Yesterday I delivered to the grand jury office a demand letter seeking to head off what I fear will be a wave of mass arrests outside the scope of constitutional government.
My concern is with a longstanding abuse under two words: “General warrants.” General warrants are forbidden to law enforcement in a free state and under a good constitution as Tennesseans enjoy.
Today I am following up this effort to head off a major clash between the citizenry and the state legal-police-political machinery that has put the entire state into cardiac arrest and is bringing thousands of families to the brink of despair or madness.
The constitution prohibits general warrants under the bill of rights, section 7, which calls them dangerous and that they ought not to be granted.
The police state under Gov. Bill Lee, Mayor Andy Berke, Mayor Jim Coppinger and others worsens as they suck life away from innumerable area families. We can expect the multitudinous amplification of this abuse across society at the hand of police when Gov. Lee says that too few people are locking themselves into their houses, and he is going to order a crackdown on travel.
The state may create potentially dangerous civil disturbances in a continuing oppression against the people. But with Gov. Lee’s order, it will in one day become more aggressive paramilitary/cellblock formula with police action ignoring warrant and probable cause requirements. Gov. Lee has already crossed the line, as it were, against the common person; the city awaits his finding his center and squeezing down upon the populace.
My revised brief
This morning I have revised my brief on the law in question and printed it out as a letter to the three criminal court judges in Hamilton County. These men are Tom Greenholtz, Don Poole and Barry Steelman. I have posted this material, most recently in the form of a court-useable brief.
Enroute to hand deliver this letter demanding intervention, I plan to stop by the law office of a man who has a stellar career as a lawyer in an important firm. But I am there because he holds a much more important office than lawyer.
Mr. Moore is a partner at Chambliss Bahner & Stophel, and is, amazingly, the foreman of one of the county’s two grand juries.
While on Highway 27 traveling from Soddy-Daisy to the city, I leave a message at the criminal court. Two minutes later, Judge Greenholtz is on the phone. I ask to meet with him today. He says he is not in the court today. I tell him my errand. Judge Greenholtz says he is willing to read my analysis about Tenn. Code Ann. 40-7-103, grounds for arrest by officer without a warrant. I explain that I am seeking to head off police mass abuse apart from warrant requirements codified in that law. Leave with the envelopes with the clerk, Judge Greenholtz says.
Judge Greenholtz is an outstanding judge whose court rulings are top of the line and executed with high regard for the rights of the people and the rule of law. I tell him that his RICO ruling is celebrated among people who care about the constitution, and that several of us basked in its light for several days and talked about it in detail for its tremendous research and high regard for the concept of “essential elements of the charge.”
The supreme court’s order of March 13 closing courts to in-person proceedings also, according to Judge Greenholtz, shut down the grand jury.
The grand jury cannot be shut down by the supreme court because the grand jury represents the interests of the people and is an independent body of the people, I say. He says he agrees “philosophically.” But in the way things stand now, he indicates, the state has dismissed the grand jury, and it is not at work.
Courts, judges and DAs have seized the grand jury, and it lacks independence to fight for the rights of the people, I aver, and this is a grief, and part of the reason I am contacting him.
Separately from the CV-19 oppression, I am waiting for response from him regarding the grand jury foreman problem. The judges name the foreman of the grand jury. That means the grand jury is no longer independent, and cannot — CANNOT — issue indictments that are unbiased, impartial and valid. Cunning, bias, personality, favor, selection are built into every indictment, and the people no longer have an independent protector.
Judge Greenholtz asks whether I have asked an opinion from Attorney General Herbert Slatery III. Yes.
Sen. Bo Watson is asking the proper question, and will come on my show to discuss the answer when he gets the text from Mr. Slatery, I say.
The grand jury cannot be asleep in a time of civil crisis and potential civil unrest, I suggest. The grand jury is the investigative arm of the people, and is empowered under common law to stop abuses of the state. The grand jury is the people’s very own “roving commission” to stop abuses.
Alas, Easter is upon us
At Chambliss Stophel & Bahner, the shock is not that Mr. Moore is absent. But that the woman at the front desk doesn’t know the name of Jeff Styles, my radio station’s cult figure in the morning drive. Mr. Styles is a fixture in the city’s morning radio world.
At the county justice building, the Cherry Street door is locked. I clack my fist at the glass, and Allen, the guard, opens up to say no one is in the building except him and another security person. He lets me in. Not even clerks are in. It’s Good Friday, he says. The doors are too tight for me to slip my three envelopes under the door, he indicates. I’ll have to wait until Monday.
An explosive situation appears to be building.
The state is outside the scope of the law, its actors operating privately and personally apart from legal power. Hundreds of thousands of people are in danger from financial suffocation and personal humiliation in their property and estates. The economy is collapsing. Fortunes are going up in flame hourly, whether in small shops and restaurants or large concerns.
I will deliver my judge letters Monday morning. I will also demand a visit with Mr. Moore to begin an immediate investigation into my report about an officer who violated 40-7-107 in a triable and indictable public offense (false arrest is a crime, arrest without warrant when one is required is a crime). Once apprised of the problem in a particular false arrest, the grand jury will be stirred to act — despite being shut down by the supreme court.
In a time of emergency and crisis, the rule of necessity will allow this body to be roused from coma.
Such is my hope, my calculation about averting an ultimate cataclysm with its concertina wire, creaking camp gates and tent cities of arrestee inmates comprised of people like you and me.