What Are They Worth? [responsivevoice_button]
Disclaimer: This piece was written before the final orders and mandate were issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (April 2018, Victim’s Rights Month of all things.) Since then more rights were destroyed, more laws were broken DURING AND INSIDE AND AFTER TRIAL, and more corruption was uncovered and filed with the court (see below). This piece was submitted to LAW360.Com for publication as a feature article. That would not have happened until after the publication of case documents. But it never happened. The appeals mandate issued in April of 2018 and is still unknown, still not published. NINE MONTHS LATER. Why? See the end of this piece for the explanation and hold on to your hats when the publications eventually DO happen. Arizona will be HIGHLY ashamed.
Suesie & Lee Hempfling, Apache Junction, Arizona Feb 3, 2018
Considering the recent revelations of sordid misconduct with agents of the FBI trampling over Constitutional Rights the question arises: what is a right worth anyway? Is taking away someone’s 1st Amendment rights a serious thing? Does taking someone’s 14th Amendment, 5th Amendment, 8th Amendment and many others away mean anything at all: or are those just some old useless things some old white men put on paper.
Courts spend countless days, hours, weeks and months putting together the most detailed possible description of what has led them to the decision they would announce in their full-dress opinions. 1
A great deal of that time and work effort is spent defining words that have specific meaning and to a court that meaning is just about everything. In fact, they take those they agree on and make them part of this list: http://www.uscourts.gov/glossary
So it is quite amazing when one comprehends that the most fundamental thing in a constitutional republic as ours: the individual rights of the citizen; rests mostly on the concept of dignity. Dignity.
That word is not one of those cast in glossary status. It is: “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.” In ‘other words’: dignity is a CONCEPT. It is NOT something one possesses. It is the CONCEPT of feeling like one could have honor or could be respected. IT IS A RESULT OF THE PERSON’S EXPERIENCES NOT VALUE!
Taken to mean what it means, in HALL v. FLORIDA2 2 Justice KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court:
“The Eighth Amendment provides that “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The Fourteenth Amendment applies those restrictions to the States. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 560, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 161 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005); Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 239-240, 92 S.Ct. 2726, 33 L.Ed.2d 346 (1972) (per curiam). “By protecting even those convicted of heinous crimes, the Eighth Amendment reaffirms the duty of the government to respect the dignity of all persons.” Roper, supra, at 572, 125 S.Ct. 1183; see also Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 100, 78 S.Ct. 590, 2 L.Ed.2d 630 (1958) (plurality opinion) (“The basic concept underlying the Eighth Amendment is nothing less than the dignity of man”).
The Eighth Amendment “is not fastened to the obsolete but may acquire meaning as public opinion becomes enlightened by a humane justice.” Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 378, 30 S.Ct. 544, 54 S.Ct. 793 (1910). To enforce the Constitution’s protection of human dignity, this Court looks to the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” Trop, supra, at 101, 78 S.Ct. 590. The Eighth Amendment’s protection of dignity reflects the Nation we have been, the Nation we are, and the Nation we aspire to be. This is to affirm that the Nation’s constant, unyielding purpose must be to transmit the Constitution so that its precepts and guarantees retain their meaning and force.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits certain punishments as a categorical matter. No natural-born citizen may be denaturalized. Ibid. No person may be sentenced to death for a crime committed as a juvenile. Roper, supra, at 572, 125 S.Ct. 1183 And, as relevant for this case, persons with intellectual disability may not be executed. Atkins, 536 U.S., at 321, 122 S.Ct. 2242.”
The Eighth Amendment reads: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” A direct prohibition of valuing someone as a human and not as a product of environment or class or privilege.
It does indeed seek to protect one’s “state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect”. Any negative impacting emotionally eliciting event will cause that to some degree. Depression will destroy the concept’s potential.
That means simply that DIGNITY cannot add to nor take away from the value of a human. It is the result of that human’s perspective of his or her self.
The Eighth Amendment serves to maintain the dignity of the citizenry. Violate the 1st, you’ve just added the 8th. Steal someone’s ability to be heard and In NEBRASKA PRESS ASSN. v. STUART, the first case where prior restraint against the news or publication itself was addressed (censorship) MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of Supreme Court:
“[I]t has been generally, if not universally, considered that it is the chief purpose of the [First Amendment’s] guaranty to prevent previous restraints upon publication.” [427 U.S. 589] Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U. S., at 713. See also, e. g., id., at 716-717; Patterson v. Colorado ex rel. Attorney General, 205 U.S. 454, 462 (1907); Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 249 (1936).16 Prior restraints are “the essence of censorship,” Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, supra, at 713, and “[o]ur distaste for censorship—reflecting the natural distaste of a free people—is deep-written in our law.” Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad, 420 U.S. 546, 553 (1975). The First Amendment thus accords greater protection against prior restraints than it does against subsequent punishment for a particular speech, see, e. g., Carroll v. Princess Anne, 393 U.S. 175, 180-181 (1968); Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, supra; “a free society prefers to punish the few who abuse rights of speech after they break the law than to throttle them and all others beforehand. It is always difficult to know in advance what an individual will say, and the line between legitimate and illegitimate speech is often so finely drawn that the risks of free-wheeling censorship are formidable.” Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad, supra, at 559″3
[The following search result was relevant in April of 2018. The point is still the same but the phrase shown as appeared elsewhere, although not deeply relevant to this argument.] Unless someone is censoring: the “value of constitutional right” phrase is available in only one document:
Hedonic Damages In Section 1983 Actions – Washington & Lee Jan 1, 1987 – 1986) (holding that § 1983 damages for abstract value of constitutional right are invalid); [Abstract value is subjective, self created and not even real.)
1. If a person has a dangerous job does that make them more valuable than a person who has a desk job?
2. Is a constitutional right worth more or less because of what it is or what it protects or what it prohibits?
3. Does the 14th Amendment right to due process have the same value as the right guaranteeing free speech in the 1st Amendment?
a. Think about that. If the first amendment is violated, isn’t the 14th Amendment violated as well? How could anyone value one versus the other?
4. What if: while one constitutional violation is being evaluated and adjudicated; other constitutional violations occur of the same right or other rights. Does that make each
of them more valuable?
One might think so. Some case law even indicates the severity of the deprivation of a right and the reason for it to be indicative of a trigger that all of a sudden allows a court to increase the amount of penalty it can impose.
Contrary to Common belief the court system in this country does indeed operate a great deal on the concept of an eye for an eye. That concept is what gives rise to the sentencing power of pretty much anything they want to do based on the severity of the ACT.
Before we can find the value of a loss we need to find the value of the human life that has the right to begin with. After all: if a loss of a right affects the species in anyway (“The What?”… wait for it) it has to be important to know.
How much is a single human life worth? It depends on how you see life. Don’t ask a Democrat. They tend to want them killed before they are born. So: let us talk about a life that is in its own clothes.
5. Is an older person; like a senior citizen worth more, or less than a person of a younger age?
6. Is a person’s worth based on what the person has, or is a person’s worth based on what the person is?
7. Or perhaps is a human life valued by how much that specific life has contributed to society as a whole?
Dr. Martin Luthor King might be a life worth something: but the people he sought to help have no value?
At least the original value of a slave was 3/5ths of a real man’s worth4. Today’s liberal mindset places no value on a person unless that person can VOTE FOR THEM and of what they cannot see. Therefore, anyone or anything not already known and accepted is worthless, including unborn human children who are not afforded the legal right to even demand to be recognized.
Or, as liberals would have it, is a human life valued by how much that specific life might possibly, could potentially, determined by some bureaucrat, be worth a variable value based on whether it might appeal to that pinhead making the decision?
Or are all persons the same value?
If there were different values given to people (history is loaded with that) then all people would not be created equal and therefore that pesky declaration that starts the whole concept of this Constitutional Republic becomes itself: suspect. The people who determine the value control the rest of the people. Seriously: Communism is a dead utopia. It is a sign of a grown up, adult society that recognizes a human to be an individual human, but it is naturally assumed to be a state of being part of the human species. In fact the Constitution requires you only to be such a member.
The Globalist stated: “As of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration put it at $7.9 million — and the Department of Transportation figure was around $6 million.” You see? Zealots increase the value of a life that involves their cause, while physicians calculate parts and resale and the industry that moves people around says its less: shhh … on account they tend to lose passengers from time to time.
Take away a Constitutional Right of the United States Constitution and its Amendments and those inalienable rights assumed in nature and you have not only made that person a victim but have declared that person NOT to be human in this country. Every single human being inside the borders of this great country enjoy the same rights. Citizen or not. Having a right removed means that person is SUB-HUMAN. Even a terrorist has rights in this country. We would not have it any other way.
What kind of a value can be placed on every single human being’s loss of a constitutional right when recovery; or being made whole by a court could simply not be calculated. The value of a Constitutional Right is NOT calculable. Which would logically mean any value less than all values would be appropriate.
Which is why the loss of a right is tantamount to a CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS each time it happens.
The loss of the right to due process (14th Amendment) is not less value when first discovered than the loss of it again by its continuing violation. It does not become more of a loss by more losses. A right is a BINARY condition that can ONLY exist as YES. A state of NO means a single loss of the right because it cannot be gained back once taken without being restored first.
If one person loses a right, then all people in this country are victims in waiting. If the binary condition of a right is not “YES THIS APPLIES” then there are NO rights.
The value of a right is incalculable.
Update: In June of 2018 the Hempflings attempted to take advantage of the 9th Circuit Local Rule 36-4 by following the requirements to request publication of the case. (Still trying to see what happened in all of the cases.) That letter was stolen inside the Postal Service. Since it was, the Hempflings submitted an explanation and letter to the Clerk of Court (following the local rule requirement) and it was sent by FEDEX to ensure its arrival. Someone changed that delivery from late afternoon to early morning (far too expensive to send that way.) A copy of it was sent via regular U.S. Mail. IT TOO WAS STOLEN. The Hempflings are quite sure that if another letter were to be sent to the Clerk of Court it would likewise be stolen. But that’s ok because the Court has ordered no matter what the Hempflings were to file, they would not entertain it. No orders, no publications, mandate entered but what mandated has never been divulged. And no permission to file anything to find out why. And THIS was posted to the Appeals Court Docket:Lee_Hempfling_et_al_v_Kent_Volkmer_et_al__09cae-17-16329__0027.0
“History has shown us that, on extraordinarily rare occasions, it becomes necessary for the federal government to intervene on behalf of individuals whose 14th Amendment rights to legal due process and equal protection may be violated by a state.”
About the Authors:
Suesie & Lee Hempfling are litigants in the 9th Circuit, the Arizona
Additinal Documentation at https://leehempfling.com/blog/
Hempfling v. Volkmer (9th Circuit Court of Appeals)
Hempfling v. Volkmer (Phoenix District Court)
Hempfling v. Stanford (Phoenix District Court)
Hempfling v. CVDC Holdings LLC (Pinal County Superior Court)
NOT ONE THING contained in any court filing or public legal pronouncement by the authors has ever been political. There is nothing political about the loss of a Constitutional Right. Nothing contained here is legal advice.
1 “An unpublished memorandum opinion intended only for the parties does not require background or historical facts; the opinion need only identify the facts that support the conclusion.” Judicial Writing Manual: A Pocket Guide for Judges Second Edition Federal Judicial Center 2013
2 No. 12-10882. 134 S.Ct. 1986 (2014) 188 L.Ed.2d 1007 Supreme Court of United States. May 27, 2014
3 NEBRASKA PRESS ASSN. ET AL. v. STUART, JUDGE, ET AL. No. 75-817. 427 U.S. 539 (1976) Supreme Court of United States. June 30, 1976.
4 Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution and “Much has been said of the impropriety of representing men who have no will of their own…. They are men, though degraded to the condition of slavery. They are persons known to the municipal laws of the states which they inhabit, as well as to the laws of nature. But representation and taxation go together…. Would it be just to impose a singular burden, without conferring some adequate advantage?” Alexander Hamilton from: Jonathan Elliot, ed. (1866). The Debates In The Several State Conventions On The Adoption Of The Federal Constitution, As Recommended By The General Convention At Philadelphia, In 1787. J.B. Lippincott & Co. Washington: Taylor & Maury. p. 237. as quoted in Wikipedia