Blog Archives

Principles and plans directed to the protection of natural and Constitutional civil rights

Exercise Prosecutorial Discretion

No victim, no crime!

As Attorney General, I would exercise the power of prosecutorial discretion to the maximum extent possible, to allocate state police and prosecution resources away from legal infractions in which nobody and nothing was wrongfully harmed or put at unreasonable risk of harm.

Instead, I would direct those resources towards preventing wrongdoing by individuals and entities who are either actually harming people or trespassing legitimate property interests of state residents or the State of California, or doing things that create an unreasonable risk of such harm or trespass.

Exercising prosecutorial discretion in the interests of justice is the right and responsibility of the Attorney General.

Posted in Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom

Let’s Protect Women’s Right To Privacy in Childbirth

Stand By Midwives
If you are dubious about freedom, can we at least agree that everybody has a natural (God-given if you prefer) right to control what is done to his or her own body?  A free society cannot possibly exist without this basic right, which is recognized by the 4th and 10th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, and Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, to name but a few.  Despite this, the State of California is perfectly willing to ignore self-sovereignty when it comes to a woman’s right to choose the place, manner, and persons present when she gives birth.

Ongoing cases in point can be found here.  Consider also the case of Katie McCall, a midwife who was prosecuted by the State of California for doing what was right, rather than what the State dictates, telling her story here.­  Such cases have a tremendous chilling effect on the provision of midwifing services in California.  State prosecution for technical violations of midwife licensing laws must stop.  Immediately.  Besides working a great injustice on the midwives who have done no harm, prosecuting midwives for technical license violations lowers the supply of midwives and raises medical costs.  For more information about natural child birth and state prosecution of midwives, see my blog post here, references and awareness kindly provided by another.

A woman has an absolute right to make an informed decision where, how and with whom to give birth.  Whether the birthing mother freely chooses a licensed midwife, an unlicensed midwife, no midwife, or an ob/gyn doctor, the choice must be hers, and hers alone.  We need not fear chaos in the free market for birthing services: if we cannot trust mothers to make the birth decisions that are best for them and their babies, who can we trust?  Certainly not bureaucrats hired by politicians.

Nothing raises my ire like unwarranted prosecution of competent, caring midwives willing to assist mothers in the difficult and sacred process of child birth.  Birthing service providers have an obligation to be honest regarding their training and experience when being considered for hire, and to perform according to the standard of care that they have contracted to provide.  That’s just about it.  Any claims against midwifes or other birth service providers must be initiated by the mothers they serve, not by State licensing bureaucrats.

If elected as California Attorney General, I’ll stop all prosecution of home birth midwives under my control for mere licensing violations, without delay — whatever the political or legal consequences to myself.  That’s my solemn promise to all mothers, soon-to-be mothers, and midwives in California.  It’s the least I could do for the life you bring into the world.

Posted in News & Views, Protecting Freedom

When Oppression Masquerades As Law And Order

Those who defend and enforce unjust laws are oppressors and criminals.  Most people can understand that.  Why then do so many in law enforcement take the position that every law, no matter how stupid or oppressive, must be enforced?  One of my Republican primary opponents, David King, recently affirmed that he would enforce and defend laws that criminalize drugs, whether or not he thinks they are a good idea:

DavidKing

I disagree with David King on this issue.  Each person’s right to control her own food, medical treatment, and personal possessions is a fundamental human right.  The exercise of fundamental human rights is not a matter of social policy for legislators to criminalize.   Officers who enforce criminal laws against mere use or possession of a substance — whether it be cannabis or some other substance — are themselves committing immoral acts of aggression against the alleged drug “criminal.”

As Attorney General, I will refuse to enforce anti-drug laws against peaceful users and traders so long as no violence, threat of violence or fraud accompanies the use or sale of the thing in question.  I will not willingly order the officers under my supervision to commit immoral acts — even if by so doing I expose myself to threat of impeachment or lawsuit.

Above, King states that he would “defend and enforce” victimless crime laws “until a court directs otherwise.”  Not I.  If elected, I will exercise prosecutorial discretion and refuse to prosecute cases in which the only chargeable crime is possession or distribution of a substance or thing, whether that thing be a drug or a constitutionally protected weapon.  The Attorney General should defend the basic human right to right to control what you put into your own body – and to defend yourself by keeping and bearing arms responsibly.

In contrast, based on his position on substance criminalization, King would be willing to confiscate everyone’s weapons and put gun owners in jail, so long as the legislature passes the law.  If he would make an exception for guns, he is either unprincipled on the issue of whether the AG should refuse to prosecute immoral laws, or he does not believe that people have any fundamental human right to control what goes into their own bodies.  If he believes you have no right to control what goes into your own body, he would hold your body to be the property of the state.

So ask yourselves, “law and order” Republicans: does the law serve basic human rights, or is law enforcement free to violate human rights so long as supported by legislative process?  If the government can do whatever it wants “until a court directs otherwise,” who will protect you from the government?  If David King were Attorney General, certainly not him.

Protecting human rights does not mean being soft on true crime.  On the contrary, focusing police resources on actual dangerous criminals while allowing responsible sellers to operate makes things far tougher on the illegal cartels and unethical dealers.  Those who enforce prohibition on everyone facilitate profitable exploitation of the public by unethical dealers.

As Attorney General, I will enforce drug laws against violent cartels and dealers, those who sell drugs to children without parental consent, and those who intentionally push addictive and destructive drugs in a manner reasonably expected cause harmful addiction.  All of these activities are examples of criminal aggression against which defensive force is justified.

Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom

Let’s Restore Jury Nullification In California

The right and responsibility of a jury to judge both the facts and the law is a critical protection against government oppression that has been recognized in common-law countries for centuries.  Over 150 years ago, Lysander Spooner wrote of the importance of jury nullification, and warned of government efforts to restrict it, in his “Essay on Trial by Jury.”

Today, having been under assault in the United States for at least 150 years, jury nullification is almost forgotten by the general public.  Prosecutors don’t like it, because it reduces their ability to threaten defendants and coerce plea deals in marginal cases.  Judges don’t like it, because it reduces their power in the courtroom.  The police and prison industries don’t like it, because it reduces the number of criminals in their systems.  Jury nullification is not only helpful for preventing misuse of the law and unjust convictions, it also reduces taxpayer burdens and spurs healthy economic activity by preventing unnecessary imprisonments.

It’s far past time to end the hostility of the California justice system to jury nullification.  As chief law officer in the State, the Attorney General can have a tremendous impact on acceptance and use of jury nullification.  If elected, I would do everything in my power to ensure that every jury in California is instructed concerning its right and civic responsibility to judge not only the facts of the case, but the justice of the law applied.

 

Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom, Seeking Justice

AG’s Odious Motion To Intervene in Peruta v. County of San Diego

No_Weapons_Allowed

A few days ago, the incumbent AG moved to intervene in the case of Peruta v. County of San Diego. This was done only a few short days after the Ninth Circuit, guided by recent Supreme Court precedent in the Heller (2008) and MacDonald (2010), effectively granted Peruta’s motion for summary judgement in the District Court, holding that San Diego’s “good cause” permitting requirement infringed his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self defense.  The AG moved to intervene only after the County of San Diego announced that it would not take any action to overturn the ruling.

In a nutshell, two of the three justices on the panel held that because California does not allow open carry of firearms and restricts concealed carry to special circumstances at the discretion of the police, this infringes the individual’s right to bear arms in self-defense.   By so doing, the Court came to a common-sense result fully in accord with recent Supreme Court cases.  There was one dissenting justice.  Had the Ninth Circuit gone the other way, the case could have been appealed to the Supreme Court.  As the case fails squarely in the cracks between Heller and MacDonald, the Supreme Court would likely have taken the case and reversed the Ninth Circuit.

By intervening now and petitioning for a rehearing en banc, the AG is increasing the probability that a rehearing will be granted, by throwing the full weight of the State of California behind the petition.  A rehearing will only inject delay in ultimate resolution of the case, which given the continuing reign of Obama and state of 2nd Amendment jurisprudence, favors those who oppose 2nd Amendment rights.  By the time the case is ripe for hearing by the Supreme Court, perhaps another 2nd Amendment-friendly Justice will have been replaced by an Obama appointee hostile to the 2nd Amendment.  Heller and MacDonald might be ignored or overturned before this case reaches it, and Californians may never have the opportunity to learn first hand that the legal right to bear arms responsibly makes communities safer, not more dangerous.

It need hardly be pointed out that this action by the incumbent AG is extremely prejudicial and hostile to the individual right of self-defense.  It is not the action of a law officer sworn to uphold the California Constitution, which recognizes the right of self-defense explicitly.  If California needs any AG, if needs one that respects this right as well as other individual rights.  A Constitutional-compliant AG would not have intervened in Peruta.

Posted in News & Views, Protecting Freedom

Protecting The Right of Self-Defense

Among the natural and inalienable rights recognized by the California Constitution is the right of “defending life and liberty.”  While that document includes no express “right to keep and bear arms” in the manner proclaimed by the United States Constitution, the California Constitution does recognize, in Article 1, Section 24, that “this declaration of rights may not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.”

It is apparent that under natural law and consistent with the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear weapons necessary for defense is an inseparable part of the right to defend life and liberty.  So long as violent predators have access to firearms, the peaceful citizens of this state cannot constitutionally be deprived of their only means of effective defense against an armed attacker, which is a firearm of at least equal effectiveness to that wielded by the attacker.

Over the years, the state legislature has passed many detailed regulations and restrictions on weapons owners and dealers.  As Attorney General, I would not charge any person with a mere possession, transactional or registration violation of weapons laws, except in cases where the weapon is actually being used to further a crime with an actual victim.  The scarce resources of the Attorney General must be preserved for prosecuting actual crimes, not politically expedient bans on possessing, trading, or transporting items reasonably necessary and useful for self-defense by otherwise peaceful and law-abiding citizens.

Posted in Protecting Freedom

Protect Digital Currency & Private Data

BitCoin and other forms of digital currency represent a new and growing industry with the potential to greatly benefit California residents.  It’s become so successful, that it is now under attack by special interests in international banking, who fear that it might someday threaten their present-day monopoly over the international monetary system.  As Attorney General, I would help Californians resist such attacks, to the best of my ability.

The Attorney General doesn’t work for international bankers, or even for politicians in Washington D.C.  The Attorney General works for the people of the State of California, under the California Constitution.  California has no interest in protecting the present-day monetary system.  On the contrary, the people of California have been greatly injured by this system over the years, as the productive capital of the region has been sucked out or exhausted by monetary forces outside of the people’s control.

California has an interest in facilitating the use of honest  measures and stable mediums of exchange by its people, building up environmentally sound productive capital in the region, and protecting the privacy of its citizens under the California Constitution.  This includes the right of citizens to maintain privacy regarding their monetary exchanges, such as afforded by BitCoin and related technology.  The Attorney General must be on the side of the people, and resist all government measures to institute capital controls and tracking of financial exchanges.  Such control measures are fundamentally incompatible with liberty and the right of privacy as recognized by the California Constitution, and can only lead to greater totalitarianism and political corruption.

As Attorney General, I would resist attacks on digital currency and the right of privacy by refusing to enforce any laws against victimless conduct, writing legislation to protect digital currency from regulation offensive to privacy rights and personal liberty, and refusing to cooperate with international or federal agents seeking to prosecute digital currency exchangers, miners, or users.

Posted in Protecting Freedom