By David Tulis
A court in Lawrence County, Tenn., will sentence a devout Christian working man Thursday (Feb. 11) for exercising his constitutional right to travel.
Arthur Jay Hirsch is to be sentenced in circuit court on conviction on four counts. Three pertain to using his truck but outside the regulation of commerce by the department of safety. One is for having a firearm in the cab of his truck.
Mr. Hirsch is a working man in private business who’s been ruined by continuing prosecution and great time commitments he’s had to make to defend himself in court.
He enters the new week with growing pain in his mouth from neglected dental work that he cannot afford, and continuing troubles of poverty from having his one-man business stymied by legal attacks against him. As a pauper he has a court-appointed attorney.
Seeks crowd to witness his defense
Mr. Hirsch’s trial Dec. 22 took place in an empty courtroom. But he wants Christians and people who have stake in constitutional government to witness an oral defense of his liberties as against the state and witness what appears to be malice by Judge Stella Hargrove.
“I’m looking at the principle in the New Testament that the presence of the people in large numbers influence politicians,” Mr. Hirsh says in a phone interview. “We see that at least half a dozen times. The Pharisees wanted to lay hands on Jesus, but they feared the people. They would have arrested Jesus earlier in his ministries but they were constrained by the presence of the many people who believed in him. And Herod feared the multitude in his dealings with John
“I’m hoping there will be a large number of people to fill up the courtroom. They can witness my presentation during allocution — the opportunity for one who has been convicted to put on the record why his conviction should be overturned.”
Mr. Hirsch said this talk will show “factually why the conviction is in error. One [argument] is going to be the standing and jurisdictional issue. The court has the statutory or constitutional jurisdiction to hear this type of case, but the judge can lose the authority by denying due process and other constitutionally secured rights.
“I will be addressing those things such as the right to know the nature and cause of the accusations. That was denied. The right to subpoena witnesses — denied. Any time that a court’s jurisdiction is challenged, it is supposed to put the burden of establishing jurisdiction on the prosecution.”
Christians could bring reform
The courtroom in the county’s ramshackled courthouse with its broken clock holds 150 people.
“The presence of these people as I go through all the offenses of the judge against my rights — I am going to be posing questions whether I should be penalized for these victimless crimes. The people need to see judges being unrighteous and being partial, biased and prejudiced, and also how hostile they are against the word of God and His law being brought into the court.
“I want the people of faith to see how unjust the system is, how corrupt it is, and to do whatever the Lord leads them to do individually or collectively to bring about reform.”
Scriptures say God’s are to come to the aid of the poor and the needy, and to the widow and the orphan, “and the stranger which is being oppressed wrongfully,” Mr. Hirsch says.
“There are many places where that’s found. Ezekiel 22: 29 and 30. God is saying how the people of the land are using oppression.”
Those verses say, “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”
“God says he was looking at that time for one man to stand up to the oppression of the land,” Mr. Hirsch says. “If one person stood up, God would not destroy the land, but could not find anyone. ‘Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God’ (v. 31). He could find no one to stand up against oppression and oppose it. All Christians have a duty to their creator to maintain and recognize how to promote and defend their rights, and those being oppressed need to be delivered.”
Mr. Hirsch’s has filed judicial ethics charges against Judge Hargrove, and petitioned the court of criminal appeals with a petition for writ of mandamus to get her to respond to two motions that she recuse herself. Judge Hargrove has run roughshod over this simple Christian, a bachelor, 65, who helps churches maintain their property.
Mr. Hirsch plans to appeal his convictions to the court of criminal appeals, making arguments that make his position one of first impression.
— David Tulis hosts a talk show weekdays in Chattanooga from 9 to 11 a.m. on 1240 AM Hot News Talk Radio, covering local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond. Support this site and his radio station on the real airwaves in Chattanooga, on your smartphone via the TuneIn radio app or at Hotnewstalkradio.com. You back David by patronizing his advertisers with specific reference to him. Even better, encourage independent media by having David run commercials for your business. Also, “buy me a coffee at the tip jar.”
You may also enjoy these related essays by David Tulis and Roger Roots
Program to harass motorists not in statute, doesn’t exist, chief says