Former Ron Paul staffer and Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday, reports Right Wing Watch, “that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group” to Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.
This is the full text of the statement released by the Oath Keepers on September 9:
STATEMENT BY STEWART RHODES:
We believe Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights, and in particular her right to a jury trial. This judge has assumed unto himself not just the powers of all three branches of government, but has also taken on the powers of judge, jury, and “executioner.” What matters to us is not whether you agree with her position on gay marriage or her decision to not issue marriage licenses. What matters is that the judge is violating the Constitution in his anger and desire to punish her for going against his will. We are already being subjected to an unconstitutional imperial presidency, that grew exponentially under both Bush and Obama, expanding the claimed war powers of the president to swallow up our Bill of Rights and circumvent jury trial. The result is an executive branch that claims the absurd power to declare any American an “unlawful combatant” on the say-so of the president alone.
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. 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. No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again. – Stewart Rhodes
The Oath Keepers didn’t think they were violating any laws when they stood down federal authorities during the Clive Bundy Rebellion, so it’s no surprise they think neither the governor nor the sheriff did their job in allowing Davis to be arrested.
Rhodes had a phone conversation “with Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman and other local Oath Keepers activists,” in which he told them “he was on his way to Kentucky to help with the Davis operation.”
Apparently, Rhodes was going to satisfy himself by intimidating the judge who ordered Davis’ arrest by picketing outside his home, saying, “This judge needs to be put on notice that this sort of behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to.”
But her release changed that.
Never mind that, as one commenter to the above video has helpfully pointed out, “Congress gave federal judges the power to imprison people held in contempt back in the time of the founders” in the Judiciary Act of 1789:
SEC . 17. And be it further enacted, That all the said courts of the United States shall have power to grant new trials, in cases where there has been a trial by jury for reasons for which new trials have usually been granted in the courts of law; and shall have power to impose and administer all necessary oaths or affirmations, and to punish by fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of said courts, all contempts of authority in any cause or hearing before the same; and to make and establish all necessary rules for the orderly conducting business in the said courts, provided such rules are not repugnant to the laws of the United States.
Rhodes, complaisantly ignorant of what he pretends to protect, went on to say that, “If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”
The Jackson County Sheriff helpfully suggested that Rhodes “educate” the Rowan County Sheriff on his “responsibility” to block federal courts. Peyman said he would have stopped the arrest, and Rhodes proclaimed that,
“This is exactly the kind of thing that our Founding Fathers dealt with when dealing with the magistrates and the officers of the crown who wanted to run roughshod over the rights of the colonists without a jury indictment, without any of that. Same thing. They’re going to show their power and show you who’s boss.”
If anyone needs to be educated, it is these traitors who feel heir understanding of the law supersedes that of the legal system,and of the law of the land, the United States Constitution.
Two comments by Oath Keeper members on the organization’s website this morning show there are cracks developing over Rhodes’ “rush to judgment” over Kim Davis:
Dale 11 September, 2015, 02:34
Forget what Kentucky law Ms. Davis broke, what about the 1st Amendment? By evoking God into the equation, she is breaking a fundamental American law of separation of church & state. Surely all of you remember that some of our founding fathers were religiously persecuted in Europe. I see this as Stewart Rhodes cherry picking to the extreme. For what reason? Is he being blinded by anger, impatience, politics, faith or worse yet, the spotlight? Doesn’t he realize our main battle is still a war of words/ideology? If OK continues down this path, we will lose this war. I am a proud founding member of OK & still believe in it’s initial purpose. And I can’t count how many times others have told me I am the most patient man they know. But this hypocritical rush to judgement is testing my patience & making me question my membership.
Alexander 11 September, 2015, 03:38
Couldn’t agree more, Dale. All I see in the comments is Fox News and GOP ideology. Take off your tin hats, people. Kim Davis swore to uphold the Constitution, like we did, except she broke that oath. She is imposing HER beliefs on everyone else. You can believe whatever fairy tale -sky-cake crap you want, but do NOT impose it on others. When you do, you go to jail. Period.
What the Oath Keepers are selling is not honor. Honor has nothing to do with treason. It plays no role. What Stewart Rhodes is selling is rebellion on demand over a clerk who not only violated the law, but her own oath to do her duty. Comparisons made to the Founding Fathers and the patriots of 1776 are a joke. There is no comparison to be made.
Kentucky is not a sovereign nation and has not been since the Articles of Confederation were replaced by the United States Constitution. The Oath Keepers are a treasonous group plotting rebellion against the government of the United States of America.
They got away with their actions during the Bundy Affair. They should not be allowed to flaunt their treason a second time.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.