MARY HUDDLE and PHILIP JOSEPH, et. al., ) ) Plaintiffs, Pro Se, ) ) CA 88-3130-JHG versus ) ) Judge Joyce Hens Green RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et. al., ) ________________________________________)
At the hearing on December 5, 1988, Counsel for the federal defendants announced the intent to bring a Motion for Summary Judgment. Instead the government has opted to submit a voluminous Motion to Dismiss, supported by ten prodigous exhibits, not unlike the mythical titans.
A broader foundation for plaintiffs' position, as established below, shows that defendants' motions hinge precariously on several presumptions, which, in turn, are founded on a void.
Defendants expect this Court to begin from the presumption that the "federal (and -- defendants do not deny, but fail to mention -- D.C. disorderly conduct) regulations," admittedly in dispute with "the confluence of plaintiffs' continuous presence in the White House/Lafayette Park area" are not, in fact, a post hoc, ex post facto, bureaucratic wrecking ball, conceived -- for the most part -- and maliciously employed to batter plaintiffs' persons and "property," for the purpose of suppressing, disrupting and ultimately terminating, what defendants knew, or should have known to be, plaintiffs' Constitutionally protected
exercise of religious beliefs, expression of beliefs, free association with the public at large, and their right to remain harmlessly in a public place unmolested by police force.
Defendants' Motion conclusively settles the fact that there is a definite controversy between a specific "continuous pre-sence" (Defendants' Memorandum in support of the Motion to Dis-miss (hereinafter "Memo"), p. 4, and a specific "regulatory scheme" (Complaint, para. 20).
According to the Rules, we believe, the Court is barred from making the presumption upon which defendants hang their Motion.
"Whether this is all steam, or whether there is some substance depends on the proof offered either at trial or on motion for Summary Judgment demonstrating that there is no controversy." A.H. Richland, Co. v. Harper, 302 F.2d at 326.
Plaintiffs respectfully but emphatically suggest the sacred duties of this Court are to elicit evidence to the end of determining the relative Truth or falsity of all parties' respective claims as they relate to both the settled "continuous presence" and "regulatory scheme," and to effect justice.
This Complaint alleges that defendants, various agencies and agents of the federal and District of Columbia governments, have maliciously concocted a regulatory scheme which was selectively applied against plaintiffs, to further no credible government interest, but with the intents of stifling the establishment of plaintiffs' religion, the free practice thereof, freedom of speech, the press, peaceable assemblage, petitioning the government for redress of grievance, and subjecting plaintiffs to authoritarian police state molestation in a public park.
On December 2l, l988, AUSA Michael Martinez, on behalf of some federal defendants (inter alia _____), filed an opposition asserting that the Court is barred from reaching the merits of this Complaint under Rule l2(b)(l), (2), (4), (5), and (6).
It is plain that Mr. Martinez is either involved in a landmark effort by the U.S. Attorney's Office to protect a group of beleaguered administrative officials from a mythical hydra (see "Memo," p. l), or to manipulate the judicial system. l/
No doubt, there is a lengthy history behind this case, as defendants' Memo begins to reveal. A cursory glance at Exhibit 4 in Support of Defendants' Memo 2/ might appear to indicate that the U.S. Attorney's Office has compiled an impressive body count during its battle to protect the White House from dragons.
As plaintiffs will illustrate, the veil of history can be drawn considerably wider, so this Court is by no means forced to accept "Exhibit 4's" fabled revelation.
It would appear that the AUSA, in the tradition of the mythical Sirens, would like to throw the Court into a frenzy by chanting a song:
l/ Of course, defendants might like to make believe that, for some undefined, but presumably masochistic, reason, it is plaintiffs who are trying to manipulate the judicial system. COMPARE, PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO SUPPLEMENT THE RECORD REGARDING THE "CONFLUENCE OF PLAINTIFFS' CONTINUOUS PRESENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE/LAFAYETTE PARK AREA WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS CODIFIED AT 36 C.F.R. 7.96," FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' SUBMISSION OF JUDGE OBERDORFER'S ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1988, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEFENDANTS' SUBMISSION OF MAGISTRATE BURNETT'S MEMORANDUM OF DECEMBER 15, 1987, AND INNUENDOES OF LITIGIOUSNESS (hereinafter "Innuendos of Litigiousness").
2/ Plaintiffs have previously visited "Exhibit 4" in a Motion to Strike, filed January 3, 1988.
"Thomas" (Memo p. 4), "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, p. 5), "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, id, id, id, p. 6), "Thomas," (id, p. 7), "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, p. l4), "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, p. l6), "Thomas," (id, p. l7), "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, id, p. 23), "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, id, id, p. 27), "Thomas," "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, id, p. 28), "Thomas," "Thomas," (id, id, p. 29), "Thomas," (id, p. 30).
Next the AUSA monosyllabically recites the "Arrests of William Thomas," defendants' "Exhibit 4." (Supra footnote 2/.)
Then comes the tale of monsters. Memo, p. l.
Could it be that the AUSA is trying to hypnotize the Court into believing that Thomas is a monster? To vanquish this presumptious notion plaintiffs refer the Court to Innuendos of Litigiousness (see ftn. 1/), and plaintiffs turn here to address a more serious issue.
Why, one might ask, would the AUSA seek to brainwash the Court into believing that Thomas is a monster? The answer seems apparent: once it has fully convinced this Court that Thomas is a monster, the U.S. Attorney's Office will implant in the mind of the Court a post-hypnotic suggestion, programming the Court to smash "Thomas and his cohorts" with no regret, compunction, or showing of specific "threat of harm to any person, property, or government interest." (SEE testimony of government agents, United States v. Thomas, Thomas, CR Nos. 87-23l, 323, pages 26-29, 65-67, 94, 95, 98 -- Exhibits 1, 2, 3.)
It should not be forgotten that Thomas is not alone, and by crushing him others will suffer.
On December 5, l988, plaintiffs filed, at the Court's request, a "Statement of Plaintiffs' Position on Spokesperson." We explained that each individual would preserve the right to
speak on her/his own behalf regarding matters of personal perspectives on facts or principles.
Clearly this case is not only about Thomas.
This case is about Concepcion, Scott, Ellen, Philip, Mary, Sunrise, individuals, groups under twenty-five, the people of the United States (Complaint paras. l-6), and democracy (Complaint para. 8l).
If this Court is distracted by false stories of Thomas setting fire to a crowded Aegean stable, the fact that defendants are burning Concepcion at the stake may go unnoticed.
Why doesn't defendants' "Exhibit 4" elaborate on Concepcion?
She's been a "cohort" of Thomas since l98l. Memo, p. 4.
She's been arrested lots of times, often purportedly for "camping." SEE, e.g., Declaration of Concepcion Picciotto in Support of the Amended Complaint. What about the many arrests of Concepcion -- not to mention her other claims -- which have never received any judicial review?
Likewise, for one of innumerable possible examples, defendants' Motion to Dismiss offers absolutely no explaination as to the facts surrounding the arrest which led the U.S. Attorney to presecute Philip Joseph with vexatious court proceedings until, with unexplained prosecutorial discretion, United States v. Joseph, USDC Cr. No. 88-235 was finally dismissed.
Surely the Court should not overlook the People of the United States. But defendants fail to say anything about David Sanchez, recently acquitted of "camping" after a trial (USDC Cr. No. 88-____) before Judge Norma Holloway Johnson. Nonetheless, just a couple of weeks his acquital Mr. Sanchez was cited
for purportedly "storing property." (US Park Police Citatioin No. 192602). That charge was dismissed by Magistrate Atridge on November 21, 1988, but no one has ever looked at the facts of the matter.
Consider also Cassimer Urban Jr., Cr. No. 84-309, acquitted of "camping," J. Johnson; Robert Dorrough, Cr. No. 88-_______, acquitted of "camping," J. Oberdorfer; Robert Dorrough, Cr. No. 87-0122-M, CR 87-65, "unlawful structure" ("erecting a mass of snow"), dismissed....
The list is much longer but these few examples illustrate a principle which Judge Oberdorfer has clearly articulated: "If your (government) suppresses the kind of protest that you are engaged in, we would be jeopardizing the liberty of all of us." United States v. Thomas, USDC CR No. 83-l86, Sentencing Transcript, p. 29, December 2l, l983.
With "Thomas and his cohorts" painted up as "hydras" or "criminals," then -- but even then only by sacrificing the concept of individual equality before the law, on the altar of some as yet unspecified "common good" -- might the question of whether the Court is facing a "bad law" 3/ possibly become "immaterial" ?
Defendants' Memo sheds a bright light on some crucial facts.
A regulatory scheme of the potential dimension alleged in the Complaint does exist. Compare, Memo p. 1, Complaint para. 20.
3/ "This case may be one of those 'hard cases' that has high potential to produce 'bad law.'" CCNV v. Watt, DCUSApp No. 82-2445, decided March 9, l983, J. Mikva, concurring opinion, p. l. Writing separately, "I share Judge Edwards' concern that this case has 'a high potential to produce bad law.'" Id. J. Ginsburg, concurring opinion, p. l.
Since one year and one day prior to the inception of the regulatory scheme, plaintiff William Thomas has sought to maintain a continuous presence in the vicinity of the White House.
Thomas' intent has been essentially the expression of the message "Peace through Love" or "Love Your Enemies." 4/
Over the course of almost eight years the other plaintiffs have engaged in similar efforts. 5/
The "continuous presence" violated no law in 1981, and the defendants realized that fact saw it as a "problem."
Commenting on just one isolated instance of the crushing effect which defendants' regulatory scheme has had on plaintiffs' persons and pursuits, Judge Starr, from his chambers, noted, "(i)t may be unfortunate that the Thomases' deeply felt convictions have led them to persistent behavior running afoul of the regulations. That disagreement ... perhaps reflects courage, conscience or tragedy." USA v. Thomas, USApp DC No. 88-3034, decided December 30, l988.
We shudder to think Judge Starr may be insensitive to "bad
4/ The Complaint asserts that "(t)he motive of each plaintiff in focusing his or her energeies to the area of Lafayette park was to conform his or her actions to a similar religious discipline." (Id. para. 2l(b).) The Complaint alleges that defendants acted to "shield (defendant Reagan's) PERSONAL philosophy of Peace through Strength from critical attack" (id para 73), "for the purpose of suppressing plaintiffs in their exercise and communication of religious beliefs and principles." (Id. para. 70.)
5/ "Depending ... upon the conviction of the individual expressor to the truth of the opinions expressed, and upon the individual capacity for tolerating the frequent harassment at the hands of defendants and their agents, those who adopted my methods remained in Lafayette Park for varying lengths of time." Para. 8 of William Thomas' Declaration in Support of the Complaint.
law," hoping his decision was an error resulting from the posture in which that case was presented to him. In any event there is good reason to think this case has been a horrible tragedy, and the hope that this Court is not insensitive to bad law..
"The defendant and others who are maintaining vigils in Lafayette Park may be eccentric. But they have stood up day and night for their beliefs in spite of repeated arrests and convictionsand the dangers encountered when sleeping unprotected from the weather and other perils that lurk in the middle of a city at night. Their protests have been peaceful. They are not venal criminals, and application of criminal sanctions to them puts strain on the criminal justice system. That system is designed to protect the public from crime, condemn and punish criminals, and to deter others from committing crime. The justification for condemning and punishing a peaceful protester like defendant is not immediately apparent. The effectiveness of the criminal sanction as a protection of the public or as a deterrent to repetition when applied to persons like defendant is also questionable." USA v. SUNRISE, DCDC, CR. 88-235-LFO, Memorandum, filed December 8, 1988, pgs. 8, 9.
Certainly, plaintiffs may be "eccentric." On the other hand, plaintiffs may not be "eccentric" at all, but, as Judge Richey suggested, "may have been engaged in one of the noblest ventures of human kind." United States v. Sunrise, USDC CR No. 87-6l, Trial Transcript, p. l38, December l4, l987.
Yet the "beliefs" plaintiffs "stood up for day and night" have NEVER been given a fair hearing.
PLAINTIFF [then defendant]: "I have a belief, and by the most sacred principles of this country, I am entitled to hold my (belief), and, by the fundamental laws of this country, I am entitled to express my belief.... My burden seems to be that I hold an unpopular belief, and I insist on expressing it. I am viewed as a blight on society as a direct result of the manner of my expression. But, being penniless in a society which traditionally demands money for expression, there is no other manner available to me for expressing my beliefs than through my body, my voice, and crude signs in a prominent place.
"I am just doing my job. I am a critic, but criticism is not a bad thing. Criticism identifies problems. Identifying a problem is the first step toward solving it, when criticism is viewed optimistically.
"Whether or not my criticism is valid has never been at issue before this, or any other, court.... (S)hould this court sentence me to be imprisoned without ever having addressed the issue of my criticism, I fear we shall have a sorry state of affairs." USA v. Thomas CR 83-l86, transcript December 2l, l983.
Thus the real tragedy would be if there NEVER was any "hydra," but that defendants have, in fact, successfully manipulated the judicial system to produce "bad law," with the intent and effect of transforming plaintiffs into "criminals," and a peaceful demonstration into a "crime."
DEFENDANT ROBBINS: (Reading from the Federal Register) "The regulations banning the use of parks for living accommodations are designed not to stifle First Amendment expression, but to protect undesignated parks from activities for which they are not suited and the impacts of which they cannot sustain. Short-time casual sleeping which does not occur in the context of using the Park for living accommodations will not be affected by these regulations."
PLAINTIFF: "Were you involved in the Court process that grew out of these regulations?"
PLAINTIFF: "The legal challenges to this regulation?"
PLAINTIFF: "I'm sorry. Could I ask the ground?"
COURT: "No. Next question. It's immaterial, that's why." USA v. Thomas and Thomas, D.D.C. Cr. No. 87-23l, December l4, l987, Trial Transcript, p. l60. SEE ALSO pp. 6, l54-l55.
This Court -- faced squarely with the question of whether "bad law" (supra footnote 3/) is, in fact, a "criminal regulatory scheme" which was intended as a instrument to persecute "peaceful," "sincere" individuals under color of "criminal action" -- must resist the narcotic tones of Mr. Martinez' Motion
to Dismiss, and focus on the MATERIAL question of whether these defendants, et al, have carried out a Constitutionally impermissible scheme intended to place administrative policy above the law.
Unfortunately, when faced with the prospect of upholding "the liberty of all of us" Judge Oberdorfer declined, "without prejudice." Memo, p. 23. In this case, filed in the name of the People of the United States, plaintiffs can only pray this Court will show less timidity in facing up to "several most significant Constitutional questions that some day, some way, with perhaps other (plaintiffs), perhaps the same, (must) be addressed." USA v. Thomas et al, CR 84-255, p. l026. (Inter alia p. 26.)
Judge Oberdorfer justified his reluctance to resist the Sirens' sweet singing by opining:
"Plaintiffs' twenty-four-hour vigil ... takes place in possibly the most conspicuous public forum in the [n]ation.... They have engaged in a running contest with law enforcement authorities with the result, if not the intention, of attracting considerable media attention." Thomas, et al, v. News World Communications, et al, 68l F.Supp ____ (l988).
But Judge Oberdorfer never required the government to show what impacts it the park was protected from by arresting peaceful demonstrators for sweeping the sidewalk, or sitting upright on a box at 3:00 a.m.. Declaration of Concepcion Picciotto, Exhibit 4, attached hereto. Nor did he stop to examine whether these alleged police gambits were suppressive or coercive in nature.
If this dispute must be analogized to a "running contest," plaintiffs -- none of whom enjoy being kicked around -- can only be the analogous "pigskin."
This Complaint alleges that this metaphorical "contest" is actual torture to plaintiffs. A trial will prove that, as opposed to "running," this contest has been one-sided.
It may already be apparent that this "contest" was entirely defendants' idea, and plaintiffs never wanted to compete.
Much of the "considerable media attention" attracted by this "contest" was largely malicious and manufactured or employed by defendants against plaintiffs. A trial will show that defendants have described their problem by various euphemisms such as "nuisance," "the situation on the White House sidewalk," "the situation in Lafayette Park," "large signs," "vague anti-nuke gibberish."
But Judge Oberdorfer didn't take testimony on the issues expressed by the symbolism of "plaintiffs' twenty-four-hour vigil," nor did he ascertain whether defendants have or have not been causing plaintiffs to endure continuing physical and emotional torture.
Therefore -- barring evidence of Judge Oberdorfer's expertise in mindreading, astrology, or some similar science -- defendants are unlikely to illustrate that Judge Oberdorfer's resolution of Thomas resolved the material questions at bar.
A pilgrim -- an individual who sincerelybelieved that the Creator of the Universe had instructed him to seek perfection by channeling every thought and action to the establishment of "Peace through Understanding" -- was dragged i nto the legal jurisdiction of this land,in opposition to his strong obbjection, having already tried to leave the country, the pilgrim He decided
that he could best serve his Creator by sitting down in a public park, on the north side of Mr. Reagan's official residence, and wait for someone to offer him a more efficient method to achieve Understanding. Pl's Ex. X.
Soon a second pilgrim, in search of Truth and Justice, thought that the first pilgrim had discovered a useful tool for uncovering truth and justice, and they proceeded to search side by side, there on the sidewalk.
The two pilgrims made signs, for attracting the public's attention t issues crucial to humanity. They produced literature, which they distributed to the public with the intent to, if only to a small degree, further Understanding.
The President didn't like the idea of the pilgrims sitting on the sidewalk in front of his house.
It is the President's responsibility to set policy. But, as he is also human, it seems not unreasonable to infer that, in his personal capacity, Mr. Reagan might not like to have somebody continuously squatting on his doorstep, and questioning his policies. Who would?
Except, in his capacity as leader of a democracy, Mr. Reagan bore not only a responsibbility to tolerate criticism, but also to protect critics. James Watt, during the time period in which the alleged scheme had its inception, was Secretary of Interior and a friend of defendant Reagan.
There is clear evidence that Mr. Watt, in contact with the White House, intended to "ban demonstrations in front of the White House and in Lafayette Park and require that they take place on the Ellipse."
The named plaintiffs share an identifiable ideological commitment to the principles that 1) the first among laws is "to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength," and that "if one does not love one's neighber, who one has seen, then one cannot love God, who one has not seen;" 2) force, violence, threats, and intimidation are tools of the anti-christ which cannot be employed to righteously resolve differences of opinion but which are only used to impose the will of one upon another, or to suppress freedom; 3) peace on earth can be achieved only by resolving differences of opinion through compassion, reasoning, communication. SEE, complaint, para. 21.
This shared ideological commitment found embodiment in plaintiffs continuous presence.
Plaintiffs allege that, following the lead of Mr. Ronald Reagan each of the named defendants shared similar ideological principles which were in diametric opposition to those shared by plaintiffs; including, but not limited to: a) the establishment of world, or social, order through force, violence, threats, and the infliction of pain and suffering upon human beings, and b) the obvious immorality and innate evil of the concept that world, or social, order through the imposition of force, violence, threats, and the infliction of physical or emotional pain and suffering upon human beings is mitigated by the euphemism "Peace Through Strength."
Overwelming evidence can be presented to prove that over the years defendants and their agents have been able to find plenty of time to write reports, memoranduma, press releases, regulations, directives, and numerous other documents concerning plaintiffs
Evidence will also indicate that,instead of reasoning with plaintiffs over the ideological issues which impelled plaintiffs symbolic action -- and which separate the parties in this action (e.g., cf. Complaint paras. 21(h)(i) and 72(a)(b) -- defendants chose rather to cloud plaintiffs' ideas in the public's mind, by publicly demeaning plaintiffs' persons, and subjecting those persons to the force, violence, threats and intimidation of police force in an effort to crush plaintiffs efforts to exercise and communicate their religious beliefs. SEE, Complaint, para. 20, and Amended complaint, para. 11.
Mr. Martinez represented at the hearing held in this matter on December 5, l988 that he had been "dealing with Mr. Thomas for years." Evidence will show that Mr. Martinez true "dealings" with the persons and issues in this case have amounted to nothing more substantial than to hold them at arms length.
Defendants admit "many commenters take the position ... that there is no problem in Lafayette Park..." but it can be shown that defendants spoke frequently in public about their specific "problem."
Candidly, Patricia Bangert, a former assistant solicitor with the Interior Department who assisted in drafting both the
l. CAMPING REGULATION
"The political dynamics likely to lead officials to disproportionate sensitivity to First Amendment interests can be discerned in the background of this case.... (T)here are facts in this case that raise a substantial possibility that the impetus behind the revision may have derived less from concerns about administrative difficulties and wear and tear on park facilities than from other more 'political' concerns. (M)y intention is to illustrate concretely that government agencies by their very nature are driven to over-regulate public forums to the detriment of First Amendment rights, that content neutrality is no shield against unnecessary restrictions on unpopular ideas or modes of expression, and that in this case in particular there was evidence readily available that should have impelled the Court to subject the government's restrictive policy to something more than minimal scrutiny." Clark v. CCNV, Syllabus Opinion, filed June 29, l984, dissenting opinion of Justices Marshall and Brennan, at page l6. emphasis added.
2. WHITE HOUSE SIDEWALK REGULATION
"The photographs contained in the administrative record depict the activities of certain long term demonstrators on the White House sidewalk ... and when the government witnesses testified about the conditions on the sidewalk that prompted these regulations they referred specifically to these same long term demonstrators." ERA v. Clark, USDC 83-l243, Memorandum pp. ll, filed April 26, l984, p.11.
"In light of (clearly enumerated) facts, plaintiffs claim that a memo from Secretary Watt, and subsequent contacts between Assistant Solicitor Robbins, a principle drafter of the regulations, and the Secretary (of Interior) and the WHITE HOUSE take on added significance. On January l3, l983, a memo from Secretary of Interior James G. Watt requested a 'briefing on the regulations that allow demonstrations and protesters in Lafayette Park and in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. My intention is to prohibit such activities and require that they take place on the Ellipse.' [Plaintiffs' instant Complaint Exhibit 2.] When Assistant Solicitor Robbins spoke to Secretary Watt about the development of the regulations in March l983, the
Secretary told Mr. Robbins to 'keep up the good work.' Robbins Trial Transcript. p. ll2, December l3, l983. There was also contact with the White House to inform White House counsel of the status of the regulations. Additionally, plaintiffs urge that the key fact that both versions of the regulations just happened to proscribe all of the plaintiffs' then current activities on the sidewalk cannot be regarded as mere coincidence.
"In the circumstances it would appear that plaintiffs' claim in this regard in no wise can be characterized as frivolous; however, in light of this court's disposition of this case, it need not resolve this particular issue." Id. pp. l4-l5, April 26, l984, EMPHASIS added.
Judge Bryant's ERA findings of fact were never disturbed; instead the Circuit opted to take the government's "legal" path.
"The issue for decision is not factual, it is legal." ERA v. Clark, 746 F.2d l427.
However, the Court noted:
"On the circumstances existing during the relevant time here, a strong argument could have been made that a regulation banning all demonstrations on the White House sidewalk and in Lafayette Park would have been unconstitutional. But the institution of a total ban is not the approach the Park Service took....
"The regulations also clearly leave open ample alternative channels of communication.... Should (demonstrators) find the government's regulations too restrictive THEY CAN ALWAYS CARRY THEIR DEMONSTRATION IMMEDIATELY ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA TO LAFAYETTE PARK." Id. p. l528 (emphasis added).
3. THE LAFAYETTE PARK REGULATION
To create the illusion that defendants have cleared a substantial hurdle, while they are actively in the process of trying tosidestepit,counsel resorts to a little circular sorcery.
After claiming that "Judge Oberdorfer's comprehensive analysis (to which no specific reference is cited) of the Lafayette Park regulations is correct," counsel attaches exhibit 9, Judge Richey's Order in United States v. Musser, Cr. No. 87-157. Then there is brief mention of a gargantuan "Administrative Record." Memo, ftn. 11. The Court should be aware of three
major problems in this slight-of-hand approach:
A) Judge Oberdorfer entered an Errata to correct "his comprehensive analysis," which, it is seen (Exhibit 5), was nothing more that Judge Richey's "analysis" in the first place.
B) Actually Judge Richey never made any factual inquiry into the Lafayette Park regula-tions at all. Instead, as defendants' Exhibit 9 reflects, Judge Richey based his opinion, quite understandably amid the tangled thicket allegedly prestidigitated by the defendants, on three misapprehensions:
I) "The rule protects the aesthetics of Lafayette Park by prohibiting persons from abandoning or not attending their signs." (defendants' Exhibit 9, pg. 2, COMPARE, plaintiffs' Exhibit 6),
II) "The rule is also tailored to serve the substantial interest in the security of the White House, high government officials and the public."
III) It would have been possible for Judge Oberdorfer to have conducted to conduct the kind of factual inquiry that is required to determine whether the Lafayette Park regulation writer's motives measured up to standards sufficient to elevate them above a violations of 42 USC 1983, 1985(3), defendants moved for judgment on their titanic Administrative Record (10), and that motion was opposed (Exhibit ___), but Judge Oberdorfer declined to decide that issue.
Plaintiffs' Exhibit 6 plainly shows that defendants' real problem was not "unattended signs," but "attended signs." The background of the regulation itself, as it was published in the Federal Register, makes it evident that defendants made no claims that the Lafayette Park regulations were intended to meet an "interest in the security of the White House, high government officials and the public."
Although the attendance regulation was not going to serve legitimate interest, it did afford U.S. Park Police Lt. Hugh Irwin an excuse to administer the chokehold to an individual who
was attending a sign. See Exhibit 7-A and 7-B.
The Federal Register publication of the Lafayette Park regulations was rather lengthy. However, plaintiffs believe that a legitimate judicial analysis of that publication -- for which they now petition this Court -- will reveal that, once the exaggeration, misrepresentation, and falsehood is, removed, about all that remains is:
"IN JULY OF l985 THERE WERE (quite a few) SIGNS IN LAFAYETTE PARK.... ONE OF THOSE SIGNS INDICATED THAT ... TWO INDIVIDUALS ... HAD BEEN IN THE PARK SINCE JUNE 1981." Federal Register, p. 7557, March 5, l986.
"The National Park Service did consider closing the park to demonstrators at night. However, this limitation would preclude continuous vigils in Lafayette Park.... (T)HE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DOES NOT WISH TO PRECLUDE THEM ... UNLESS OTHER MEASURES ARE INSUFFICIENT." Id. 7559. (emphasis added)
"In addition to the PROBLEM OF A FEW INDIVIDUALS ... the National Park Service received at least twenty-five complaints, most requesting some action concerning Lafayette Park.... (emphasis added)
"(O)ne 8' x 8' sign had four words written on it; 'WANTED, WISDOM AND HONESTY.'... (emphasis in original)
"The National Park Service ... also received A PETITION WITH SEVERAL THOUSAND SIGNATURES IN OPPOSITION (to the proposed regulation)...." Id. 7560. (emphasis added)
"The American Civil Liberties Union specifically questioned the motives of the National Park Service in promulgating these regulations, suggesting that THE SOLE PURPOSE FOR THE AMENDMENTS IS TO HARASS CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS NOW DEMONSTRATING IN LAFAYETTE PARK. To support this propo-sition the ACLU attached to its comments affidavits of Concepcion Picciotto, a long time demonstrator, that allege ... the Park Service is allowing private citizens to destroy demonstrators' signs...." Id. (emphasis added)
"IF THE REGULATIONS ... HAVE A GREATER IMPACT ON ONE GROUP OF DEMONSTRATORS, IT IS ONLY BECAUSE THOSE DEMONSTRATORS ... [have] LARGE SIGNS." Id. (emphasis added)
"Some commenters also suggested that regulations on the White House sidewalk make Lafayette Park an even more important site for demonstrations directed toward the White House. IT IS TRUE THAT RESTRICTIONS WERE PLACED ON THE SIZE, PLACEMENT AND CONSTRUCTION OF SIGNS USED ON THE WHITE HOUSE SIDEWALK IN JULY OF 1983.... THE IMPOSITION OF THOSE REGULATIONS APPEARS TO BE ... THE REASON FOR THE MOVEMENT OFLARGE SIGNS TO LAFAYETTE PARK." Id. (emphasis added)
"Many of the commenters opposing the proposed regulation ... take the position either that THERE IS NO PROBLEM IN LAFAYETTE PARK OR that THE PROBLEM CAN BE HANDLED
UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS. The ACLU, for example, stated that the Park Service has misrepresented the situation and that visitors to the park find the ongoing demonstrations to be a 'thrilling example of their democracy in action.'... (emphasis added)
"SEVERAL COMMENTERS ... SUGGESTED A PUBLIC MEETING OR PRIVATE NEGOTIATIONS CONCERNING THE RULEMAKING EFFORT.... THIS RULEMAKING HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY ... DISCUSSED IN THE MEDIA, THROUGH EDITORIALS, ARTICLES, AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AND ... COMMENTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM ALL SIDES OF THE QUESTION." (emphasis added) Id. 7563. (emphasis added)
"The final regulations ... leave open ample avenues of communication ... such as THE ELLIPSE...." Id. 7560. (emphasis added).
"It is not easy to draw the lines established in the final rules." Id. 7566.
It was "was not easy to draw the lines" because "a strong argument might have been made that such a ban would be unconstitutional." So, once again, the Park Service did not take a direct approach. Instead, defendants waged a propaganda attack -- designed to portray plaintiffs as "pitiable bums and lunatics," "members of the screwball left," whose message amounts to "vague anti-nuke gibberish" and that they used, among other media, the "President's Newspaper." They lied to the public and the Courts. Planning to arrive a desired unlawful objective through an indirect approach, defendants drew their unconstitutional lines in deceptive arcs.
Evidence will show that since the enactment of the sign size regulations various individuals tried to take credit for the "heroic" feat of removing the "large signs," "clutter,", "drug addicts, bums, and winos" from Lafayette Park.
Of course, any government can always claim "ample avenues of communication" -- such as the Ellipse" -- when drawing difficult lines. For example, we are told, in the Soviet Union "demonstrators are always free to carry their demonstration" to Siberia.
Which is why:
"One is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it can be exercised in some other place." Schneider v. State, 308 US l47. And
"In cases like this, where a total ban is imposed on a particularly valuable method of communication, a court should require the government to provide tangible proof of the legitimacy and substantiality of its aesthetic objective." Members of the City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent, l04 S.Ct. 2l4l.
The questions are not simple. But, if justice is to be found, there are landmarks this Court should follow.
"The (government) might be pursuing either of two objectives, motivated by two very different judgments. One objective might be the elimination of 'visual clutter,' attributable in whole or part to signs posted on public property.... The second objective might simply be the elimination of the messages typically carried by the signs.... The first objective is lawful ... the second is not. Yet the (government) might easily mask the second objective by asserting the first and declaring the signs constitute visual clutter. In short, we must avoid unquestioned acceptance of the (government's) bare declaration of an aesthetic objective lest we fail in our duty to prevent unlawful trespasses upon the First (Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth) Amendment)s)." Members of the City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent, l04 S.Ct. 2l39 (parentheses substituting).
Closer to the three (3) "potentially bad laws" (supra ftn. 5/) which comprise the allegedly malicious "regulatory scheme" at issue, this Court should note:
THE COURT: "My problem is what to do with him, really. My problem is what to do with him.
"Well -- this case you can take somewhere else. I don't know what to do with these people.
"You don't want to put them in jail, huh?"
THE GOVERNMENT: "We are going to ask for that, Your Honor."
THE COURT: "For how long? What is the maximum period of time?"
THE GOVERNMENT: "Six months. If your Honor would like to send them to Sacramento to demonstrate in front of the State Capitol out there we wouldn't have any strong objection."
THE COURT: "If I follow the government and find him guilty, what am I supposed to do with him? He doesn't have any money. If I put him on probation, he's going to be right out there doing the same thing. The criminal penalty isn't enough to deter him. Point one.
"Point two, I have a hard time sleeping putting him in jail, actually, for what he did. He is such a -- I kind of tend to agree with him. He is such a minimal harm.... I suppose I have to put him on probation."
THE GOVERNMENT: "Magistrate Burnett did the same thing." ...
THE COURT: "Let me ask you this ... hasn't it been one of those things where 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, wherever you want to draw the line.
"...(H)e is trying to comply with these regulations, and as you make them and as he gets arrested for them, okay, whatever you say do, he'll do."
GOVERNMENT: "He plays games."
THE COURT: "Well, I don't know who is playing a game really."
GOVERNMENT: "We are asking that he be incarcerated."
THE COURT: "To do what? To get away from there?"
GOVERNMENT: "To comply with the law."
THE COURT: "If I put him in jail for ten or fifteen years, you might solve your problem. But you are not going to solve your problem by putting him in jail. You are not going to solve anybody's problem with that, his or ours." USA v. Thomas, CR 82-358, Sentencing Transcript July 5, l982, pp. 6-l3.
Defendants do not seek to hide behind the statute of limitations until page 22 of their Memo. However, that hiding place had been previously demolished on page five of their Memo:
"Indeed, William Thomas has been arrested at least twenty-five times in the 1981 - 1988 period...."
Clearly this would be an "ongoing" conspiracy, allegedly going on even as this Court reads these very words. The statute of limitions cannot yet have begun to run, much less toll.
This action does not sound in tort, rather it speaks to the Constitution, with overtones to the Administrative Procedure and Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Acts.
The only reference to torts is that plaintiffs have suffered plenty of them as the result of defendants' alleged conspiracy to suppress the exercise and expression of their beliefs.
"In Bell v. Hood, 327 US 670 (1946) we reserved the question whether violation of [a Constitutional guarantee] by a federal officer under color of his authority gives rise to a cause of action for damages consequent upon his unconstitutional conduct. Today we hold that it does." Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 US 388 (1970) [brackets substituting].
This is an unmistakably a Bivens action.
Plaintiffs submit that within this Circuit Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d 1 (1984) most closely approximates the factual allegations and legal issues presented here. The most significant distinction apparent to plaintiffs is that in Hobson the plaintiffs are characterized as "political" activisits, while plaintiffs here are motivated by religion rather than politics. Nonetheless Hobson forestalls many objections likely to be posed against the sufficiency of this suit.
Decisively, judges Edwards, Scalia, and Starr paused to "resolve any lingering doubts about the rationale of the law in this Circuit." So it is well-established that the District of
Columbia, its employees, and federal officers are liable under this section. SEE, Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d 16 -18.
There can be no question that plaintiffs are acting on religious inspiration (e.g. Thomas' Declaration in Support of the Complaint at para. l), yet Mr. Martinez mischaracterizes the effort as "political." (Compare Complaint, para 80.) Nowhere in his Memo does he even mention the concept of religious persecution.
Over the years the other named plaintiffs have adopted, for practical reasons (see, Complaint para. 5), methods of approaching reality.
This represents the "establishment of religion."
"The Court then asked the Government to specify its interest in prosecuting these defendants under the regulation at issue, 36 CFR 7.96(i) and whether it wished to respond to the defendants' motion. The Government stated that it had 'no interest in prohibiting any of these defendants from sleeping in the park' and that its only interest in this case was in 'enforcing the regulations' at issue. The Court asked the Government if it wished to offer anything other reason, any peice of evidence, or wished to cross-examine any of the defendants. The Government declined to do any of these things.
"When it has been shown that an individual has acted contrary to law out of a `sincerely held religious belief,' it is the Government's responsibility to show that it has a compelling interest in the law at issue and that it has enforced that law with the least restrictive means with respect to that religious belief. SEE wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 US 205 (1972), Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 US 105 (1943); see also Thomas v. Review Board, 450 US 707 (1981); L. Tribe, American Constitutional Law, Sections 14-16. The Government did not offer a scintilla of evidence to that effect. Nor did it offer a single reason sufficient in law to support a claim of compelling interest.
"Indeed, the Government did not proffer any response to the defendants' position stated above that even remotely met the applicable legal standard." USA v. Sunrise, et al., DCDC Cr. No. 87-61, Order, filed April 23, 2987, pgs 2, 3, Richey, J.
"As the society around (plaintiffs) has become more populous (preoccupied with security and superficial appearances), government regulation of human affairs has correspondingly become more pervasive. The (plaintiffs') mode of life has thus come more into conflict with the requirements of contemporary society exerting a hydraulic insistence on conformance to majoritarian standards." Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 US 2l7 (l97l).
The Supreme Court concluded that "(plaintiffs) must either abandon belief and be assimilated into society at large, or be forced to migrate to some other and more tolerant region," (id. 2l8), and decided that the Constitution had bee intended to preclude such a draconian levy being placed on spiritually dictated beliefs.
"There was sufficient evidence to permit jury to find that the ... defendants acted with the requisite class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus when they conspired to deprive plaintiffs, opponents of ... war, or proponents of racial justice, of their constitutional rights." Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d pg. 2, note 5.
Plaintiffs can produce convincing evidence to show that the government was aware of these facts, but actively engaged or abetted a propaganda campaign - including, among other media, organs of the public press, the Federal Register, and official government documents - intended to demean plaintiffs and distract attention from the plaintiffs' issues.
Regarding these claims the Circuit has provided applicable guidelines in Rueber v. United States, 750 F.2d 1039.
"Complaint alleging that corporate defendants were liable for writing and dissemination of letter of reprimand
and resultant 'constructive discharge' of plaintiff and that individual corporate defendants were acting at direction of, or in concert with, individual federal agency officials and also alleging that such actions violated plaintiff's First Amendment rights of freedom of association, freedom of speech and privacy ... showed subject-matter jurisdiction over such corporate defendants." Rueber, 750 F.2d 1041, note 13.
As seen in the "immaterial question" (supra), when plaintiffs are hauled into court as "defendants" the court may decide that the question of whether the regulation is actually "criminal" becomes "immaterial."
The instant claim asserts the law in this case was so clear-ly established that defendants found a "hard" problem in drawing lines to get around it, but getting around it was the only way defendants could move plaintiffs signs to the "Ellipise."
"If the law was clearly established at time public empolyee's conduct occurred, official is presumed to have known about it and unless he can bring forward undisputed facts establishing that because of extraordinary circum-stances he neither knew nor should have known of unlawfulness of his conduct, employee is not entitled to qualified immun-ity defense." Butz v. Economou, __ US ___.
Plaintiffs assert a class of all individuals or groups under twenty-five, as defined in 36 CFR 7.97 (g)(2)(i). "The People of the United States" (31 USC 3730) are captioned as plaintiffs on the theory that any citizen of the United States might become a member of the asserted class by virtue of abandoning money and committing his or her self to full time service to the Creator, truth, justice, freedom, and equality. SEE, complaint, paragraphs 5 and 6.
Plaintiffs also express the opinion that defendants' allegedly heavy-handed abuse of power would constitute the
crimes of treason and sedition. Amended complaint, para. 11.
Plaintiffs seek a TRO to enforce equal protection and protect their freedoms of religious establishment, religious practice, speech and assembly against -- at the hands of defendants -- treatment and conditions which would (if plaintiffs were in federal penal custody) amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Plaintiffs pray the Court to fashion an injunction directing defendants to formulate a supervisory policy which will insure that individuals are not subjected to the arbitrary or capricious deprivation of Constitutional rights under color of 36 CFR in Lafayette Park or in front of the White House, grant compensatory and punitive damages, and declare that the Courts of this land will not tolerate the arbitrary desecra-tion of principles intended by the Founding Fathers as safeguards against the force of despotic government.
In Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 483, the court examined an application for injunctive and declaratory relief to restrain prosecution or threats of prosecution under color of a state statute "imbued ... with an aura of sedition or treason or acts designed to substitute a different form of  government by other than lawful means ...." See also, Baggett v. Bullitt, 377 U.S. 976.
In Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, the fountainhead of federal injunctions against criminal prosecutions are Constitutionally justified where officials "threaten and are about to commence proceedings, either of a civil or criminal nature, to enforce against parties affected an unconstitutional act, violating the
Federal Constitution ...." Id. 156.
"As the regulation is drawn and administered a decision by a plaintiff, the police, or a court as to whether one of the plaintiffs is maintaining an impermissible living accommodation in the park is seldom free from reasonable doubt. " Thomas, et al., v. USA, et al., DCDC Ca No. 84-3552-LFO, Memorandum, filed September 16, 1988, p. 17.
This Court found:
"Officer Haynes ... while he spoke with precision, and exactitude, and painstaking care, had selective memory ... unable to remember even testimony that he clearly specifically had given in the court hours earlier, failed to remember making, on some occasions, earlier arrests of the defendants, contradicted representations of the manner in which he inventoried the property....
"Now, the Court's ruling today does not mean that ... it has ... become unnecessary ... to reach the several most significant constitutional questions that someday, someway, with perhaps other defendants, perhaps the same will be addressed.
"To continue with this trial would transform the trial from a prosecution into a persecution, and accordingly the respective motions for judgment of acquital are as to each of the defendants granted." (USA v. Thomas, USDC 84-255, September 25, l984 transcript at 1025; supra. p. 8.)
We hope that the court will take time to discover who is lying and who is telling the truth.
Respectfully submitted with the prayer
that God will find this Court honorable,
January 6, 1988,
William Thomas, pro se
Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
1440 N Street, N.W. Apt. 410
Washington, D.C. 20005
I, William Thomas, hereby state that, on this 6th day of January, l989, I caused a copy of the foregoing Plaintiffs' Response to Federal Defendants' Motion to Dismiss to be hand-delivered to the office of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Martinez at Judiciary Square, 555 4th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, and Assistant Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia Arthur Burger, l350 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.