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kpete

(72,175 posts)
Mon Apr 8, 2024, 08:44 AM Apr 8

Judge: 1/6 was violent, not peaceful; opportunistic, not principled; coercive, not persuasive; & selfish, not patriotic" [View all]

Notes from Judge Royce Lamberth at Jan 6 sentencing last week:

"Nor was the January 6 riot an act of civil disobedience, because it was violent, not peaceful; opportunistic, not principled; coercive, not persuasive; and selfish, not patriotic




NOTES FOR SENTENCING
Today, the Court sentenced Taylor James Johnatakis. The Court ordered that Mr.
Johnatakis be committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for a term of 87 months. The
following are the notes that the Court used when delivering portions of its oral sentencing.
***
A society in which everyone does what is right by his own lights, where adherence to the
law is optional, would be a society of vigilantism, lawlessness, and anarchy. As my late friend
Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, “t is the proud boast of our democracy that we have ‘a
government of laws and not of men.’” Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 697 (1988) (Scalia, J.,
dissenting). A person dissatisfied with the government or the law has various non-violent ways to
express his or her views. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. It also enshrines “the
right of the people peaceably”—let me repeat, peaceably—“to assemble.” And history has shown
there is some role for the civil disobedience of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr.,
in which a citizen engages in principled and peaceful—let me repeat, peaceful—disobedience of
the law in order to protest a perceived injustice. In that situation, the person acknowledges they
have broken the law and accepts the legal consequences that follow.

But what the jury found Mr. Johnatakis to have done on January 6 was neither First
Amendment-protected activity nor civil disobedience. As the Court has said before, “the First
Amendment does not give anyone the right to enter a restricted area or to engage in riotous activity
in the Capitol.” See United States v. Little (Little Notes for Resentencing), No. 1:21-cr-315 (RCL),
2024 WL 386718 (D.D.C. Jan. 25, 2024). It obviously does not give anyone the right to assault
the police. Nor was the January 6 riot an act of civil disobedience, because it was violent, not
peaceful; opportunistic, not principled; coercive, not persuasive; and selfish, not patriotic.
https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.227212/gov.uscourts.dcd.227212.272.0.pdf
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