Russell Parkes, circuit court judge in Lawrence County, Tenn.

Russell Parkes, circuit court judge in Lawrence County, Tenn.

The “Fiddle Man of Lawrenceburg” is urging a judge to find state government in contempt for refusing to show up for a hearing in its efforts to jail him for exercising a constitutionally protected right.

Prosecutor Tammy Rettig was a no-show at a May 2 hearing for which Arthur Jay Hirsch waited four hours in a Lawrence County courtroom — but Judge Russell Parkes gave her a pass, rejected Mr. Hirsch’s demands to have the case dismissed on the spot and assigned a makeup hearing for motions to let her smooth things over.

By David Tulis

Mr. Hirsch, indignant at both the bumptious prosecutor and the circuit court judge, thunders out a caution: “Respect of persons /partiality in judgment is a moral evil prohibited in the judges’ oath of office.” Mr. Hirsch says respect of persons is a moral evil in the same category as any common law crime.

“Respect of persons in judgment is an absolute, unchanging, natural law which is inherently known to be wrong and evil in itself (e.g., robbery, murder, kidnapping, etc.) and meets the category definition of a malum in se crime.”

Ms. Rettig did not immediately return a call Monday left at her office in Franklin as a message requesting comment.

Judge must not favor the great, nor the poor

He cites extensively the biblical basis for the American court system — evenhandedness in judgment, where the judge looks to right a wrong and defend the victim. “Ye shall not respect persons in judgment. . . for the judgment is God’s.” Deut. 1:17.

In a filing, Mr. Hirsch also insists that Judge Park take mandatory judicial notice that Mrs. Rettig’s absence is contemptuous of him and his high office.

He cites Black’s law dictionary, 2nd edition

Contempt. Contumacy; a willful disregard of the authority of a court of justice or legislative body or disobedience to its lawful orders. Contempt of court is committed by a person who does any act in willful contravention of its authority or dignity, or tending to impede or frustrate the administration of justice, or by one who, being under the court’s authority as a party to a proceeding therein, willfully disobeys its lawful orders or fails to comply with an undertaking which he has given.

Contempt of court. The act of demeaning the court, preventing justice administration, or disobeying a sentence of the court. It is criminal and can lead to fines or imprisonment.

The Tennessee Code of Judicial Conduct borrows from the biblical concept of equity:

RULE 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary. A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

RULE 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness. A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.

RULE 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment. (A) A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office, including administrative duties, without bias or prejudice.

Judge Bible lesson with single point

Mr. Hirsch is not content with man’s rewrites of God’s law. But plugs any leaks in his vessel with the biblical tar of “Thus saith the LORD GOD, the Judge of all the earth:”

“And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it; for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God ; nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.” 2 Chron. 19:6,7

“He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Sam. 23:3

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14;11, 12

“Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts.” James 2:4

“But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

“Ye shall not respect persons in judgment. . . for the judgment is God’s.” Deut. 1:17

“Thou shalt not wrest judgment: thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” Deut. 16:19

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.” Lev. 19:15

“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angeles: that thou observe these things without preferring (prejudice) one before the other, doing nothing by partiality.” 1 Tim. 5:21

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom. 2:11

“Of a fact I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34

“It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.” Prov. 24:23

“To have respect of persons is not good.” Prov. 28:21

“Neither doth God respect any person.” 2 Sam. 14:14

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” I Peter 1:17

“Neither is there respect of persons with him (the Lord).” Eph. 6:9

“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Col. 3:25

“Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor as turn aside to lies.” Ps. 40:4

“Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom. 2:11

God accepteth no man’s person.” Gal. 2:6

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12: 13, 14

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8

“ And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy hear, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31

“And I charged your judges at that time saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.” Deut. 1:16

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Ps. 75:6, 7

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