What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

How is this legally possible?

This story on Wisconsin's "John Doe" invasions of conservative groups and individuals is terrifying. If you thought the IRS abuse of conservatives was bad, this is much worse: Police doing home invasions on the basis of political speech and campaign contributions and telling people that they cannot tell anyone, including a lawyer.

I've heard of court gag orders before, but I have never, ever heard of a blanket court order to all the subjects of an investigation that they may not talk to anyone, including a lawyer, about the existence of the investigation and their treatment in the course of an investigation. I don't care if this law was originally passed to assist investigations of mafia kingpins. Even a mafia kingpin is entitled to due process and to talk to his lawyer.

What is this craziness? How is such a law remotely legally possible? Why has it not been struck down long ago as unconstitutional?

Comments (15)

Why has it not been struck down long ago as unconstitutional?

A federal judge recently ruled that there was no 3rd amendment violation in a team of heavily armed cops storming into someone's house to use it as a base of operations to gather intel on a domestic abuse case. This is the same federal judiciary that gave us Kelo and that only recently realized that for about 150 years the 2nd amendment was the only part of the bill of rights that had never, not once, been incorporated under the 14th amendment. You expect consistency out of a bureaucracy that acts like the Roman Magisterium while denying God.

How is such a law remotely legally possible?

Not knowing the history here, but I'm going to guess "War on Drugs".

Allegedly, it was something to do with the mafia in the history. But still, there is no justification. The worst, most murderous mafia don should not be silenced when talking to his lawyer.

According to this, in some form, it's been on the books since the territorial days of Wisconsin. Still not an excuse, but this is precisely the sort of thing that Republicans should be hounded on until they draft a law to repeal.

If Walker gets the nomination, he should should issue a warning to the Wisconsin law enforcement establishment, Chisholm in particular, and tell them that if elected President he's going to bring the full machinery of the DoJ down on their heads with criminal sanctions.

Either the "in some form" thing is flexible, or it's always been outrageous. After all, if you are not allowed to talk to a lawyer, then the state can at least attempt to forbid you from bringing a color of law suit in federal court, since to do so you would need to disclose to a lawyer (at least) and to a federal court what had been done to you.

Well, one thing you could do is go to an attorney and say "hypothetically this, hypothetically that and would I have a case in federal court?" If your attorney files in federal court and the state promptly arrests you, that would likely get the judge to immediately bring the hammer down on the John Doe law since it is a law effectively attempting to override access to the federal courts but from the state level.

Yeah, I have to I agree with Mike on that. For one, I would NOT obey such orders (to the extent I could avoid being caught), it's not a just law and should not be given obedience. Second, I seriously doubt that it would stand up to scrutiny at some federal venue, though I don't know where. Thirdly, don't these people fear the crud eventually "getting out" and then having to deal with the court of public opinion as well as legally being fried to a crisp?

What is this craziness? How is such a law remotely legally possible? Why has it not been struck down long ago as unconstitutional?

In all seriousness, what does it matter in this lawless country? Anymore, it seems like everything is permitted so long as it suits the interests of the left. Those of us who think/believe/live differently have been checkmated.


No, cops and prosecutors genuinely don't. Why? Consider this case. Cop tells 19 year old teacher in training to leave a party. She does. He runs over to her car, jumps on the hood and shoots her 4 times in the chest. I believe he's already been cleared because he was "afeered fur muh life."

What does the "court of public opinion" matter when it never amounts to more than a nasty glance at the grocery store. Imagine instead, her father showed up at the station, shot him dead in front of his superiors and a jury very clearly nullified his conviction because the prosecutor had called an act of second, if not first degree murder, against the man's daughter an "innocent mistake."

That's about where we're at as a country before the system will start to stand up and take notice.

Clearly some sort of civil disobedience is called for. No people have ever gone to the extent of some Catholic dogmatists for whom authority is never to be flouted unless it asks us to do something intrinsically wrong.

Imagine being a Jew in Berlin 1936. The authorities forbid you to walk on sidewalk. Are you morally obliged to obey?

A good case can be made that when the authorities know that the line has to be pushed exceedingly far to get even civil disobedience, human nature will make it easier for them to do wrong. That's true of bullies, but true of most people to some degree.

Mike, that seems to be right. It is, really, what accountability relates to: it is not enough to 'have a rule' about something for people to tend toward right behavior, there has to be some sort of expectation that malfeasance will be brought to account.

Socially, once we lose any expectation that wrong-doing will be brought to account in the next life (the atheists and agnostics don't even think there is a next life, the New Agers don't believe it means anything like being held to account, and even 60% to 80% of Christians believe that going to the next life means "going to a better place", automatically), the only practical possibility for people expecting to be held accountable is in this life. But no government can do enough of it to really make people believe it matters, and indeed since government is made up of the same people, government itself will trend to malfeasance when we lose general accountability from the hereafter. It is yet another reason why government and religion together are two essential pillars of civil society.

Interestingly, this kind of logic is being used by those who defend the rioters (though not the looters) in Fergusen and Baltimore. We and they are basically asking, "How far must we be pushed before it's legitimate to rebel?"

I'm not saying it's right, and I'm not saying the situations are exactly analogous. I'm not sure I have a real point. :) Just noting the similarity.

Jake, the only "rebellion" I would suggest in the situation in the main post is defying an arguably unconstitutional court order that says you can't tell anybody, including a lawyer, that the police staged a home invasion in your home at the order of a corrupt prosecutor on a fishing expedition and trying to punish you for making political donations he disapproves of. Hence, telling someone. And suing the pants off them for a color of law constitutional violation. That's the big rebellion I'm suggesting.

Refusing to go along with illegal orders is not analogous to destroying the private property of innocent third parties (many of them victims themselves) to make a statement that "you aren't going to go along with officially countenanced corruption any more." The so-called "logic" being used to defend rioters by suggesting that they are right to destroy other people's property 'just because' is not really logic at all, it is merely frustration seizing any tool at hand and pretending it is the right tool merely because no other tool is ready to hand. Sure, they want to claim it is logical, but we don't have to accept that.

And even if (let's pray it never gets there) it ever became morally appropriate to rebel, such morally sound behavior doesn't encompass attacking those who are not responsible for the evil. Violence for the sake of sheer frustration, without being directed at a legitimate target, is always immoral.

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.