Our Constitutional Rights Under Attack in Orlando- Again!

Seems that Judge Frederick J. Lauten is no fan of the Constitution and is not a supporter of justice. On 30 December 2016, he issued an “Amended Administrative Order Governing Expressive Conduct Toward Summoned Jurors. Orange and Osceola Counties” which forbids anyone from informing potential jurors about their rights and duties as jurors. This supercedes a previous order by Judge Belvin Perry.

In an effort to “to do everything necessary to promote the prompt and efficient administration of justice” Judge Lauten seeks to “minimize activities which unreasonably disrupt, interrupt, and interfere with the fair and orderly conduct of jury trials, and the orderly and peaceable conduct of court business in a neutral forum free of actual or perceived partiality“. He further characterizes pamphlets which inform the jurors of their responsibilities as jurors as a possible violation of 918.12 of the Florida statutes- jury tampering. His line of reasoning conflates an informed juror with an attempt to tamper with a juror. Why would a judge take such an extreme stance? How can someone who is informed as to their duties and rights of a juror somehow been tampered with? Sounds to me like he prefers ignorant jurors who will perform as he wants them to perform, not as a sovereign entity that truly determines justice.

How can informing jurors of their rights and responsibilities be considered tampering? Juries are the people’s way to combat government tyranny. It is a right guaranteed to ALL Americans that whenever a criminal case or a civil case in excess of $20 is to be tried that the person has a right to trial by jury. This right is protected by the 6th and 7th Amendments to the United States Constitution. He states that “Such occurrences severely impact the court’s ability to conduct the efficient, prompt, and proper administration of justice“. How?

Juries are a huge check and balance to our justice system. The proper role of a jury is to protect people from tyrannical abuses of power by government. This is why we are guaranteed a trial by jury. The jury further is the only body who can rightfully judge a person on their guilt or innocence. Judges were never tasked with determining guilt or innocence. How can a person who works for and is paid by the system be truly impartial? The role of the judge is that of a referee in the court room insuring that justice is served, not being the instrument of said justice. This is an idea that used to be known by most but along with other civic ideas it has been flushed down the memory hole.

One of the truly egregious ideas that makes itself known in this order is the idea that someone on court “property” is somehow not protected by our Bill of Rights. “The term “courthouse complex” and any restrictions on expressive conduct contained herein shall apply to the Orange County Courthouse complex grounds, which includes the adjacent courthouse parking garage, the courthouse courtyard, and all other grounds surrounding the courthouse, from the intersection of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street, to the intersection of Livingston Street and Magnolia Avenue, to the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Amelia Street, to the intersection of Amelia Street and Orange Avenue, to the intersection of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street. The public sidewalks that comprise the boundaries of this designated perimeter are excluded from this designation of the courthouse complex grounds.” (emphasis mine) So on “public” property it is ok to exercise your 1st Amendment rights but for some reason when one steps onto the “courthouse complex” one loses their 1st Amendment rights? And this guy is a judge?!

I wrote an article a few weeks ago detailing the arrest of Mark Schmidter and Julian Heicklen for passing out literature from the Fully Informed Jury Association. Seems that Judge Lauten is in line with Belvin Perry and is fine with restricting our rights and keeping potential jurors ignorant of why they are there and what their true duties are. He is part of the problem and needs to be opposed. The whole idea of keeping people ignorant and restricting our rights through administrative order is also repugnant. He is a judge who supposedly interested in justice. His actions and reasoning speak to another agenda however.


Tyranny in Orlando

On December 6th a grave injustice was perpetrated by our own government against two men exercising their right to free speech. Mark Schmidter and Julian Heicklen were arrested for trespassing on the sidewalk in front of the Orange County Courthouse thus violating an administrative order by Judge Belvin Perry. Their crime? Passing out a handout from the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) helping to educate potential jurors to their duties as a juror. Both men had been previously arrested for this “crime”. I know personally that Mark Schmidter served over 100 days in jail for his last interaction with Belvin Perry. I applaud both gentlemen for putting their personal liberty aside and doing what is right. They knew they were going to get arrested. This is most likely just the start of an agenda to expose this kind of blatant disregard for our rights and to further the cause of FIJA though I have not confirmed that with either of the men. I do know that Mark is a thorn in the side of the court system here in Orange County and has taken them to task on a couple different occasions.

In honor of these two men’s struggle, I wish to help the cause they are fighting for and tell the story of FIJA and why it is so important. Many people say “well what can one person do to make a difference?” Being an informed juror is one of the answers to that question.

As articulated in Article 3, the 6th and 7th Amendments of the Constitution everybody has the right to a trial by jury in any significant court proceeding. Significant describes any criminal case and any civil case whose value exceeds $20. This supports the idea that we the people are in control of justice. Congressmen and government can pass whatever laws they want. It is juries that determine the guilt or innocence of the people who go to trial.

FIJA describes the role of a jury as follows:

“The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

The Constitution guarantees you the right to a trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.”

FIJA works to:

  • Inform potential jurors of their traditional, legal authority to refuse to enforce unjust laws
  • Inform potential jurors that they cannot be required to check their consciences at the courthouse door
  • Inform potential jurors that they cannot be punished for their verdicts
  • Inform everyone that juror veto- jury nullification- is a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny.

Jury nullification is nothing new. In response to the 18th Amendment, jury nullification became a tool to stop the tyranny of the federal government. People who were plainly guilty of selling alcohol in defiance of the 18th were regularly not convicted by juries for their flouting of the law. There was nothing that government could do. Jury nullification played a big part in the passage of the 21st Amendment which repealed the 18th Amendment.

Another case of jury nullification crushing government tyranny was the people’s opposition to the Fugitive Slave laws passed by Congress. In two separate cases, the Shadrach Rescue Trials and the Jerry Rescue trials, abolitionists who were brought to trial for rescuing slaves and helping them to escape their owners were acquitted by juries. They clearly had broken the “law”‘ but jurors decided that the laws were unjust and refused to convict.

Here in Florida we just passed a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana to be distributed to patients. Many others, including myself, want to stop putting people in cages for using a plant. Jury nullification could do exactly that. Ant crime that lacks a victim is not a crime. Government trying to protect people from themselves is just another way that government controls our lives.

We the people wield significant power to curb government tyranny. No matter what laws are on the books it takes a jury to send a person to prison or to take their property. It is up to we the people to take our rightful place in this republic and reject government tyranny. Jury nullification is a major avenue to do just that. FIJA could use your support. Let’s not make Mark Schmidter and Julian Heicklen’s sacrifice be in vain. Get educated and get active. Liberty will not defend itself and needs true Americans to step up and support it. Do it for the people alive today and the unborn millions who depend on us to pass on the freedoms that were bequeathed to us. Patriots Awake!

Voting for Tyranny

In the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump one thing became clear- neither is right for occupying the White House.How can either be the right choice when both oppose the Constitution? How can they take the oath to office without the Bible bursting into flames?

Hillary made a remark supporting the idea that people on no fly lists should not be able to purchase a gun. She attacked and repudiated the 2nd Amendment and the 5th Amendment to our Constitution with that simple statement. Then Trump agreed with her.

Understand what is at stake. They both agree that a secret list compiled by someone in government is enough to eliminate your right to keep and bear arms. We have this ideal in America that due process is important. That to circumscribe someone’s rights there is a process in place that must be followed to insure that our rights are protected.The 5th Amendment covers this explicitly.

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

How can the government legally determine that a person’s rights are negated without due process? It is the law of the land! How can they ignore that?

The government was NEVER tasked with determining if someone is guilty of a crime. That is why we have juries. Article 2 of the Constitution, the 5th, 6th and 7th Amendments all describe rights which we as Americans have that the government cannot ignore or infringe upon. A trial by jury is an inherent right under Common law and our Constitution. It is very simple. Government was never trusted to convict a citizen. That right was reserved for fellow Americans.

The 2nd Amendment is equally as clear. It states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It doesn’t give us that right. Our rights come from our creator and our government was instituted to protect our rights. It merely states one of our inalienable rights which the government cannot infringe.

I don’t know about you but to me the Bill of Rights is very important. Taking a position against anything contained in them is a deal breaker. If you feel the need to vote for Trump or Clinton, realize that you vote against the 2nd Amendment. You also encourage and support the ever increasing police state in which we live. This is not the path toward liberty. It is the status quo which is an ever increasingly large government whose unconstitutional interference into our daily lives escalates everyday. Say no to this insanity. Do not vote for either of these two charlatans. You nation depends on you to make the right decision.

Constitutional Cappuccino Podcast- Juries in America

What can you do about the overreach of government here in America? One answer is to participate and support the jury system here in America. The Constitution of the United States of America supports common law. If you are interested in liberty so should you. I hope you enjoy the podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQEKM6_O6o