[The Sandra Day O’Conner Courthouse in Phoenix, AZ]
Update: Oral argument took place as scheduled. Links to the archived video are available here and here. Additionally, the video has been embedded below– 07 February 2023:
Oral argument in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for my ongoing civil rights lawsuit is scheduled for February 7, 2023 at the Sandra Day O’Conner Courthouse in Phoenix, AZ. The court session starts at 0900 but several other cases are being heard the same day so it’s unclear exactly what time the hearing in my case will begin. Most likely it will be sometime around 1000 or so. For those who would like to watch the hearing live, it will be available here.
Each side has been allocated approximately 10 minutes to respond to questions from the court and otherwise make their case. The briefs & documentation that make up the record before the court can be found here. It consists of our opening brief along with approximately 900 pages of supporting documentation, the federal defendant’s answering brief, the county defendant’s answering brief and our reply to the defendant’s answering briefs.
A previous update regarding this case that discusses it’s genesis in greater detail is available here & here. Links to additional posts related to the lawsuit appear below:
Understanding that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and that internal checkpoints represent more of a threat to our country than the problem(s) they profess to solve, the Cato Institute recently launched an initiative to help identify and track the Border Patrol roadblocks currently being operated along public highways inside the United States of America. This initiative, aptly named:
It’s actually an excerpt from a book titled, STORMING THE WALL, by Todd Miller. The article does a good job painting real faces on the people Border Patrol agents routinely abuse, harass and traumatize at suspicionless checkpoints/roadblocks along domestic highways across the Southwest.
An excerpt from the article appears below:
"Sit down," the agent barks.
The children immediately sit on the burning asphalt. Garcia doesn't sit. He is trying to articulate, now by his actions, that he doesn't consent. The pause is enough to irritate the agent again. "Sit the fuck down," the agent says to the U.S. citizen, again raising his billy club. Garcia finally complies. The border between these two sets of U.S. citizens is as powerful as the actual international border, and the threat of violence can emerge as suddenly and fiercely as an oncoming storm.
- Checkpoint Trauma, Tucson Weekly, September 21, 2017
2017 has seen a resurgence in the U.S. Border Patrol’s ongoing war against freedom of movementinside the country. This despite the fact the U.S. Border Patrol is supposed to, well, patrol the actual border:
Given however that Customs & Border Protection has little interest in shutting down more than about 30% of illegal traffic at the actual border due to CBP corruption and the impact of enforcement operations on cross-border commercial traffic, one can see why the Border Patrol continues to shift its dog and pony show away from actual border enforcement activities and towards interior enforcement operations that significantly interfere with domestic traffic.
A federal magistrate in Phoenix, Arizona recently chastisedU.S. Customs & Border Protection (USCBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for blatant violations of the Freedom of Information Act. The magistrate’s findings were the result of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the ACLU & two University of Arizonalaw professors over three years ago.
While violations of federal law by DHS and USCBP are nothing new and FOIA lawsuits against them are numerous, what’s relatively unique in this case is the subject of the FOIA lawsuit referenced above. Specifically, it targets the Green Monster’s policies & procedures regarding interior enforcement operations such as internal roadblocks and roving patrols along with complaints filed against USCBP related to the enforcement of those policies and procedures.
I started writing this blog entry, regarding a disabled school teacher dragged out of her vehicle and forced to the ground at a Marfa, TX checkpoint in 2015, shortly after first hearing about it. Unfortunately, I let the story get away from me by sitting on it for too long as I tried doing research on several related issues and waiting for more information regarding the incident to come to light. To be frank, I forgot about it after a while and didn’t come across it again until just recently while dusting off the website & prepping for new content. Despite the age of the incident however, I think it’s an important story to highlight because it shows several things that are so very wrong with interior suspicionless roadblocks in America.
While on vacation and traveling the Southwest in January of this year, Mark Edge along with his wife and young son gained some valuable insights into what it’s like to live within the occupied territories of the United States of America. During their travels, they were stopped and seized absent reasonable suspicion no less than four times by armed paramilitary troops operating suspicionless roadblocks with impunity along public highways inside the United States of America.
While I have much to say about Rick Rynearson’s treatment at the hands of jack-booted Border Patrol thugs at internal suspicionless roadblocks and black-robed judicial thugs in the judicial system, I’ll let Rick speak for himself….
“It is an issue that affects millions of American motorists: Can border patrol agents detain you simply because they believe you are being difficult? Last year, a federal court concluded that it was “reasonable” for border patrol agents performing citizenship checks to detain Richard Rynearson at an immigration checkpoint for 23 minutes after he offered the agents both his military and personal passports, without any suspicion of criminal activity. In rejecting Rynearson’s Fourth Amendment claims, the court brushed aside compelling evidence—captured on video—that the agents deliberately prolonged Rynearson’s detention because he dared to question the propriety of some of their questions and instructions.”
Proving itself to be an equal opportunity harasser regardless of what border it operates near, Border Patrol agents stationed near Canada were recently caught on tape illegally detaining, physically assaulting and tasering 21 year old Jessica Cooke near Waddington, New York. The incident occurred on May 7, 2015 and the agents primarily responsible for the assault can be seen above as well as in the video below: