On June 11 a criminal defendant will host a victory dinner at a church fellowship hall “to honor the Lord and praise Him for his goodness in answering my prayers.”
The Saturday event at Lawrence County Baptist church on Liberty Avenue will celebrate two reprieves before agents of a hostile administrative state — one a dismissal of criminal charges, another a change in attitude from the bench of a circuit court judge.
By David Tulis
Arthur Jay Hirsch, known as the “Fiddle Man of Lawerenceburg,” is becoming increasingly recognized for his Christian ministry of word and music among jail inmates and mass-warehoused old people.
At a hearing June 3 circuit court judge Stella Hargrove did more than Mr. Hirsch could have expected — giving him unheard-of options as for his state-appointed counsel. The attorney being appointed to help Mr. Hirsch will be able to both speak on his behalf but also serve as elbow counsel — not just one or the other.
“There is no way that could happen just by happenstance,” Mr. Hirsch says in an interview.
Judge Hargrove had “a totally different attitude than she had. *** I think they’re seeing that the Lord is answering my prayers,” says Mr. Hirsch, 65, a laborer and private businessman exhausted by a three-year ordeal. “I put in [my pleadings] all kinds of things about what God expects [of judges], that I am His servant, and I come in His name and so forth, because things are kind of turning around, and all their efforts in the past are for naught.”
Christian plans to appeal
A Lawrence County circuit jury in December convicted Mr. Hirsch of exercising the constitutionally protected right to travel and possess a weapon, a case he is appealing. In May Judge Russell Parke dismissed a second almost identical criminal case against Mr. Hirsch.
The newly assigned attorney has appellate experience and respect for some of the liberty arguments Mr. Hirsch has made.
That attorney separately has told Mr. Hirsch that “found some merit in what I said and liked what I said.” That this assignment was made without an earlier affidavit of indigency is a sign “the Lord is working,” Mr. Hirsch says
Not only was Judge Hargrove agreeable, Mr. Hirsch says, the district attorney at the hearing also was “very pleasant. *** The Lord is doing something on their hearts. They may realize the Lord’s and that they may lose this one, and they’re trying I guess trying to save a little face.”
Judge Hargrove said she wished Mr. Hirsch good luck, “and it wasn’t sarcastic,” Mr. Hirsch says.
On the basis of her sloppy judicial performance — many “errors, prejudice, partiality” — Mr. Hirsch believes he can clear himself. Among the seven or eight errors is the crucial one of the Judge Hargrove’s refusal to force the state to prove jurisdiction over Mr. Hirsch and his activity on the public right of way.
You’ve heard of free-range chicken and cattle? Mr. Hirsch’s legal claims are effectively that he has a right to be a free-range user of the public highway, unfettered by the commercial state’s factory system of transportation.
Will crucial issues get away?
If Mr. Hirsch succeeds in getting an outright dismissal of his case on the basis of error, crucial issues are not going to be raised. We want him free from lawless claims. Still, Mr. Hirsch is an ideal defendant to press the claim of the right to travel apart from the privilege of operating a motor vehicle (in commerce).
If the court remands the case back for a new trial, it would be for misdemeanor offenses nearly four years old but ripe for a better defense. Mr. Hirsch promises if that happens to confront the state’s fraudulent conversion of private travel into a commercial act.
The key issue is whether the state destroyed a constitutional right in 1937 with its commercial driver license code. Mr. Hirsch argues that it didn’t damage constitutional rights in law, but does in practice and so must be held to account. The state cannot destroy any constitutional right, courts consistently aver. For the commercial driver license statute to be constitutional, it must be understood as applying only to users of the road in commerce. That excludes me and you (ordinary car drivers), unless you are hauler or carrier for hire (run a taxi service).
A properly presented case will say that free users of the road are free to travel apart from driver licenses, insurance and vehicle registration — the three legs upon which stand commercial government’s lawless usurpation of the public right of way. Enforcement apart from statute is by police, sheriff departments and the Tennessee highway patrol who act as if all travel is in commerce. The driver license statute is voluntarily entered into by application, however, and is not binding against free users of the road, according to my analysis. (See links below.)
The practice of criminally prosecuting people for freely exercising the right to travel is decades old. Among immigrants this right to travel is regularly recognized, as officers release Hispanic travelers who don’t have licenses and don’t try to charge them. But some Hispanics are ground under the wheels of the court system, especially if at some point they had a U.S. state driver license. Anglos and blacks are universally thrown into the prosecutorial machinery. But the duration of a wrong or an erroneous policy is no barrier to its being abated if fundamental rights are at stake, courts have ruled.
Mr. Hirsch, if he can make the argument for the distinction between the commercial vs. the private use of the road, will be a representative to every one of the state’s 6 million residents who are being practically denied the right to travel freely.
To put things mildly, the corporation called State of Tennessee is acting in bad faith and using its courts to oppress what one legal authority calls “a lost right.” But a proper defense of the right by Mr. Hirsch may let judges uphold their oaths of office and defend the people as against 90 years of abuse by the executive branch that has infected the entirety of state government. (The department of safety and all city police departments serve an executive branch.)
Mr. Hirsch says his victory dinner harks back to a practice among Israelites — the celebration tithe.
The second of three tithes has provision for God’s people to celebrate grandly from God’s blessings, to “eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you” (Deut. 12:7.)
See also Deut. 14:22-27 (And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household” and Deut. 16:3, 13-15, “And you shall , you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.”
“We are always asking God to bless us,” Mr. Hirsch says. “But we are not having celebration to bless Him. So He’s the honored guest.”