Brave American citizen Jerry Brumbaugh struck a blow for freedom or something on Friday when he sued the nine current members of the United States Supreme Court for making rulings that have violated his constitutional rights. Specifically, all of them (all the rulings and all the rights).
In the lawsuit, filed in the Springfield division of the Western District of Missouri, Brumbaugh takes issue with the Court’s rulings that have "violated my constitutional rights . . . in all manners, ways, and areas of law." These include:
- "Violation of civil liberties by allowing a granted clause of the Constitution to violate my rights in many manners and ways,"
- "Failing to correct violations of the Constitution which it is the duty of the Court to do," and
- "Allowing unlawfully the loss of civil liberties by contractual means into the sphere of the 14th Amendment."
We would probably all agree that there are lots of "violations of the Constitution" that the Court has been failing to correct, although we would probably all disagree about exactly what those violations are. Perhaps hoping to save space, Brumbaugh does not allege any facts supporting his own personal claim. It is refreshing to see a complaint limited to three pages (especially after last week’s titanic 239-page "brief" on behalf of Jeff Skilling), but this one probably needed a little more detail. And a little more research — I know the liberal wing of the Court is in the minority these days, but it would still be polite to spell Justice Breyer’s name correctly.
On the other hand, Brumbaugh’s complaint is consistent with his position that, since he is "an American national citizen," those pesky Federal Rules of Procedure do not apply to him. The argument seems to be that the Bill of Rights amended "every preceeding [sic] clause" of the Constitution, so that the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause applies directly to the action, authorizing Jerry D. Brumbaugh to do whatever he wants: "Plaintiff hereby asserts that the rules may not be used to interfere with this case . . . nor its continuance before the courts."
That argument didn’t fly in a previous case, Brumbaugh v. Tandy, to which Brumbaugh refers in this complaint in support of his request that counsel be appointed for him. (In both cases, he has specifically requested Gerry Spence.) The complaint in that case elaborated a bit on Brumbaugh’s arguments, and made some more creative ones, such as the argument that the Privileges & Immunities Clause grants a "right to protection by the government," and "to allow a pro se litigant to flounder is a horrid violation of the right to protection." Maybe so, but it can also be very entertaining. I hereby assert the right to deny Mr. Brumbaugh counsel, as to appoint one would infringe upon my pursuit of happiness.
In Brumbaugh v. Thomas, et al., of course, plaintiff has taken a more direct approach, as his certificate of service indicates: "YOU ARE HEREBY GIVEN NOTICE THAT YOU NINE JUSTICES ARE BEING SUED FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION." Should he prevail, he requests "a ruling that the judges [sic] of the U.S. Supreme Court have violated the Constitution," and as damages "the net worth of each justice as payment for their deriliction [sic] of duty." You nine justices should take note.