Past Questions & Answers
We can still work for a third party, I am sure it is still possible for a third party. We just have to work harder and smarter. Ask Rachel if she would like to be involved in our fight. We have no political affiliations but nearly everyone is a Ron Paul supporter. If she just wants to sign up for our action alerts to watch our progress, she is welcome to that that as well.
What you say about a third party is true. We need to concentrate efforts there and devote ourselves to not worrying about minor things but on putting this country back on track if we are ever to turn things around.
Dr. Ron Paul is an admirable man and I wish we had more leaders who were like him in Washington, D.C. and in our state. With all due respect, however, he is not the man to lead the third-party movement. And I am dismayed Dr. Paul's remarks about saving the Republican Party. It has degenerated so much that the time has come to kill it, not save it. From its ashes, perhaps a new party can arise. Even if it remains, I think the rule of threes in business applies equally to politics. With two parties, we have a duopoly or shared monopoly. With three parties, the added party will shift allegiances on various issues and will keep the other two parties on their toes. We need someone like Jesse Ventura to head up the third-party. He has stature and vigor.
I know this seems selfish, but Connie and I are focusing on our personal health and our personal lives as we neglected many things during my campaigns for office. I will have to decline your invitation at this time. However, you can add me to your email list.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Hello, if the constitution, that is affirmed by the public servant, qualifies me as an elector, how can I be denied to cast a ballot in any election, with no amendment to the constitution. Is "voter registration" not some unconstitutional regulation created by actors who never have had any authority granted to do so? Thank you.
Dear Mr. Douglas:
Below is an exerpt from Article VI of the North Carolina Constitution. It specifies residency and registration requirements. I do not understand how you can be denied premission to cast a ballot if you are otherwise qualified and meet the residency requirements. Under the law, those convicted of a felony and who are still serving a sentence or who are on probation or parole may be denied the right to vote. A citizen's rights are restored, however, when the sentence or probation/parole is completed under NC General Statutes 13-1 and 13-2. The same is true under 42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.; the federal laws discuss voting. The federal Constitution does not say much on voting except for the 21st Amendment that grants women the right to vote.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Section 1. Who may vote. Every person born in the United States and every person who has been naturalized, 18 years of age, and possessing the qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people of the State, except as herein otherwise provided.
Sec. 2. Qualifications of voter.
(1) Residence period for State elections. Any person who has resided in the State of North Carolina for one year and in the precinct, ward, or other election district for 30 days next preceding an election, and possesses the other qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to vote at any election held in this State. Removal from one precinct, ward, or other election district to another in this State shall not operate to deprive any person of the right to vote in the precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person has removed until 30 days after the removal.
(2) Residence period for presidential elections. The General Assembly may reduce the time of residence for persons voting in presidential elections. A person made eligible by reason of a reduction in time of residence shall possess the other qualifications set out in this Article, shall only be entitled to vote for President and Vice President of the United States or for electors for President and Vice President, and shall not thereby become eligible to hold office in this State.
(3) Disqualification of felon. No person adjudged guilty of a felony against this State or the United States, or adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, shall be permitted to vote unless that person shall be first restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 3. Registration.
Every person offering to vote shall be at the time legally registered as a voter as herein prescribed and in the manner provided by law. The General Assembly shall enact general laws governing the registration of voters.
Sec. 4. Qualification for registration.
Every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language.
§ 13-1. Restoration of citizenship.
Any person convicted of a crime, whereby the rights of citizenship are forfeited, shall have such rights automatically restored upon the occurrence of any one of the following conditions:
(1) The unconditional discharge of an inmate by the State Department of Correction or the North Carolina Department of Correction, of a probationer by the State Department of Correction, or of a parolee by the Department of Correction; or of a defendant under a suspended sentence by the court.
(2) The unconditional pardon of the offender.
(3) The satisfaction by the offender of all conditions of a conditional pardon.
(4) With regard to any person convicted of a crime against the United States, the unconditional discharge of such person by the agency of the United States having jurisdiction of such person, the unconditional pardon of such person or the satisfaction by such person of a conditional pardon.
(5) With regard to any person convicted of a crime in another state, the unconditional discharge of such person by the agency of that state having jurisdiction of such person, the unconditional pardon of such person or the satisfaction by such person of a conditional pardon.
§ 13-2. Issuance and filing of certificate or order of restoration.
(a) The agency, department, or court having jurisdiction over the inmate, probationer, parolee or defendant at the time his rights of citizenship are restored under the provisions of G.S. 13-1(1) shall immediately issue a certificate or order in duplicate evidencing the offender's unconditional discharge and specifying the restoration of his rights of citizenship.
The original of such certificate or order shall be promptly transmitted to the clerk of the General Court of Justice in the county where the official record of the case from which the conviction arose is filed. The clerk shall then file the certificate or order without charge with the official record of the case.
(b) In the case of a person convicted of a crime against another state or the United States, whose rights to citizenship have been restored according to G.S. 13-1, the following provisions shall apply:
(1) It shall be the duty of the clerk of the court in the county where such person resides, upon a showing by such person or his representative that the conditions of G.S. 13-1 have been met, to issue the certificate evidencing the offender's unconditional discharge and specifying the restoration of his rights of citizenship. For purposes of this subsection, the fulfillment of the conditions of G.S. 13-1 shall be considered met upon the presentation to the clerk of any paper writing from the agency of any other state or of the United States which had jurisdiction over such person, which shows that the conditions of G.S. 13-1 have been met.
(2) The certificate described in subdivision (b)(1) shall be filed by the clerk of the General Court of Justice in the county in which such person resides.
The provisions of this subsection apply equally to conditional and unconditional pardons by the governor of any other state or by the President of the United States, as well as unconditional discharges by the agency of another state or of the United States having jurisdiction over said person.
I have always thought that the judicial races and district attorney races should be independent in fact as well as in theory. While I love politics as much as anyone, I am extremely uncomfortable with the idea of partisan judges and district attorneys. I wonder if it would be better to go with an appointment process as it is done in some other states, and with the federal courts. I go back and forth in my thoughts on that. Would you share your ideas?
Be the change you wish to see in the world. --GandhiPointing at Naked Emperors
I have written on this before in more depth in an article posted on my website; I will therefore be brief. In short, I am opposed to appointing judges or any officials despite the faults of our current system. In a perfect world where all men and women are angels, appointing may have its merits. We are not in a perfect world and men are not angels. Quick reasons why I am opposed:
1. Who gets to appoint? Usually, its the bar association. How are they accountable to the voters?
The appointment of Mike Nifong, along with some of Governor Easley's other fine[Sarcasm] appointments, are an example of the kinds of people who will get appointed.
2. Old boys club - the only people who will ever get appointed are those who suck up to those in power or the committee (bar association) that appoints them.
3. At least with voting, I get to have a voice in who sits on the bench or is in office. With appointment, I have none. So many of our Constitutional rights have been obliterated. This is the only one that we have left.
4. Removal of bad judges/district attorneys - judges are rarely removed unless their conduct becomes egregious. If a judge (or district attorney) is merely less than intelligent, however, they remain. At least with voting, the citizens can get rid of them.
Rachel Lea Hunter
I watched what you went through and grieved. I'm also familiar with John Barbara and was attacked by him (and others) endlessly for nothing more than speaking the truth.
All my life, I've dreamed of running for local office and making changes for the "working class". However, having watched what you've dealt with, I would never consider it. I wouldn't have the strength and couldn't handle it if they attacked my family.
The only real mistake I think you made was using the name Madame Justice witht he knowledge they were looking for anything and everything they could to discredit you. I didn't believe anything I saw until you wanted to have it used on the ballot. It was then that I began to wonder what was true and what wasn't.
You're an excellent writer and I hope this essay makes it's way to all those who were hoodwinked into not voting for you.
Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it.
Do not let idiots like John Barbara stop you from pursuing your dreams. John Barbara is a grass cutter at a grade school. He is a nobody. He has no power at all unless you give him that power. However, he was instructed by the Republicans to do what he did. He failed and they ended up resorting to other tricks.
Regarding my "nickname" it was just that, a nickname. When I became active on the internet (I was active at an ancient Roman history site) I developed personas, one of which was a character called "Madame Justice." The name was inspired by a female justice on our state supreme court (I lived in Pennsylvania at the time). I played a lawgiver at the history site so this was apt. The name could equally apply to a dominatrix and I had an internet character which used the name when I was in that kind of mood (I do not behave like this in real life; however, one can "role-play" with characters, the way actors do).
I used the nickname in emails after I moved to North Carolina. The name still fits; I ran because I cared about doing real justice which I perceive to be so lacking in our courts and society today. There was never an atempt to mislead anyone and most of the people who know me call be "Madame Justice" as one would use a term of endearment. They know me and what I am and where I stand and that is why I used the nickname. It also gave me a lot of free publicity, although that was not my motivation. The law allowed for it and I did nothing illegal. For those who think its improper, then the law ought to be changed and no one should be allowed to use anything other than their full legal name.
If you want to run for office, then do it. Something I learned is that those in power do not bother to attack if they do not perceive you to be a threat. You can can gauge just how much of a threat and how correct you are by the level of the attacks. I was right on target and both the Republo-thugs and the Establishment Democrats knew it. I was such a threat to their system that they went ballistic and the attacks became ludicrous after awhile.
You do not think you are strong enough. If you go into it, you do have to recognize what is going to happen and be prepared to deal with "whatever comes out of the gates" as Russell Crowe's character Maximus said in "The Gladiator" movie. However, you know yourself and your family best. There are many ways to serve and give to the community and if running for office is not the way, then there may be something else. Get appointed to a board or commission; be active in the PTA. Do whatever suits you. And whatever you do, keep speaking the truth. That is a rare commodity in anyone and especially in our "leaders." People are hungry for real leaders, not the phony politicos or other talking heads on televison.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Sorry about your loss but a guy named Mark Martin in this NACAR-crazy place is hard to beat. I think you should run against Virginia Foxx in '08. Or, better yet, against Dole. And when you do don't hold back. People think Dole is sharp but let's look at the facts. A) She married Bob...B) She went into the senate as the most highly touted female (aside from Hillary Clinton) in the history of the nation and has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except play the role of Bush's sad flunky...C) She'll be even older and more botox-icated by then and will be primed for the picking. If you need my help, I'll be glad to campaign for you. You seem like you would make a great candidate. As far as District 6 in Foxx-ville, I would rather have my goldfish representing me in Washington than her. She has actually done less than nothing and now, with the Dems in charge, she might as well just stay in Banner Elk as opposed to wasting her gas money actually driving to DC. This state deserves better than that.
PEACE, Jim McNallyA:
Dear Mr. McNally,
I'm glad that you enjoyed some of the more witty comments. I would agree with you that perhaps I should have run for another office, but I am not a professional politician. I have no interest in being a legislator. I love the law and I have exceptional writing and research talents so the judicial system is best suited to me.
Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Tue, 14 Nov 2006
Subject: RE: reply to your email
What has happened in this country in the last five years is a disgrace. What is ironic is that the jinogoism is actually in support of the things that are counter to what I have always thought to be the 'American way' (i.e. the things you mentioned regarding habeas corpus and civil liberties). The old line used to be it is better to let 100 guilty people go free than to see a single person wrongly convicted. The new line is closer that bumper sticker 'kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.' I interviewed Dole earlier this year when I was a reporter for the Salisbury Post. She actually became indignant when I asked her if the Iraq War was worth it. She spouted the same old nonsense about the courage of the troops and the hospitals being built (first of all, who ever heard of starting the reconstruction process while the war was still being fought?) Anyway, what little hope I had for her as a strong leader went right out the window. As for Foxx, I never had any hope for her as a leader. She has no original thoughts in her head and is even too conservative for the old line she thinks she is preserving. I would really consider a run at a legilative job if I were you.
I have had a few encounters with the Salisbury Post. They seem to have left journalistic integrity out the window long ago and are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Republicans. It should not be a partisan tool and it would be just as bad if it was a Democratic propaganda organ. The mainstream media has really let America down.
I had my first inkling that something was wrong with Senator Elizabeth Dole when we in North Carolina were “told” that she was going to be our senator in 2002. I thought, don’t we get to vote or have a choice? That was a portent of things to come.
She has been nothing more than a rubber-stamp for the administration. There is no thought to what is best for North Carolina or America, but what is best for the President. And talk about a carpet bagger! She has not been in North Carolina except on presidential junkets and could care less about this place except at election time. I hope that a serious contender will challenge her in 2008, someone who is well-funded and someone who has our interests at heart.
I agree with your sentiments over what America has become. What was left of the Constitution, which ironically people like President Bush and Senator Elizabeth Dole were sworn to uphold, has been abrogated. Anyone can be designated as an enemy combatant, even an American citizen like José Padilla. They can be held in captivity indefinitely, without being charged as habeas corpus is no more. They can be tortured.
The legal maxim about letting one hundred guilty men go free rather than have an innocent man convicted is a joke. Innocent people, wrongfully accused of crimes they did not commit, are convicted every day. Read a work of non-fiction by John Grisham called The Innocent Man. Read about the work of The Innocence Project founded by attorney Barry Scheck who has freed people with DNA evidence. I think we could cut down on a lot of the nonsense by reigning in prosecutors and stopping this prosecution/win at all costs mentality. Prosecutors are supposed to be about doing justice, not winning at all costs so they can use the prosecution as a stepping stone to higher office. This overwhelming injustice in our system is what compelled me to run for judicial office.
As for Virginia Foxx, I am inclined to agree with you. Another rubber stamp. Maybe the Democrats will wake up and support another real challenger for that seat. I am sorry to say that the Democrats have been equally complicit in enabling the Republicans to stay in office. Not all Democrats are that way and there are plenty of good ones out there. I am talking about the NC Democratic state party leadership. They provided immense help to some and absolutely no help to others. Had they provided assistance to Rory Blake or Roger Sharpe, the results might have been different in each place, but its hard to say. Foxx’s and Coble’s districts are mostly Republican.
As I said, I’m taking a breather right now and will weigh my options later. I will have to think how I can best serve, whether its being active behind the scenes and passing the torch to others to run or running myself.
Fri, 16 Feb 2007
Subject: Running for Vice President?
Would you ever consider running for vice president if you were asked? Congressman Ron Paul has an exploratory committee to determine his running for President. I believe he has a good chance of being elected.
Adding you to his campaign would add so much appeal to the voters. I have emailed a notice to him requesting that he should consider you. To my knowledge, Ron Paul www.ronpaul.org is going to run as a Republican, a true conservative one. I personally think both of you should run as an independent party, and state your beliefs, plans, and visions for this country as soon as possible.
I am flattered and honored by your suggestion, however, I do not think I am really vice-presidential material. On the other hand, when I see the kind of people whom we have serving in office, I cannot help but think that I am at least as qualified as they if not more so. At least I am not corrupt!
I have long admired Dr. Paul, although I am sure that we have some differences of opinion on issues. But then, it would be a boring place if everyone agreed with everyone else. Diversity of thought is important. If asked, I would have to evaluate all of the consequences before making a decision either way.
I agree with you that there is a movement afoot and that ordinary people are ready for a viable and respected third-party, not the fringe groups we have. However, I am not as optimistic as you about Dr. Paul's chances at success. The two major political parties (Republicans and Democrats) are going to fight that movement. And neither party has an interest in allowing Dr. Paul to gain any meaningful traction even if he runs as a Republican. He makes too much sense and cannot be controlled, like me. The powers in charge cannot tolerate that state of affairs.
If allowed, Dr. Paul can at least influence the debate. As of right now, he is the only Republican candidate that I would support.
5 Nov 2006
Subject: important !!!!!
Unless you are running on the Veterans Party ticket, I am not interested. It seems that the longer I have remained a registered voter, the Demacratic and Republican Parties have become more corrupt with each passing year and both seem to be above the laws that govern the rest of us. Neither party wants to really secure our national borders, although they say they do, no real action has been taken in the past 20 years. So you tell me why either of these two Parties should get my vote.
Robert N. McGeheeA:
Sanford Detachment 1223
Marine Corps League
Dear Commandant McGehee:
There is much truth to what you say and often there is "not a dimes' worth of difference" in the two-parties that control our political system. It is true that I am registered as a Democrat. Realistically, there are no other options and being a member of a third-political party will not lead to my election to office. Third-party candidates or independents just do not win elections.
I understand and share much of your frustration with the current system. Go and visit my website and really read what I have written. Perhaps that will lead you to make up your own mind about me and my opponent.
I know our current system is broke and it is corrupt. You can sit out the election, but that is not really an option. Regardless of whether you abstain or vote for my opponent, know that if my opponent is elected, the system is going to stay the same. Nothing is ever going to change.
I represent a course for a new and different direction. I want to change our system. I don't know if I will succeed, but I am hopeful that if elected, I can slowly steer things towards the right course and that I can be an instrument for change.
Only people like you can make that happen and if you stay home, it won't. And if that does happen, don't complain about the government because you did not do your part to change its course. Voting is a responsibility as well as a right.
As for other candidates, some are tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum. Others are not. I have met some great people who are running and they have not been corrupted yet by the system. Whether they will be or not, no one can know. You will have to make that choice.
01 Nov 2006
Subject: A Plea for Civility
Good afternoon. I am a second-year law student at UNC and have been following your campaign with some interest. As an up-and-rising lawyer, it is my responsibility, as it is every citizen's, to participate in the public life of our state and nation.
It is for this reason that your campaign has brought me such dismay. Politics is a dirty business, I know. This is even so when the candidates are not would-be legislators, governors, or presidents, but would-be judges and justices. Large egos, on both sides of the political aisle and no matter the particular nature of the offices sought, often clash mightily. That this occurs is not to say it should occur or that it should be encouraged or countenanced. Rather, it is the duty of each of us to do all in our power to make our pubic life one of honor and integrity and civility, to resist the temptation to demonize and denigrate those whom we oppose.
At this duty, you have failed. I say this not as a personal attack on you. I do not know you personally and am only concerned with your behavior as a candidate for public office and, perhaps more importantly, as a counselor at law seeking a seat on our high court. It is in this capacity that I judge you, as all voters must ultimately judge all candidates.
I do not presume to know by first-hand knowledge the truth or falsity of your many allegations against Justice Martin. I do know, however, that the manner in which you accuse him is improper. Invective, suggestion, name-calling, insinuation, scare tactics, and personal attacks are wrong, especially from someone who seeks a seat on our state's highest court.
My experience with Justice Martin is limited. I know him only from the time spent this fall in an appellate advocacy class he teaches at Carolina Law. My interaction with him leads me to conclude that he is a hard-working, decent man who has no ideological axe to grind and who takes seriously his work as a justice on the state supreme court. He conducts himself as a gentleman who recognizes that our public life has become too abrasive and is in need of a shift in the opposite direction. Justice Martin, in short, is a fine candidate for another eight-year term on the court, even if I would not agree with him on every legal and political issue to come before the justices.(I should note that I am a liberal independent, lest you think I am merely speaking out of a sense of political or party loyalty.)
My plea to you is for behavior similar to that of Justice Martin's. I do not ask you to curtail your campaigning. I do not ask you to be silent. And I do not ask you to cover over the differences between you and Justice Martin. I merely ask for civility and decency, for the sake of the court, the law, and the state.
My best wishes to you during this final week of campaigning.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dear Mr. Michael
By your own admission, you know only what you see in school. You are sadly mistaken in your assessment.
Justice Martin uses misinformation about me in his campaign materials and his website. He is the one to initiate this type of conduct. He uses the NC GOP on his behalf while he "appears" to be above the fray. I requested that he stop or at least distance himself from the attacks. He chose not to do that. Instead, they have escalated.
I have been called more filthy names than you can imagine. Everything from my physical appearance to my mental state has been attacked. My ability to ever practice law again in this state has been completely and totally destroyed.
If that was not bad enough, operatives have harassed me and members of my family. There have been attempts at public gatherings that were designed to intimidate me to drop out of the campaign. When that proved ineffective, a criminal investigation has been launched against members of my family for the crime of merely trying to vote in this election. Coupled with that, they have even launched the police to engage in traffic stops and cited me and members of my family for tickets for various offenses. Frivolous complaints have been filed with the disciplinary board, other candidates and other authorities as well.
All of this Justice Martin could easily have avoided by publicly distancing himself from the actions of the NC GOP and its hit-men. He chose to embrace, encourage and enable this conduct instead. And I found questionable campaign transfers by him. He gave $14,000 to a namesake in one month. Does this not even bother you a little? Many people outside looked at it and it bothered them. They said something is rotten here and yet no one in authority seems even the least bit interested to investigate. Real wrongdoing has been discovered and this gets covered up. So in answer to you, no I will not stop until after the election.
Think what you want. I am sorry to so disillusion one so young, but after this election, I will never again engage in politics as I am so soured on our political process which is nothing more than a sham for the oligarchy that controls our country and state. I have seen how broken and corrupt it is and I do not want to be a part of it any longer.
Dear Concerned Voter:
I just finished watching you on Open Forum, and had a few questions related to that, as well as general questions from your website:
1. You criticize and condemn people for their "personal attacks" against you, and said they have no place in a campaign. I find it odd that you are so against personal attacks as you have lodged many of them, calling Vernon Robinson a "slave", calling your opponent Justice "Goebbels" Martin, talking about the GOP "Mafia." If they have no place in campaigns, why are you engaging in them with such gusto and zeal? I agree with you, they have no place in a campaign, but you don't win any points by complaining about them while doing it yourself. Hypocrisy has no place in campaigns either, or how are your attacks different?
Personal attacks on me have been made, ranging from trying to get me fired, to stating that I am "fat", "ugly" "insane" etc. Personal attacks have been made on members of my family and an attempt is underway to prosecute a family member.
I have not called Mr. Robinson a slave. I criticized his behavior only. I have not made disparaging remarks about his personal appearance, mental status etc.
I call the NC GOP-Mafia what I call them because that is how they conduct themselves, like organized crime. They hire operatives to threaten and intimidate myself and members of my family when we have appeared at public meetings. They have filed frivolous complaints to other candidates and authorities. If the real Mafia engaged in this type of behavior, you would label it criminal. Threats and harassment leveled at me and my family aimed at depriving myself of the right to run as a candidate or to stop members of my family from voting are crimes.
Regarding Justice Martin, I referenced that Goebbels' was a proponent of "the big lie" theory in which a lie is repeated so often that people believe it to be the truth. How would you characterize the behavior of someone who knows and has met you and truthful information about you but deliberately continues to misstate the truth or publish the falsehoods? I merely stated he was evidently an adherent of this theory. The Republican Party is running questionable ads in Tennessee against Harold Ford. I have been attacked unmercilessly. Why do you not condemn this behavior and only my conduct?
I have not started this conduct but I have the right to defend myself against the attacks and conduct of others. With regard to Mr. Robinson, I heard his misstatements about Brad Miller on the radio and as I know Mr. Robinson personally, I criticized his behavior.
2. You directly commented about your thoughts on comparative vs. contributory negligence. First, your example was flawed - if the other driver was drunk, that would be willful or wanton and contribute would not bar that claim? Are you a lawyer? Where do you get the idea that voluntary intoxication bars a contributory negligence claim? I gave that example, but we can change the facts slightly. How about make the defendant merele negligent by speeding or accidentally running a red light? My larger point is that we are a contributory negligence state, one of the states that are in the minority. This state should join the majority of states that have adopted a comparative fault analysis.
Secondly, are there not rules against judicial candidates talking about cases/issues that may come before them?
I explained that Republican Party of Minnesota v. White changed the rules. Judicial candidates have the same free speech rights enjoyed by other citizens. However, when judicial candidates do speak out, there is a possibility that the judge will have to rescue his or herself. I did not indicate how I would decide the issue. The caller asked about archaic laws and I pointed to this as an example. The question was answered two years ago at my website.
Also, should judges make law, or interpret law? Judicial activists are on the right or the left. Judges should respect the separation of powers and let legislatures pass laws. However, it is up to the judges to interpret and apply the law consistent with established rules of construction. You are confusing statutory law with the common law. Common law is judge-made law. It is a rule for deciding cases. Negligence and other torts or contract principles are an example. If judge-made law was wrongly decided or no longer consistent it ought to be overruled by the courts. Examples have been the Dread Scot case. Nobody today would accept the concept of slavery, yet this case provided that slaves were property and could be owned.
You seemed to imply that you would look for a case to apply comparative negligence - wouldn't that be making law?> I pointed to an example. I have not considered the question or the arguments for retaining or replacing contributory negligence with a comparative fault system.
Isn't it the role of the legislature to do that? Is this common law or statutory law? If common law, it is acceptable for judges to rule on it. In some states, the legislature has done just that. Perhaps our legislature should spend less time on the "booze cruise" or engaging in tactics to ram the lottery through and decide the issue.
3. You repeatedly call yourself a "Democrat," (though 2 years ago when running against a Democrat you called yourself the only true Republican in the race), yet you also say that you are "A Real Constitutionalist." In addition, you have repeatedly praised Justice Brady, who is not exactly liberal. Are you really a liberal and a Democrat, or are you just saying that to try and win this election?
I was a registered Republican until I was hounded and driven out of the party. Democrats have welcomed me for the most part. There are many kinds of Democrats, some are pro-life, gun-loving, conservative and Christian. As to why I have spoken of Justice Brady with praise, I have reviewed the Court's decisions and I find that for the most part, he is the only individual who has stood up for our Constitutional rights. I disagree with him about other issues. After trying different things, I decided I do not like party labels and I do not want to be labeled. Like most people, I have ideas about different issues and am "liberal" on some and "conservative" on others. I settled on Constitutionalist as I believe it ought to be upheld. The federal Constitution sets a floor - it was ended to be a limitation on the federal government and to leave all other powers to the states. What Justice(s) do you most admire on the U.S. Supreme Court? Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, etc., call themselves "Real Constitutionalists" and they are not liberal.
None of the current justices.
Where do you really stand? See above.
4. Whenever anyone brings up your lack of judicial experience, you always point to the fact that 2 other Justices didn't have trial experience prior to election. Given that many people think that judicial experience is a great idea for a Justice, and probably didn't support those candidates either, can you give an explanation that doesn't boil down to "I have as much qualifications as others" for why you are qualified? I point to the examples we have for a reason . We have had the opportunity now to evaluate those judges. If someone voted against them, judge how they have performed. Would you quarrel with the fact that Justice Brady appears to be a good justice?
I am tired of hearing about so-called judicial experience in the trial court. It is not needed at all for appellate work. All that is required is an ability to research and write. I have seen few trial judges who are really good writers or researchers. And I have seen bad law clerks and judges who tolerate that. You are entitled to hold a contrary view, but I have worked for judges and done the job. I know what is required and what is necessary and what is not.
5. You mentioned Gay Marriage and Gay Rights. Currently North Carolina Courts have interpreted our statutes and equal protection provisions of state law and our Constitution as not applying to sexual orientation. Do you believe that sexual orientation is a choice, or something people are born with, and should it be considered akin to race and therefore homosexuals offered equal protection under our laws, or should individuals and businesses be allowed to discriminate based upon sexual orientation? Our legislature has not addressed this issue, so it is likely that the Supreme Court will be the first to address this issue.
Why does it have to be nature or nurture? Why can't it be both? Why are you afraid of homosexuals? Why should they not be treated the same as other human beings? Did we not go through this issue already with the issue of race? Discrimination can be a good thing when dealing with tastes in food or clothes or home furnishings, but the government should treat similarly situated people alike. That is all I am suggesting. I am not stating that in all cases a homosexual wins or loses. Each case must be decided on its facts. Private individuals can do what they want, but they can't act in concert to deprive people of their constitutional rights.
6. Years ago, the Court of Appeals attempted to abolish "heart-balm" torts in the case of Cannon v. Miller. In a 1 paragraph opinion, the Supreme Court slapped them down, and reinstated the torts. Since then, the applicability of these torts has increased, what do you think about Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation?
Since the Court has chosen not to act, perhaps the legislature will act. However, the court may change composition, so perhaps the issue will arise in the future. I do not want to have to rescue myself and will not render an opinion .
7. Many statutes allow for the prevailing party to recover "costs." Unfortunately, the Court of Appeals is all over the place on what costs are allowable, issuing contradictory opinions on deposition costs, and other costs, with 1 panel saying they are allowed, and another panel saying they are not allowed (while looking at the same statutes, and in opinions issued on the same day). What costs do you think should be allowed?
I do not want to have to rescue myself and decline to offer an opinion. However, this illustrates the need for a conflict mechanism in the Court of Appeals so that inconsistencies of this kind will not arise. Failing that, our Supreme Court publishes less and less. This is one area where the state Supreme Court ought to render an opinion in the right case and provide definitive guidance to the Court of Appeals.
8. In January, your husband posted to a website that you were "contemplating a race for chief justice in 2006 so she can be the boss of the candidate who defeated her." Why are you really running? Is it really for this petty of a reason?
I already put this forth on my website. I am tired of our courts being places of injustice.
9. On that same website, your husband, Connie Mack, Jr., posted the following about your candidacy: "As to the Martin race, you know very well that I am somewhat favoring the other women candidate. As you predicted, it is already getting nasty with Judge Martin keeping quite about the attempted mugging that is taking place with those suppose republicans and democrats who like the judge. I believe Judge Manning found out about this group of republicans and democrats who did not exist in his last race. Now if I were the power behind the judicial think tank and sneaky enough. Here is what I would do to help Judge Martin. I would find a democrat women with a last name above H and of another race to really screw things up. However if that is the game plan, than what if the candidate apposing Judge Martin, suddenly has a name change at the last minute and a very well known professional sports star of the other race supports her, not counting a professional movie star of the patriot religious right coming off the bench in the 4 the quarter to seal it. Do you really think the expense of the elite thinking can top the name ID of a super model with this team being put on the floor for the final four?" My question is this: do you really think the voters of North Carolina are going to vote for you simply because you share a name with a supermodel? And, if you really think voters are that stupid, don't you think running against a candidate who shares a name with one of the most popular NASCAR drivers works against you? I know you will say "my husband is his own man" but seriously - he seems to claim that you consider this race to be a joke. Why should I take you seriously if your husband doesn't?
I am a registered voter in North Carolina who is NOT a fan of Justice Martin, and would love to see him off the Court. However, I have concerns about voting for you, for the reasons noted above. Please let me know why I should vote for you (and encourage my friends and colleagues to do so) rather than vote for Martin, or more likely, simply not vote in this race since both candidates seem distasteful?
Connie Mack Berry's comments are his own. Ask him to interpret what he meant. There are several Rachel Hunters, some fictional and some not. I am myself, not someone else and certainly not a supermodel. I have put out enough about myself and why I am running. You and your friends will have to decide whether you want to vote for the lesser of two evils or whether you can vote for either of us in good conscience.
Concerned NC Voter.
26 Oct 2006
Subject: Issues Questions
Are you liberal or Conservative?
Where do you stand on Illegal Immigration?
Morris' immigration reform plan include:
* Require businesses that do work for the state to verify a workers' immigration status
* Create stronger penalties for those caught making fake IDs
* Require the courts to verify the citizenship of any individual appearing in a state court
* Prohibit legal state residents from being bumped off public housing lists by illegals
* Require identification in order to receive state and local services
* Stiff punitive penalties for knowingly hiring illegal workers
* Prohibit illegal aliens from obtaining driver licenses by significantly tightening regulations
* Withhold funding to cities that participate in the sanctuary policy for illegal immigrants. The practice of sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants has allowed violent criminals to enter the country and commit crimes within in the United States. Morris believes that her common sense approach will stop North Carolina from acting like a magnet for illegal aliens.
How do you respond?
Are you liberal or Conservative?* Darlene
Neither. I am a Constitutionalist if you must put a label on it. *
Where do you stand on Illegal Immigration?* Darlene
The poverty in Mexico is astonishing and it is no wonder that people are willing to risk all to make a better life for themselves and their families, even if it means gaining access by other than normal means. However, Thomas Jefferson recognized that if 50 million Americans went to France to live it would wreak havoc with the French country. It is no different today. The influx of millions of foreign citizens are causing havoc with the US.
What to do? There is not an easy answer. Building a wall is not a sensible means to address the real problem. The resources could be better spent, but even the wall is an illusion. The project has not been funded and will not take place. Other suggestions outlined below might be of small benefit in the short term. However, it ignores the fact that most people are not drawn to the US by the lure of entitlement benefits but by the desire for a better life.
Most of the wealth in Mexico is concentrated in the hands of a few while the many remain in abject poverty. All humans cannot live in one place on earth, whether that country is Mexico, the US, China or some other country. We, as a society, and those of other countries need to change society to make sure that all countries are decent places to live in and that mass emigration of they type we are seeing will not occur. I do not foresee that this will happen, even in the long term. Until it does, doing what are legislators are doing is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It gives the impression of doing something, but in reality will do nothing.
Rache Lea Hunter
24 Oct 2006
To Ms. Rachel Lea Hunter,
May this reach you in peace of mind and health of body. My name is Robert Colon. I turned 18 this year, and can vote. When it comes to voting, isn't it very good to remember all the members of society and that which is most important? It might be correct to say that some of the most, if not the most, important issues are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In our present day, can it be said that life or liberty or the pursuit of happiness or a combination of any of these is threatened for some, such as the elderly and the unborn? Perhaps it most certainly can.
Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, the denial of the freedom of institutions and doctors to refrain from actions they hold as immoral, the denial of the natural institution of marriage as the union of one woman and one man, cloning, and other things can harm. This does not mean that I am saying we should condemn those and show no love for those who participate in these. But, can we support anything that destroys life and violates human dignity? Please inform me on your views of and the action you would take on these issues. Thank you and may God bless you.
A: Dear Mr. Colon,
Have you been to my website and read some of my comments about the handicapped, the unborn and the elderly? Personally, I think it is a disgrace the way America treats these citizens. I long for the day when all children will be welcomed into society and all people, regardless of age or physical challenges, will be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, we are not there yet, not by a longshot.
As a judge, it is our duty to follow the law. Right now, the law regarding abortion has been determined by our US Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. If it is overturned, the matter will fall to the states. This is a legislative issue, not really a judicial one and I do not think that the issue should be left up to 7 people to decide how the rest of us ought to live. That is why we have legislators and they are uniquely suited to debate this very emotional issue. Failing that, perhaps it ought to be put as a referendum on the ballot.
All of the other things you discuss may or may not come before the court. I cannot promise how I would rule in any given situation as it will depend on the facts of the case, the law of this state, possibly the law of other states or the law of the US Supreme Court. I do not want to have to recuse myself in such a case. All I can promise is that the advocates and parties from all sides are entitled to a fair and impartial hearing.
As a general rule of thumb, however, I would err on the side of life, whether we are talking about the things you mentioned or talking about the death penalty.
I hope this answers your questions.
Can you please tell me where do you stand on illegal immigration??
Dear Ms. Hernandez,
I do not know if illegal immigration issues will come before our Supreme Court directly, although the issues might arise tangentially.
I have thought long and hard about this problem and there are no easy answers. It seems to escape our politicians is that building a wall is not the answer. Nor is a guest-worker program.
Most of the people that come here do not come for welfare or other benefits. They are paid extremely low wages in their areas. In Mexico, for example, the bulk of the wealth is held by a select few, while the masses live at or near poverty, in cardboard shacks, with no running water. I have been there and have seen some of the abject poverty. It is enough to break your heart. The Mexican government and those who have wealth there have a vested interest in keeping the system going. They can send poor people here and can continue to keep the wealth for themselves.
If you were in such a country and you could double your salary, even illegally, would you not escape from such a life for your and your family's benefit? Of course you would. And I can understand why the prospect of a better life in America drives such folks to pay "coyotes" to help them get here or to come here by other illegal means.
I can also understand the problems that unbridled immigration causes, whether it's with the hospitals, schools, crimes or social services. As Thomas Jefferson commented, if millions of Americans were transplanted suddenly to France, it would wreak havoc with their governmental system, as the immigration is causing problems in our own system.
What to do? It would be great if instead of building a wall, we directed our efforts and those of foreign countries to make all places attractive to live so that we would not have a mass exodus to any one particular place. There are billions of people and we cannot all occupy China, the USA, Mexico or any other place. Unfortunately, our leaders do not seem interested in truly making the world a better place for ALL of us to live. They are more concerned with providing cheap labor or doing what will benefit them to hang onto power.
I do not like the idea of wasting money to build a wall or the other solutions that some proposed of throwing them out. Yes, some may have criminal backgrounds and I can understand the need for some type of procedure to have an orderly admission. The system we have is clearly broke.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of my position. I am not vehemently opposed to immigrants, but I do understand the legitimate concerns caused by an overwhelming influx. I think we all ought to be able to live and work where we are happiest.
20 Oct 2006
Subject: Candidate Profile for Lumina News
The Lumina News in Wrightsville Beach would like to run profiles of the candidates for the November election. We need a brief bio and a response to three questions. Also, if you could send us a photo by email, we'd like to include that as well. If we need to find another way to get a photo, let me know. Please reply as soon as possible and by Tuesday morning, Oct. 24 at the latest.
Here's what we need:
What issues do you think are the most important to voters in this race, and what is your stance on those issues?
What do you see as the most important distinction between yourself and your opponents?
In addition to serving the community, why is it important to you personally to be elected to this position?
Please limit your responses to a total of 300 words.
Thanks for your help.
Lumina News http://www.luminanews.com/
910-256-6569 ext. 110
Residence (city): Cary, NC
Education: JD, 1983, BS Chemistry, 1983
Experience: Practiced law for 18 years; 6 years in private practice doing appeals; spent 12 years working for trial and appellate courts; wrote over 500 opinions for judges that I worked for;
Family: no children, a cat (Mr. Mephistopheles) and a dog (Maximus)
What issues do you think are the most important to voters in this race, and what is your stance on those issues?
Our judicial system is broke and our courts have more often become places of injustice. Justice is meted out only to those who can afford it. Some of our laws and rules are archaic, non-existent or if they do exist are less than clear. Our courts need to be modernized. We need to bring back the concept of justice, to revise rules or laws to the extent that it can be done or to provide mechanisms to ensure that constitutional rights are protected.
What do you see as the most important distinction between yourself and your opponents?
I have stood for the enforcement of individuals' rights. I had the first "driving while black case" and determined that evidence should be suppressed where an individual was stopped just because he was African American. I had one of the early DNA cases and determined that a convicted defendant should be given the DNA test that he asked for and it exculpated an innocent man who spent 4 years of his life in jail. I have walked the walk. When given the chance to stand up for the rights of defendants, for fathers or for property owners, my opponent did not do it. I will.
In addition to serving the community, why is it important to you personally To be elected to this position?
Please see my website at www.rachelforjustice.com where I have written about various topics affecting our legal system. This election is important, regardless of political affiliation. It is important to our state and to our country. We as a society have been headed in the wrong direction, from the War in Iraq to issues at home. We have seen the arrogance and corruption, whether in Washington, D.C. or in North Carolina. This election presents a chance for us to do something about it. We can continue or we can try something else. I represent an alternative to the established way of doing things and a new direction.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Dear Sir or Madam;
We would like to introduce ourselves. We are a group of high school students that print a paper monthly in Western North Carolina. Our goal is to encourage future teen voters as well as their parents and friends to vote. Our audience has been foretold of our project to contact all of the candidates on the ballots and ask the questions they want answered. Everyone is very excited, and therefore we present these questions to you for our paper which is scheduled to print at the end of August. We will identify you and your response. We will also identify all candidates that did not respond or were unwilling to participate. This is an enormous opportunity for you to encourage local voters as well as future voters by participating.
Thank you for attempting to educate the voters and getting the word out. Regardless of political party affiliation, this election is important for our state and for our country. You are to be applauded for taking such an interest.
1. Where were you born?
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have been coming to North Carolina to work or visit family and friends for over 30 years. I am a Yankee by birth, but a Southerner by choice.
2. Do you think it is right for the state to make choices for women on abortion, or should it be left to the woman? Basically, where do you stand on this issue?
I have stated my position on abortion at my website at www.rachelforjustice.com. Personally, I am a Catholic and I revere life. I welcome the day when the birth of a child is an event to be celebrated. If elected, it would be my job to enforce the laws and right now, Roe v. Wade is the law. It has to be followed, not matter how much I agree or disagree with it personally. If it is overturned, the matter will go to the states. I cannot predict how I would rule, but it would be in accordance with the law, not personal feelings. However, I do not think it is up to me or anyone else to tell someone else that they must live according to my tenets and this issue should be left up to the people, not seven justices.
3. Do you support the 2nd amendment?
Yes. And all of the others among the first 10.
4. How do you support our veterans?
I am not sure what you are asking. Do you mean, do I support the troops? I am against the War in Iraq and believe it is a fiasco as others have stated. We should order the troops to leave immediately. I believe that is supporting the troops-I respect their life and their bodies and want them to come home unharmed and safe.
I also believe that when war to defend oneself become necessary, that the troops should be equipped adequately. They should not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people and I encounter this frequently. Charging them outrageous interest or failing to fix their interest rates or suspend their obligations while they are deployed is not supporting the troops.
After the troops come home, they are frequently shunted off to receive VA care if they are ill or maimed. I am sorry to say that this care is not the always the best. For people who put their life on the line fous, we as a society, can and should treat them better. And the government has a lot to answer for as in the many cases involving Agent Orange or Gulf War syndrome.
5. Do you believe that homosexual unions or marriages should be legal?
I am a heterosexual. This issue is really a red herring. This is not about marriage, but about benefits, i.e., property rights. There aresolutions to these issues if the legislature wants to address them other than marriage. However, religions are free to define marriage as they wish. The state has become entangled in the marriage business, when this should be a matter of contract between two parties. Either the state can get out of regulating marriage or it can treat all people equally as it is mandated to do by our state and federal constitutions.
6. Do you agree with the war in Iraq? If not, then why?
See my answer in part to number 4. No, I have stated that I am against this war. I am against this war for many reasons. It was unnecessary and unconstitutional as Congress did not declare war as it is supposed to do. We were lied to about the need for war. We declared "Mission Accomplished" but we are still in Iraq. We have not improved the lives of the citizens. The country has descended into civil war between the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias. It is wrong to impose our western culture and values on people with a mentality in the middle ages who do not share or want these values. We have created more terrorists by our tactics and presence.
7. If you were to vote on NAFTA or CAFTA, would you be for or against these issues?
I would have voted against them. These bills have destroyed what was left of American manufacturing. Textiles and furniture are now gone. Labor and manufacturing is now outsourced to third-world places or China where labor is cheap and products are subsidized by the government.
8. What are your thoughts on the safety of our schools, and how do you plan to contribute to a better environment?
We need to re-think our whole educational system. Kids today may know facts or what to think, but not how to think. Teach them to think and they can make their own decisions.
Some of the school shootings are by disgruntled citizens or children. They feel alienated by society and they do these awful things. We need to find a better way of doing things to break the cycle. Break the cycle and the violence will end.
As for our environment, I believe in wise use. Our Earth is rich in resources for us to use. But we need to understand that all living things have needs, although some are greater than others. We need to understand that we cannot go on building endless landfills or polluting the environment as that environment sustains us. There are things we can do to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but our current government has no interest in doing that. We could reduce our dependence on energy by equipping homes in sunny areas wi solar panels and by selling excess energy to the power company. These are just some options. We need to have a dialogue about all options and choose what is best, not just what is good for a corporation's profit margin.
9. If you were to name one thing that motivated you daily, what would it be?
9 Oct 2006
MTBE made rather large publicity when 60 minutes did a 40 minute spot on it, highlighting the Santa Monica public water system that was poisoned with the gasoline additive and resulted in closing of their public water system.
MTBE is an ether, a high octane molecule that the oil industry learned to spike gasoline with. They make big money with it by using it to boost octane rating in otherwise questionable gasoline. They can put refinery waste in gasoline as a result, basically disposing of their waste in our gasoline tanks. Nice idea if you don't have to breath the air.
MTBE is such a bad idea that they decided to pass a law that it remains in our gasoline. This made it harder for ethical refineries to do the right thing and compete against this policy. As a result, refineries went broke and were bought up and thus the consolidation of the oil industry which is one of the reasons we have spiking oil prices.
The state of Alaska waged war against MTBE in 1992, the year it was implemented in their state. They won, banned the chemical in 1993, finding it was getting into the blood of citizens, possibly causing issues with their health.
They were also concerned with the aldehydes (chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetyl aldehyde) that are emitted from exhaust of burning MTBE. The oil industry and EPA know all about the negatives of burning MTBE, they chose to ignore them.
That being said, in 1995, it was implimented in gasoline around the country. I could detect the change in our air quality which prompted me to call the EPA and do my own research into this gasoline policy. I do think that there have been health effects to the public, asthma, anxiety and other issues that are not well documented and hard to trace to air quality but that is largely due to our ignorance of the facts.
The state of Alaska did a health study on it's population leading to the banning of this chemical. I only wish we in the 49 states could get the same protection. I'd really like to know whether the air I breath is tainted with this or other undetected chemicals, a direct result of the oil industry exchanging bad air for profit. This is about bad policy. Gasoline can be a more friendly chemical when it's refined with the proper controls.
Unocal oil company won a large settlement, saying that their patents on formulations of gasoline were used without paying them royalties. If they can win, I'd like to think the public can win, as we pay for 'clean' gasoline formulations that are not really 'clean' gasoline formulations. In addition, I did some random gasoline testing and every sample I tested violated the Clean Air Act amendment of 1990. Therefore, I'd also be curious if there is a legal remedy for health effects generated from gasoline that does not meet 'clean air act' specifications.
reference unocal sues for royalties - Google Search
Yes, I had heard about MTBE. This illustrates what happens at times. We think we are solving one problem and we create another just as bad.
I don't know what the solution is. We need to find another way and get off our dependence on oil. If we can send a man to space, we can find a way to have clean cars and to not pollute the environment with chemicals like MTBE that will ultimately come back to harm us.
10 Oct 2006
Re: On the Campaign Trail Toward Victory With Max
Your emails are always enjoyable. I especially liked your take on the four cases you reviewed a few weeks ago. Up until now, you had my vote. Now I'm not so sure. From your most recent email:
"What has been happening in Carteret is that real estate developers come in from elsewhere. They apply for permission to put up a development. Permission has been granted by the Republican-controlled commissioners, without any thought to its impact on the community."
So, does this mean that, as a Supreme Court Justice, you will be hostile to the rights of private property owners? People who already developed their own real property now have domain over those property owners who have not yet developed theirs? A deliberately ineffective bureaucracy can use the lack of infrastructure as a reason to expand their power over people?
Can you clarify your stance on property rights?
Dear Mr. Stroud,
I would be happy to clarify my stance. It has not changed - I understand property rights. I don't like the fact that the US Supreme Court abrogated private property rights in Kelo v. City of New London and held that municipalities can take away private property to benefit developers because it will increase the tax base. I talked a few weeks ago about the case in North Carolina, Westminster Homes v. Town of Cary, where our state Supreme Court said it was permissible for a municipality to deny homeowners the right just to install gates in a barrier so they could access their property. The effect of this decision is to take a portion of the homeowners' property without giving them anything for it.
I also understand the need for legitimate businesses, like real estate developers, to make a profit. Profit is not evil and all real estate developers are not bad people. However, I do not worship at the altar of the Almighty dollar. With rights come responsibilities, although that is seldom discussed. With profit comes the obligation to recognize that all living things, including other humans, have needs as well.
What has happened in Carteret County is that developers have come in. There has been NO planning. When even mild limits have been proposed, the Republican commissioner has dismissed concerns out of hand and labeled the proponent a "socialist."
This is turning a deaf ear to the legitimate issues that have been raised. Roads cannot handle the increased traffic. With the influx of people comes the increased need for schools. These are expensive items and the citizens, as usual, have to pay for it. Some people have lived there for generations but can no longer afford to do so because of the taxes.
All the people want is an equal voice and the opportunity to be heard. No solution is perfect and not everyone gets what they want all of the time. But people ought to be able to discuss differences in a reasonable tone, without being labeled in derogatory terms, and they ought to be able to arrive at a reasonable solution that benefits all, or at least the bulk of the citizens as well as the real estate developers.
In answer to your question, no, I am not hostile to real estate developers and if they have an issue before the courts, they are entitled to a fair and unbiased consideration, just as other citizens are entitled to the same. What I am against is the unbridled, one-sided way of doing things with no thought or care about consequences. Nor am I hostile to the rights of property owners. Balance and placing the needs of humans over the need for money are the keys.
Hope this answers your question. Some people are "one-issue" voters. If you don't agree with them on their key issue, whether its abortion, gay marriage or something else, they refuse to vote for you. I understand such people, but it is my view that this behavior is ultimately shortsighted. You have to look at the total person and where they stand on a variety of issues to see if they are someone you could vote for. A good way to look at it is to place yourself in the position of the father who was fighting for custody of his child, or a person convicted of a crime, or a property owner. Would the candidate be more or less inclined to listen to what the litigant has to say? You will have to make that choice.
9 Oct 2006
Subject: Are you on the ballot?
Dear Ms. Hunter,
I looked up Demoratic justices to vote for and I didn't see you on the ballot. Is this a write in campaign?
Dear Mr. Mills,
No it is not. Some parties have chosen to list me on their website and some have not. However, I am listed on the actual ballot and that is what counts.
Dear Mr. Austin:
I have received your letter of October 2nd. Congratulations on trying to educate yourself about the candidates. You are to be commended for that. Since you have written, I assume you are not fortunate enough to have a computer. If it is possible, I would encourage you to get access to one, either through a friend or neighbor, or at your public library. Most of the judicial candidates have websites where you can read about the judges. My website is www.rachelforjustice.com. I have a wealth of information there about myself.
You want to know where I stand on the following issues:
1. What do you consider the most important elements of the job of associate justice of the NC Supreme Court?
Most people do not realize what our appellate courts do and I am glad that you asked this question. While I worked at the appellate courts, I found a change in our law that had been missed by one of the other judges on the panel. His clerk confided to me that he had indeed missed the change, which was important. When I brought it to the attention of the judge that I worked for, he asked me, "how is it that you find these things?" I answered, "because I take the time and I look for them."
The ability to research and write is the primary job of the court. I still take the time to look and question. The judges and attorneys that I have worked for over the past 18 years have recognized my skills. I wrote over 500 opinions for the judges that I worked for, some of which ended up being adopted by our state Supreme Court. For the past 6 years, I have been in private practice doing appeals in federal and state courts. I have superior research and writing abilities and I want to put these talents to work for the citizens of this state.
2. What skills are required to perform this job and what skills would you bring to the job? See answer to question 1.
3. Why should I select you over your opponent?
I have written about this extensively at my website. Again, I encourage you to go there where I talked about some cases in which he participated. He has had the chance to stand up for the constitutional rights of the citizens and he has not done so. He thinks it is constitutionally permissible for an individual to wait 6 years for a trial transcript so he can appeal. He thinks it is constitutionally permissible for an individual to wait 4 years in jail just to enter a guilty plea. He thinks it is constitutionally permissible for the state to retroactively increase your income tax even though the state constitution says otherwise. There are more cases like this.
The salient point is that each time the question arises as to whether someone's constitutional rights are violated, my opponent can find no problem. My opponent is supported by the Christian Coalition and its efforts to turn this state into a religious theocracy. My opponent has mysteriously transferred almost $14,000.00 in one month to a young man for "political consulting services" even though he has hired an expert political consultant. This transaction smells - something is rotten about it.
You have to make up your own mind. If religious intolerance, corruption and violations of constitutional rights are what you want, then vote for my opponent. If you are a person of open mind, if you want someone that when confronted with the chance to do something right because it is the right thing to do no matter how unpopular, if you want someone who will stand up for our constitutional rights and the separation of church and state, if you are someone who knows that we can do better and that we need to change course in our society to survive, then consider voting for someone like me.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for Associate Justice, Supreme Court
Dear Mr. Wilson:
I have received your letter of September 29th. Congratulations on trying to educate yourself about the candidates. You are to be commended for that. Since you have written, I assume you are not fortunate to have a computer. If it is possible, I would encourage you to get access to one, either through a friend or neighbor, or at your public library. Most of the judicial candidates have websites where you can read about the judges. My website is www.rachelforjustice.com. I have a wealth of information there about myself.
You want to know where I stand on the following issues:
Crime - Its up to legislators to pass laws for our well-being and it is up to judges to uphold the laws if they are constitutional and to strike them down if they are not. This applies equally to civil law as well as criminal.
Of course, no one is pro-crime. If the law is proper and has been transgressed, the convicted individual must face punishment. However, as a society, we need to examine the wisdom of the laws we have passed. We have a prison industry in our state that is devoted to building more prisons and passing more laws to make criminals of us all. We need to have a conversation about whether we should proceed in this direction or whether we need to try something new. We need to look at alternative forms of punishment as it does society and the convicted person no good for the convicted person to be warehoused/institutionalized for long periods of time. There have been too many innocent individuals who have been set free after long periods of incarceration. For this reason, it is time for us to re-examine the death penalty.
Church vs. State - there should be a separation of church and state. I myself am a Catholic, but I do not seek to impose my Catholicism on other Christians, members of other faiths or non-believers. Members of the Christian Coalition, for example, have tried to enforce their religion on everyone else. The courts should not be tools, either of the left or the right, to impose an ideology on anyone. Everyone should be free to personally worship or not as they choose. People of faith can be a part of government and can serve in government, but government should not promote one religion over another. Truth be told, no religion is the correct one.
Workers' rights - We have a corporate culture in this country that is focused on the dollar and making a profit. I understand the need for profit. Profit is not an evil, but it must be tempered by decency and by doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Humans should not be subservient to profit. People should not be forced to work in unsafe places or workers should not work for low wages so the CEO, corporation or stockholders can earn profit.
Voters' rights - Would any judge say they are against them? Of course I would be for the promotion of these rights. If these rights are not exercised, they will ultimately be taken away from you. It is incumbent on the candidates to do what they can to be heard and get their message out as I have tried to do. It is equally the responsibility of the voter to educate his or her self. As a society, we can do things to increase voter participation, like making all races non-partisan and letting principles, not party labels or mud-slinging be the rule. We can prohibit the wealth that flows from lobbyists to politicians.
Family values - why is this a concern of government? Religions can define marriage as they wish. If the issue arises, I am biased neither for nor against homosexuals or heterosexuals. However, the state should not be regulating the affairs of two mentally competent consenting adults.
Equal rights - We are entitled to equal protection of the law under our constitution. Why should a homosexual person be treated differently than a heterosexual person in a particular job? Or a woman and a man in the same job? Or an elderly worker who is let go for a younger worker so a corporation can pay the younger employee less money? I would fairly and impartially apply the law to all who come before the court.
Women's Rights - Could you be more specific? There are issues of violence, issues of reproduction and issues of equal pay for equal work, for example. I don't know where to start. All I can say is that I strive to be fair if the issue comes before the court.
A man's right to decide what happens to his unborn child -I long for the day when all children will be wanted and these questions will be moot. What if a woman wants a child and a man does not? Should the man be relieved of a duty to support the child? After all, he helped create it. What if a woman wants to abort a child and a man wants to have it? What right does he have to force her to incubate the child for nine months? It is not that simple. Again, if the case arises before the court, I can only promise to fairly and impartially decide the case based on the law and the evidence as presented by the parties.
Gray rights - are you referring to the rights of senior citizens? See my answer under the question about equal rights.
Drugs - are you referring to the War on Drugs? I do not advocate drug use. But we have many addictions in our society. Gambling, alcohol or tobacco use is all legal, yet we have addictions to all and it also wreaks havoc with lives or even results in death. Yet we only ban drugs. We as a society needs to re-think the War on Drugs, as it is failed to curb drug usage, has resulted in harsh nonsensical laws, more imprisonment and an incentive for individuals to become involved in the drug trade because of the obscene profits. Take the profit away and regulate drug usage the way alcohol and tobacco are regulated and there will be less crime and less drug usage.
Rachel Lea Hunter
29 Sep 2006
From: Richard XXXXX
Subject:I need help with fraud in Canada
My name is Richard XXXXXX from Van Nuys, CA. A company called Silver Capital Management has scammed me out of $17,000 and I do not have the funds to pay back my bank. Kindly let me explain.
I was contacted by a company nemed Zy Pharmaceuticals of China to act as a collector of debts since they were having problems with clients in the North American market paying their bills. I would receive a percentage for assisting them receive from their clients.
The first client was Silver Capital Management of Ontario, Canada (I believe.) I contact a Dr. Murphy Gordon who wrote:
We wish to acknowledge the receipt of your mail and respond thus; That your Equity account Bank coordinate and payment file have been forwarded to our Canadian office to effect the wire transfer,you are therefore required to immediately contact the undersign for the wire transfer.
Name: Timothy Han (Head of Operation)
Company; Silverhill Hill Capital Management
We remain most obliged
FOR; SILVERHILL CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
Dr Murphy Gordon
I then contacted Mr. Timothy Han who agreed to transfer $17,000.00 into my bank account. Once I received payment, I would be instructed where to send for Zy Pharmaceuticals.
I did receive payment and was pressured, by Mr. Han to send to U-Land Enterprises in Toronto, Canada. Immediately upon payment to U-Land Enterprises, the original $17,000.00 was withdrawn from my bank because Silver Capital Management had sent a bogus wire to my bank (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.)
I contacted Mr. Timothy Han who acted as though he knew the original wire transfer was bogus. He said he could not send another wire to correct until I received the monies back from U-Land Enterprises. I contacted my bank to get a recall. They have continued to say that U-Land Enterprises will not authorize the recall because it is not with their bank. My bank says it is.
However, the problem lies with Silver Capital Management because they sent the original bogus and fraudulent wire to begin with and will not correct their deceit. I am now responsible for $17,000.00 to pay back to my bank and do not have this kind of money. My account has been suspended and I am broke. I cannot pay my bills and need help. Are you able to assist?
I feel as if this is total fraud and conspiracy between Silver Capital Management and U-Land Enterprises. Zy Pharmaceuticals will not assist either because they want a tracer number from my bank who has continued to say a tracer is not needed if they know where the money is and have given me a copy of the recall notice to U-Land Enterprises. What should I do? $17,000.00 is a lot of money.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Dear Mr. Richard XXXXX,
I am very sorry to learn of your predicament. The facts sound very much like one of the variants of the "Nigerian" scam that goes around. It does not have anything to do with Nigeria necessarily. In the variation you described, you are contacted by a foreigner who promises to deliver you a check or a wire transfer in this case. The check/wire is bogus.
Do not rely on your bank to tell you the truth. Often, banks cannot detect that checks or wires are false. At worst, they will lie to you as did Bank of America in a recent California case involving a young man who was also scammed and arrested. In that case, Bank of America has refused to compensate the young man for his legal expenses incurred to clear his name. Specifically, Bank of America relies on a California law which shields it from liability. I am not licensed in California and can only relate what I have heard about the case, but if this is true, it is doubtful that your bank would have any liability either.
In the scam, you deposit or receive the fake funds and then send real money back to someone else. By the time your bank learns of the fraud, the real criminals are long gone with the money and your bank then comes looking at you. I don't mean to discourage you, but forget about locating the criminals as it is unlikely that they will be found and if they are found, it is doubtful that they will have your money.
Banks need to come up with a better method of preventing fraud of this type. However, there is a corporate culture that makes it easier for the criminals to engage in this conduct. Perhaps if enough individuals can get together and have a class action, maybe something will be done. It is not right and it is not fair and little people are being hurt by the banks' conduct in acting as an enabler for this type of crime.
Meanwhile, there is the problem of returning the funds to your bank. You are right, $17,000.00 is a great deal of money to anyone. Here are some things you can do:
(1) Report the crime to the US Secret Service; the closest field office to you appears to be in Los Angeles. Their phone number is 213-894-4830. Here is the website and you can check for a closer office: http://www.secretservice.gov/field_offices.shtml
(2) Report these activities to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; their website is: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Depending on how you were initially contacted, you might be directed back to a US agency.
(3) You do not have $17,000.00 to pay back at once. Schedule a meeting with your branch bank manager and see what can be worked out regarding a payment plan with the bank so that you can repay the debt over time.
(4) Failing all else, what do you want to do? File bankruptcy? This may be an option if the bank will not budge and if you have other debts. Use this only as an option of last resort.
Again, I am sorry that you were taken in by this scam. I have dealt with others. The best thing that you and others can do is avoid any transaction involving foreigners because of the Nigerian scams. Typical red flags are the kind of solicitation or "too good to be true" type of offer that you received. If in doubt, have the transaction reviewed by someone else, even an attorney.
September 27, 2006
Subject: ED Cone asks MJ
I don't recall saying he should talk to the media. Not really my issue. I've been more concerned with the longterm pattern of inappropriate and erratic behavior. The death threat thing doesn't look so great, either.
Hearing you, a candidate for the State Supreme Court, explain away Connie's conviction like a jailhouse lawyer is not an encouraging sign.
I would like to hear more info about Connie being "the man behind the 'Contract with America' and Newt Gingrich's 'Republican Revolution.'" Big claims, those.
Posted by: Ed Cone | Sep 27, 2006 at 07:14 AMA:
I do not waste my time reading your hypocritical blog. However, the statements from your blog were brought to my attention and I read them, so I know about the comments made by you, Doug Clark and John Hood.
As I stated, what was done is done. Its not my responsibility to prove Connie's innocence. Since you are so convinced of the accuracy of the story and want to hear more about Newt Gingrich, why don't you see the country and travel to Georgia and Florida to get at the real facts of the cases and really learn who Connie is? You won't, of course, as you are too lazy and even if you did, you will not present a balanced picture because of your own pre-conceived notions. Its much easier just to cast aspersions.
Connie articulated the stories in greater detail to me, including the ones about Newt Gingrich, the Republican Revolution and Jesse Ventura. After hearing his depiction of real events, I am convinced that the charges were politically motivated by his enemies and that Connie did not commit the crimes to which he entered nolo pleas which were done for his own reasons. But why are incidents of 10 or 20 years ago relevant in any way? Is Connie on the ballot? What office is he running for?
What erratic behavior are you referring to? You still don't get it, do you? You can't see why things were done as they were done and you and the other "journalists" have unwittingly helped in the process. I have told you all along to just shut up and ignore me. Instead, you have given me tons of free publicity and boosted my name identification. Thanks.
As for the death threats, there is an individual with a psychopathic obsession with me residing in Cary. An attempt was made to intimidate Connie by "The Fixer." And other very ugly things have been said which I will not repeat, including threats to get me. After going through my surgeries, I do not fear death. However, I take sensible precautions as anyone would do if they were in my position.
You yourself said to me, "I hope people have not lost their humanity and decency." However, you are among those who made derogatory comments about me. You have shown yourself to be a phony and a hypocrite. You are a card-carrying member of the neo-con beast I talked so much about. Now others see that.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Spriingdale Baptist Church
4309 Auburn-Knightdale Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27610
The Honorable Rachel Lea Hunter
A candiate information booklet is being created to provide information regarding you and your candidacy. We would thoroughly appreciate your participation.
Reverend Danial Sanders
Dear Reverend Danial Sanders
I had surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor last year. Unfortunately, the surgery left my face paralyzed and I had to have a second surgery to implant a weight in my eye so it will close. The tumor recurred and I underwent radiation. None of this affected me cognitively, but that is the reason for my appearance.
I grew up with the law and began early attending my father’s trials, talking with his clients and working in his law office. I graduated from law school in the top third of my class and have been practicing for almost 18 years. I spent 12 years working for the trial and appellate courts. The judges’ names are on the opinions, but the words and ideas are mine; I was blessed that they recognized my writing talent and permitted me to write. For the past 6 years, I have been engaged in private practice doing federal and state appeals in all areas of the law.
While I worked for the courts, I wrote over 500 opinions. It is a rarity, but I have a very broad base of knowledge in many areas. I know how judges think and act. I have reviewed numerous trial transcripts. I have the skills, knowledge and qualification to do the work and I want to put my talents to use for the citizens of this state.
Our state is facing great challenges. Our judicial system requires better funding and modernization to handle its ever-increasing caseload. Some of our laws and rules are archaic or non-existent and they must be changed to ensure that constitutional rights are accorded to all litigants. We need to bring the courts to the people and make them more visible. Above all, we need to restore the concept of justice for all. I have articulated in greater detail why I am seeking office at my website at www.rachelforjustice.com.
Rachel Lea Hunter
13 Sep 2006
Re: "Justice" Martin Slings Republican Mud
Dear Rachel Lea Hunter: I know you are busy but I would like to reveal to you how badly my parents were treated by the courts here in Georgia. Briefly, my father signed a so-called will one year after he had had a major stroke in 1997 and was left with dementia. This 1998 document looks to be a forgery. It left out his wife of 50+ years totally. Two previous wills of his left everything to her. On the face of the new so-called "will", he had writen in pencil: "what interest does this leave to my wife?" The court has denied an exam of the signature (ink analysis) which would not have cost the court anything nor delayed anything. The judge just denied it and left everything as is. My thinking is that this is obstructive in nature and ignores a probable forgery. So, as a result, estate taxes had to be paid since his wife was left out of this will. Sorry to bother you but where do I go from here??? Your input will be very much appreciated!!!
James A. Ehlers in AtlantaA:
Dear Mr. Ehlers:
My first advice to your mother is to get an attorney.
In many states, there is something called an "elective share" that is awarded to a decedent's spouse. That means that no matter what the will says, the surviving spouse cannot be disinherited. However, these rights must usually be asserted within a time period after death or the issuance of letters to the personal representative.
I have researched the Georgia Probate Code. Unfortunately, there is no elective share in Georgia except for spouses who are under the age of 18 years, which is not your case. What to do?
Your mother could file something called a "caveat." That is a fancy Latin term. What it really means is that it is a formal objection to the will. The caveat would be filed to the will that purportedly left your mother out and which contained the penciled in handwriting. The judge is under no obligation to order anything for you. He or she is not being mean. The court is much like an arbiter or an umpire. He or she has to be fair to all sides. It is up to you to present evidence so the judge can render a decision, not the responsibility of the judge to do your homework for you. If you want to "play ball" in the judge's ballpark, then you have to play by the judge's rules. It may not seem fair, but that is the system we have. However, I would agree with you that too often our courts become places of injustice rather than justice.
If you wish to challenge the penciled handwriting, it will be up to your mother to hire a handwriting expert or other writing analyst to render an opinion. This evidence will have to be given to the court and the personal representative. Often, if the personal representative wants to avoid an expensive lawsuit for the estate, so he or she will enter into a family settlement agreement.
But your mother has to file the caveat first. The caveat can also contend that at the time your father made his will, which was after his stroke, he was suffering from dementia and did not know what he was doing. Your mother will have to present evidence or testimony from his doctors opining that his stroke and dementia prohibited him from knowing what he was doing, what he owned or that his wife would be the logical beneficiary of his estate.
In addition, see who benefits from the will as it stands. Where does the money and property go? If it goes to an outsider rather than your mother, ask yourself why would they get the money? Did they stand in a position to control your father and did they somehow induce him to make a will leaving your mother out? You say that the 1998 will was a forgery. That too can be the basis of a caveat. If successful, the caveat will knock out the will that was made after the stroke and the assets will pass as if your father either had no will or as per his prior will.
Another possibility is that perhaps the evidence will show that the last will was valid but that the penciled handwriting shows that the disinheritance was accidental rather than intentional. If it can be shown that your father really meant to include your mother they will allow her to receive part of his estate.
Where does this case stand procedurally? Was a caveat ever filed? Can it still be filed? Can objections to the judge's decision be raised? If so, can the judge's decision be appealed now or at time of the final confirmation of the estate?
That is why I recommend that your mother seek an attorney specializing in probate litigation. You can search the yellow pages, but a more effective method might be to talk to the court clerks to see who they would recommend if they needed a lawyer to handle estate litigation. Another idea is to ask the local bar association if they maintain a list of referral attorneys for this type of work. This is a specialized area of the law and you need someone who is familiar with the rules and procedures of probate court. Do not go to attorneys who do mostly other types of cases.
Lastly, I don't mean to pry, but what kind of an estate are we dealing with here? Are there significant assets? If so, then they are worth spending the money to fight for. If there is not much in the estate, ask whether it will be cost effective for your mother to spend money litigating this case and hiring handwriting or medical experts if she will not get very much out of it anyway. I do not want to sugarcoat this. Most people do not realize that litigation can be very costly. If money is not an object for your mother, then, by all means, proceed.
13 Sep 2006
RE: "Justice" Martin Slings Republican Mud
"What this case makes clear to me is that there is no real mechanism in North Carolina to ensure a timely preparation of a criminal defendant's trial transcript. This case illustrates the need for a change. If elected, I will work for the adoption of rules providing for a mechanism to resolve this matter so that this does not happen again."
Maybe you can work on the budget too, so that there are enough court reporters to do the work. I had a civil matter in state trial court which we waited over six months for a transcript of a hearing so that we could move to have certification of a class action reconsidered. The wait was so long because the court reporter was in a capital murder trial and then had to do the transcript for that for the appeal before she could get back to us. (I later wished we had paid a private court reporter to do it, but when there is an official court reporter you don't think you'll need to, and for all I know, the court might not allow an additional reporter if there is already an official reporter.) I believe that giving priority to the capital matter was correct -- and that the priority was according to a rule of that court.
I am not familiar with all of the particulars of the 6-year transcript problem, but I do know that judges are loath to say that court reporters are at fault.
I share your frustration, but I can see why a capital murder case was given priority. I can understand why judges are loathe to criticize as well. They have to work with these people on a daily basis. Usually reporters or other personnel do their jobs and are unfairly criticized. In Berryman, there is simply no explanation of the reason for the delay. My point is not to point fingers and lay blame. Regardless of fault, there is a problem and it needs to be fixed.
You are correct that the problem lies in part in funding. Our state is growing and that is a good thing, but with more people come more legal problems, whether it is crime, divorce, auto accidents, death or worker's compensation. All of this places a demand on a system which has not been funded adequately by the legislature due to partisan disputes. While that has changed recently with the appointment of Chief Justice Parker, the budget increase is akin to temporarily fixing a pothole with cheap asphalt. The problem is going to recur unless we take steps to really address the issue.
There is no mechanism to prevent the abuse of the kind that occurred in Berryman or even in a civil case. And there should be. We could have an appellate and district & superior court procedural rule that says, for example, that transcripts can be delivered 60 days after they are ordered. The reporter can ask for an extension of time for 30 days. If still not produced, the court may impose sanctions, including reduction in cost for each day of delay, reassignment from other duties until the transcript is completed and so on. Judges should be free to re-assign other personnel to reporting duties if a reporter cannot complete a transcript due to death or illness. And why not encourage parties to seek reporting from private reporters if the court reporter is not available?
5 Sep 2006
Re: Editorial Editor Jumps Rachel's
Bodyguard And Her Handicapped Supporters
Well, coverage is coverage.
BTW-is you husband a friend of Gibson's??
Dear Mr. Campbell,
In answer to your question, the answer is yes. He became acquainted with Mr. Gibson and got a bit part in "The Patriot" done by Mr. Gibson around 2000 or so. I can reference you to the scene where Major Jean Villeneuve and Mr. Gibson's character, Benjamin Martin, are about to enter a tavern to enlist recruits. The next scene depicts people signing up for the militia. Mr. Berry offers his slave as he is too old to fight.
Mr. Berry also got a bit part in the movie, "We Were Soldiers" which featured Mr. Gibson playing the part of Lt. Colonel Hal Moore. However, the movie was released after 9/11/2001 and unfortunately Mr. Berry's speaking part did not survive the editing process.
Publicity, even if unflattering, has a purpose. If nothing else to show who the people doing the attacking are. It only serves to illustrate what I said about the beast and its desire for power and control. The beast cannot let me win. If I win, why there might be others like me and if they win, the beast will lose control. You can judge for yourself how frightened the beast is. Mr. Clark let it out of the bag. The beast is so terrified that it will lose power and control that it will attempt to change the election laws in this state if I win. Contemplate that and it will tell you how far down the wrong path that we have come and why our society needs to change if it ever hopes to succeed.
Called 2 Action Questionnaire
This is a questionnaire from a group called Called 2 Action. For those who might be familiar, I have already received emails from members of this group informing me how their family has been here since the Revolutionary War and attacking my ancestry and making other equally disparaging remarks. Comments such as these display the arrogance, elitism, religious intolerance, bigotry and desire to create a religions theocracy of their own by some members of this group. Voters can judge for themselves, but here are my responses to their questionnaire.Q:
Do you believe state governments should have the right to limit abortions? Yes or No.A:
I have set forth my position on my website. Please review my website at www.rachelforjustice.com to see what I have written in greater detail. The state supreme court has no authority to overturn Roe v. Wade. As long as Roe remains the law it must be enforced, regardless of my personal thoughts on the decision. If it is overturned, this is a matter for the states to decide whether abortion should be allowed. I am a Catholic, however.Q:
Do you believe America has its foundation in Judeo-Christian ideals? Yes or No.A:
It is a misconception to say that America was founded on Judeo-Christian ideals. Rather, it is more appropriate to state that America was founded on the principles inspired by God and the ideals espoused and articulated by Jesus Christ as a way of forming our government and of our way of life and that these teachings were meant to encompass all people in America and not enshrine a particular view or religion.
This is exemplified by the writings of Thomas Jefferson, for example. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence and one of our founding fathers and had this to say on religion:
"a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion [i.e., Jesus Christ], before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State."
Thomas Jefferson also said "[m]illions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
And finally, Thomas Jefferson stated in regard to a proposed Virginia Act for Religious Freedom, "[w]here the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting the words, 'Jesus Christ...the holy author of our religion,' which was rejected. 'By a great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindoo and the Infidel of every denomination."
The point of these quotes and other writings of Jefferson or other founders is not that these men were hostile to the Christian faith. They were not. However, they had recent experience with religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants in England and they wanted to avoid the cruelties that had been perpetrated on the innocent populace for nothing more than their particular belief in one religion over another. They also strove to create a government for all the people regardless of their religious beliefs, regardless of whether they were a Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Christian or Muslim.Q:
Do you believe that judicial activism is a problem facing our nation? Yes or No.A:
Please review my website at www.rachelforjustice.com to see what I have written in greater detail. In short, words should be given their plain meaning and judges are not free to impose their own agendas or whims on the law. Judges are not legislators. I am opposed to judicial activism whether it comes from the right or the left and I respect the separation of powers.Q:
Do you believe in a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that gives deference to the written word over cultural changes? Yes or No.A:
Federal or state constitutions should be given their plain meaning where possible. If a provision is ambiguous, it may be necessary to resort to legislative history or other documentation to ascribe the proper meaning to the words.Q:
Do you believe there should be a Federal Marriage Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman? Yes or No.A:
All people have the same rights regardless of whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. I would fairly enforce the law as providing for equal rights. I note that religions are free to define marriage in any manner they choose. The state has entered what was once a matter of contract or the province of religion. Since the state has chosen to do so, it must treat all citizens equally.Q:
Absent a Federal Marriage Amendment, do your believe there should be a State Marriage Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman? Yes or No.A:
See answer to number 5.Q:
Do you believe Americans should be able to post the 10 Commandments in schools and courthouses? Yes or No.A:
By displaying the Ten Commandments, a judge is declaring him or herself to be a judicial activist. Americans citizens or private institutions can do as they wish. The simple solution is to end the government monopoly on the school system. However, if the government is to continue running schools, then the government cannot endorse one religion over another. The purpose of schools is to educate the young, not to teach any particular religion.Q:
Do you believe in the phrases "one nation under God" and "In God we Trust" are key ingredients of our national legacy.A:
See my website for greater detail. The first phrase was added during the Cold War as a response to Communists who were atheists but ironically, the pledge was written by someone who was a socialist and opposed to the views that are espoused by Called 2 Action. Regarding the phrases on our currency, it is not for state courts to rule on such matters as per the US Constitution, Article 1, § 8 which provides that Congress shall have the power to "coin money [and] regulate the value thereof."Q:
Do you believe the lawsuits filed by the ACLU restricting religious freedom (i.e. the Mt. Soledad cross) have been good for America? Yes or No.A:
I assume you are referring to the Mt. Soledad Veterans'Memorial in San Diego. The memorial was first owned by the city. When suit by the ACLU prevailed, an attempt to thwart the decision was made by President Bush by transferring the property to the federal government. This has not been the first attempt by the President to intervene; Congress intervened in the Terry Schiavo case. Regardless of feelings on the merits, this is a dangerous precedent and the usurpation of such dictatorial powers shows no regard for the Constitution or the republican form of government. If allowed to stand, this will lead to the downfall of America by paving the way for others, who may not share the beliefs of your group, to do likewise. Now the Mt. Soledad matter is again in litigation and is to be heard by the federal court. As the matter is pending before the court, I express no opinion on the merits of the case.
The questionnaire asks if lawsuits are good for America. Litigation is never good for anyone. But alternatives require a willingness of both parties to reach a mutually agreeable compromise. That has not happened and makes lawsuits inevitable.
Do we have some bad lawyers or litigants who are just out for money? Unfortunately we do. However, that does not mean that all lawyers or litigants are of this ilk. We have lawyers and lawsuits to help people who are injured by dangerous or defective products or medical malpractice. We have lawyers and lawsuits to uphold our precious Constitutional rights against those who would violate them.Q:
Which current U.S. Supreme Court Justice do you admire most? (The reasons for your selection, if you wish to include them, will be posted on our website).A:
Your questionnaire and my responses will be posed on my website as well. In truth, none of the current justices on the US Supreme Court accurately reflect my judicial philosophy. Judicial scholarship departed long ago. And there have been a plethora of decisions which may have been correct at the time but are no longer viewed as such. Examples are Dred Scott (slaves are deemed to be property), Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal), Korematsu v. United States (internment of Japanese during World War II) and the recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London, to name a few. Sometimes they make good decisions and sometimes they are wrong. These decisions have shown that the US Supreme Court is made up of humans who are not infallible. Therefore, I do not seek to emulate any of these individuals.
Rachel Lea Hunter
North Carolina State Lodge Fraternal Order Of Police
Many law enforcement officers have been subjected to disciplinary action, including termination, for speaking out in public about public affairs and communicating about other issues such as officer safety, police equipment, and malfeasance. Some officers are reluctant to attend Fraternal Order of Police meetings for fear of reprisal. Others have been ordered not to become a member of the FOP. Does this appear to be a violation of the right to freedom of speech, assembly or association?A:
The US Constitution, 14th Amendment, applies to the states and provides, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . ." The NC Constitituion § 12 provides that "[t]he people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances; but secret political societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated." Article 1, § 14 also states that "[f]reedom of speech and of the press are two of the great bulwarks of liberty and therefore shall never be restrained, but every person shall be held responsible for their abuse. This would mean in theory that state governmental or municipal governments cannot violate a police officer's rights and that a police officer should enjoy the same rights as other individuals to speak out, assemble or address the government.
Unfortunately, we live in a right to work state and any employer can terminate an employee at will for any reason or no reason, as long as the reason used is not improper, such as the race of an employee. Many employers may be attempted to retaliate and it may be difficult to prove that retaliation was done. In such cases, a police officer must carefully document his case in the event he or she is wrongfully discharged.Q:
Please summarize your experience, either in your practice or on the bench, in the areas of law enforcement liability law, criminal law, employment law and disability law. Please indicate whether any of these cases involved law enforcement officers.A:
I worked for the trial and appellate courts for 12 years. For the past six years, I have been employed in private practice handling appeals in many areas of the law. While I worked for the courts, 1/3-1/2 of the cases were by criminal defendants. To my knowledge, none involved law enforcement officers. I have done appeals involving workers' compensation and employment law; none have involved law enforcement officers. I handle appeals in a variety of areas, real estate, products liability, medical or other malpractice, insurance, family law, juvenile, termination of parental rights etc. Relating to any matters involving law enforcement, if elected, I would handle such appeals fairly and impartially and am not biased either for or against law enforcement officers or their employers.Q:
Please identify one or more judicial decisions that you authored or joined that involved the rights of police officers. Alternatively, in your practice, identify any cases involving any of your work where you have addressed issues of the rights of police officers.A:
None thus far.Q:
Have you or any of your family members worked as a sworn law enforcement officer? If so, where and for how long?A:
Have you ever worked as a district attorney, assistant district attornet, pr a public defender in North Carolina? If so, what types of cases have you primarily litigated.A:
Please provide us your assessment of the current criminal justice system in North Carolina, including the rights of police officers.A:
The criminal justice system, like the court system, is teetering on the verge of collapse. An influx of new citizens moving to our state is good, but more people can mean more crime. Judges, prosecutors and public defenders are over-burdened. Criminal defendants have waited in jail for six years to get a trial transcript and four years in jail awaiting disposition. Convicted defendants are warehoused in jails, often for small crimes or for senseless acts, often for long periods of time because of the drug laws, mandatory minimum sentences or "three-strike" laws. Sexual offenders are now essentially given life sentences in mental institutions even though they have served their sentence.
I am not advocating drug usage, the commission of sex offenses or abrogation of the laws. If properly written and applied, individuals must serve their sentences. However, we, as a society, need to re-think about matters and whether we want to continue the enriching the prison industry by building more jails or whether we want to revise the law.Q:
Federal courts used to hear most constitutional and civil rights cases. What role do you think the state courts should play in the enforcement of civil and constitutional rights of police officers in North Carolina?A:
State courts are the arbiters of state law, federal courts are the arbiters of federal law. Therefore, on matters solely arising under state law, state law would apply and is best determined by the state courts. However, these cases usually involve consideration of whether state law violates some federal provision and in such cases are best left to the federal court.Q:
Summarize your qualifications for the office you seek and your motivation for seeking office.A:
Please visit my website at www.rachelforjustice.com for greater detail.Q:
What are your philosophical views of the constitutional right to privacy, particularly with regard to police officers?A:
The Declaration of Independence provides "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The US Constitution does not contain a right to privacy, but the 10th Amendment states that "[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." The North Carolina Constitution provides in Article 1, § 1, that "[w]e hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness." This means that all people have a right to pursue happiness, in whatever manner they see fit, as long as they are not engaging in criminal behavior or harming another individual. The right to the pursuit of happiness encompasses the right to privacy.Q:
What are your philosophical views of the constitutional rights of due process, particularly with regard to police officers.A:
The US Constitution, 5th Amendment states in relevant part that [n]o person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . ." The 14th amendment to the US Constititution says that states cannot deprive a person of his rights without due process of law, as noted above. In addition, the NC Constitution, Article 1, § 19 holds that "[n]o person shall be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land." That means that no person, whether a police officer or a citizen can be deprived of their life, liberty or property without due process.
The more relevant question is what process is due? It is a flexible concept and may depend on the particular circumstances (a criminal trial, for example, involves more due process than an employee grievance hearing). At a minimum, it requires notice of the charges or accusations and an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.Q:
What experience have you had in capital murder cases? Only in post-conviction matters. These cases, although they involve the possible imposition of the death penalty for an individual convicted of a crime, are no different than any other criminal case. Only the punishment is different, although defendants are generally accorded even greater rights, such as more peremptory challenges to the prospective jurors, for example.A:
Under current state law, law enforcement officers are prohibited from collective bargaining. Does this obstruct our rights to freedom of association?
No, it does not obstruct the freedom to associate. Police officers can associate. They are just not permitted to form a union to enter into collective bargaining agreements with municipalities or the state. The entry of such collective bargaining agreements is against the public policy of this state. If this state wishes to alter its policy, it is free to do so, but such question and the arguments either for or against alteration of this policy are best directed to our legislature.Q:
Please make an abbreviated argument demonstrating why the law enforcement profession should support your candidacy.A:
Please see my website at www.rachelforjustice.com. Police officers can go there, read for themselves and decide whether to support me or not. If groups or individuals wish to support me, they are free to do so, but I seek no endorsements from anyone. My supporters are individuals ranging from all walks of life, from educated professors, doctors and lawyers to ordinary people. I stand for the promotion and protection of everyone's civil liberties, including those of police officers.
Maryland Judicial ElectionsQ:
26 Aug 2006
I thought you might be interested to see the latest developments in judicial elections here in Maryland.
It seems that the incumbent judges have formed a "Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee," and published a set of standards; a code of ethics for the campaign itself. Read it here: http://www.mdjccc.org/standards.html
In what I think is a blatantly manipulative manner, they have asked the candidates challenging them to sign on to this set of standards. The candidates have thus far refused. Read about thist in the Baltimore Examiner:www.examiner.com/a-244114~Judicial_challengers_refuse_to_sign_dignity_standards.html.
While I have not read the "standards" in minute detail, they seem reasonable enough. Of course, you would be subject to criticism because of your use of the nickname "Madame Justice," but other than that the standards seem to protect aspiring judges from misrepresentation by incumbents, as well as vice-versa.
However, I think the very idea of the incumbents offering the standards to be signed by aspirants is a sneaky ploy, a means of elevating themselves to some higher ethical plateau.
I must apologize for not having followed your campaign more closely the past six weeks. How are things progressing?
Gwynn Oak, MD
In answer to your question about my campaign, in sum, we are doing quite well. Not to sound overconfident or egotistical, but I am leading. Ask yourself, why would those in the legal community or those who are Republicans be trying so hard to stop me if I were not ahead? If I was truly a "fruitcake" or one of the other vulgar names they utilize and of no harm, they would not be devoting their efforts into stopping me. They believe I can win. So do I.
Thank you for the articles on the judicial standards. I agree with the challengers and you. This is nothing more than a ploy to benefit incumbents and it is an attempt by those who hold office already to circumvent Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002). Nothing could be more clear than the holding of that decision. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia held "[t]he Minnesota Supreme Court's canon of judicial conduct prohibiting candidates for judicial election from announcing their views on disputed legal and political issues violates the First Amendment." In his concurrence, Justice Kennedy stated "[e]ven the undoubted interest of the State in the excellence of its judiciary does not allow it to restrain candidate speech by reason of its content. Minnesota's attempt to regulate campaign speech is impermissible."
Regarding my nickname, I have articulated what is behind this on my website and in the responses to the bar complaints. In a nutshell, this name was inspired by a female justice, but the name was created and used by me long before I had any intention of becoming a candidate or thought about running for office. The name has nothing to do with my qualifications for office. It was created for an internet persona that I used; the name could would be apropos for either a dominatratrix or a costumed-crime fighting character from the comic books. It also was apt because of my passion for "doing justice." I used the nickname in this campaign, not because citizens think I am a judge or that I can deliver special favors to them but as way of identifying myself to them and having them know who I am. That has succeeded. People know that I am "Madame Justice."
NC POLICY QUESTIONNAIRE AND ANSWERS
I recently received a questionnaire from the NC Family Policy Council. My answers are here to assist you in deciding who I am and whether you can vote for me. My answers should not be interpreted as demeaning or ridiculing any religion practiced by individuals. Nor am I against the family unit or anti-family. Rather, the answers are set forth to assist you in reaching your own conclusion about me, not what others say.
Jesus Christ commanded us to "love one another" and to do unto others as you would have done to yourself. If you truly followed this directive, always ask yourself, "what would love do?" in any given situation or question. In answering this question, you will find many of the true answers to the questions that were asked on the NC Family Policy Council questionnaire.
Ask yourself whether this questionnaire is geared towards the promotion of religious intolerance, hatred of homosexuals and a desire to use the power of the state to force you who do not share their views to live your life according to their morals and tenets or whether it is what we would do if we truly loved one another as human beings and sought to do to others what we would have done to ourselves.
VIEW QUESTIONNAIRE PDF HERE
GET FREE ADOBE PDF READER HEREA:
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Which of the current justice of the United States Supreme Court most closely reflects your judicial philosophy? In truth, none of the current justices on the US Supreme Court accurately reflect my judicial philosophy. Judicial scholarship departed long ago. And there have been a plethora of decisions which may have been correct at the time but are no longer viewed as such. Examples are Dred Scott (slaves are deemed to be property), Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal), Korematsu v. United States (internment of Japanese during World War II) and the recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London (private property can be taken by a governmental entity and given to private developers under the eminent domain law), to name a few. These decisions have shown that the US Supreme Court is made up of humans who are not infallible. Therefore, I do not seek to emulate any of these individuals. Regarding my judicial philosophy, I have expressed this repeatedly at my website at www.rachelforjustice.com. Please review my website to see what I have written in greater detail. In short, words should be given their plain meaning and judges are not free to impose their own agendas or whims on the law. Judges are not legislators. I am opposed to judicial activism whether it comes from the right or the left and I respect the separation of powers.
2. On a scale of 1-10, please rate your constitutional judicial philosophy, with a "living document" approach being a "1" and a "strict constitutionalist" or "originalist" approach being a "10". See answer to number 1.
3. Do you believe that a judge has the right to display the Ten Commandments in his or her courtroom? By displaying the Ten Commandments, a judge is declaring him or herself to be a judicial activist.
4. In Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), the United States Supreme Court recognized a right to homosexual relations under the United States Constitution. Do you agree with the Lawrence decision, which recognizes a right to homosexual relationships? All people have the same rights regardless of whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. I would fairly enforce the law as providing for equal rights.
5. In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the United States Supreme Court recognized a right to abortion under the United States Constitution. Do you agree with the Roe decision, which recognizes a constitutional right to abortion? I have set forth my position on my website. Please review my website at www.rachelforjustice.com to see what I have written in greater detail. The state supreme court has no authority to overturn Roe v. Wade. As long as Roe remains the law it must be enforced, regardless of my personal thoughts on the decision. If it is overturned, this is a matter for the states to decide whether abortion should be allowed. I am a Catholic, however.
6. In Lofton v. Dept. of Children & Family Service, 358 F.3d 804 ((11th Cir. 2004), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the State of Florida's position that individuals who "engage in current, voluntary homosexual activity" do not have the right to adopt children under the United States Constitution. Do you agree with the Lofton decision, which recognizes that individuals engaged in current, voluntary homosexual activity do not have a constitutional right to adopt children? See answer to number 4.
7. In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), the United States Supreme Court ruled that a student-initiated, student-led invocation over the loudspeakers before a public high school football game was unconstitutional. Do you agree with the Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe decision, which recognizes that student-initiated, student-led invocations prior to a public high school football game violate the United States Constitution? The state supreme court has no authority to overturn this case. As long as Santa Fe remains the law it must be enforced, regardless of my personal thoughts on the decision.
8. In Kelo v. City of New London, 126 S.Ct. 2655 (2005), the United States Supreme Court ruled that a governmental entity's use of eminent domain powers to take private property for economic development purposes did not violate the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Do you agree with the Kelo decision, which recognizes that governmental entities can constitutionally take private property for economic development? Kelo is almost universally criticized by everyone. However, why are the citizens not more concerned with decisions of North Carolina? In Dept. of Transportation (DoT) v. Rowe, 353 N.C. 671 (2001), the NC Supreme Court held that DoT could condemn eleven acres of the property owner's land without paying any compensation because it determined that the benefits of the roadway which would be built would outweigh the costs of the taking. Thus, no compensation was due. In Westminster Homes v. Town of Cary, 354 N.C. 298 (2000), the NC Supreme Court held that a developer could not install gates in a buffer zone to allow the property owners to access a portion of their property. As the dissent concluded, the effect of this decision is to deprive the home owners of a portion of their property without any compensation.
Why are these decisions, in which my opponent participated and in which he joined the majority, not more thoroughly discussed?
11 July 2006
Where is that good music you had on your website? I liked to listen to it at work from time to time.
Bernard P. brauer, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dear Mr. Brauer,
Sorry to disappoint you! We have upgraded the site and found a new webmaster and we decided to dispense with the music.
I hope that the lack of music will not keep you from visiting the site.
29 Jun 2006
Just got your email about being on Greg's show, that is awesome and I can't wait to hear you. Greg is really good, I like his style, plus he's from Illinois! ;) Congratulations on you being in the stages of having your own show on RBN.
John Stadtmiller is a fine man, I remember listening to him on Shortwave ages ago. Good luck on your future radio endeavors! Everything is "as usual" around here. Been fighting some health problems, but hopefully am getting on the right track. Something must be working, a cop stopped me while I was bicycling, I had my hat and shades on (beard shaved off, it's Summer!) and the cop thought I was "some new kid in town", when I pulled off the shades, he said, "Jimmie"? It felt good to be a kid again, if only for a minute, it was hilarious.
Been fighting the utility company again, they say my little house uses $700.00 worth of electric a month. As you know, I take care of my 86 year old mother, I have a letter from the doctor stating they would be putting her life in jeopardy if they shut her electric off. Well the electric company says it does not make a difference, come Friday they will turn the electric off if we don't come up with $436.00. I am going to the bank as soon as it opens. If I don't get a small loan, I don't know what to do. Is a letter from the doctor sufficient to keep them from turning it off? I know this is pressure to shut my site down. I can't even get the utility company to come check the meter out.
Here's something unique, on Christmas 2005, a woman and her mate of 17 years were fighting, their 11 year old son seen a naked woman in the couple's house. Naturally the female (the mate) was upset. She picked up a figurine of some sort and meant to throw it at the wall and it hit the man (he deserved it, the cheating scumbag) the son got scared and called the cops. The woman was arrested for domestic battery, and spent Christmas in jail. The case just now, on Friday will go to trial. What ever happened to the Right of a speedy trial. It seems to me she could motion for the case to be dismissed because her Right to a speedy trial was denied. What can this woman do? I begged her to not plead guilty, because it was an accident, a "bullseye" but an accident just the same. The male didn't press charges, the Attorney General is pushing this. This woman is scared to death. She's barely making it as a single Mom now, working and going to college, plus raising a son. Community Service would shatter this woman. I'm really worried about her.
Any advice to pass along? Her Public Defender is a real loser, I went to school with him.
I don't know how he passed the Bar Exam (except his daddy was a doctor??) Any advice for this woman???
I'll be listening to Greg's show, I can't wait! You are the most intelligent woman I know, and I love the fight in you. I'm proud of you, you are making a difference! Rattle their cages, Rachel!!!! May God bless You!
A Student of Liberty,
Sorry to hear of your continued struggles. All utility companies are regulated by the state. Check with the utilities commission in your state. There has to be one, but the may call it by different names than they do here. They have a division regulating electric use and they have a consumer advocate who should be able to answer most questions. File a complaint. The utility company may not listen to you, but they will listen to the state, which can affect their business.
Most utilities have a hardship program of some type for people whose lives will be threatened without electric. Something is very wrong if your bill is $700 per month. You can’t be using that much electric. A letter to someone in charge at the electric company (check their website – investor relations or company executive biographies). See who is in charge of operations or collections/billing or consumer affairs and send them a letter. Explain the problem, what you have done to address it and state what you would like them to do (check out my meter or account). Ask what hardship programs are available. Be polite and don’t rail against the injustices in the system or them trying to shut you down. Even if true, they don’t want to hear it and it is not directly related to the immediate problem of why the bill is so high.
Here is a sample letter:
President & CEO
Electric Power Co.
One River Plaza
701 East Main Street
Yourtown, Illinois 66666-0000
Re: Dispute of Charges for James Vaughn
Account No: xxxxxx
Property Location: 123 Mockingbird Lane, Yourtown, NC 66666
Dear Mr. X:
I am contacting you regarding the above matter. I experienced abnormally high bills for quite some time. It appears that part of the problem is attributable to a faulty meter. I do not believe that I should be held responsible for any errors caused by the malfunctioning meter.
Given my financial circumstances, I cannot afford a bill of this magnitude and should be placed on a budget plan. I attempted to pay $400.00 per month. Despite my payments, my bills have remained high and have once again been threatened with termination of his electrical service. I have been given until [date] to remit payment and will attempt to remit payment by that date.
In addition, I care for my 86 year old mother who resides with me. Her advanced age and condition are such that the termination of electricity will be life-threatening as evidenced by the letter form her physician, a copy of which is enclosed. Please contact Mrs. Vaughn’s physicians if you wish to verify the continued nature of her condition. I thus ask that Electric Power Co. permit me to be placed on its life support plan/plan to enable me to care for his mother.
Please review mys account. To the extent that I have been improperly charged for electrical service, I ask that you adjust his account. In the event that a large balance continues to be due and owing, I request that Electric Power Co. permit me to make payments on the account in a manner that is consistent with my financial means. If there are any programs or grants for which I am eligible, kindly apprise me of this information so that I can apply for benefits thereunder. I also ask that Electric Power Co. refrain from terminating his electrical service because of my mother’s condition and age. Finally, I ask that the Illinois Utilities Commission commence an independent investigation into this matter.
Please apprise me of the results of your investigation. Any further correspondence should be sent directly to me at 123 Mockingbird Lane, Yourtown, IL 66666-0000. I would appreciate a response within thirty (30) days of the date of this letter, or as soon as possible. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Regarding your second matter, I am concerned that domestic violence laws have become a sword rather than a shield and they have been the subject of much abuse. Real domestic violence occurs and should be punished but it is lost in the cases of people using this to gain advantage in a divorce case.
As for speedy trial rights, defendants have them but they must assert them. Frequently they do not and some even use the system for the purpose of delay. Delay usually works to their advantage, not their disadvantage. However, defendants do have rights under the US Supreme Court case in Barker v. Wingo. You will have to advise her to check the rules/laws in your state regarding this as each state is different and I am not admitted in Illinois, so I can’t give you specifics.
Most public defenders are overworked and underpaid. It is not in anyone’s interest to try this case. Community service is not so bad (my brother was a church group leader and did this as probation; he is now a partner at a law firm). Suggest something like working with battered women and seeing if the charges can be reduced to a lesser offense. Admit only that she threw the figurine at her husband because she was upset over his cheating and having his girlfriend in the house and she did not have a chance to cool off. Say she regrets her decision and will not do it again. With no prior record, she should receive no jail time. See if there is a first-time offender program. Sometimes, DA’s have such a program and will agree that, if the person pays their fines and does some community service and keeps out of trouble, they will dismiss the charges and not prosecute. Watch out – sometimes DA’s set people up by imposing conditions that they know a person cannot achieve only to get them later.
Finally, see if she can find a lawyer to do work pro bono (for free) or at a reduced rate to avoid the public defender. With a decent lawyer, she should be able to get a good deal and avoid jail time.
28 Jun 2006
From: Keith Price
RE: Rachel Will Be A guest On Thursday's "The Investigative Journal" Airing On The Republic Broadcasting Network
Thank you for your campaign updates. Would you be able to attend our County's Democrat Constitution Day Breakfast on September 16?
Dear Mr. Price,
I see September 16th is a Saturday and it looks like that day is free. Where will the event be held? I would love to come.
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2006
Please explain to me why you have adopted the moniker, "Madame Justice", and why you would want that on the ballot. Is it a ploy to win supporters who want a judge who is tough on crime, or is there something that makes you superior to other proponents of Justice that would qualify the title? Also, please share with me your thoughts on Justice vs. Mercy.
I have explained repeatedly. The name was inspired by, but has nothing to do with, a justice or a judge. The name was made up by me in 1998 when I was active on the internet. I used the name as a screen persona or identity. I envisioned, when I created the name, a female dominatrix or costumed crime-fighting character from the comic books.
At the time, I was working for the appellate court. The fundamental aspect of the job, as I saw it, was to do justice to the litigants, so the name was doubly apt.
The nickname is not a "ploy" and has nothing to do with toughness on crime. The nickname is used on the website only so that voters can associate something catchy with me. They may not remember my name, but they will remember the nickname and associate it with me.
I have explained my positions at length on various subjects. In short, if elected, the task is to dispense justice to the litigants consistent with our federal and state constitutions, the statutory law and the common law as it has evolved here. Sometimes justice means upholding the laws; sometimes it means striking them down. It means enforcing the constitutional rights accorded to accused individuals or correcting an erroneous sentence. It means giving litigants fair trials.
Why am I superior? I came across a decision today that illustrates the matter. Earlier this year, in an opinion authored by then Chief Justice Lake and joined by five others, he ruled that it was ok for a defendant to wait six years for a trial transcript. Justice Brady wrote the dissent and said that this was too long.
My opponent seems to believe that this kind of delay is permissible. I agree with Justice Brady. Justice delayed is justice denied. This will not happen on my watch.
Regarding justice versus mercy, they are different concepts, but not mutually exclusive. Justice involves giving a person all to which they are entitled. Thus, a person may be accorded a perfectly fair trial and receive justice. Mercy is in not imposing the punishment that they deserve or that the law would allow, such as where as judge lets off a first time offender, perhaps.
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006
Re: Doctor Anderson, Bob Barr, Rachel
Go After Both Parties Over Duke Case
Is it appropriate for a judicial candidate to make such statements about an on-going criminal case (Duke U. rape case)? I think not. We should all wait for the final outcome before we pass judgment. However, I must say that in my 33 years experience as a college professor, I have never heard of an off-campus drinking party for college students that broke up before 1 am.
Perhaps something happened that should not have.
Dear Professor Henkel:
I have not commented on the merits of the case and have not been privy to any evidence except what is known publicly in the media. I have made it clear that if the perpetrators are guilty they should be punished and if innocent they should be exonerated. I have made no comment on the behavior of the accuser and I have deplored those who seek to denigrate her merely because of her chosen course of employment. I equally deplore attempts to attack the accuseds, but I disagree with the characterization of them as boys (they are young men, not boys) or the prosecutor (references have been made to him as the Durham Dirtbag).
What I have commented on is the BEHAVIOR of the prosecutor. At the outset, he should have said these are serious allegations and that he is taking them seriously and will see where the evidence leads and prosecute if warranted. He did not do this.
He seemed to be trying his case in the media solely for electoral benefits as he ran in the primary. Now that he won, he has not been heard from. I have only said what many others have already said - that it appears that he was seeking election points, not to do justice to both the accused, who have the constitutional right to a fair and impartial trial, and the victim.
While you are entitled to your view, the US Supreme Court has made it clear that judicial candidates do not forfeit their constitutional right to speak out merely by running for office. Many judges still adhere to the method of running on their record and résumé. They may do so, but it tells the voter absolutely nothing about a candidate. I have chosen not to do so in an attempt to educate the public. The public can make up its own mind.
If I am elected and if the accused individuals are convicted and the parties do not think I could fairly hear the issues, of course I would recuse myself. Recusal, not silence and the forfeiture of my constitutional rights to speak, would be the appropriate remedy.
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006From: Ruri Negrete
Re: Alt media... review looked promising...
Thank you for your response:
I am christian and an independent conservative and I understand that in this culture war... war of world views most would think there are two main camps competeing in the world of ideas. What you percieve as threat of turning this nation into taliban state of intolorance, is very far from reality let me briefly explain; "Compassionate Conservatism", "Faith Based Initiative" is really cloaked progressive ideology, a subterfuge if you will. This is the Right's version of dialectical stratagem. "The Third Way, Communitarianism- which is the final phase, (synthesis) of Marx-Hegelian induced socialism,( when all opposing forces finally reach consensus.) Communitarians redefine values to mean selfless community service or "volunteer" obligated to a central collective. This is what Hilary Rodham Clinton (proponent of another communitarian stratagem 'Politics of Meaning") meant in her book "It Takes A Village" With the emphasis on community... the political stratagem of the Right's social interest ...the church is being used as a social tool for change, progressive change that is...... in this movement, it is imperative that unbelievers be brought into the church (and remain nominal or unbelievers) otherwise, the process of continual change (progress) cannot begin. There must be an anti-thesis ( unbelievers) present to oppose the thesis (believers), in order to move towards consensus (compromise) and move believers away from their moral absolutism (resistance to change) . If all members of the church stand firm on their convictions, with their doctrines and traditions, then the church cannot and will not change. So you see Left- Right polity is just a Dialectical Play that follows the same continuum under a different label set forth by their dialectical managers, (think tanks) We only have an illusion of democracy.A:
Dear Mr. Negrete:
I understand your reasoning. Distilled to its simplest form, you are suggesting that the President's version of Republicanism is really no different than that of the left.
If that is the case, then there really isn't any difference between the two parties after all. They both want to control your behavior; the left wants to spend on its government entitlements and the Republicans want to spend on big corporations and the military-industrial complex. In between, we the people get squeezed out of hard-earned money that belongs to us, not the government.
By the way, I too am a person of faith. I believe that each of us is free to worship as we please, but I do not believe in forcing my personal religious views on anyone. That is what I mean by intolerance. I am opposed to the mindset that dictates that I must worship and believe as they do or else. It cannot be forced on another person; they either believe or they don't.
But I also think that we do have an obligation to care for the elderly, the sick and the children. We have an obligation to be good stewards of the land, air and sea; we can use these assets, but we have to use the assets wisely to pass them on to the next generation. I think there are ways to achieve those goals, but the misguided policies of our federal government has wasted and in some cases thwarted them.
Alternative media had a very positve review of your candidacy, it looked very promising then.........
What do you mean by religious intolorance? you've subcummed to the Neo Marxist politics of "Critical Theory" i.e. Intolorant Political Correctness Real Progressive? and would not legislate from the bench?
A strict contitutionalist and progressive? if you are a strict contitutionalist you would not progress... a complete contrdiction, if you are a real progressive that make you part of the Left-Right dialectical play, you can not be bought off... they would'nt need to, being progressive make you part of the dialectical synthesis. It sure is becoming harder to point out the enemy within.A:
1. What do you mean by religious intolerance? I have not succumbed to anything. There is a behavior or an attitude that I have encountered among people in that they seek to use the power of the state to control behavior by you and they do it in the name of their particular religion. They think that if allowed to do so, humans will create a particular vision's version of utopia.
An example is the 19th amendment to the US Constitution which prohibited alcohol consumption. I am not advocating that we become a nation of alcoholics, but if I want to enjoy a glass of wine in my own home and not harm anyone, why should another individual care? Slavery is another example. People who supported it no doubt that they were God-fearing Christians who were correct. We also see it during the Crusades in the behavior of the Crusaders who engaged in conduct that certainly was not Christian. I am referring to this behavior and we see it exhibited against homosexuals and illegal aliens right now for example.
2. Independence Day is coming! I read some good articles today which discussed the Progressives and Conservatives and some of the evils engendered by each. As humans, we like to pigeon-hole and classify our fellow man. I am having a difficult time labeling myself and like most people, I fall within the middle ground. I did not say I was a "strict constructionist" of the Constitution. Perhaps I am a "classical" liberal in the sense of Thomas Jefferson. The term Constitutionalist best describes me and people can decide to ascribe meaning to the term.
3. The enemy is the "beast" I mentioned. It is easy to recognize those supported by the beast and those who are not.
I am currently working on a research paper for my American government class and work for a local law firm in Raleigh, NC. I am seeking my BA in political science. I was hoping that you would oblige me by answering some questions that I may use for my research paper. I chose to do my research paper on the judicial race for NC Supreme Court . I know that you are running against Mark Martin. I only know what I have read on both of your campaign websites. Otherwise, I am pretty clueless to the whole campaign thing :-) Anyways, I know there are many restrictions placed on questions you can ask someone running for a judicial seat so I hope these questions are proper.
1. Describe some changes you would like to see made in the NC Supreme Court, such as types of cases considered, with respect to opinions, and/or the way the court operates.
2. What do you believe would be your most important contribution to the court?
3. What elements in your training, background and experience have prepared you to deal with each aspect of this court's jurisdiction?
4. Describe the most challenging ethical dilemma you have encountered. How did you handle it?
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a wonderful day.
1. Describe some changes you would like to see made in the NC Supreme Court, such as types of cases considered, with respect to opinions, and/or the way the court operates. I cannot comment too much on this issue as it might touch upon how I would decide a particular case and I do not want to have to recuse myself for stating a position. Some things that I have noticed are as follows:
a. Whenever I go to research an issue for appeal, I am frequently confronted by a dearth of authority in this state. The Supreme Court handles about 1,000 cases per year, the Court of Appeals, about 3,000. While there are advantages in controlling its docket, there are a lot of issues that cry out for more published cases. And I have noticed conflicts in Court of Appeals decisions and other errors that need to be corrected. Where the proper case arises, I would like to see more issues addressed by our Court so that it can offer instruction to the bench and bar.
b. We have some archaic laws that are a throwback to a different era. I would like to see our law modernized where it is warranted.
c. Other than this, I have no agenda or bug-a-boos about certain cases other than to fairly and impartially apply the law to all parties who come before the Court.
2. What do you believe would be your most important contribution to the court?
a. I would not be a "judicial activist" and make up law as I see fit. This has occurred in some cases. I would not be an activist and would respect the separation of powers and leave it to the legislature to legislate.
b. We have a two-tiered system of justice in this country. People like Dick Cheney or Patrick Kennedy get one brand of justice; if you are poor, you get another. I would like to equally apply justice to all people, regardless of their wealth or power or to reach the "right" result.
c. We have seen several instances in this state where prosecutors have not disclosed evidence. They have not been punished for their conduct. I have not seen the evidence against them and perhaps the result was correct. However, this behavior cannot be tolerated. Prosecutors are supposed to do justice, not just get convictions at whatever the cost, even if it means hiding evidence or trying a case to make political points at election time. I would scrutinize this behavior carefully and allow for appropriate remedies where misconduct occurs.
3. What elements in your training, background and experience have prepared you to
deal with each aspect of this court's jurisdiction? Before moving to North Carolina, I worked for the trial court and intermediate appellate court for 12 years. I saw judges firsthand and worked intimately with them, so I know how the courts and judges operate.
Since I have been in North Carolina, I am in private practice and have handled appeals in a variety of areas. Being in private practice enables me to see things from the attorneys' perspective. For example, some of the appellate rules were recently revised, however, they are less than a model of clarity to attorneys and the litigants. This needs to be corrected. If the Court is going to follow a strict adherence to the requirements, the appellate rules should be absolutely clear as to what is expected.
Because of the nature of appellate work, I have a broad understanding of many areas of the law. While specialization may help the practitioner, having diverse experience is of benefit in issuing an opinion because a judge does not have the luxury of handling one particular type of case on appeal. I have seen judges who were in criminal practice before assuming the bench that have no understanding of the civil law, for example, and they make mistakes.
4. Describe the most challenging ethical dilemma you have encountered. How did you handle it?
I have handled three different types of cases, all of them criminal, which especially stand out. Each presented its own unique issues, but they are worth discussing.
a. I handled the first "driving while black" case - the defendant was stopped for no other reason by the police than because of his race. On appeal, he challenged the introduction of certain evidence that was derived from his arrest. The evidence should have been suppressed because the stop was unlawful from the beginning and the police lied about it. It is wrong simply to stop anyone because of race, absent any other criminal conduct or suspicion of the same. For example, an obstetrician driving a Mercedes Benz at 2:00 am quickly to assist in delivering a baby that is about to be born should not be stopped solely because he also happens to be African American and fits, in the eyes of the police, a "drug-courier" profile.
b. I had one of the early DNA cases - a victim had been sexually assaulted. She had plenty of opportunity to view the young man and she picked the defendant from a lineup. She was so convinced that he had done the crime and her testimony was very persuasive. The defendant had been asking for DNA testing from the beginning, but for some reason it was not done. He renewed his request on appeal. I suggested to the judge that the case be remanded to allow for such testing and he agreed. The case was remanded and testing was done. The testing was not inculpatory or inconclusive as I thought; it exculpated him of the crime. That young man spent several years of his life in jail for a crime he did not commit. It does no one, not society, not the victim and certainly not the accused, any good to convict the wrong person. DNA testing should be routine, especially in cases where a crime involving sex is alleged.
c. There are two murder cases that I worked on; one involved a young man whose attorney was ineffective, another concerned blatant misconduct by the police and the failure to give the defendant his Miranda rights.
(1) In the case involving ineffectiveness of counsel, the young man had brutally murdered a girl who was his friend. He was one of the few cases I have seen where he had a viable insanity defense as he had documented mental problems. His having an episode is what led to the girl's death. His mental problems do not excuse the crime that he committed and I do not suggest that. His attorney, instead of using a bona fide insanity defense, used a defense that was not recognized in the law and he played a "Clockwork Orange" to the jury. The young man was accused of wearing his "Clockwork Orange" tee-shirt at the time he committed the crime. The film depicted young people committing horrible violent crimes and this young man was on trial for committing a horrible murder. On appeal, the young man challenged his conviction on the ground that counsel was ineffective. I suggested to the judge that the matter be re-tried because the attorney did not use a valid insanity claim for a defense of "irresistible impulse" that was expressly rejected by the law. The case got a great deal of publicity and there was a great hue and cry from the public. The decision might have been unpopular, but it was the right thing to do under our system of laws.
(2) The second case involved another young woman that was murdered. The police suspected that the defendant had done it. They interrogated him over several days and suggested to him that he put himself in the shoes of the murderer. The defendant believed he was "psychic" and soon the words "the killer did it" became "I did it." The defendant was never read his Miranda rights until after he confessed to the crime. Again, I recommended to the judge that the earlier confessions be suppressed because the police conduct really was over the line. The defendant eventually plead guilty, so justice was served.
One can think I am a "bleeding heart" liberal by mentioning these cases. In reality, I worked on over 500 appeals and many of them resulted in an affirmance of the sentence, so this attempt to label me as such is incorrect. Others may say that murders or drunks were set free on a technicality. That is the system we have in America. We do not have a police state yet; it is better that a guilty man go free than an innocent man be convicted.
The public may not like the above results or may say negative things about me in an attempt to preserve their own power. Regardless of what is said, I am proud of the fact that I had the wisdom and the fortitude to do what was right and stand up for the peoples' rights under the Constitution when confronted with the question. How many of my critics can say that?
Best wishes with your schooling,
Thanks for keeping up the great fight, I know you will be successful in the election. Seems like they are ganging up on you, which is a good sign--you are making them fight and have them shaking in their boots. I am so very proud of you!
Rachel, you are not going to believe this, but I actually have a stalker, it's a female. I don't think she's emotionally stable to be honest about it. She called my home at 12:05 this morning, and left a message on my answering machine accusing me of "knowing what I did" if that makes any sense. I didn't answer, I let her leave the message. Five minutes after that, her sister from Chicago calls me, and asked me why I upset her sister so much. I asked "how" and "why are you asking me these questions". Her sister said "she had connections with Law Enforcement Officials Who Could Make My Life Hell", I don't know where she is going with this, but now she claims "I stopped her from using Yahoo Messenger" (I know, but please bare with me). I don't know if she's accusing me of going into her apartment, or hacking (which I don't know how to do). She repeats the phrase, "you'll pay" constantly.
I do not know if this woman is working for someone to do this, or she's just a lunatic. But I need to protect myself from her accusations. She works in a clinic of all places and is 35, has a son who's 12, I think she lived with a guy from age 17 until last Christmas, he's 20 years her senior and is retired from the State Police. The whole situation stinks to high heavens. Do I need an Order of Protection, or what do I do to defend myself? She has an aggravated battery charge against her as we speak from striking her ex-live in. It hasn't went before a judge yet.
She's a beautiful lady, a tiny lady, and when I first met her, I thought this lady was "it"! She has turned out to be a pathological liar, she smokes marijuana frequently, and can put away the Heineken. I don't use drugs, I'll have an occasional beer and that's it. That's some of many reasons I avoid her. Now she is trying to say I somehow have stopped her from using Yahoo Messenger(???). She has put up another ad on a singles page. Listen to what she wants. "looking for someone who likes to get out and do things with. I'm needing a guy who is tall, with some muscle and strong arms ( to hold me with silly )". "First Date: "It's my secret................" I happen to be 6'3 and kind of lean, even my friends say she's looking for someone to cause me bodily harm (I know, "Bring 'em on"!). I told her sister she had this ad, and she denied it existed. I am aware she is undergoing Psychiatric Therapy on an out patient basis.
Rachel, I know how these local cops like the women (it's probably the same everywhere) and I just am asking for some options for protecting myself against her strange allegations. I am a political enemy of this town's current administration, and this would be all they need to bury me in having any hopes of saving this town by becoming it's next Mayor, and giving the town back to the people. The establishment will eat me alive on this., If I don't stop it from happening.
My problem is alibi related, I am unmarried and am sole caregiver for my 86 year old mother, so she's the only witness I would have saying I had been home all night. When I don't sleep I'm updating my web site or fulfilling banner orders. So I am in a catch 22 situation.
Rachel, what are my rights, and how can I protect myself? Any advice greatly appreciated. What does it take to get an Order of Protection from The Court? I am aware I do not have to speak to anyone but a Judge, in case the local cops pick me up for questioning (three cops harass me, is why I'm leary) I have no criminal record whatsoever. Could you please give me some options. This woman is capable of anything, so I need to be prepared for anything.
I love what you stand for, and I wish I was in the same State to help out your campaign, keep up the great fight for Liberty and Justice! You are one of my favorite people in the world! Thank You for being You!
A Student of Liberty,
Thanks for your support and encouragement. Yes, I do have them terrified that I might actually win and that is why they are pulling out all the stops to see that does not happen. That is why I am taking my case, so to speak, to the little people and doing an end run around the mainstream media and the people in control.
As for your problem, I am not licensed in Illinois and don't know the specific laws there. North Carolina has a civil no-contact statute that people can file for on their own. People who file, if successful, can get a court order for 1 year, but the order can be made permanent.
If you dated this woman, Illinois probably has a domestic violence law. She has not engaged in domestic violence, so I am not sure if just dating would qualify. However, you should review their law. If it does not apply, see if Illinois has the civil no-contact order like North Carolina. Yes, police and judges are often biased in favor of women, but usually the woman files for it. Real domestic abuse does happen and I am sorry that women who file false charges have abused the system because it makes it harder to ferret out the real abuse. However, be the first to file if you can.
Illinois probably has statutes against harassment or stalking or even cyber-stalking. Check out your crimes code or talk to a law enforcement officer (a friendly one; I know you are leery of police; if that fails, see if a trusted friend can do it) as they would know. You do have evidence - its called a recorded conversation. Illinois seems to require that all parties' consent. Do not record her conversations, but keep a log of her telephone calls. If she leaves a message on your answering machine, save it. People who talk to answering machines obviously consent to having their message recorded. If you answer and she is there, take down notes of your conversation with her and record time of call, date and what was said.
When you have say three or more phone calls (you want enough to establish a pattern), see if charges can be filed against her for violating Illinois criminal law against harassment or stalking. Perhaps the police can tap your phone and record the conversation. If none of these ideas sound appealing, change your number to an unlisted number.
If she is getting therapy, she probably is mentally ill and most likely harmless. However, there are individuals that do engage in harm. If you are really afraid of this, get yourself some personal protection. Dogs are great. Guns are better (better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 as a friend tells me!). Some people do not like guns, so if you are afraid to have one for your personal safety and are afraid to use it, then find less lethal means. Pepper spray? A taser gun? You want something that will buy you time to get away, get safe and call the police.
Keep a cell phone handy, so you can barricade yourself in a room and call 9-1-1 if someone breaks in and means to do you harm. Be alert and confident if out in public. Avoid bad places or being alone at night. No system is absolutely foolproof and if someone means to do you harm, they can and will. However, you do not have to make it easy for them and it is unlikely that she will hire a true professional to do you harm.
Mail: Postmark from Asheville NC May 23 , No returned Address noted!
Dated May 23, 2006
Dear Ms. Hunter,
As a democrat of many years, who by and large agrees with much of your plaform, I do take issue with your " explanation" of your of Dean Smith name on your web site. When you put something in quotation marks, you are creating a quote. When you follow that quote with someone's name, you attributing that quote to that named person. To pretend otherwise under the guise of the quote being a paragraph heading is nonsense, It is also dishonest. You wer caught being dishonest on your web site and instead of having the courage and integrity to admit you made a mistake, you further compound it with more dishonest gobbledy-gook. A ten year old would know better than that.
While I agree with your platform, your sense of personal integrity and ethics are sadly lacking from what I have seen, and those are overriding considerations in choosig a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court.
I believe our state deserves better in its justices and will work to see it gets the justices it deserves.
A citizen of North CarolinaA:
Dear Citizen of North Carolina:You say that you agree with much of my platform but find my dishonesty troubling. What do you know of anyone else's? Do they take money from lobbyists or special interests? What about state financing? I have explained why I do not as it is presently situated. And their financial situation calls into question their ethics and honesty more so than a statement by me about a sports person. However, I suggest that if you are so troubled by honesty and ethics, qualities which are so lacking in many of our politicians, that you examine their campaigns with the same detail as you have mine. When you have done so, then vote for whomever you wish.
Benjamin Franklin knew how to tell a story that had a moral without giving offense. I am certainly not a Benjamin Franklin nor do I pretend to be. However, I will make an attempt and offer the following story:
A married woman caught her husband having an affair with a neighbor. She was upset about it and his attempts or excuses did not appease her. She really wanted to get even with him. One day, she decided she would really get even with him and decided to sleep with the neighbor's husband and to make sure her husband knew about it. Boy, did she really get even! As expected, her husband caught her and the parties ended up in divorce court. However, at divorce time, she did not get the settlement that she thought she deserved.
Why? She had caught her husband engaging in marital misconduct, or so she thought. You see, her own instance of marital misconduct cancelled out her husband's marital misconduct. Yes, she really did get even with her husband. And in the process she screwed only herself.
Your e-mail said Dean Smith Supports Madame Justice.
Emails are not legal documents. You are, I think, mistaken about there being no presumptions about headings not being binding as you assert; I believe the presumption is exactly the opposite, which is why lawyers write boilerplate that excludes headings form consideration in contractual interpretation.
But, how can you take such a technical approach when the clear inference is that Dean Smith supports you in your campaign for the NC Supreme Court? Your e-mail gave me the impression he was endorsing you and I'm on your side. You even had your picture taken with him and put it in context of your running for office.
Does Dean Smith endorse you as a candidate or not?
Your latest e-mail pulls back from the assertion that he does. Whatup w'dat?Perhaps your shouldn't be so inflexible. An apology can go a long way.It takes character to make a sincere apology.
And, don't shoot the messenger. George Bush did apologize for making mistakes about intelligence on Iraq, but I don't think you make much hay by blaming his failings for doing something questionable in the course of your campaign.
It just sounds like sour grapes. Don't be like that. It does you no credit.
The headline said that, not the email. I never said that the email was a legal document. You do understand the concept of analogy? I said putting a header on an email statement was akin to putting a header in a legal document. The purpose of headers is to grab one's attention, whether they are in a document or in the newspaper. They are not the statement itself but an invitation to read more.
I've had my picture taken with many people. I put some on my website, especially if they are public figures and well known. I could put on pictures of me with a neighbor and the like, but no one knows who they are. People know who Dean Smith is and can say "Wow! She met Dean Smith" or "Look, she met Dean Smith and she gets around."
The website was revised earlier this week and any misunderstanding has been corrected. Dean Smith has not endorsed me. I have not asked for his or anyone's endorsement. I have lent support to those who have asked or those who I have believed in. I have no idea of who Dean Smith will vote for and he can vote or support or endorse whoever he wants to.
When I believe that I am wrong, I certainly will correct my opinion and I will apologize if its warranted. In this case, I do not believe that I did anything wrong and I will not apologize. Its not inflexible or stubbornness to stand up for a position that I believe is right even if you think me wrong. You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine.
President Bush may have apologized for mishandling the intelligence that led to 9/11 or saying "Bring it on." However, he has not apologized for misleading or lying his way into the war.
Again, I used this as but one example. People jump on me for not apologizing, but they give people like the President or others who I cited a free pass. Why am I the only one singled out for punishment over a trivial matter when we have other issues of more importance? And if this issue is so important that I should be made to apologize, will these other individuals be made to apologize for their transgressions?
You may dismiss my comments as sour grapes, but it is not. Whatever happens come election time will happen. I will not be disappointed either way. This brouhaha is like an insect bite; it's mildly annoying that so much ink has been devoted to it, but otherwise, it is relatively minor and will be forgotten in six months.
This is just one more incident in a string. I keep coming back to this, why so much effort to stop a relative nobody? I think the question of why this orchestrated effort has been made against me is a valid question. Its not my alleged insanity (I am not), my appearance (my face is paralyzed from my surgery) or my intellect (which I have, despite what has been said). I have seen people serve who lack qualities of beauty or intellect and some even have very strange idiosyncrasies. So this is just a smokescreen for the real reason.
I think its about power and control. Only the people in power can have their candidates in office who will vote the right way for them regardless of what we want.
Hope this clarifies things,
Rachel,Tell me what you think of the blundering fool who took data home on a disk which is against the law, his house is burglarized and now 26 million vets private/personal data ie. age ,name, disablity ratings , etc. are released to the thiefs now. and they say he was given paid leave, I think the fool should be behind bars, par for the course but this blundering fool broke the law and busted hippa laws n privacy act by there stupidity what can we as vets do to the VA and the adnministration who let this jerk do this incomprehensible act, what reproach do we have when we are victims of identity theft or the terrorists get hold of this and start visiting us?
What can be done here. Please tell me your thoughts on this matter as I am sure by now you have heard about this, and I am a retired usaf 100% disabled vet, and they claim they told us or notified us and that is a bold face lie too. The VA sret up a propaganda hot line wuith a canned response, so I am not a happy person, liability should fall on the Va and there worker who busted all kinds of laws by taking this disk/puter hiome, etc. what is are recourse on this?
please help, thanks
Richard J Wadzinski Jr
I had heard about the incident. He is a blundering fool to be lugging around that much data and I don't know why he took home such data. Apparently he was not authorized to do that.
As a lawyer, I work with a lot of identity theft issues. Most of the identity theft that occurs is because of disgruntled or dishonest family members, not these types of breaches. However, you are justified about being concerned. The good news is that North Carolina now has a law that allows you to "freeze" your credit.
The state attorney general has acted in this matter; here is a link:http://www.ncdoj.com/DocumentStreamerClient?directory=PressReleases/&file=securityfreezefreeforvets.pdf
The attorney general is trying to get the $10 fee for each credit report waived. Remember that if you "freeze" your credit, you have to "thaw" it if you want to buy a car or take out a loan. If you do not want to go through that, you can take steps to protect yourself by placing a fraud alert on your report. You will have to pay if you want it in place for 7 years. The fraud alert requires prospective creditors to contact you personally before extending credit to you.
I agree that the employee should be punished. The employee obviously violated VA policy.
I think President Bush is protecting us from terrorist. We haven't been attacked since 9/11. What do you think? Is she running for the House or the Senate? I thought she was hoping to be Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, not President of the USA.A: Dear Mr. Carr: I do not think President Bush is protecting us from terrorists at all. Terrorists could easily slip in across the border with Mexico, Canada or along our coastlines on the Atlantic and Pacific. They could strike if they wanted to do so. The failure of the terrorists to strike on US soil since 9/11 means nothing. Ask yourself who benefits from such action? Why would the terrorists do this? They certainly would not benefit.
(Is she running for the House or the Senate? I thought she was hoping to be Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, not President of the USA.)
If you are referring to myself, the answer is neither. I am running for a position on the North Carolina state Supreme Court as an associate justice.
I have no wish to be President of the US nor run legislatively or for any other office. I do not enjoy politics, but I have a love for the law and a passion for justice.
Your comments suggest that I should keep quiet about matters that are not the court’s primary concern. The law changed in 2002 when the US Supreme Court decided Republican Party of Minnesota v. White. Judges are now permitted to speak out, but few do.
Since I discuss certain issues that might come before me and do not wish to recuse myself, I have chosen to talk about those issues which are not likely to ever come before the court, such as the War in Iraq or in general about the erosion of our civil liberties and other rights.
I also do not have the luxury of being an incumbent or well known throughout the state so it is important that I generate as much name identification as possible. That is why I have been speaking out.
Can you name one of the other judges or justices running for office? Have you been to their websites? If they have a website, what do you see? Little more than a résúmé. How exciting is that? Does that tell you anything about where a judge/justice stands on issues? How are you going to make an educated choice if they do not tell you?
If you prefer that style, that is your opinion but its not my choice and I will keep speaking out. If you do not like that, you are free to vote for the other person.
RE: COACH SMITH ASKING ENDORSMENT BE WITHDRAWNQ:
I read the article about Coach Smith asking that his "endorsement be withdrawn and yet your website still has it.
As a Lifelong REGISTERED NC DEMOCRAT (35 years)...I was kind of curious about your views...I read a lot...agreed with you on Gun Control (have a concealed permit)...
However, I also read about Coach Smith's request on the WSJS (Journal) daily UPDATE. Interesting...this also had articles about Speaker Black's associates who are INDICTED...and about Rep Jefferson who certain adds new life to the meaning of COLD CASH...What was the name of the congressman from Warrenton who took $$'s from the poor minorities there and gave it to his family? My son graduated with him from UNC Law School...Real waste of a good education....
Funny, though, when you talk about NC being a microcosm of DC, I see a lot more Democrats being indicted. The MMM only reports the Republican stuff...meanwhile the Capital police give the Kennedys a ride home...
The NYT ran a CORRECTION on the Rove story...seems they used a souce who admitted to lying under oath, being a felon and also has substance addiction....
Maybe you should read some of the website that I do...will be glad to send you a list. My son, who was president of the YDC in MD for several years is actually coming around...he no longer accepts the DNC dogma as gospel...
You sound very interesting and I will visit your website again...
I tried to click on the link to the Q & A to leave this...but it is NOT in service...
I think it is also in poor taste to put the email address of the Grassroots GOP lady on your webpage...you concealed the identity (properly) of the Coast Guardsman...
Need to look internally..DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT IS ON YOUR PAGE...I do NOT
think that average Democrat in NC really support Cindy S.......
Much Luck in your future endeavors....will decide whether to add GOOD or BAD
later after I study your positions more thoroughly...
I revised my website which hopefully has clarified matters and I wrote a statement regarding the same. People only read the headline, which was designed to grab attention, and did not read the statement. Had they done so, they would see only that I met him; I never said he "endorsed" me or anyone else.
Congressman Frank Ballance and his son, Judge Gary Ballance, were convicted. Frank Ballance was accused of improprieties with taking money from a foundation/organization that he created. Gary Balance did not report a gift of an SUV from his father on his tax return.
Oh, there have been an equal share of Republicans; corruption is not limited to just one party. On the Republican side, we have a former state legislator, Mike Decker and Sam Currin, the former head of the NC GOP and a criminal attorney and US prosecutor (he should have known better one would think!) that were indicted recently. John Carrington, also a former state legislator, plead guilty. Congressman Charles Taylor, who has not been indicted or convicted, is involved with Jack Abramoff or the CIA poker party or some other impropriety.
There have been Republicans from other states, Randy "Duke" Cunningham who was convicted; Linda Schrenko, former Georgia School Superindentent; Ralph Reed, who has not been indicted, but who definitely is tied in to Jack Abramoff; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who has been indicted; Porter Goss & Dusty Foggo are involved with the CIA poker party and this has yet to be fully investigated; Tom DeLay was indicted; there was some question over whether Senator Bill Frist had his assets in a blind trust, as there was with Dick Cheney, I think. Shall I go on?
Yes, we have seen the rich and powerful get a free pass. Its wealth and power that leads to it while little people like you or I do not.
I did not say I supported Cindy Sheehan. I have said that her views are not necessarily my views, but I do agree with her on one issue and that is the War in Iraq. I also do not think she is anyone's tool and attempts by the right to portray her as a tool of the communist or far-left are wrong and nothing more than an attempt to smear her.
As far as putting up the GOP woman, I did not ask her to contact me. She did so at her peril and she identified herself for all the world to see what kind of person she really is. The person in the coast guard either did not identify himself or I took his personal information taken out as he discussed a personal legal issue that is not appropriate. The former person did not seek any legal advice. That is the difference.
Please send me your list - I have only time to follow a few websites, but I like to keep informed as to what is happening. By all means visit my site again and read more of my statements to get a flavor as to what I really think, not just emails I received and my replies to people. You are what I enjoy seeing. Whatever you decide, at least you are an educated voter!
REGARDING BAR GRIEVANCE
RACHEL LEA HUNTER ATTORNEY AT LAW
901 MADISON AVENUE
CARY, NORTH CAROLINA 27513-4348
Phone: (678)-687-9693 (mobile)/(919)-688-7393 ext. 271 (office)
March 28, 2006
Ms. Barbara B. Weyher, Chair
NC State Bar - Grievance Committee
Post Office Box 25908
Raleigh, North Carolina 27611-59083
Re: Bar Grievance
Your File No.: 06G2073
Dear Ms. Weyher:
I have received your letter regarding the above bar grievance. As I explained, the name arose while I worked for the appellate court in Pennsylvania. Although the name was used by a sitting Pennsylvania justice, friends and I joked about it at the time and thought it somewhat improper.
In 1998, I became active on the internet and adopted this as a nickname. Because my job involved what I saw as the dispensation of justice to litigants, the name seemed apt; I have a passion for justice for all litigants. This name also is more suited to a costumed crime fighter character from a comic book or a dominatrix, not a justice on the court. In fact, I note that nowhere does our state constitution provide for the office of a "Madame Justice." Instead, we have only a Chief Justice and six associate justices and the term "justice" applies, regardless of the office holder's gender. N.C. Constitution, Article IV, § 6. I continued using the name among friends and acquaintances, but I never portrayed myself as anything other than what I was - an attorney.
When I ran in 2004, I created a feature on my website called Ask "Madame Justice." Again, I made it clear to everyone that I was not a justice or a judge. I continued this feature in this campaign. Attached are the questions at my site. You will note that the name "Madame Justice" is in quote, signifying that I do not hold myself out as a current or prior justice. As can be seen from a review of the questions and the answers, people have sought out free legal advice or opinions on various issues. I have never identified myself as a judge or justice nor have the voters been mislead into thinking that I am. Rather, I have provided free legal advice as a service to members of the public. In addition, it does not appear on either my candidacy's website or that of my employers that I am holding myself out to the public as someone connected with the courts or that clients can obtain special access if they wish to utilize my services. Nor has this been a type of ploy to attract clients. I have in no way obtained such clients or any type of remuneration in my professional capacity for my political views.
Ms. Barbara B. Weyher, Chair, NC State Bar - Grievance Committee
March 28, 2006
No one at any time has asked me to cease use of the name because they have confused me with an alleged justice on the North Carolina or other courts. In fact, the name has been used on my website since 2004 and it apparently did not cause a problem until now. Political speech is at issue and falls squarely within the limits of the First Amendment of the US Constitution as well as Article I, § 14 of the North Carolina Constitution. This is not a time, place and manner regulation; rather, it is about the content of the speech itself. Therefore, attempts to restrain my rights to engage in political speech are impermissible, as stated in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S 765 (2002). I have appended a copy of this decision for your review.
Finally, in my nearly eighteen years of practicing law, I have never been the subject of a complaint or grievance filed by a client or member of the bar. Under the circumstances, this appears to be a purely politically motivated act that is designed to result in my withdrawal as a candidate or face censure or disbarment. While this state is facing more serious and even criminal actions of others, it chooses to challenge my use of a nickname which is not a criminal act and which is in no way related to my practice of law. I will vigorously pursue my First Amendment free speech rights in the federal courts if necessary.
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above telephone or address. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Attorney at Law
What is your stance on the Constitutional question of our right to keep and bear
The second amendment to the US Constitution says: “A well regulated Militia,
being necessary to the security of a free State , the right of the people to keep
and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Our NC Constitution, Article I, § 30 similarly says: “A well regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear
arms shall not be infringed.; and, as standing armies in time of peace are
dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept
under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall
justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly
from enacting penal statutes against that practice.”
The US 2nd Amendment restrains Congress from infringing on the rights of the
citizens to bear arms. However, the 10th Amendment lets states decide all other
issues not addressed by the US Constitution. Our state Constitution allows citizens
to keep and bear arms, however, there is a limitation on the right to carry a
concealed weapon. Our state laws require a citizen to get a permit before he or she
can carry a concealed weapon. That gives rise to the issue of whether a citizen could
carry an unconcealed weapon without a permit. Unless you want to make that
argument to a judge, I do not suggest that you try it out at home. By the way, our
state law also prohibits the transfer of a weapon without a permit. N.C. Gen. Stat.
Many articles and treatises have been written on what the founding fathers meant by
the use of the word “well-regulated militia.” Gun opponents use it to prohibit firearm
ownership by suggesting that our militia has now been replaced by a police force,
army or national guard. However, others point out a famous quote by one of our
founding fathers, George Mason, about who exactly is the militia. He said:
"[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain , the British
Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania , to
disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them;
but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink
gradually. . . . I ask , who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people,
except a few public officers." George Mason, Virginia 's U.S. Constitution ratification
So in George Mason's view, the militia is us, the whole of the people. And he's right
about the enslavement, too. Disarm the people and they can't fight back against a
tyrannical government, can they?
Do the above provisions mean that you and I can't have a gun? I would argue that
they do not. I also don't like the efforts in Australia , England and elsewhere to
disarm the citizens. A professor, John Lott, wrote about the subject in “More Guns,
Less Crime.” The fallacy is that reducing weapons will result in less crime.
If we disarm the citizens, the criminals will still have guns. Criminals don't give a
hoot about the laws, so breaking one more law is nothing to them. What will stop
them? The police are not there to protect you, my friends. Its up to you. Disarming
the citizens is like giving a free pass to criminals. Do you think a criminal is more or
less likely to rape an armed woman? Rob an armed man?
Will an armed citizenry lead to an elimination of crime? No, it will not. And I am not
suggesting otherwise. But it might make some criminals think twice about raping or
robbing somebody or breaking into a home if they think that maybe the victim is
going to fight back and the criminal might end up dead or injured.
We have tons of examples of crimes being stopped or prevented by an armed
citizenry. For example, we had a tragic episode of school shootings in Virginia and
Pennsylvania . What the media didn't tell you, however, is that the shooting spree
was stopped by some smart-thinking person with a gun who forced the shooter to
stop. How many lives could have been saved on that Long Island train where a guy
opened fire on the crowd? How many lives could have been saved at Columbine High
School if someone had been allowed to have a weapon? We'll never know. But we do
know that putting a gun in the hands of a citizen will give the citizen a fighting
I am not advocating wholesale gun use and possession. Gun use, like most other
things in life, require some skill and training. One ought to go through a gun safety
and training course, given the lethality of a gun.
That all said, remember, my job as a judge is to fairly apply the law. I'm not going
to invent or impose requirements that are not already there. And if elected, I'm only
one of seven justices, so I don't know how much influence I could bring on the
subject. If a person violates the law and the evidence supports that fact, regardless
of being pro-gun, the person has to pay the price.
What do you think of North Carolina being a contributory negligence state and
should we abandon it?
I looked into this issue. First, let's define contributory negligence. Ordinary
negligence, in its simplest definition, is nothing more than a failure to use due care.
Over time, the courts developed defenses that would be available to defendants
who were accused of negligence. One of these is contributory negligence by the
plaintiff. The rule is that a plaintiff who contributed to his or her own injury cannot
recover from the defendant. What if a plaintiff was only a little bit at fault? In a
contributory negligence state, he or she is totally precluded from recovering from a
defendant, even if the defendant was 99% at fault. It's a harsh and unjust rule.
I ran an internet search and found that a South Carolina law firm has compiled a
useful chart which outlines which states have a pure contributory negligence. Here
is the link:
For those who want to read what our own North Carolina attorneys have said, I
found another article:
There are only a handful of states in the US that still adhere to the contributory
negligence rule. The bulk of the states have adopted a modified comparative
negligence system. What does this mean? It means that in comparative
negligence states, a plaintiff can still sue a defendant. The jury or judge will then
weigh the evidence. If the plaintiff is 50% (or 51% in some states) or more at
fault, the plaintiff cannot recover at all. If the plaintiff is less than 50% or 51%
at fault, the jury or judge will generally reduce the plaintiff's damages in proportion
to his or her fault. For example, let's say a plaintiff and defendant were involved
in an automobile accident and that the plaintiff has $100,000.00 in damages. The
judge or jury finds that plaintiff was 25% at fault. In that case, the plaintiff's
recovery would be reduced by 25% or $25,000.00. Everyone can agree that this is
a much more equitable result.
The contributory negligence doctrine in the common law, i.e., a judge made law.
In North Carolina , the rule can be traced back to an 1869 court decision. Its now
over 130 years later and things have changed quite a bit. Its time for the courts
to change the rule. Having failed to do so, its up to our legislature. There is an
online petition to change the law. Here is the website:
I would encourage those who are interested to sign an online petition or otherwise
make their comments and voices known.
You are against judicial activism, but yet you highlight 'free speech rights on
college campuses.' What makes this a non-activism issue?
You pose a good question. Numerous articles by various legal and political
scholars have been devoted to the topic. This is a political campaign, not an effort
to produce a scholarly article. If you want to learn more, I ran a "Google" search
and came up with one by Thomas Sowell - here is the URL for those who are
The article is a lengthy discourse on judicial activism vs. judicial restraint.
"Judicial activism" and "judicial restraint" are terms akin to "conservatism" and
"liberalism." They are catchphrases that conjure up horrors or approbation in the
minds of the voter, depending on who's ox is being gored. As we are running a
political campaign, it's a phrase that is easily understood and identified by the
voter, so it's a shorthand way of me letting them know where I stand.
In a nutshell, both terms refer to a philosophy of how a judge views the function
of the court, what role the court is to play in society and how a jurist will decide a
case. People with a more liberal bent want judges to adopt more expansive views
of the law, whereas those with a conservative mindset tend to want judges to be
more restricted. However, judicial activists can be on the left or the right. "Activists"
are those who are willing to look at what is going on in society or who state that
the Constitution is a "living" document which ought to be interpreted and applied
in light of more modern considerations. An "activist" is one that would apply his
or her own morality to the case.
You ask how being against activism squares with my stance on free speech. These
are not conflicting ideals. I have pledged to be a non-activist. If a case involved
"common law", i.e., law that is evolved from the court, I will examine the relevant
law and prior decisions and the reasoning employed therein. If the law is correct,
it would stand. Just because judges decided a case years ago does not mean that
the case was correctly decided. If the facts are different or if the reasoning is wrong,
it ought to be overruled. That is not judicial activism; it's common sense.
For cases arising under statutes, I would look at the law as it's written. It is not for
me, as a judge, to fill in missing parts or requirements. If the law violates the state
or federal constitution, then I would explain why and strike it down. However, striking
down a statute is an extreme remedy. Judges have rules of decision that presume
the legislature did not intend to violate the constitution. Judges are to give deference
to the legislature and should apply a common sense or common meaning to the
words used. Statutes are not to be twisted to arrive at a meaning that was not
intended. I would look at any relevant legislative history and review the legislators'
remarks for insight. I would not substitute my own personal views for the wisdom of
There are times, of course, when new and novel issues present themselves and the
court must necessarily decide. We have many issues in our society that trigger much
emotion from both sides, such as abortion or gay marriage. I am going to refrain
from expressing my own personal views. They are not relevant and I will not
comment on matters that could come before the court. However, politically "hot"
issues such as these are matters ought to be left for the legislature to decide. Why
do seven men or women have more wisdom than the legislature? The legislature is
ideally suited to debate such issues. I believe that judges should exercise restraint
and not impose their views on the inhabitants of a state.
As for free speech, the problem that has arisen on college campuses is that there
is diversity in everything except for diversity of thought. Campuses are dominated by
those who are aligned on the left. Studies have been done and I will not cite them
here. it's been sufficiently well established that I feel comfortable in asserting it.
Unfortunately, those in the majority have made life exceptionally difficult for
conservative professors and students alike. I attended a conference in the spring
and the retaliation that has been leveled against the conservatives is just
eye-popping. A few lawsuits have been filed in other states; one in Virginia has
resulted in large awards to a professor that was subjected to harassment and
Campuses ought to be places where everyone is free to exchange their views in the
marketplace of ideas. If a student chooses to express an opinion that is at odds with
the majority, his or her views and the appropriateness thereof can and should be the
subject of vigorous and robust debate. Debate implies an exchange or dialogue, with
each side defending it's views. To do this requires intelligent thought; not name
calling, personal attacks, humiliation, intimidation or retaliation. Newspapers should
not be stolen. Professors should not have their funding pulled or be terminated for
hanging a “I support the troops” sticker on their office door. Students who express
an unpopular view in class should not have e-mail messages circulated to other
students by the professor. This is true regardless of the political beliefs of the
student or professor or organization. I would be just as outraged if a conservative
did the same thing to a liberal student or professor.
If a student or professor commenced suit against an educational establishment, it's
not activism for a judge to uphold and enforce their rights under the law.
Conservatives and liberals don't have special rights. They have the same rights as
everyone else. Their rights ought to be respected and protected, just as for those on
the opposite side.
I am not certain why you believe the “free speech” issue to be one that implicates
judicial activism. They are two different concepts. The law provides for a right of free
speech. Enforcing it is not activism. I hope that my explanation has clarified
I have become slightly disillusioned with the Republican Party, state and federal
level, recently. I am by no means a Liberal either. Libertarian is a closer fit. I voted
for Bush, and, well, I don't know what he is doing anymore. I have two questions for
you. I moved to North Carolina about a year ago from California . I work part time
and go to Central Carolina Community College full time. I just became an official
resident a few weeks ago. I paid out of state tuition, last semester, in the amount
of $3500. I read in the paper a few days ago about a bill that would allow illegal
immigrants to pay in state rates for college. California has been engaged in or at
least flirting with this kind of legialation for years. How does an illegal immigrant
have better residency status than a citizen of the U.S. ?
You might not know much about my second question, it's hard to put your finger on,
but I have to ask anyway. This is what I have gathered about the Federal Reserve
Bank. It is not a government agency, but the government appoints a man for the FR
Board. It is a bank. This bank is the bank all other banks in this country must come
to. Congress had no authority over this bank. The Fed pays cost of printing money to
the treasury. When the government needs money, this money is in turn “loaned to
the government” at interest. It becomes a liability to us. The money that our
government borrowed came from multi-national banks, and foreign governments.
They reap the profits of interest on this money they loaned us. In the constitution
it says that congress has the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and
of foreign Coin. We are responsible for what we let our government do. When it
misbehaves we become a little more enslaved. It seems to me that the government
is enslaved by the Fed. So we are all actually enslaved to foreign interests of one
kind or another. Why doesn't congress regulate our currency? Is this one of these
situations where someone is delegated a specific responsibility, and they just pass
the buck and delegate someone else to take care of there responsibility?
Like you, I am a fellow transplant. Welcome to North Carolina ! You asked about
(1) Illegal immigration. I heard of the bill the other morning and was surprised. We
are all a nation of immigrants. And the poor of Mexico and elsewhere are making
little money. If you could earn substantially more in the US , even if paid under the
table, would you not do so? Of course you would.
However, our founders realized the problem that would result from throwing open the
floodgates. I am reading Thomas Jefferson. In one of his papers, he queried the
results that would follow if a large number of Americans transplanted themselves to
another country. They would wreak havoc on the culture and laws. That is why
limitations on immigration were imposed.
What have we done, however? They come here and send their children to school.
They use our hospitals. They have caused havoc with our culture and language.
They have not assimilated themselves into the American way of life.
What to do? We need to stop giving them incentives to break the law. And these
people are not US citizens. In-state tuition is for US citizens who live in NC.
(2) I know more than you think about the 16th Amendment. Out of this came not
only the income tax, but also the popular election of senators and the creation of
our Federal Reserve Branch. There is nothing “federal” about the “Federal” Reserve.
It's a conglomerate of banks. It was made up of wealthy bankers and banks. It still
is. Aside from the President appointing the chairman, Congress has no authority
Throughout history, many civilizations had a gold standard for currency. While it is
hard for a citizen to carry gold or silver, paper notes were backed by gold or silver.
The reasons are obvious. But our federal government took us off the gold standard.
Today, the Federal Reserve prints money whenever it needs it and sells it to our
This system is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, just as is Social Security. It
creates nothing out of nothing. And one day it will collapse when foreign states
and foreign banks pull their money out.
I am a jurist, not a legislator. But I have read enough to know that the present
system is on a bad course. I spoke of my attendance at a recent event for
Congressman Walter Jones. One of the things that he and Senator Tom Coburn
talked about is money. Nobody has to listen to me. But these men said that our
country is broke. You and I will and our grandchildren will be footing the bills if
something is not done. We are all slaves.
You ask why? It's not because Congress is lazy or just wants to pass the buck. Who
lobbied Congress for this? Who benefits?
For more about this subject, read about the Ludwig Von Mises Institute and the
School of Austrian Economics at www.lewrockwell.com and www.mises.org , as well as
the sentiments of Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. (Republican, Texas).
You mentioned that you are disillusioned with the Republican Party. So am I. So are
many people. It was something else Walter Jones and Tom Coburn discussed.
Republicans used to stand for something, like smaller government and less taxes.
What do they stand for now? The call themselves “conservative” but what does
that term really mean? Better commentators than I have discussed it. Look beyond
party labels. Look at a person's principles. Be an independent and vote your
What is your definition of separation of church and state?
Our 1st Amendment says that the state shall not establish a religion. That's it. It
doesn't mean that people cannot worship at a football game. I don't see how that
is "establishing" a religion. For those who don't believe in religion, you do not have
a right to be free from others' expression of it. Our US Supreme Court says
otherwise, of course, and as a judge, I would be required to follow the law.
Why do you believe that public financing is political welfare? The system was
designed to keep donations from exerting an undue infleunce on the electoral
process. Do you prefer a system where judicial candidates need and accept
extravagant donations from lawyers who might later appear before them in court?
Public financing seeks to level the playing field so that the race is decided by the
voters, not the law firms and special interests.
I am opposed to government handouts for several reasons. First and foremost,
whenever a government spends money, I ask "is this a proper function of
government?" Government gets its money from you and I. Its our money, not the
government's money. I object to the government taking money from me to fund
purposes which are not constitutionally authorized. The function of government is
not to fund political campaigns. Second, how does it help the little guy? I'm a
"little guy" figuratively speaking, of course. To be eligible for financing in this race,
I have to raise between $35,000 and $70,000. If I could do that, I wouldn't need
the financing to begin with! Also, look at the national politics. We have public
financing for presidential elections. Who is running this year? Two millionaires!
Neither Bush nor Kerry is hurting financially. The US Senate is referred to as "the
millionaires club" and for good reason. Most of them are. House members are not
generally poor either. I look around and don't see how public financing is helping
get those who are less affluent elected.
Your other points are well taken. However, the limits on campaign contributions in
the judicial race is $1,000.00. Are you implying that a justice would be biased for or
against a litigant based on their donation or lack thereof? Most judges, including
myself if I am elected, would not allow that to influence any decision and would
decide a case on its merits and the evidence. If a judge can't do that, he or she
has such little honesty and integrity that he/she should not even have the job. And,
at the Supreme Court level, I doubt that it would have much effect, as a justice is
only one of seven. It is much harder for any one judge to influence a decision in
favor of a campaign contributor.
Finally, if a judge did receive a substantial donation that would cause a judge to be
biased, there is a simple remedy - recusal. It would be incumbent on the judge and
the parties to raise it. If nobody objects to the judge deciding the case, and if the
judge believes him or herself of fairly deciding, allow the judge to participate in the
decision. If there is any question, then a judge or a justice should recuse him or
herself. If elected, that is what I would do.
Madam Justice , I met you the other night at the Western Carolina Young
Republicans College Abuse tour. Do you believe there is hope for the future for
I enjoyed meeting and talking with you the other evening. I am sorry that I have
not responded earlier, but I was on the campaign trail yesterday.
I received and reviewed your phone messages and e-mail. Our founding fathers
believed that educated and informed citizens were the best method of protecting our
liberties. Unfortunately, those who seek to destroy America seem to have infiltrated
our political, legal, educational and entertainment establishments.
We are fighting a long, tough battle to restore things. Exposure of the problems and
education of the citizens still remain our best hope. That's one of the reasons that I
am making a tour of the college campuses. I want to spread the word that there is
something wrong, and that students and professors can do something about it. I am
getting that message through.
If elected, I will do what I have always done in terms of fairly and impartially applying
the law, opposing judicial activism and promoting freedom and liberty. The
educational issue needs to be kept alive as well and I am working on that too. I have
passed your information along to my campaign staff.
I recognize that not everyone is computer savvy or even owns a computer. I also
recognize that glitzy websites are not going to win a campaign. Nor, for that matter,
are numerous road signs that litter our highways.
But my website does enable me to effectively reach out to more people than I would
ever meet in a year of traveling speaking to the local clubs or meetings. I have
supporters all over the world, including New Zealand , Iraq and England . I have had
judges, a justice on our Supreme Court, elected officials, candidates, attorneys,
co-workers and just plain everyday folks quietly express their support. I also have
"rangers" on many of the college campuses who are dedicated to getting the word
out. Rest assured that we are winning the battle.
Keep up the good work,
Madame Justice ,
I am a resident of NC, I have been in the US Coast Guard for over 5 years and up
to now I have had a rewarding career. This is the problem, a year back there was an
investigation done on me by the Jacksonville police and the secret service. After the
investigation there was no need in their eyes to bring charges on me. Months
passed by I moved on with my life. After a few months I had a visit from two Coast
guard Investigation agents two different times. I told them what had happened just
like I told the police and the secret service. It looked as if the investigation was
over. Time went by, I started working on taking the flight test (AFAST) and putting
together my application for the (WOFT) program, this is the ARMY Warrant Officer
Flight training program. When I asked for a conditional release. The tables
turned-and now I find out I am going to a special courts martial. I am being charged
with the crimes that the police and the secret service saw no proof or warrant. I have
never failed a drug test or have ever been in any type of trouble with drugs, yet I
have this charge because two people in jail told the coast guard I used cocaine. My
XO told me the command can not make a decision on this matter so I must go to
courts martial. After I got my JAG I looked at the coast guards investigation and
found they never asked to get statements from the people I told them too. The
investigation was very one-sided. I asked my XO if I could speak to my Capt. and
he refused to let me speak to him, I later found out I was should have been able to
speak to him, but it was too late. My XO made the suggestion to the Capt. to send
me to special courts martial. At first I wanted to believe the command was doing the
right thing but last week I got a fax from the Jacksonville police department. In this
fax was the investigation and it clearly stated there would be no charges placed on
me at all and the case was closed. I gave this to the XO and he said nothing. Later
I asked what it would take to stop this, The XO said (I think you use drugs and I
want you out of my Coast Guard.) I can see now that no matter what I provide the
command it will just be thrown to the side, in his eyes I am guilty and he influences
the Capt. so I am at a dead end and need some help. My JAG can't believe what is
going on. My jag asked the XO if he could have a sit down with my Capt. But the XO
refused. The Detectives name is ********* ******* of the Jacksonville police
department. There has to be something done to stop this from taking place. It has
got totally out of control and I could lose my career over it. I know you don't know
the whole story but trust me I would be more than happy to tell you. All I can say is
(if I were a criminal the civilian authority would not just let me go.)It seems The
C ommand or maybe just the XO wants me out. The coast guard JAG sent a plea
bargain right from the start: It stated if I would take an administrative discharge they
would drop the charges. I can not do this I have worked to hard on my goals to just
throw it all away. This is so important I have also informed Congressman Walter B.
Jones of NC.I hope I can get some help on this I truly don't deserve this courts
To let you know what kind of person I am will put this info in at my first command…
-I worked with the housing for humanity.
-I coached the 9-11 year old base soccer team.
-I built play-ground equipment for Moyock elem. school.
-I tutored special needs children in the (Partnership In education program) PIE.
Please don't let one mans idea of me shatter all the great things I have done for
Because of the court martial and the sensitive nature of the information conveyed, I
have deleted reference to your name.
You mention an administrative discharge. If it would not prevent you from re-enlisting
in another branch of the service or would not result in the loss of benefits, it might be
wiser to accept that and enlist in another branch of the service. If an administrative
discharge would carry negative consequences for you, or if you maintain your
innocence and want to clear your name, then you need to fight the court martial.
I cannot represent you as I am going for surgery next week and will have a long
recovery. However, I offer the following suggestions to you:
(1) Ask for a civilian attorney, preferably one who is familiar with drug cases, to assist
your JAG or represent you. JAG officers are like public defenders. I do not want to
denigrate them, but they are overworked and under paid. Their goal is to get things
handled as expeditiously as possible, even if it is not the best thing for you. That is
why the plea and discharge were suggested. The civilian attorney can investigate and
get information that you can use to discredit the prosecution/court martial's case
against you. They can also interview witnesses. Do not rely on the Coast Guard to do
it for you. As you said, the XO wants you gone and the Coast Guard will not help you.
(2) Stop talking to the police and military; they are not your friends. Say nothing to
them other than what you have already said. They can and will use what you have
said against you. What can appear innocent may take on culpable meaning later.
(3) Ask for a trial.
(4) Unfortunately, most lawyers do not work for free. You are going to have to spend
money to mount a defense. However, I can ask Congressman Jones' to look at this
matter. I can also try and find counsel for you.
(5) Media attention may help.
If you want further assistance, please contact me at my office.
I have been convicted of a felony in the past and have served the required time for
the offense. I don't know the laws regarding my voter or citizenship rights. Can you
please explain briefly if/how I can vote? Thank you for your time.
I am glad that you asked the question, as this is an issue of concern to many
individuals, who like you, were fallen angels and have paid their debt to society. I
assume that you are in North Carolina . As I cannot speak to the law of other states,
I will confine my remarks to North Carolina .
North Carolina is among the states that provides that those who have served their
time and are paroled, pardoned or on probation, can have their rights of citizenship
restored. This includes those who have committed a federal offense and now live in
North Carolina . N.C. Gen Stat. § 13-1 provides:
Any person convicted of a crime, whereby the rights of citizenship are forfeited, shall
have such rights automatically restored upon the occurrence of any one of the
(1) The unconditional discharge of an inmate by the State Department of Correction or
the North Carolina Department of Correction, of a probationer by the State Department
of Correction, or of a parolee by the Department of Correction; or of a defendant
under a suspended sentence by the court.
(2) The unconditional pardon of the offender.
(3) The satisfaction by the offender of all conditions of a conditional pardon.
(4) With regard to any person convicted of a crime against the United States , the
unconditional discharge of such person by the agency of the United States having
jurisdiction of such person, the unconditional pardon of such person or the
satisfaction by such person of a conditional pardon.
(5) With regard to any person convicted of a crime in another state, the
unconditional discharge of such person by the agency of that state having
jurisdiction of such person, the unconditional pardon of such person or the satisfaction
by such person of a conditional pardon.
To obtain restoration, an individual must notify the clerk of court. For those
convicted in North Carolina , the certificate that you have complied with the provisions
of § 13-1 shall be immediately sent to clerk of court by the agency, department or
court that had jurisdiction over you. For those convicted by the United States or
another state, you or an attorney must prove that the conditions in § 13-1 have been
met to the clerk of court where you now reside. Here are the provisions of § 13-2:
(a) The agency, department, or court having jurisdiction over the inmate, probationer,
parolee or defendant at the time his rights of citizenship are restored under the
provisions of G.S. 13 1(1) shall immediately issue a certificate or order in duplicate
evidencing the offender's unconditional discharge and specifying the restoration of his
rights of citizenship.
The original of such certificate or order shall be promptly transmitted to the clerk of the
General Court of Justice in the county where the official record of the case from which
the conviction arose is filed.
The clerk shall then file the certificate or order without charge with the official record
of the case.
(b) In the case of a person convicted of a crime against another state or the United
States, whose rights to citizenship have been restored according to G.S. 13 1, the
following provisions shall apply:
(1) It shall be the duty of the clerk of the court in the county where such person
resides, upon a showing by such person or his representative that the conditions of
G.S. 13 1 have been met, to issue the certificate evidencing the offender's
unconditional discharge and specifying the restoration of his rights of citizenship. For
purposes of this subsection, the fulfillment of the conditions of G.S. 13 1 shall be
considered met upon the presentation to the clerk of any paper writing from the
agency of any other state or of the United States which had jurisdiction over such
person, which shows that the conditions of G.S. 13 1 have been met.
(2) The certificate described in subdivision (b)(1) shall be filed by the clerk of the
General Court of Justice in the county in which such person resides.
The provisions of this subsection apply equally to conditional and unconditional
pardons by the governor of any other state or by the President of the United States,
as well as unconditional discharges by the agency of another state or of the United
States having jurisdiction over said person.
These provisions apply to the restoration of the rights of citizenship, such as voting
or serving on a jury. Former felons are still precluded from owning or possessing
Can you elaborate on your refusal to accept public funding?
I have been accused of some sort of spin regarding my stance on acceptance of
public funding. There is no spin from me. The only spin you'll hear in this election
is from a mere handful of vocal Republican party hacks.
The truth is that I entered the race late and didn't do the fund requests for the lack
of time in the campaign planning or ask for any financial contributions from anyone.
However, I have just started to received such donations simply because I didn't ask
and people are starting to see that I can win this race. People who told me that they
would contribute didn't get around to writing or mailing the checks until now. And I
can't say that I blame them. Money is tight in this election and most people are
unwilling to give to candidates unless they perceive the candidate to be a sure thing.
Faced with this stark reality, I have pitched my own money into this battle. What this
means for the voter is just what I said. I cannot be bought. I owe no favors to
anyone. I am not for sale. But my failure to even ask for any money from others
does not mean that I invented my stance on public funding. Had I raised enough
to qualify for public financing, I still would not have accepted public money.
I heard a media spokesperson talk about how public funding will restore judicial
integrity. Why is it that to ask people for $35,000, or whatever is needed to qualify
for a seat, is not a corrupting influence on a judge, but anything more than that
constitutes a compromise of the candidate's judicial integrity? Nobody has addressed
this inconsistency for me, least of all Psycho Dave.
A Republican warhorse pulled up some sterling comments from Ronald Reagan and
Thomas Jefferson. I could not say it better myself, so I will put the quotes here.
Ronald Reagan said in 1964: "Will you resist the temptation to get a government
handout for your community? .... Recognize that government invasion of public
power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear
taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even
government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you
And Thomas Jefferson said: "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for
the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical."
I also received it on good authority that the Republicans at party HQ are really
getting desperate. Unfortunately, it appears that the polls, or whatever indicators
they use, are showing that many of their candidates are going to be defeated. And
we witnessed their attorney general candidate's stunning pull out of the scheduled
debate at UNC for no stated reason. Consequently, those in charge have now decided
to dedicate their efforts to the Supreme Court race in a last ditch effort to save their
How are they accomplishing this? For starters, they are seeking to manipulate the
flawed public financing system. On Friday, I received a letter from the State Board of
Elections directed to all candidates. I admit that I only glanced at it and have not had
the opportunity to study it more fully. But the essence of the letter is that those who
either cannot qualify for funding or those who are not accepting it cannot engage in
fundraising after October 12th. However, those candidates who are already accepting
public handouts can continue raising money even beyond the original October 21st
This was done at the instigation of the Republican Party and its officers. Why are some
candidates allowed to raise money, even after they have received thousands in public
funds, but those who can't even raise enough to qualify, can't raise any money? Does
this seem rational or fair? The answer is no. This is nothing more than a naked
attempt by the Republicans to continue buttressing their candidate and to hamper
me and some of the other candidates in this race.
But the Republican party and CO-PAM is not stopping there. They are back to the old
whispering campaign. My campaign manager told me that a Republican in his area
received a phone call, presumably from one of the party's faithful flunkies. It appears
that the new mantra is that I am somehow a woman of ill repute, to put it mildly.
However, I'm not the one spending time down at The Dollhouse. For those of you
living outside Raleigh , The Dollhouse is a gentleman's adult entertaiment club.
I have not witnessed it personally because I am far too busy working, but I have it on
good authority from those who are in the know. The Republican party leaders will sit
there and quote scripture at me and yet they frequent an establishment where they
can get their jollies off looking at all the scantily clad ladies? Or maybe that's just
where the Republican party holds its meetings nowadays? Its no wonder these people
need to spend time in church.
I do not care what any of these individuals do in private. What I object to is their
moralizing, holier-than-thou attitude and their trying to tell the rest of us how to live
our lives. If someone lives in a glass house, then he or she should not be the first
one to start casting stones at the neighbors.
The phone calls are exactly the sort of thing that the Republicans in power did to
poor Thomas Goolsby. The Republican party, which is not supposed to interfere in
the primary, engaged in a whispering and phone call campaign. In that race, they
alleged that Goolsby was gay. I have never met the man and can't say whether he is
gay or not. If he is, so what? Unless his sexual orientation would interfere with his
duties as the attorney general, it is no more relevant than the color of his skin, age
At a seminar I attended last week, I learned that voter registration is up considerably.
But the voters who are registering are indicating that they are unaffiliated or
independent voters. Why? Is it because they are sick and tired of this kind of
nonsense? Regardless of whether you are a homosexual or a heterosexual, ask
yourself, is this the kind of tactics you want to endorse?
If you don't like this sort of thing, then take a stand and say no in November to the
candidate that they are promoting. You have seven others to choose from and three
are Republicans. Pick one who is truly unbiased and impartial and who doesn't have
What evidence would you generally look for to determine whether the trial court
abused its discretion regarding the admissibility of expert testimony?
I recently attended a candidates' forum sponsored by the North Carolina Association
of Defense Attorneys. All of the candidates for appellate office were asked the same
question: what evidence would you generally look for to determine whether the trial
court abused its discretion regarding the admissibility of expert testimony? I am
posting my answer here, but am taking the liberty of expounding on it.
Any analysis must start with a review of the applicable rule, NC Rule of Evidence
(NCRE) 702 which provides: (a) If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge
will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue,
a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training or
testify thereto in the form of an opinion.
Simply stated, the rule allows anyone with some specialized knowledge about a
subject to render his or her own opinion if it will help the jury to make a decision.
Sounds easy, right? Think again.
An explanation of the history is needed to understand where we are and how we got
here. Long before the rules of evidence were adopted, the courts applied the
"general acceptability" standard set forth in Frye v. United States , 293 F. 1013
(1923). Frye involved the admissibility of a precursor to the lie-detector test. The
court held that because the test had not yet gained such "standing and scientific
recognition among physiological and psychological authorities as would justify the
courts in admitting expert testimony deduced from the discovery, development, and
experiments thus far made" the evidence would be excluded.
Frye remained supreme in both federal and district courts for many years,
notwithstanding the promulgation of the federal rules of evidence. But the frontiers
of science have made quantum leaps since Frye was adopted. Evidence or science
in its infancy now may become the scientific reality of tomorrow. Consequently, the
courts have struggled to come up with some means of balancing the factors. On the
one hand, courts want to admit relevant evidence that meets the expert test
codified in the rule, i.e., that a witness has some special knowledge to help a jury
determine an issue that is pertinent to the disposition of a case. However, courts do
not want to admit every fanciful theory merely because it meets the test. And we all
know that an enterprising attorney can find an expert who is willing to testify to just
In an effort to balance these competing considerations and to resolve the conflicts
among the federal appellate courts, the United States Supreme Court decided
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). In Daubert, a
majority of the United States Supreme Court agreed that the test announced in Frye
had been superseded by the adoption of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Unfortunately, the court did not end its decision there and proceeded to engage in
what I term "judicial activism." The Court could and should have decided the issue
presented: whether the federal rules of evidence superseded Frye.
Instead of simply addressing this question, the majority proceeded to expound on
matters that were wholly unnecessary to the decision. No doubt the majority was
motivated by the best of intentions when it made its pronouncements. Under Daubert,
a trial judge must act as a "gatekeeper" and look at the following factors whenever
an issue of the admission of new scientific or expert testimony arises: (1) whether the
scientific knowledge is relevant to the inquiry; (2) whether the reasoning/methodology
is scientifically valid; (3) whether the theory/technique has been published or subjected
to peer review; and (4) whether the theory/technique has been widely accepted.
The amicus (friend of the court) briefs raised some concerns. One concern is that trial
judges would use the new test to exclude evidence under Daubert. The concurrence
and dissent of Justice Rehnquist echoed this point and noted that the majority opinion
beyond its holding that Frye was no longer the law, and issue dicta (dicta are
pronouncements that are not necessary to the case) that would engender more
questions than it hoped to resolve. Both the amici and Justice Rehnquist proved
Since it was promulgated, Daubert has now been extended to cover all types of
testimony, both scientific and non-scientific. See Kumho Tire v. Carmichael, 526 U.S.
137 (1999). Only about half of the states have adopted it. The others have rejected
its framework. North Carolina is among them.
As frequently happens, judges sometimes can make an unfortunate mistake in
writing an opinion. This is precisely what happened in State v. Goode, 341 N.C. 513,
527 (1995). The justice writing for the majority cited the decision in Daubert without
any discussion as to whether it had been adopted at the state level.
This brings us to where we are now. Our Supreme Court recently announced its
opinion in Howerton v. Arai Helmet (No. 383 PA 03, filed 6/25/2004 ). Howerton
involved an issue in which the plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a
tragic motorcycle accident. He instituted suit against the manufacturer of the
motorcycle helmet, alleging that the helmet was defectively designed and that the
defective design had contributed to his injuries. The trial court and court of appeals
assumed that Daubert had been adopted in State v. Goode. Consequently, they
excluded the plaintiff's expert evidence on the ground that it failed to satisfy the
standard set forth in Daubert.
A majority of the North Carolina Supreme Court held that contrary to prior assertions,
Daubert was not the law of this state. Instead, the majority concluded that the
framework adopted in State v. Goode, which says that these elements must be met
before expert testimony can be introduced: (1) reliability; (2) relevance; and
(3) qualifications of the expert. The Court reversed the decision of the lower courts
and remanded for further proceedings to determine whether the evidence met
the standard set forth in State v. Goode.
We were only given about five minutes to speak and we were addressing attorneys
who are presumptively familiar with the law, so I did not recite the above history in
depth. I recounted the factors that were set forth in Rule 702 and in Goode, and
provided a bit more explanation of each.
I emphasized that an expert does not have to be licensed or to have a degree. The
test is whether that person has more knowledge than the jury. As an example, I like
to think of the movie, My Cousin Vinny. The character played by Marisa Tomei, Mona
Lisa Vito, was qualified as an expert on cars and tires because she had more
expertise than the jury. An expert must also testify to matters of special, scientific or
technical knowledge. However, an expert cannot testify that a witness is lying or
telling the truth, because credibility is something the jury or trier of fact can decide.
I also said that relevant evidence is evidence that makes an issue germane to the
case more or less probable, as per NCRE 401.
On the final factor, I noted that some evidence has been deemed inherently
unreliable, like lie-detector tests or hypnosis. In contrast, other evidence such as
blood-tests, DNA tests or blood spatter evidence, have been deemed reliable.
However, difficulty arises for the cutting edge evidence that has not been previously
ruled upon. How then can judges separate "junk science" from real science? Courts
have to look at the expert's practice or activity in the field, if he or she has published
papers on the subject and the particular methodology used by the expert. But it's
not an exhaustive list. It's difficult to be comprehensive because each case will turn
on its own unique set of facts.
I would like to comment on a few of the candidates who spoke. I find it significant to
note that a judge for the court of appeals claimed that Daubert was the law of this
state at the time he authored the lower court opinion in Howerton. Its not, as noted
by the majority of the Supreme Court in Howerton. Careful review of the caselaw it
should have made this self-evident. Someone suggested to me that it was because
may have been of a more liberal bent. I don't think that's the reason. The admission
of evidence should not be a political or party issue. Either evidence is admissible or
it isn't. And excluding evidence, thereby keeping an injured party out of court, is not
something that one would associate with being a liberal. I leave it to the voters to
decide whether this candidate has sufficient legal knowledge to serve on the Supreme
Another candidate who practices in the federal forum believes that Daubert and its
progeny are great because it allows judges to keep out evidence and, in turn, to keep
people out of court. You, as citizens and attorneys, should find this troubling. It is not
for some attorney to decide that a case has no business being brought before the
court. As noted by many of the candidates, the courts of this state are always open.
If a person is injured, that person has every right to his or her day in court. Whether
or not a party will prevail is always up the trier of fact. Again, I am noting this
because the voter will have to decide that a candidate who has an agenda and a
particular mindset is someone who belongs on the bench.
A third candidate took a somewhat different approach and inquired as to what
constitutes an abuse of discretion. I had the opportunity to speak before this
candidate and defined what constitutes an abuse of discretion. Although there are
different words used by the courts, it basically boils down to one of two things:
(1) either the decision just is not supported by the facts or evidence of record; or
(2) the decision constitutes a real misapprehension of the law.
The candidate has begged the appellate courts to provide more guidance by
articulating more specific standards. However, to give more guidance and to lay
down specific rules is to destroy discretion, not grant it. Judges in the district court
and superior court ought to be able to have the freedom to decide what evidence is
admissible or not within the framework of our rules and case law. That does not mean
that appellate judges be rubber stamps for the actions taken by a lower court judge.
But I am not sure that we need more mandates from on high to the lower courts.
Abuse of discretion is like pornography - you know it when you see it. If you think
that our judges can't figure it out, then vote for the candidate who will dictate such
standards. If you think otherwise, look somewhere else.
While Ferrell's particular criticism of Carolyn Justice and Wilma Sherrill w/r/t the
temporary budget might well have been misplaced (it seemed like a stretch to me,
too), those two representatives are among the group who joined Richard Morgan to
sell out their Party to the Democrats, thereby assuring that the Democrats continued
to run the State even after the Republicans won the 2002 election.
Wilma Sherrill, in particular, has been a Republican In Name Only for a very long
time. It didn't begin with her (and Morgan's) support for the Democrats' gerrymander,
nor with her sellout to the Democrats as part of the deal to make Morgan co-speaker.
Even back in 1996 she was betraying Republican principles. She was instrumental in
blocking enactment of HB-624, the "Abortion - Woman's Right To Know" (Informed
Consent) bill which WOULD HAVE REDUCED NC's ABORTION RATE BY AT LEAST 3000
BABIES PER YEAR, simply by requiring that abortion clinics provide their prospective
customers with "full disclosure" about health consequences, abortion alternatives, and
the mothers' legal rights, at least 24 hours prior to performance of the abortion.
That bill enjoyed the support of solid majorities in both houses of the legislature, and
the strong support of Sen. Marc Basnight. It would have passed and it would be be
law today were it not for the machinations of a few well-connected "Republicans" in
the legislature, including Harold Brubaker, Richard Morgan, Cherie Berry, Wilma
Sherrill, and (this one will surprise you!) Leo Daughtry.
Wilma Sherrill's role was especially craven. She was part of a little group, along with
Cherie Berry, who "ambushed" the bill in a poorly-attended Republican caucus on
June 10, 1996 .
If it had passed, that bill would have saved the lives of an average of at least 5-10
babies PER DAY in North Carolina , -- every day for nine years (and counting). But
Sherrill wasn't concerned about that. She didn't argue against the bill on its merits.
Instead, she argued vehmently that the bill should be sent back to committee to die
because it would hurt her chances to be reelected in November if she had to vote on
another abortion bill. Several other Members told me that she was by far the most
forceful and persuasive debater arguing to kill the bill.
What she said was nonsense, because that type of reform enjoyed broad public
support (81%, according to a 1992 Time-Mirror poll), and because Sherrill was in a
safe Republican district, anyhow.
But that's not what disgusts me. I'm used to hearing nonsense from legislators.
What truly disgusts me is that NOTHING matters to Wilma Sherrill -- not even TENS
OF THOUSANDS of innocent lives -- NOTHING matters to her more than her own
There are some good people down in the NCGA, people who work hard and honorably
and selflessly to do what they believe is the right thing, without motives tainted by
personal ambition. For example, did you know that Rep. Russell Capps has been
quietly battling Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for a decade? He never talks about it, and
most of his colleagues in the legislature don't know about it. He has no ambition,
because he doesn't expect to live more than a few years, but he wants to use
whatever time the Lord gives him to serve the Lord and the people of North Carolina .
Wilma Sherrill, unfortunately, is not that kind of person.
P.S. - Also, it is my understanding that the GOP was vindicated on appeal in the matter
of the fine for supposed election law violation. Or perhaps you're talking about a
different case than the one I'm thinking of? Is this the case that you're talking about?
If Ms. Justice and Ms. Sherrill are wrong, they can expect criticism for it. And
legitimately so. My point was that it was wrong publicly castigate them for doing the
right thing in this case. There is apparently much to criticize. Why choose this?
I was not referring to the fine that was imposed for the advertisement by the
Republican Governors Association. I meant the fine that was imposed because of
their conduct in taking out an illegal loan in 2004. Here is the story:
Republicans Admit Wrongdoing in Response to NC Democratic Party Complaint
Submitted by NCDP on Wed, 06/08/2005 - 2:33pm . Press Releases
NCGOP Must Pay Back Illegal $100,000 Contribution
Raleigh—The Republican State Leadership Committee and its North Carolina PAC have
signed a Consent Agreement with the State Board of Elections admitting responsibility
for making an illegal $100,000 contribution to the North Carolina Republican Party to
benefit GOP candidates for the North Carolina Senate in 2004.
On October 28, 2004, then-North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Scott
Falmlen filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections concerning apparent
campaign finance violations involving a line of credit negotiated by the Republican
State Leadership Committee (the RSLC) benefiting the RSLC-NC PAC and resulting in
a contribution to the North Carolina Senatorial Trust account of the North Carolina
The complaint said that the RSLC and its RSLC-NC PAC illegally funneled $100,000 of
borrowed money to the North Carolina Senatorial Trust. The money consisted entirely
of funds borrowed by the national organization from a bank and immediately
contributed to the NCGOP's Senatorial Trust, which is in violation of North Carolina law.
The Agreement calls for the NCGOP to pay back the illegal $100,000 contribution to
the RSLC and also requires the RSLC to pay a $10,000 fine to the State. The Consent
Agreement closes the complaint.
“National Republicans were trying to come into North Carolina , break our campaign
finance laws, and hope no one noticed,” said Falmlen. “We noticed alright and it is
clear that the NCGOP was a part of this illegal scheme. This is a continuation of an
unfortunate pattern of events by the GOP that also includes their illegal television
ads on behalf of GOP Gubernatorial nominee Patrick Ballantine.”
“With this Consent Agreement, Republicans have admitted that they acted illegally,”
said North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jerry Meek. “Hopefully, this agreement will
make it clear to the Republicans that they must act within the law or suffer the
I do agree with you that many of our so-called leaders and representatives are more
concerned with getting themselves re-elected or elected to higher office than they are
with truly representing, We the People. We need to change that. That is why I am
running for office.
How do you think the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, written by Justice Scalia, in the
Crawford case apply to child sexual assault cases where the State seeks to introduce
statements and videotapes of the child while having the child declared unavailable or
incompetent to testify at trial?
Crawford v. Washington , 541 U.S. ___ (2004) applies to testimonial statements.
Under the Court's ruling, such statements would not be admissible if a defendant
had no opportunity for cross-examination. The Court said that it would leave the
definition of "testimonial" for another day. Extending the rationale to child cases, the
Constitution means what it says - that defendants have a right to confront their
accusers. Beyond that, I can't comment too much about how I would rule if elected.
This issue may very well come before the state Supreme Court and I don't want to
have to recuse.
I am writing an article on North Carolina 's public funding for judicial candidates. It is
scheduled to be published in next summer's edition of the Georgetown Journal of
As far as I can tell, you are one of two candidates who choose not to participate in
the program during the 2004 election. I was wondering if you could tell me why you
choose not to participate in the program and what problems you think the program
has. Do you think that there are solutions to these problems or are you opposed to
public financing of judicial candidates in general?
Regarding your inquiry, I was the only candidate who voluntarily chose not to
participate in the judicial funding. I believe that one or more other candidates chose
to participate, but they were disqualified because they did not meet the requirements.
Therein lies one of the problems with the judicial funding program and why I chose
not to participate. For candidates to qualify, they have to raise contributions from at
least 350 people in sums of no more than $500. Some candidates knew they were
running early on and began their fundraising. The seat that I ran for did not become
available until July 31, 2004 and candidates had until August 10, 2004 to file. Most
of us jumped in at the last minute. Moreover, in response to a letter by the NC GOP
counsel, the state election board changed the rules as of October 12, 2004 , by
advising that those candidates who qualified could continue to raise money but those
who were not participating could not. That left only about two months in which to try
to fundraise. For someone who was at the time a relative unknown, fundraising was
an impossible task. I realized that at the outset and chose not to participate.
The system frees up those who are already judges from the odious task of raising
money. And it removes the judge or judicial candidate from any “taint” of impropriety.
Judicial fundraising sounds like a good idea, right?
The judicial system is seriously flawed, from my perspective.
One problem with the current system is that a judge must qualify for the funds. One
can argue that this bar serves to separate “serious” candidates from anyone else who
seeks office. To me, that is not what America is about.
Running for office is not a popularity contest or a beauty pageant. Too often that is
what we get. How many citizens have lamented the dearth of available choices and
held our nose while we voted?
The idea is that anyone who wants to serve, as long as he or she meets the
residency and age requirements, can do so. We are doing a disservice to ourselves
and other members of the public only by letting the “serious”
candidates enter a race. I have found that the “serious” candidates were by and
large individuals who succeeded in getting appointed or otherwise ingratiated
themselves with those in power. I have met and known many officeholders. Some
are good. The rest suffer from defects of character and lack of intellect. And yet,
there they are in office. I have no explanation other than that they had the right
connections to get them in office.
In addition, setting a monetary qualification does act as a bar. There are numerous
individuals that are like me out there. Perhaps they do not have the connections.
Perhaps they are unaffiliated with a particular party.
There are myriad reasons why such an individual could not meet the financial hurdle.
Most such individuals will not be able to raise the necessary funds to overcome that
bar and may decide not to run simply because of it.
Another problem is the fairness of the current system. Leaving aside the propriety of
our state elections board changing the rule mid-stream, how is it fair to benefit some
people and not others? In theory, perhaps the rules were designed to help candidates
who are faced with a very wealthy opponent.
In practice, look who entered my race. The people who met the requirements got the
money; those that failed to qualify did not, giving the qualified entrants a decided
advantage. The change in the rules made the situation worse, as it was clearly
designed to send a message to anyone who did not meet the qualifications to drop
A third problem is the cost. Money comes from private foundations and other
sources, including some public dollars. I do not object to the use of public dollars for
a public purpose, such as publishing the judicial voter guide because it was of benefit
to the public at large. I do object to some unelected board using public funding to
benefit a particular candidate or candidates. I am a taxpayer. Why should I essentially
be forced to fund a candidate or candidates with whom I may disagree?
I also think that the funding is a waste of money. Most of the candidates spent money
like drunken sailors on shore leave, and they spent that money in the wrong places.
For example, those Republican candidates who received the money all banded together
and paid money to some out-of-state advertising firm for brochures. The Republican
candidates omitted one of the candidates one who did not qualify. The brochures ended
up in the garbage.
And what was the result? The candidate who did not qualify won her election.
All but one of the candidates who appeared on the flyer won, and a question has arisen
as to whether the victorious candidate “cheated” by breaking the law to win, but that is
As for solutions, one way to make the existing system fair is to eliminate the
mid-election prohibition on fundraising. The law already provided a solution, by
allowing poorer judicial candidates to apply for and receive “rescue” funds if faced with
a wealthy opponent. Another solution is to divide the available pot of money by the
number of candidates and simply let them use it as they see fit. It would encourage
those who want to run for office to do so. And it would widen the field by lending aid
to those who may not have the resources, but who want to serve. It also has the
benefit of fairness, since everyone who enters a race would have access to the same
pot of money.
Personally, I think the entire system should be scrapped for the ideas cited. The public
or private foundations should not be using their wealth to benefit some candidates
over others. The public should not be forced to donate to candidates with whom they
may disagree. Moreover, judges may claim that it is difficult to fundraise, but all
candidates have that problem.
Most candidates have day jobs that require their attention. And nobody likes asking
Finally, judges, like attorneys, are bound by canons of ethics. Limits on fundraising
are already in place. Why is it “unseemly” for a judge to ask for a campaign
contribution, but not so for other candidates who enact our laws? No sane judicial
candidate is going to “fix” a case merely because a litigant or a fellow member of the
bar did or did not donate to a political campaign. If a judge was that vindictive and
petty, he or she is unfit for office and should be impeached. I also am of the view
that there should be no limits whatsoever, as long as there is full disclosure. So if
George Soros or Steve Forbes want to buy a candidate, so be it. People would see
that and could choose accordingly.
Madame Justice what do you think of this ruling by the Iowa Courts?
Civil union dissolution withstands challenge The decision says those who wanted to
overturn a judge's order to void a lesbian union had no right to interfere. By FRANK
SANTIAGO REGISTER STAFF WRITER June 18, 2005 A judge's decision to dissolve a
lesbian couple's civil union survived an important legal challenge Friday that critics
predict will make Iowa a haven for out-of-state gay couples who seek a legal end to
their relationships. Others countered that the Iowa Supreme Court's decision was a
blow to groups that try to use the courts to push an anti-gay agenda. "The court told
them they don't have a right to get involved in someone else's personal business,"
said Sharon Malheiro, president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Community Center in Des Moines . She said the case was "a simple matter between
two people, and others got involved." The high court Friday rejected a lawsuit meant
to overturn Judge Jeffrey Neary's 2003 order that voided a civil union and divided
property between two Sioux City women who were joined in a ceremony in Vermont .
Excerpts • "We fail to see how the district court's action in dissolving a civil union of
another couple harmed in any specific way these plaintiffs' marriages and for this
reason, they have shown no legally recognized interest or personal stake in the
underlying action." • "We must keep in mind that our task is not to judge the merits
of the plaintiffs' contentions. Rather, our task is to determine whether these plaintiffs
are the proper parties to bring this action." • "All of these contentions and arguments
have no bearing on what the district court actually did. The court dissolved a civil
union. It did not dissolve a marriage." • "We disagree with the plaintiff state
legislators' contention that the district court was usurping their power." Iowa law
doesn't recognize same-sex unions. The justices ruled that those who sued over
Neary's order - a group of conservative Iowa lawmakers led the effort - had no legal
standing or right to interfere. "It would be strange indeed and contrary to our notions
of separation of powers if we were to recognize that legislators have standing to
intervene in lawsuits just because they disagree with a court's interpretation of a
statute," Chief Justice Louis Lavorato wrote. The unanimous ruling left Neary's order
untouched. Lavorato noted that Neary "may have been correct or may have been
incorrect" but "we make no judgment on the merits." Friday's ruling "left the door
open" for "more lawsuits filed by gays and over a myriad of marital rights and
privileges," predicted Chuck Hurley, president of the conservative Iowa Family Policy
Center in Des Moines . State Rep. Carmine Boal, a Republican from Ankeny and a
plaintiff in the lawsuit, predicted renewed support among legislators for a
constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. They said it • "This case is a great
example of the court saying you can't use someone else's life as a vehicle for your
own political agenda." - Camilla Taylor, lawyer for Lambda Legal Defense, a gay civil
rights group • "You can't create a new creature other than a man and woman and
call it a marriage." - Chuck Hurley, president of the Family Policy Center • "The
Legislature can't say, 'We didn't like Neary's ruling and we're going to reverse it.' " -
Ann Laquer Estin, University of Iowa law professor A University of Iowa law professor
emphasized Friday that Neary's ruling does not set a course for other Iowa judges
to follow. "To suddenly be alarmed that a flood of people are coming to Iowa, where
it takes a year to have standing for a divorce, seems to be a fairly far-fetched
scenario," said professor Ann Laquer Estin. "It doesn't mean that another judge
wouldn't consider doing the same thing, but no other judge would be obligated."
Kimberly Brown and Jennifer Perez went to Neary in August 2003 after entering a civil
union in Bolton , Vt. , on March 25, 2003 . Neary's order came amid a national
debate that began a month earlier when Massachusetts ' highest court ruled that a
state prohibition against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney on Thursday said he supports a ballot initiative that would end same-sex
marriages established there as a result of the ruling. Neary signed the divorce papers
during a brief daily period when judges meet with lawyers and approve routine orders.
He said he didn't realize the two people were women until after he signed. When he
discovered what he had done, Neary declined to withdraw the order, but he amended
it a few weeks later to say he ended only the civil union in Vermont and divided the
women's property as they had agreed. The controversy ignited a campaign to remove
Neary, of Merrill, from the bench in the November elections. The effort failed, with
about 58 percent of the voters in the district approving his retention for a six-year
term. The Rev. Matthew Wentz, former pastor of the Church of Christ in Le Mars
and a plaintiff in the case, described the ruling as "very scary." "There is a big concern
nationally about activist judges making laws from the bench, and it seemed to us
that Judge Neary was doing just that," he said. "Tolerance is all well and good, but
this is a pretty big blow to our overall society." Joining several Republican state
lawmakers in bringing the lawsuit was U.S. Rep. Steve King, who said the justices
shirked their constitutional duty. "If I and other legislators who joined me to rein in
the runaway judiciary did not have standing to defend the law in court, then who
would?" he asked. The Supreme Court rejected all claims by the lawmakers that they
had a stake in the case. "Many people have strong opinions about marriage, as they
do about divorce, child custody, zoning and many other issues," Lavorato wrote,
quoting a legal brief filed by Neary supporters. But if everyone were allowed to sue
over a judge's routine order "simply because of ideological objections or strongly
held philosophical beliefs . . . then there would be no limits to the petitions
brought." " Iowa law has never permitted such unwarranted interference in other
people's cases," Lavorato wrote. "Simply having an opinion does not suffice for
standing." The ruling said that the plaintiffs "seem to imply that the issue regarding
dissolution of civil unions will never be before this court." "The more probable scenario,"
Lavorato wrote, is that a judge in the future will refuse to grant such a divorce, leading to
an appeal by one of the parties involved. A lawyer for the Iowa Civil Liberties Union
applauded the ruling. "The court got it right," Randall Wilson said. "The fact that a court
chose to help a same-sex couple through a breakup has no bearing on other people's
marriages." Camilla Taylor, lawyer in Chicago for the Lambda Legal Defense and
Education Fund, a national gay civil rights organization, said the Iowa court "has
recognized that these anti-gay extremist groups don't belong in the case." "The general
principle is that Iowans want to know that they can go to court to have their private legal
matters resolved without having the case hijacked by a bunch of politicians," she said. >
Hope you have recovered from the fire. The Supreme Court was correct. The legislators
did not have standing to intervene. Nor did the church or anyone else. The more
interesting question is with the litigants. The judge would not have to give full faith and
credit to the decision to marry them. But he was not asked to marry, but to divorce
them. Its going to happen more frequently as people move. I think the best course is
for people to come up with agreements dividing property, kids, etc. just in case the
courts will not apply the divorce laws. Courts can declare them dissolved from
matrimony/civil unions in those states which recognize them. I guess the court can
decide how to divvy up their property too. It would make no sense to make them go
back to Vermont or to even apply the Vermont property laws if they do not have
property there. – Rachel
I am puzzled as to why you came to NC; how long you have been here; what ties you
have to NC; why are you running here? Do you have a family? What personal qualities
do you have that would endear you to NC voters?
I have resided in North Carolina for several years. I have longstanding contacts with NC,
dating back to my youth. My parents had friends here whom we visited and vacationed
with. While in high school, I was a member of the AFS club and we did a week-long
exchange with a high school in Sanford . For many years, I wanted to relocate to the
south, as various family members had relocated here because of the more favorable
economic climate. When the conditions were right, I followed suit. I consider myself a
yankee by birth, but a southerner by choice. I am unmarried and have no children,
but I have 2 pets - a cat and a dog. The question of personal qualities demonstrates
a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the office. A person with whom you
would share your favorite libation while conversing on a front porch is not necessarily a
person whom one would select to be a judge. I am a very hard and dedicated worker
and conscious of costs. I won't be spending my work time, which is paid for by the
taxpayers of this state, out on a golf course. Nor will I be lavishly re-decorating my
office or enriching myself at their expense. I have a passionate love for the law and
regardless of the issue, will strive to make the right decisions to effectuate justice and
uphold the law as promulgated by the legislature. I enjoy helping people - serving the
people of this state, by giving them well-reasoned decisions and not making up the law
to serve the interests of a few, is one way to give something back.
1. Why would the honest and good leaders let the fbi put a gag order on someone like Siebel Edmonds that may have indictment and teason information unless thier is a true controlled something going on?
2. Is the UCC law that may use, could you explain?
maybe you are connected to people that care about our country to do research--
3. Bonds---does the gov recieve money for people in prison created by a bond of some sort?
1. FBI gag order – I read about Sibel Edmonds and her case against the FBI for retaliation. It certainly looks suspicious to silence her now. I would need to read more fully about the case, however.
2. The UCC - the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC regulates transactions involving the sale of goods. There are different versions of it in each state. Your particular state may not have adopted all of the changes and revisions. Article 1 just contains general provisions. It generally sets forth the remedies of sellers' and buyers in Article 2. The remaining articles relate to: lease (Article 2A); commercial paper (like checks – Article 3); bank deposits and collections (Article 4); letters of credit (Article 5); bulk sales (Article 6); warehouse receipts & bills of lading (Article 7); securities (Article 8); and secured transactions (like buying a car or house - Article 9). I do not think the UCC would relate to any purpose you have described.
3. Bonds – you ask whether the government receives any money for putting people in jail. No, the government issues bonds to build prisons, schools and anything else. The government uses bonds when it does not have the cash. Its choices are to sell bonds or raise taxes, which are never a popular idea. Some things, such as traffic violations for parking or speeding, are a way for government to raise revenue from an activity which is not so much directed at stopping the activity as it is a way to raise revenue. I suppose the government could charge a fee, for example, to house a prisoner from another country, or our government could pay another country to house our prisoners. But I am not aware of the government getting money from anyone to put people in jail. It does enough things wrong!
How can those who would fight against invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal, be labeled terrorists???
Dear Mr. Canfor:
What you say is true to an extent. However, individuals fighting against an occupying force would not harm innocent civilians. The individuals you describe whack people's heads off and kill children. Remember Danny Pearle? Nick Berg? People who would do that are terrorists.