Playing soldiers

Well that’s not at all alarming.

The Oath Keepers, an armed, camouflage-wearing volunteer militia famous for hunkering down at Bundy Ranch, now say they have “boots on the ground” to protect Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who they believe was denied her right to a jury trial.

Even if they’re right, it’s not their job to “protect” her. Volunteer militias aren’t a thing, and civilian  “boots on the ground” are certainly not a thing. Nobody wants their boots on any ground; they need to stay home and watch tv.

“People should consider her under our protection,” Rhodes says in the teleconference. “We’ll make sure that our people are keeping a close eye on the situation and we’re going have boots on the ground to keep watch regardless, because this judge needs to understand that he’s not going be able to just go grab this lady whenever he feels like it.”

But, no. “Under our protection” isn’t a thing when it’s just some random guys meddling with a legal process. Nobody cares what kind of eye they keep on the situation, because they’re not the boss of anything. This judge doesn’t “need” to understand something just because they say so, and they don’t get to tell him what he’s going to be able to do. They’re just some guys. They’re like a gang. They don’t have any authority. Authority comes with accountability, and they don’t have either one. They need to stay home.

Contempt of court is not a criminal charge or civil complaint that results in a jury trial or hearings. It’s punishment for dismissing court authority, disobeying court orders or impeding the ability of the court to perform its function, according to Contempt is determined by the judge overseeing the case. Fines or brief jail time are common sanctions.

In Davis case, she was slapped with a class action lawsuit by same-sex and straight couples who could not get married at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office as a result of Davis’ actions. Davis lost the case and was ordered to begin issuing marriage licenses. She filed all possible appeals and lost, yet still refused to issue marriage licenses, resulting in the contempt ruling.

The Oath Keepers do not seem to be aware of this key aspect of Davis’ case, however. On theirwebsite, they say, “No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention.”

They want to be a militia but they don’t even bother to learn the basic facts of the case.

“Now we see the rise of an imperial judiciary that not only legislates from the bench but is attempting to expand their ‘contempt’ power to likewise swallow up our Bill of Rights and circumvent jury trial,” Rhodes wrote. “Both methods are used to allow the powerful office holder to merely point his finger and have his opponent thrown behind bars without a grand jury indictment and without being found guilty by a jury of their peers. No innocent until proven guilty before a jury. Just ‘guilty’ because the leader says so. That is a dictatorship, whether done by a president or by a judge.”

They need to watch more tv shows about lawyers.

The Oath Keepers have a history of intervening when the federal government tries to enforce laws the group disagrees with. The group was involved in an armed standoff with federal agents in 2013 while guarding Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was illegally grazing cattle.

And they got away with it, too, because white guys with guns are no threat to anyone at all whatsoever.

10 Responses to “Playing soldiers”