For the fourth time since 1973, and the second time in only two years, an Illinois Governor has been found guilty of wrongdoing. There is one consolation for former Governor Rod Blagojevich, however. Of the 24 charges levied against him, he was convicted of merely one: lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Unfortunately for Blago, that crime alone can secure up to five years in prison. On the other 23 counts, the jury was deadlocked, in most cases, by a lone juror.
Two days after taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order stating that “the detention facilities at Guantanamo … shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”
Just after midnight on Saturday, July 24, at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern — “Where everyone is treated like a regular” — a very irregular event occurred. After 13 years of routinely doing their Friday night fire-breathing tricks at the Herndon, Virginia, establishment, bartenders Tegee Rogers, 33, and Justin Fedorchak, 39, were hauled out in handcuffs.
In the face of the growing behemoth known as the American federal government, states and individual citizens are rediscovering the Tenth Amendment as a defense against tyrannical and unconstitutional measures taken by the fed. Recalling the power assigned to the states by the Founding Fathers, the term “state nullification” has begun to creep back into the American vocabulary as a defense mechanism against this growing Leviathan, even featured as a topic of discussion on Judge Napolitano’s new show Freedom Watch, which aired on August 7 on the Fox Business Network.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has long been known as the most left-wing federal court in America, its decisions descending into legal insanity. Now, the Court has delivered itself of its latest left-wing legal legerdemain: Americans have a First Amendment right to lie about whether they have earned the Medal of Honor.
“There’s no question he’s pathological,” said Bob G. Kuhn, the board’s president, recounting some of what has come out of Mr. Alvarez’s mouth. “He’s had three helicopter accidents. He’s been shot 16 times. These are all fabrications.”
But Mr. Kuhn said the board was powerless to expel Mr. Alvarez, who continues to receive $200 per meeting and health insurance. The board has censured him, though, for putting a woman he falsely claimed was his wife on the board’s health plan.
Alvarez faced two years in prison and a $200,000 fine for telling the ultimate lie: that he wore the nation’s highest military decoration and belonged to the storied ranks of Audie Murphy, Alvin York and Rocky Versace.
Later, they found out he had in fact received improper benefits. So he was convicted for making false statements to federal agents and appealed to the Supreme Court — after all, plenty of people were telling this very same lie and walking away under the “exculpatory no” doctrine.
Brogan argued that a defendant had to be excused for his denial to federal agents because the spirit of the Fifth Amendment would be violated when someone is “cornered” and given a “cruel trilemma”: tell the truth (and admit guilt), remain silent, or lie (and falsely deny guilt).
Scalia snapped back, saying lying is not an option. An innocent person, after all, would not face the same trilemma. The innocent person only has two options: tell the truth or remain silent.
“Whether or not the predicament of the wrongdoer run to ground tugs at the heartstrings, neither the text nor the spirit of the Fifth Amendment confers a privilege to lie,” Scalia wrote. The Fifth Amendment gives the alleged criminal the right to remain silent, but not to lie.