In Less Sunny News: A Massachusetts State Court Judge Has Been Indicted…

Okay. I can scarcely believe I need to type this — but here goes: this is America (not the old USSR); this is happening now. ICE went to a state — not federal — courthouse, in Massachusetts, to arrest and deport a man they believed was without papers, and was wanted on other charges.

After three separate hearings, during the morning and afternoon of that day, a state court judge determined that ICE has identified the wrong man. After all this, a state court judge with jurisdiction over the person before the court, had determined that ICE was trying to take the wrong man. [Just as it did in Michigan two months ago, taking a decorated US Marine — who was not the one they sought.]

The judge personally released the man, and ICE was unable to arrest him. ICE made no attempt to submit to the court’s jurisdiction and enter an appearance in the proceeding. It sat, vulture like, in the courtroom. Waiting. . . .

Now that state court judge, and a lawyer, have apparently been indicted on felonies, by DoJ lawyers working for Trump and ICE. Why? because they released the man.

In fairness, there is some ambiguity, here — some missing parts of the record were unintelligible — but a state court judge controls state proceedings, not ICE — and need not defer to any federal employee not a party to the proceedings. Here’s the relevant part of whole she-bang:

. . . .Good afternoon. After some extensive research into the various FBI numbers [unintelligible] social security numbers, as well as obtaining a photo from Pennsylvania, we don’t believe that this gentleman is the same gentleman as on the fugitive-from-justice warrant.

Your Honor, with the information that I have I don’t think that there is enough tying him to the Pennsylvania warrant. The great deal of other out-of-state records — I do believe that some of them, uh, belong to this individual. But that is not what’s at issue here. . . .

We may have a discussion about whether the judge made a mistake, and whether ICE made a mistake by not moving to intervene, formally. . . but a felony? Seriously?

Of course intimidation is Stephen Miller’s goal here — for Trump. This will likely ultimately be dismissed. But it is sickening, just the same. Federalism is solely a sword for Republicans to wield, I guess — in Trump land. I need to take a walk — to cool off, and to find. . . my taco truck. Out.


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