‘Fiddle man’s’ defense hobbled as lawyer bails; pray for his cause, need for funds

This is Jay Hirsch's truck, the one he was using when charged with “driving on an expired“ license. (Photo Jay Hirsch)

This truck is Jay Hirsch’s means of transportation, the one he was using when charged with “driving on an expired“ license in a middle Tennessee county. (Photo Jay Hirsch)

By David Tulis

I ask you to please pray for the Lawrenceburg “fiddle man” Jay Hirsch and for our gracious God to encourage this faithful Christian as he faces a mauling in a Tennessee criminal trial court for practicing a constitutional right.

God has prospered Mr. Hirsch, 65, of Lawrence County, in his soul and his reading of the law, but has limited the wealth he’s been able to generate from his church parking lot restoration business. A legal pauper, he’s had state-assigned counsel after being indicted for driving on an expired license and having a pistol in his car “with the intent to go armed.”

Mr. Hirsch is known to many in Lawrence County for his faithful ministry to the elderly and sick in nursing homes and hospitals.

A court-appointed attorney has gone absent the week before the trial, and will be able to assist him only starting the day of the trial in circuit court Dec. 22 (a Tuesday) in Lawrenceburg. The town is south of Nashville near the Alabama line. “I am not going to be able to meet with you on Thursday,” attorney William Morrow says. “I have a new federal case in Jackson and *** I am also booked the remainder of this week and Monday of next week [the day before trial] I think you are sufficiently prepared for trial. *** I will be available by email.” Whew!

Fighting for due process right to counsel

I ask you to pray for Mr. Hirsch because he makes a remarkable analysis of our true state as the free people resident in this state.

He’s not crank operating on a weird patriot theory, and his motions and explanations of his liberty to travel are clear and well written. He insists that as a Christian he has a duty to maintain his constitutional rights, and not yield them despite being constantly under the threat of oppression, and now finally in State vs. Hirsch, under an actual one.

Other stories about “the fiddle man” of Lawrenceburg:

State lacks grounds to prosecute free user of roads, fiddler says in motion

Restoring our ancient rights one case at a time: Mr. Hirsch goes to trial

He has a right to travel without a state driver license because it is a constitutionally protected right, he says. A Tennessean yields his right to travel by application, by voluntarily entering into an agreement at equity (in commerce) with the state to be its licensee. Statutory language about applying for a driver license shows the regime is entirely voluntary and that no one has a duty to enter into such a relationship with the state.

Tennessee’s “vehicle codes do not apply to people,” Mr. Hirsch says, “in their private, noncommercial, capacity, who exercise their naturally inherent, God-given, unalienable liberty right to freely travel on the public streets and highways in their ordinary course of life and business, in their private conveyance, without state regulation, interference, manipulation and taxation.”

He goes on in a motion: “The Tennessee vehicle statutes cited in the indictment charges/counts have everything to do with commercial drivers operating a ‘motor vehicle’ engaged in transporting people or goods for hire on the public highways, but do not apply to the accused’s exercise of his natural, unalienable right to freely travel in liberty on the public streets and highways.”

Ask God to supply Mr. Hirsch in the money for his defense because he is not a man of means. A musician who plays at nursing homes and courthouse Christmas events, Mr. Hirsch is a plain-spoken lover of Jesus Christ whose living is to restores church and private parking lots. Mr. Hirsch said Wednesday he dreads the prospect of being imprisoned if found guilty. What will happen to his truck and business equipment? He is unmarried, and would not know where to keep his gear, he laments.

He cannot afford the F$5,500 retainer to engage Stan Pierchoski of Lawrenceburg, one of the few attorneys in the state who understands the administrative and commercial nature of the driver license law — and how to assert a constitutional right as against the state and its universally hostile police and sheriff’s department officers.

Mr. Hirsch chatted with Mr. Pierchoski on Wednesday. Mr. Pierchoski today will call Judge Stella Hargrove to say he will be Mr. Hirsch’s attorney IF the trial can be continued. I helped convince Mr. Hirsch he should not attempt to go to trial with his attorney absent the week before, and that he should vigorously assert his rights of due process and the right to counsel. The judge denied a motion Wednesday to delay.

Pray for Mr. Hirsch that he will be able to raise the funds to defend himself against the illicit driver license and the gun charge. Mr. Hirsch has no wife and children depending on him. Still, his income has not been great enough to give him cash reserves.

‘God-given, unalienable rights’

In a motion, he says charges should be dismissed because “there is no allegation in the plaintiff’s indictment that the accused has waived, surrendered or transferred his inherent, God-given, unalienable rights to the STATE OF TENNESSEE in exchange for state benefits, and is therefore subject to state-granted taxable ‘privileges’ statutes requiring licenses and permits.”

This sentence suggests that Mr. Hirsch, in the humiliation of being falsely accused, recognizes a holy God’s interest in legal and actual liberty. An inalienable right is God-given but can be waived and transferred to others, he tells me. UNalienable is a right that is God-given and cannot be waived or defeated. This language and other statements suggest Mr. Hirsch’s being our representative, standing in our place, resisting in a conflict on our behalf. In many ways he is a picture of Christ, representing His people before God the Father and saving them into eternity.

Temporally, we have yielded to “the good people” in Nashville and Washington, D.C., and said, witlessly, yes. Mr. Hirsch has said “no,” and he’s saying no on our behalf.

Will you join me in going?

I plan to attend the trial as reporter for AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio in Chattanooga, as God in His providence allows. Media coverage of this case will make the crooked and arbitrary judges of Lawrence County think more clearly. Crowds of supporters are important in such cases of oppression; so is out of town press interest.

I am canceling my radio talk show Tuesday to leave Chattanooga on Monday night with news director Russell Stroud. It takes 2 hours and 54 minutes to get to Lawrenceburg from Soddy-Daisy. I’ll put up in a hotel and work to report on the trial and be in the audience. If you are interested in joining me in support of Mr. Hirsch, please contact me through this website. Or call me at 316-2680.

I will yield some independence of movement if we can drive together to save fuel, make friends and bow before the fount of grace together.

Please, pray for Mr. Hirsch.

You may also enjoy these related essays by David Tulis and Roger Roots

State lacks grounds to prosecute free user of roads, fiddler says in motion

Restoring our ancient rights one case at a time: Mr. Hirsch goes to trial

How state snips quills of constitutional rights, manhandles ‘free’ people

Bid to uncover harassment on state highways stonewalled

Program to harass motorists not in statute, doesn’t exist, chief says

Behind the modern driver license: Absolutism of administrative law

Driver license system voluntary, Gnome of Strawberry Plains says amid new prosecution

New defense for aliens, liberty lovers: No requirement to obtain driver license

If licensing scheme runs on consent, ‘illegals’ may be freer than citizens

The next time you get ticket, ask questions a la Scarlet Pimpernel

Mr. Kiesche, tootling about in auto, insists not ‘driving a motor vehicle’

Judges’ trick on ‘right to travel’ defied by hard-of-hearing motorists

Preserving your rights in city court; judge fields my odd liberty queries

1997 Tenn. case says you have right to travel, but not by car

The orphaned right: How states squelched Americans’ right to travel


  1. Ronnie Gilliam

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