A free user of the public roads convicted under the state’s vague “intent to go armed” and its commercial motor vehicle license statute is fighting Nashville’s efforts to disentangle two prosecutors and a highway patrol deputy from litigation.
Arthur Jay Hirsch sued district attorney Kim Helper, Tammy Rettig and trooper Jeff Reed operating in Middle Tennessee in his prosecution and insists that they do not have “absolute immunity” because, if they did, there would be no redress of grievances against state actors’ violating the people’s rights.
By David Tulis
Nor would there be any way to “deter said state officials from committing constitutional wrongs in the future,” says Mr. Hirsch, a laborer and self-taught legal reform activist.
Granting absolute immunity to defendants for breaching their constitutional oath of office and violating plaintiff’s constitutionally secured right mentioned above would seriously erode the protection provided by basic constitutional guarantees. When constitutionally secured rights are violated by defendant prosecutors and law enforcement officer, granting absolute immunity overturns our system of jurisprudence which rests on the assumption that all individuals, whatever their position in government, are subject to the state and federal constitutions and the laws enact thereunder.”
No man in this country “is so high that he is above the law. No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All the officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law, and are bound to obey it,” Mr. .Hirsch says in a motion, citing United States v. Lee, 106 U.S., at 220.
“By this Court granting absolute immunity to defendants when plaintiff’s constitutionally secured right is violated is to abrogate the very guidelines that define their power,” Mr. Hirsch says. “The defendants’ knowingly and willingly violating plaintiff’s aforesaid constitutionally secured right falls outside the boundaries of their job description and is therefore not an official function, but rather is an individual act not protected by absolute immunity.”
Mr. Hirsch says the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it” (citing Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 78 S.Ct. 1401 (1958)).