March 17, 2016

The hazards of getting into Judge Merrick Garland's courthouse

Sam Smith - Yesterday I noted that in 1999 twenty of us appeared in an unsuccessful case before Obama's Supreme Court choice on behalf of ending Washington's colonial status. What I forgot was that it was also the case where even getting into the courthouse was a bit hard. As I wrote at the time:

"Twenty citizens, including myself, are suing the President, Senate, House, and federal control board for the lack of DC self-government. The day before our hearing in front of a special three-judge panel in US District Court (in the very courtroom of Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Monica fame) someone called the US Marshals and warned that our group might be planning some disruption. Sure enough, when I entered the courthouse with co-plaintiff and black minister Graylan Hagler, there seemed an excess number of surly cops standing outside. A US Marshal approached and asked if he could help us. Rev. Hagler asked for directions to the cafeteria which the Marshal gave and then he looked at Hagler and said, "I've been to your church, Reverend. In fact, one of my men is on your board of trustees. Let's go and bless him." So the US Marshal and the reverend left me to find the cafeteria by myself and to recall again something that is easy for activists to forget: not all your friends are out of power."

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