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This is a great story about President Trump's pick for U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 49-year-old Neil Gorsuch. Last night we reported that Judge Andrew Napolitano said that he was 'ecstatic' about Trunp's pick of Gorsuch for the USSC, that he has a healthy dose of Scalia-like skepticism of government. This story only proves that is the case and that unlike many so-called 'conservatives,' Gorsuch appears not to fall for the absurd police state.
In May 11 2011, a gym teacher at Cleveland Middle School, (6910 Natalie NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 881-9227) called the police on a 13-year-old 7th grader for burping in class.
'School resource officer' Arthur Acosta, with the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department
arrested the kid for a
misdemeanor criminal offense of disrupting the school.
The New Mexico law Acosta referred to states
"No person shall willfully interfere with the educational process of any public or private school by committing or threatening to commit or inciting others to commit any act which would disrupt, impair, interfere with or obstruct the lawful mission, processes, procedures or functions of a public or private school."
In May 11 2011, a gym teacher at Cleveland Middle School, (6910 Natalie NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110 (505) 881-9227) called the police on a 13-year-old 7th grader for burping in class. 'School resource officer' Arthur Acosta, with the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department arrested the kid for a misdemeanor criminal offense of disrupting the school.
The New Mexico law Acosta referred to states
The school suspended the boy for a whole year! Incidently, and I've done some digging on this story, in a previous incident, the perverts at that same school had made the same boy strip down to his underwear as five adults watched, after they found $200 cash in his pocket and accused him of being a drug dealer. The boy had told them that he had got the money from his parents to go shopping at the mall after school.
To top it off, prosecutors never even charged F.M. in the burping incident! They knew they didn't even have a case!
After the boy's arrest for burping, his parents sued the school and officer Acosta for civil rights violations in a 'Section 1983' lawsuit. As is standard in these cases, the court ruled that Acosta was entitled to 'qualified immunity' and thus protected from civil lawsuits.
The 3-judge panel in the federal appeals court upheld that immunity ruling, giving immunity to copper Acosta, but Judge Neil Gorsuch issued a very strongly-worded dissent. Here is that dissent in its entirety:
Nos. 14-2066, 14-2183, A.M. v. Holmes
GORSUCH, Circuit Judge, dissenting.
If a seventh grader starts trading fake burps for laughs in gym class, what's a teacher to do? Order extra laps? Detention? A trip to the principal's office?
Maybe. But then again, maybe that's too old school. Maybe today you call a police officer. And maybe today the officer decides that, instead of just escorting the now compliant thirteen year old to the principal's office, an arrest would be a better idea. So out come the handcuffs and off goes the child to juvenile detention. My colleagues suggest the law permits exactly this option and they offer ninety-four pages explaining why they think that's so. Respectfully, I remain unpersuaded.
The simple fact is the New Mexico Court of Appeals long ago alerted law enforcement that the statutory language on which the officer relied for the arrest in this case does not criminalize "noise[s] or diversion[s]" that merely "disturb the peace or good order" of individual classes. State v. Silva, 525 P.2d 903, 907 (N.M. Ct. App. 1974). Instead, the court explained, the law requires "a more substantial, more physical invasion" of the school's operations - proof that the student more "substantially interfered" with the "actual functioning" of the school. Id. at 907-08. What's more, other state courts have interpreted similar statutes similarly. They've sustained criminal convictions for students who created substantial disorders across an entire school. See, e.g., State v. Wiggins, 158 S.E.2d 37, 42-44 (N.C. 1967); State v. Midgett, 174 S.E.2d 124, 127-28 (N.C. Ct. App. 1970).
But they've also refused to hold students criminally liable for classroom antics that "momentarily divert[ed] attention from the planned classroom activity" and "require[d] some intervention by a school official." In re Jason W., 837 A.2d 168, 174 (Md. 2003). Even when the antics required a teacher to leave her class for several minutes, In re Brown, 562 S.E.2d 583, 586 (N.C. Ct. App. 2002), or otherwise "divert[ed] the teacher or the principal from other duties for a time," P.J.B. v. State, 999 So. 2d 581, 587 (Ala. Crim. App. 2008) (per curiam). See also, e.g., S.L. v. State, 96 So. 3d 1080, 1083-84 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012).
Respectfully, I would have thought this authority sufficient to alert any reasonable officer in this case that arresting a now compliant class clown for burping was going a step too far.
In response, my colleagues suggest that Silva is distinguishable because it interpreted not the state statute addressing misconduct in public schools on which the officer here relied, see N.M. Stat. Ann § 30-20-13(D), but another statute dealing with protests at colleges, see N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40A-20-10(C) (1972). And that much is true enough. But the unobscurable fact remains that the relevant language of the two statutes is identical - requiring the government to prove that the defendant "commit[ed] any act which would disrupt, impair, interfere with or obstruct the lawful mission, processes, procedures or functions" of a school. Silva expressly held that this language does not criminalize conduct that disturbs "merely the peace of the school session" but instead requires proof that the defendant more substantially or materially 'interfere[d] with the actual functioning” of the school. 525 P.2d at 907.
Neither do my colleagues offer any reason why a reasonable officer could have thought this same language carried an entirely different meaning when applied to public school burps rather than college sit-ins - and the parties supply none. Cf. Smith v. City of Jackson, 544 U.S. 228, 233 (2005) ("[W]hen Congress uses the same language in two statutes having similar purposes, . . . it is appropriate to presume that Congress intended that text to have the same meaning in both statutes."). My colleagues likewise dismiss the authority from other states interpreting similar statutes similarly. Maj. Op. at 49-50.
But again it's hard to see why. After all, these cases draw the same distinction suggested by Silva - between childish pranks and more seriously disruptive behaviors -and hold that only the latter are prohibited by statutes like the one before us today. And they draw that distinction, too, because disciplining children who temporarily distract classmates and interrupt lessons "is simply part of [traditional] school activity" and part of its "lawful mission . . . or function." In re Jason W., 837 A.2d at 174; see also In re Brown, 562 S.E.2d at 585-86. Given that, I would have thought these cases would have only reinforced the lesson Silva already taught reasonable officers in New Mexico. See Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603, 617 (1999) (noting law may be clearly established if there is "a consensus of cases of persuasive authority such that a reasonable officer could not have believed that his actions were lawful")
Often enough the law can be "a ass - a idiot," Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist 520 (Dodd, Mead & Co. 1941) (1838) — and there is little we judges can do about it, for it is (or should be) emphatically our job to apply, not rewrite, the law enacted by the people's representatives. Indeed, a judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge, reaching for results he prefers rather than those the law compels. So it is I admire my colleagues today, for no doubt they reach a result they dislike but believe the law demands - and in that I see the best of our profession and much to admire. It's only that, in this particular case, I don't believe the law happens to be quite as much of a ass as they do. I respectfully dissent.
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleo-conservative and civil rights advocate. In 2015, President Donald J. Trump in front of a live international TV audience, said Hill was "very committed" and "got a lot of energy," adding that "he's on our side" and "is a Trump guy." In addition to being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast, Hill's work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RedState.com, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, InvestmentWatchBlog,
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