By David Tulis
A constitution-minded laborer who offended members of a jury was sentenced to probation and a fine for his exercise of rights forgotten by Tennesseans since the 1930s.
A judge who had blithely ignored his challenges over jurisdiction and who engaged in a pattern of irregular behavior from the bench sentence Arthur Jay Hirsch at a hearing in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., in circuit court. Judge Stella Hargrove had refused to recuse herself after ethics charges were filed against her, and used the hearing to smear Mr. Hirsch with inflammatory names the use of which she had rightly forbidden at trial.
The process of entering the probation system — a sort of costly penal servitude that bankrupts many people at their financial wits’ end — is at least partly short-circuited today when Mr. Hirsch said he plans to file notice of appeal.
The sentencing hearing stretched to 2 1/2 hours because Mr. Hirsch entered into the record several documents suggesting his innocence and pointing to flaws in the state’s criminal case against him in his exercise of the right to travel. The state was unable to show it had been injured, nor how it presumes to claim authority over Mr. Hirsch’s free exercise of the right to travel, a form of property right. It argued he was in commerce while he insisted he was exercising the private right of travel by a conveyance of his choice.
Periodically state government contends with travelers who argue they are under no compulsion to obtain a driver license to use the public highways. Generally courts have argued that the right to travel does not include the right to travel from point A to point B via a public roadway, but merely means the right to establish residence in a new location. Past defendants have not pursue their claims to the high court, and several mid-level appeals decisions have let stand the shady pretense that using a car on the road is not allowed, and that the only way a roadway can be used by a citizen is for him to become an operator of a motor vehicle, an activity in commerce.
“I was given considerable time to testify and to allocate (speak) today, and the Holy Spirit gave me words to say,” Mr. Hirsch said in a letter to supporters. “raise the Lord! I made my moral convictions known referencing scripture, and stood on my constitutionally secured God-given rights against the government liars, thieves and murderers. The judge and the prosecutor had already decided before the hearing what punishment I would receive, and basically ignored everything I said in my defense. Once again, the judge denied me a hearing on my motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.”
One of many points on appeal was that Judge Stella Hargrove did not require the state to prove jurisdiction in an indictment over three traveling counts and one firearms count. Mr. Hirsch travels under right, not under a department of safety license; he travels without corporate insurance, and in a vehicle the state said was improperly tagged.
“None of the three judges have ever allowed me to have a hearing and present my arguments. All denied my motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction instantly, giving no reason why, and telling me essentially to shut up and sit down. There is zero fairness, honesty and justice in the courts today because the judges and prosecutors are ‘immune’ from all lawsuits. So there is no accountability for their actions. However, they fail to realize that there will be a judgment day before the Judgment Seat of Christ and the judges & lawyers will have to give an account for their evil deeds.”
The probation sentence outside of appeal is six months, and F$2,000 in fines, court costs and probation fees, Mr. Hirsch says. “I’m trusting the Lord to provide me with the money I need. I understand that here in Tennessee if a person fails to pay on time they will be arrested and put in debtors’ prison. It’s illegal, but then, who obeys the law anymore. Scores of people are currently held in jail for not being able to raise the money for their bond or to pay court costs.”
“I’m not discouraged by today’s outcome. I’m still standing on God’s promises of deliverance from my enemies. I have the right to appeal, which I certainly intend to do.”
Later Judge Hargroves lost control of the state’s second case against Mr. Hirsch. The fines and probation were suspended pending his notice of appeal.