Skip to comments.Judge angered by special treatment for Andrew Sullivan
Posted on 09/11/2009 9:40:30 AM PDT by abb
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won't have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore - but a federal judge isn't happy about it.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes "small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice."
While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.
The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.
But the U.S. Attorney's Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan's attorney said it would have resulted in an "adverse effect" on an unspecified "immigration status" that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.
In the decision, Collings observed that Sullivan would still have to state on his application that he had been charged with a crime. Collings said that he asked both the prosecutor and Sullivan's attorney, Robert Delahunt Jr. (cousin of U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt), for more information about why paying the $125 would have "any additional adverse effect."
When no attorney could fully answer the question beyond citing advice from immigration lawyers, Collings requested that Delahunt submit a brief on the issue. But before Delahunt could reply, Assistant U.S. Attorney James F. Lang jumped in and said that Collings had no power to inquire why the U.S. attorney had decided to have the charge dismissed, the ruling stated.
Collings expressed concern in his ruling that "a dismissal would result in persons in similar situations being treated unequally before the law. ... persons charged with the same offense on the Cape Cod National Seashore were routinely given violation notices, and if they did not agree to [pay the fine] were prosecuted by the United States Attorney ... there was no apparent reason for treating Mr. Sullivan differently from other persons charged with the same offense."
In fact, noted Collings, there were several other defendants appearing in court the same day who were charged with the same offense.
In his opinion, Collings wrote that the U.S. attorney is "is not being faithful to a cardinal principle of our legal system, i.e., that all persons stand equal before the law and are to be treated equally in a court of justice once judicial processes are invoked. It is quite apparent that Mr. Sullivan is being treated differently from others who have been charged with the same crime in similar circumstances."
Ultimately, Collings acknowledged that he had no choice other than to allow the case to be dismissed, but "that the Court must so act does not require the Court to believe that the end result is a just one."
Calls to The Atlantic and Delahunt have not yet been returned.
This looks interesting.
Leftist Friend of OBAMA.
Amazing how some animals are more equal than others...
Be not surprised...
It involves a famous journalist who’s gay who hates Sarah Palin.
His attorney is a relative of Bill Delahunt.
Friends of Obama will be protected.
Will The Atlantic Magazine and other outlets run a subheader below all of Sullivan’s article?
“Musings from a Pothead”
Wow. That's a good hard slap from the Judge, and on the public record.
“Rump Riders On The Storm”
(Apology to Jim Morrison)
All persons or all CITIZENS are to be treated the same under the law?
I don’t think we have to treat non-citizens the same under the law. We can treat them differently if we want ... harsher.
Lessons From Andrew Sullivan’s Pot Bust
Andrew Sullivan’s Federal Pot Favors
Andrew Sullivan: Dopehead foreigner
Andrew Sullivan’s Federal Pot Favors
All of which makes him a protected species.
LOL, gay mafia member busted for pot....isn’t this the homosexual who slandered Palin and her family?
Could the US Attorney be a Sullivan butt buddy?
Now I understand why nobody understands Sullivan’s many about-faces.
Typical case of politics interfering with Justice. I’m glad the Judge didn’t just dismiss it without a parting shot.
Possibly, but now that a precedent has been set, other people similarly charged -- and their lawyers -- will insist on not paying the fine or being prosecuted, and the U.S. Attorney's office is going to have a real problem on their hands. Plaintiffs will plea the "Andrew Sullivan defense."
The Judge knows what's coming. Just wait.
We all know it has nothing to do with “immigration status.” It has everything to do with his celebrated status as a protected minority.
Friends who served decades as immigration officers saw a lot of this. US Attorneys, whose field is criminal law, usually were petrified of immigration laws, of which they knew nothing, including the criminal provisions. Rather than confront their own ignorance and learning the law - which is what lawyers do - they found it easier to capitulate to corrupt deals and get the cases off their docket. Other, equally lesser agencies were treated in similarly cavalier manner, such as Social Security IG’s office, Labor, Commerce, HHS, Education, all of which have criminal provisions falling within the jurisdiction of the US Attorney. But, the headlines are in the cases brought by FBI, DEA, ATF.
another protected obamabot
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