PRESS RELEASE: “RICHARD STANLEY V. STATE OF COLORADO” GRANT OF WRIT TO BE DECIDED BY U.S. SUPREME COURT ON MARCH 28, 2008
Richard Stanley is a Constitutional activist and Denver businessman who on September 7, 2002, while campaigning as a Libertarian candidate for the United States Senate, wore a loaded sidearm in Thornton, Colorado to protest against a city ordinance prohibiting gun possession absent a city permit. After his arrest, Rick represented himself at trial and was convicted and sentenced to ninety days in prison. Rick appealed this decision, and his appeal was denied. Meanwhile, the Colorado legislature passed a bill which voided city ordinances like the one with which Rick Stanley had been convicted.
After receiving an order from the court to serve his jail sentence, Mr. Stanley filed a “Notice and Order” with the trial and appellate courts, in which he cited the Colorado statute, and demanded that the judges overturn his conviction, which he asserted violated his state and federal Constitutional rights to bear arms. Rick’s notice stated that failure to overturn his convictions would “result in a treason charge” against the judges “for failure to uphold the oath of office to defend the Constitutions” and that this would result in a warrant for the judges’ arrest. Rick was charged with two counts of attempting to influence a public official, and after conviction was sentenced to two consecutive maximum three-year prison terms.
Rick Stanley is an honorably-discharged veteran with no criminal history. He never threatened any physical harm to these judges. He didn’t even threaten to arrest them, but only that he would issue a (symbolic) warrant. When a citizen rebels against his government it is called treason: if the judges had in fact violated Rick Stanley’s constitutional rights, wouldn’t they be committing treason? Why is Rick Stanley in jail on two felonies, facing the permanent loss of his rights to vote or bear arms, for exercising his clear constitutional freedom to speak out politically? From beginning to end, Rick Stanley’s story has been about an outspoken citizen challenging an establishment that has gone to great lengths to silence him.
In the Colorado appellate court decision affirming Rick’s convictions, the judges stretched common logic to conclude that to threaten arrest (which Rick had not done) was an implicit threat of violence; that a charge of treason was a threat to kill because treason is punishable by death (though no one has been executed for treason in the United States since 1952); and that it did not matter whether Rick Stanley intended to threaten the judges, but only whether the judges felt threatened. This provided immense power to these judges and the State of Colorado to curtail political speech, by criminalizing mere words based solely on the perception of the recipients.
But this unconstitutional determination by the Colorado Court of Appeals may contain Rick Stanley’s best hope. There is division between the federal Circuit Courts over whether a subjective intent to threaten is required in order to criminalize speech; and the Court of Appeals’ decision is squarely at odds with prior rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. It is for the resolution of precisely such conflicts that the Supreme Court grants certiorari and reviews state court rulings.
Some 5,000 writs of certiorari are filed with the U.S. Supreme Court each year: about 50 are granted and given full consideration by the Court.
All Americans should hope that the United States Supreme Court will decide to grant Rick’s writ when it meets on March 28, 2008. Threatening to “issue a warrant for George Bush’s arrest if he does not pull out of Iraq” should not result in felony prison time and a lifetime loss of the rights to vote or defend oneself by force of arms: but it is for precisely and solely such language, directed at two judges in a pro se legal proceeding, that Rick Stanley is now suffering those consequences. And all of this started because Rick was speaking out for Americans’ individual rights to bear arms
The Supreme Court will likely decide in District of Columbia v. Heller to restrict individual gun ownership rights. If the Court declines to hear Rick Stanley’s writ of certiorari on March 28, it will implicitly approve Colorado’s actions in criminalizing pure speech by a political activist who was standing up for Americans’ right to bear arms. On top of illegal wiretapping and the loss of the protections of habeas corpus and posse comitatus, are Americans to lose their First and Second Amendment rights to this ever-expanding federal police state?
Jose Padilla is a household name, but Jose Padilla did not wish Americans well, and certainly was not interested in protecting their freedoms. Ed Brown protested against the federal income tax and gathered national attention as many flocked to his side, but Ed’s claims did not establish government overreach as clearly as the way in which Rick Stanley was treated for insisting on his right to possess a gun. Long before Rick allegedly “threatened” judges with Constitutional accountability, the federal government was using tax dollars in its domestic anti-terrorism task force for extensive surveillance of Rick Stanley and his supporters as they exercised their free speech rights. Or at least, tried to….
Rick Stanley’s case is about government abuse of Americans’ civil rights. It is about hostility toward both the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution, by a government created to serve, but corrupted to oppress. Why was the federal government devoting supposed anti-terrorism resources to investigate and spy on an American citizen who was legitimately running for office and seeking to defend Americans’ First and Second Amendment protections? On March 28, will the U.S. Supreme Court uphold the Constitution, and grant Rick Stanley’s writ of certiorari? And if not, should a warrant issue for the arrest of those justices, that they might answer to the charge of treason for ignoring such a flagrant and egregious disregard of the freedoms they swore to defend? For if the Courts ignore legislative and executive encroachments on the Constitution, our Republic is truly lost, and it falls upon We The People to reclaim our heritage.
Corporate America and the federal government have become so commingled that Americans’ labor is being consumed from within. This is not conspiracy theory – look at how audacious and greedy they have become, stealing right in front of our faces with impunity:
● America’s borders are porous because corporate America tells us we need a cheap labor pool: the huge costs these immigrants impose on our nation’s services are borne by the taxpayers, subsidizing corporations.
● The media has traded journalistic integrity for profit and access, and has parroted government propaganda that dishonestly thrust our servicemen and women into war, and which dramatically expanded federal power overnight. The mainstream media routinely assist in government deceit.
● MBNA America, George W. Bush’s top campaign contributor, drafted the legislation which restricted the ability of American consumers to discharge credit card debt in bankruptcy.
● Halliburton and other military-industrial hogs have feasted long and heavy at the lavish trough of government spending on war under the Bush administration.
● Heavily subsidized bio-diesel from corn is displacing food supplies even though it is not economical, to grease the palms of Midwest politicians and big business.
Oil companies rape our currency.
● As the consequences of excess come home to roost, our Congress mulls $200,000,000,000 in “economic stimulus” mumbo-jumbo for weeks, but the feds waltz in and bail Wall Street and Bear Stearns out for $230,000,000,000 overnight.
● The President of the United States expended incredible political energy to seek to include retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies in an economic stimulus package for the American people – the only way that those companies would ever be held liable would be by proof in a court of law that they had violated the law.
● The two most powerful men in our nation are a longtime Halliburton executive and a silver spoon oil family brat.
Has anyone noticed that We The People are being robbed blind and led into servitude?
On March 28, 2008, the United States Supreme Court must grant the writ of Richard Stanley v. State of Colorado, in order to uphold our right to free speech in these anxious times. If Americans are to offer their children record debt, oil dependency, open borders, and a polluted and depleted land, then at least they could leave them their Constitution intact, so that there is something with which, and for which, to rebuild this nation.
I repeat: Rick Stanley was silenced by the federal government’s domestic anti-terrorism task force for standing up for the Constitution. I can find no case in any state anywhere in American history in which a man was incarcerated for threatening to arrest someone, let alone for threatening merely to “issue a warrant for arrest.” Is our Constitution really so easily dismantled before our very eyes?
Please publicize this case everywhere, and pray for Rick Stanley and his wife Pam. They have been through a great deal, so that our freedoms might be preserved.
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