Fri, 9am, Lifetime Ban Court Hearing, Important Details
Let’s pack the room on Friday.
The stakes are enormously high: can Ferguson impose a lifetime ban on my future political activities?
That’s what this hearing will decide. As you can imagine, the pressure is intense, my stress level is sky-high.
Day: Friday, April 5
Start time: 9:00 am
Arrival time: no later than 8:30 am (parking is tough, gotta go through security, courtroom isn’t very big, etc)
Where: Thurston County Superior Court, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Bldg 2, Olympia — courtroom is on 2nd floor, #201
Who: Judge James Dixon will hear oral argument — it’s gonna be me (the AG vetoed my attorneys, so I’m forced to argue it myself pro se) versus the full power of the State.
Great news: TVW is taping it and will have it posted to their website as soon as they can get back after the hearing is over (here’s the link that’ll allow you to watch it online once they upload it: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019041019)
Last Friday, I submitted my “closing argument.” Here’s the conclusion:
“As my previous counsel pointed out, if the State’s proposed lifetime ban is imposed on me, sex offenders will have greater free speech rights than I will (Packingham v North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 173). I will be barred from ‘managing, controlling, negotiating, or directing financial transactions of any kind for any political committee in the future’ – but convicted felons will not (there is no such restriction under state law). The absurdity of the State’s position is difficult to overstate.”
“The State’s threatened injunction is incredibly broad and hopelessly vague – it would be impossible to comply with while exercising my First Amendment rights. As numerous court cases have established, money is speech: a limit on financial resources is a limit on my ability to amplify my speech using those financial resources (as illustrated by the Petersen estate distribution which is being withheld because of the State’s lifetime ban). Prior restraint is a bed-rock constitutional principle that is clearly at issue with the State’s draconian ill-defined verbiage. The State’s proposed penalty doesn’t just punish me for alleged past wrongs, it punishes me in the future by altogether prohibiting political speech I haven’t even contemplated yet. I am 53 years old. I have been organizing and promoting initiatives for 22 years and I fully intend to continue doing so for another 20-30 years. There are a lot of voters who support the ideas I promote. But even if no one did, I should still have the right to express those ideas in the political arena via citizen initiatives without being muzzled. The Court should decline the State’s invitation to rewrite the Fair Campaign Practices Act, the Washington state Constitution, and the United States Constitution. I ask the Court to rule that the injunctive relief being sought by the State is impermissible under the FCPA, the state Constitution, and the US Constitution. It is an unprecedented interpretation of the law and of my rights under the Constitution. It should be dismissed because there is no basis in law for it.” I encourage everyone to read the whole thing, not just the conclusion:
Thanks to you, I’m still here and I’m still fighting.
I love you all.