UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
William Thomas, et. al. |
Plaintiffs pro se, |
v. | C.A. No. 95-1018
| Judge Charles R. Richey
The United States, et. al. |
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURT'S AUGUST 31, 1995 ORDER
1. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
In consistent and responsible service to the premise that the judicial system
should consider equally the representations of both the powerful and the powerless,
plaintiff hereby moves for reconsideration of the Court's Order, entered August 31, 1995,
which granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and denied plaintiff's Motions
for Consolidation, and Judicial Notice of Exhibits.
A. DOES THE COURT UNDERSTAND WHAT PLAINTIFF IS TRYING TO SAY?
I initially claimed,
The Executive Committee Comprehensive Design Plan for the White House and
President's Park identifies Lafayette Park as "the symbol of our free and democratic
nation," and "the symbol of openness in government." Amend Complaint, Exhibit 1.
The Court just found,
"In apparent compliance with the provisions of 42 USC 4321 (or,
perhaps, some other similar provision of law), and consistent with a project
which threatens such monumental impacts on "harmony between man and his
environment" of freedom and democracy, the Executive Committee scheduled
an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed 1996." Amended
Complaint, ¶ 13, see also, id. ¶¶ 10-12.
The fact that an Environmental Impact Study had been scheduled, but was
preempted by defendants sudden action should be sufficient to indicate that such a study
was merited. With all due respect, unless the Court missed these allegations, it seems
as if the Court doesn't understand the environment impact on democracy that would
accrue from transforming Lafayette Square into Red, or Tiennamen Square, neither of
which are surrounded by barricades.
Really, this is nothing new.
"(P)laintiff does not specify any adverse environmental impacts that the traffic
restrictions have or will have on him." Court's Memo, pg. 11.
Problem is that defendants are just finding it easier to get away with it.
A. SHOULD THE COURT ACCEPT THE WHITE HOUSE SECURITY REVIEW
Although the Court should refrain from second guessing the expertise of the
"For instance, in a "Position Paper' dated July 24, 1967, the Secret Service
stated its strong belief:
"'that the continuation of picketing and demonstrating by protest groups
in front of the White House constitutes a threat to the safety of the
President of the United States and that this activity should not be
"(Plaintiff's exhibit 18, PLA at Tab 23). Of course it is understandable that
those charged with Presidential safety would prefer, as Judge Hart put it, to
take 'the precautions of a dictator' to shield him (or the White House complex)
from danger. (Finding 23), A Quaker Action Group v. Morton, Civil Action No.
688-69 (DDC August 22, 1973). This, of course, is simply not possible in a
democracy, for the President cannot be kept in a steel room away from the
public. We would observe, however, that the President probably faces far
fewer risks from even the largest demonstration at the White House than when
he moves in a parade or visits a baseball stadium or makes any sort of public
appearance. This observation is supported by testimony from the Assistant
Director for Protective Intelligence for the Secret Service who rated the White
House as virtually the safest place for the President. (Tr. at 164)." A Quaker
Action Group v. Morton, 516 F.2d 717, ftn. 40 (1975)(parentheses in original).
agency, I do not think this means that the Court must accept everything the government
says as true.
Whether or not "barriers around the Park" are actually likely to "enhance the
accessibility of the White House to visitors," seems a question of fact.
The Court found:
"(T)he Court notes that the barriers around the Park allow pedestrian
entry and that the Review specifically determined that '[t]here is significant
evidence that this plan should significantly enhance the accessibility of the
White House to visitors.' Background Information at 45-46" Court's Memo, pg.
11 emphasis added by the Court.
Neither the plane crash, nor the shooting incident would be prevented from
reoccurring by the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue or the barriers around the Park.
Plainly the bulk of the White House Security Review that is available to us is
"On September 12, 1994, at 1:49 a.m., a small airplane crashed onto the
South Lawn of the White House, killing the pilot but injuring no one else. See
Background Information on the White House Security Review at 1 (May 1995)
(`Background Information") In order to avoid such threats to the national
security in the future, then-Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen ordered the
formation of a White House Security Review (the `Review") to examine the
feasibility of techniques and measures to safeguard the White House Complex
from air and ground assaults. Id. at 3.
"Shortly thereafter, Francisco Martin Duran fired twenty-nine rounds from
a semi-automatic assault rifle into the White House. ;LB,at 2. Subsequently,
four additional security breaches at the White House were reported during the
pendency of the Review, although none posed a serious threat to the President.
Id. at 4.
" After an exhaustive investigation, the Review reported that it was
not able to identify any alternative to prohibiting vehicular traffic on
Pennsylvania Avenue that would ensure the protection of the President and
others in the White House Complex from explosive devices carried by
vehicles near the perimeter. "
historical.  Most of that history served as the basis of the government's First
Amendment incursions accomplished in White House Vigil for the ERA v. Clark, 746
F.2d 1518, which, we can see, was allegedly prompted by,
If the Court's opinion in this case stands for the proposition that anytime officials
feel an excessive preoccupation with security they are free to do whatever they like,
plaintiff suggests that opinion runs contrary to previous opinions.
"A bomb in front of the American Embassy in Beruit, Lebanon, (which) killed
scores of people in the beginning of April (1983). (And c)loser to home in April
(1983) a bomb exploded in front of the War College at Fort McNair in
Washington." Federal Register, June 17, 1983, Vol. 48, No 118, pg 28058
There are other problems that suggest the White House Security Review is not
infallible. If the Court is interested I will gladly go into them.
A. SHOULD THE COURT CONSIDER PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
JUDICIAL NOTICE OF EXHIBITS MOOT?
At the TRO hearing in this case, Captain Radzilowski testified to the need
"Of course, the health and safety of the President are of concern to the
citizenry. But this only poses, it does not answer, the question as to whether
the officials involved have transformed this concern into an excessive
preoccupation with security that is achieved at the unnecessary expense of First
Amendment freedoms. We are aware that the issue is difficult and delicate. It
is too difficult, too delicate, too dependent on careful assessment and weighing
of constitutional rights, to rest conclusively on the untested declaration of an
executive official." A Quaker Action Group v. Morton, 516 F.2d 717, 723, citing,
Quaker Action III, 460 FR.2d at 459.
[1 An interesting historical footnote supplied by the White House Security Review is
the fact that the Secret Service has consistently been "exceeding its mandate" since its
inception. E.g., WHSR, pgs. 71, 73, 74 and 76. A fact which the S.S. seems to flaunt.
"'When such laws begin to operate in this Republic the liberties of the people will
take wings and fly away.' House Committee on the Judiciary, 57th Cong. 1st
Session, H. Rep. 1422, 13(sic) (1902)." Id., pg. 75.]
for insuring that "emergency vehicles" not be obstructed, and that there was no
intention to impede First Amendment activity in the closed section of Pennsylvania
Avenue. The Court relies heavily upon the testimony of Captain Radzilowski's
testimony to grant defendants' motions for summary judgment. Court's Memo, pgs.
I believe that the materials offered as evidence in Plaintiff's Motion for Judicial
Notice cast doubt on the accuracy and/or veracity of Captain Radzilowski's testimony
about traffic access on Pennsylvania Avenue (video tape 3m48s-6m32s), interference
with First Amendment activity (8m 58s) and the arrest itself (8m38s-12m55s).
I suggest that it is an error for the Court to consider that evidence moot.
I believe that the Court was mistaken to deny my Motion for Consolidation.
The fact that the United States is defendant in both cases, and both cases
involve my continuous presence and one specific sign is certainly a strong indication
of a relationship between the two cases.
Additionally, by separating the two cases it seems as if the Court has come up
with opinions that are not entirely consistent. In the instant case the Court found that,
To the extent I should not be prohibited from displaying my "sign and seat
structure" (as the Court chooses to characterize it) in Lafayette Park, I agree. However,
in United States v. Thomas, CA. No. 95-2747 the Court has intimated that I would not be
"(T)he regulation leaves alternative channels of communication open to the
Plaintiff. The Plaintiff maintains his presence in Lafayette Park. He is not
prohibited from displaying his sign and seat structure there....." Court's
Memorandum (August 31, 1995), pg. 16.
permitted to display the sign (as I believe it should be correctly characterized, according
to the Lafayette Park regulations) at that location.
A. IS THE COURT PREDISPOSED?
Essentially, I believe, judicial predisposition accounts for the Court's decision in
this case, and the fact that I, and others, have been denied a fair hearing of the facts in
this and other cases.
"(G)iven the Officers' plain statutory authority for warning the Plaintiffs regarding
the use of their sign in the Park, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs have not
established that a clear right was implicated by the Officers' actions, nor have the
Plaintiffs shown with sufficient specificity that the Officers acted unreasonably in
this respect. Therefore, the Court holds that the Officers are entitled to qualified
immunity regarding this factual claim." Thomas, et al v. United States, et al,
Court's Memorandum (April 12, 1995), pg. 15.
I believe this indicates an error for two reasons. First, even though the Court
recognizes my face,  the Court cannot pretend to have factually examined the more
important aspects of my personality (as well as the driving force behind my "continuous
presence") -- my ideas:
"The Plaintiff in this action, William Thomas, is no stranger to the Court. Mr.
Thomas proclaims that, '[s]ince 1981 in the exercise of his religious beliefs
[, he] has regularly maintained a continuous presence on the White House
sidewalk and southern part of Lafayette Park for the purpose of communicating
on issues of peace and social justice.' Amended Complaint at 3 '.
Throughout the period he has been conducting his vigil, the Plaintiff has filed
numerous claims with this Court that he has been 'arrested, beaten, harassed
and otherwise mistreated by the police in retaliation for his activities." Mem. in
Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Summ. Jud. at 24 n.15." Court's Memo
(August 31, 1995), pg. 5, fan. 1.
[2 I have been before your Honor so often that I can't help thinking the odds against
such frequency are probably either astronomical, or beyond the provisions of Local Rule
403, et seq,]
Although the Court magnanimously presumed that I am not crazy (id. pg 8), before
imposing a prison sentence the Court explained its action with the observation,
"(A)s Justice Brandeis once said, you can't yell 'fire' in a theater." Id., pg 68.
I contend that I am not "yelling fire," and that it is a mistake for the Court to
assume otherwise without first making a factual determination that my ideas are not
practical approaches to "issues of broad (public) concern." Court's Memo, pg. 11.
Second, it is a mistake for the Court to proceed under the impression that plaintiff
has filed numerous (presumably factually deficient) claims." Parentheses added.
Reasonable people have seen (1) there has been an "on-going conflict," for years,
(2) I have alleged it is the result of a policy intended to prohibit demonstrations "on an
incremental basis" (Thomas v. United States, 696 F. Supp; 702, 704, 705), and (3) the
"The reason that I've been staying in one place is because there's one of two
possibilities: either I have something of value for people to hear, or I'm crazy. 
If I have something of value for people to hear, my experience leads me to
believe that they can't take it in all at one sitting, and on numerous occasions I've
had people who have stopped and talked to me and maybe even went away
angry the first time, but they've come back later and said, 'I listened to what you
said. I thought about it after I left, and I want to hear some more.' So I stay in
one place, first, as a symbolic effort to show dedication, commitment; secondly,
to be available if something that I say rings a chord in someone's heart or mind
and they want to come back and talk some more." United States v. Thomas,
Thomas, Harmony and Joseph, CR. No 87-0062, January 28, 1995, sentencing
transcript, pg. 7 (Thomas v. United States, CA No. 94-2747, Third Motion for
Sanctions, February 9, 1995, Exhibit 6).
[3 Even assuming I'm crazy, I'm neither a danger to myself or others. In either event,
I believe reason can help show who is actually mistaken, and to what extent, thus
helping everyone draw a step closer to "Peace through Understanding." (Thomas v News
World Communications, 681 F. Supp. 55, 69).]
obvious questions have never been addressed. 
"THE COURT: Let me ask you this ... hasn't it been one of those things
there he gets arrested today for doing 'x' conduct, and then he goes back and
does 'x' minus 'y' conduct, right? And he gets arrested. And then he goes
back out and he does 'x' minus 'y' minus 'z'. In other words, wherever you folks
draw the line, he wants to stay on that line.... (H)e is trying to comply with
[4 The Court cites, " Mem. in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Summ. Jud. at 24
n.15." As is readily seen from the actual quote, not my own, the allegations referred to
by the Court are "undisputed." I.e.,
Moreover, aside from the provisions of the Rules of Procedure, this Court
should be aware that was not the only time that a court presiding in criminal cases
discerned potential significant questions relating to police agents and my expressive
"Much of the evidence at trail was undisputed. Since June 1981, Thomas
had been maintaining a vigil in front of the White House, expressing his
opposition to nuclear weapons and mendacious politicians. During the period
of his vigil, the regulations governing the display of signs and structures in front
of the White House bad frequently changed. Thomas testified that he had
attempted to accommodate the various revisions in the regulations in order to
ensure that his protest remained lawful. He claimed that he had been
repeatedly arrested, beaten, harassed and otherwise mistreated by the police in
retaliation for his activities. " United States v. Thomas, 557 A.2d 1296, 1297.
While it may be accurate to say, "plaintiff has filed numerous claims," it is an error
to pretend that those claims have received serious judicial consideration, beyond the
preliminary inquiries of Magistrate Arthur Burnett,
"The court's ruling today does not mean that the government does not have a
compelling interest in enforcing its regulations concerning the use of the core
memorial parks. It has, however, become unnecessary, in light of this ruling, to
reach the several most significant constitutional questions that some day, some
way, with perhaps other defendants, perhaps the same, will be addressed."
United States v. Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, et. al., USDC Cr. 84-0255,
Transcript, September 16, 1984, pg. 1026 (Thomas v. United States, CA No. 94-
2747, Plaintiffs' Motion to Reschedule the Preliminary Injunction Hearing [March
20, 1995], Exhibit 3).
" there remains an incredible number of incidents stemming from these arrests
on which reasonable minds might well differ as to the arresting officers'
subjective intent and whether their actions involved police misconduct.... plaintiff
is entitled to attempt to establish constitutional violations by individual U. S, Park
Police officers, and by any Secret Service officers acting in concert therewith."
(Thomas v. United States, CA No. 94-2747, Motion to Recuse (December 27,
1995), Exhibit 3, Magistrate's Memo, January 13, 1987, pgs. 11-17.
Let us be honest. Not one of my numerous complaints has been resolved on the
basis of a factual hearing. Nor has the government shown that even one (1) of my
factual allegations was false. Instead, every one of my complaints (with the exception of
Thomas v. Lujan, 721 F.2d 391, where the Court ignored claims of police misconduct,
and dismissed the complaint on the separate Administrative Procedure Act claim), has
been dismissed on the strength of "official immunity."
If the Court was interested in "develop(ing) ... evidence to the end that truth may
be ascertained and proceedings may be justly determined" (Fed. R. Evid. 102), I believe
it would not have given defendants the benefit of the doubt in every instance.
I hope the Court will reconsider these points.
these regulations, and as you make them, and as he gets arrested for them ...
whatever you say do, he'll do."
"THE GOVERNMENT: He plays games.
"THE COURT: Well, I don't know who is playing a game really." 
Thomas v. United States, CA. No. 94-2747, Reply to Defendants' Response to
Plaintiffs' Motion to Reschedule the Preliminary Injunction Hearing (March 20,
1995), Exhibit 2 (United States v. Thomas, USDC Cr. 83-0056, J. Bryant, July
7, 1983), pgs. 6 & 7.
[5 Sadly, since 1981 the government has dragged me into court many times, without
exception the underlying criminal charges have stemmed from incidents directly relating
to my continuous presence in Lafayette Park for the purpose of communicating on issues
of broad public concern. At first the charges were just tossed out of court, then the
government made new regulations, and, although the preponderance of criminal cases
have been resolved in my favor, the government's record of convictions improved
somewhat. Viewed in a light most favorable to me this record might indicate the
degeneration of a reasonable and democratic nation, but it does not prove that my
allegations are inaccurate, or that the government's arguments are based on truth.]
Respectfully submitted this 11th day of September, 1995.
William Thomas, Plaintiff Pro se
2817 11th Street N.W., Apt. B
Washington, D.C. 20005
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that, on this 11th day of September, 1995, copies of Plaintiff's
Motion to Reconsider the Court's Order of August 31, 1995,, were served by
first-class mail, addressed to: MARINA UTGOFF BRASWELL, Assistant United
States Attorney, Judiciary Center Building -- Rm. 10-820, 555 4th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20001, and BRUCE BRENNAN, Asst. Corporation Counsel,
441 4th Street NW , Suite 6-S-101, Washington, D.C. 20001.