accused is told they “broke the Constitution”? What “branch” of the law arraigns you on Constitution “breaking”?

    Except she is not charged with breaking anything, the position of clerk is the subject to the court order. If she resigned then the court order would apply to the next clerk to take the spot. A criminal charge would stick to the individual. If she was arraigned on, say, bribery, the case wouldn’t disappear if she resigned her position.

    Sanctuary Cities – are you giving up on this claim now or still pressing forward?