U.S. Federal Judge John Roll Murdered: The Sheriff’s Judge Who Upheld The Constitution And Reversed Congress!
NOVEMBER 25, 2011 BY VOLUBRJOTR - Politicalvelcraft.org
He was no stranger to death threats, and had once been given a month-long U.S. Marshals Service protection detail.
Arizona Judge Stood Firm With Sheriff Mack
By Pat Shannan
U.S. Federal Judge John Roll
During the hours following the Tucson tragedy, as the details slowly emerged and we learned that a relatively unknown congresswoman was seriously wounded and a federal judge had been among the six killed, many Americans wondered if there was a specific target and who that might have been. More importantly, why was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz. ) getting all the ink while Judge John Roll remained virtually unnamed for a whole day? In this business, we at AFP long ago learned to read the white part of the newspaper.
We were in good company. Even Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul’s daily Internet news release was asking the same questions the following week. Next, former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack * came forward with illuminating information that none of us remembered: Judge Roll was one of the few “good guys” on the federal bench. He had ruled favorably in Mack’s case against the Brady Bill in 1994 when Mack had sued the federales for trying to force him and all the other sheriffs in America to do their work for them.
Sheriff Richard Mack
Mack took it all the way to the Supreme Court where he finally got the reversal in 1997 and forced the rewriting of the far less intrusive Brady Bill.
But earlier in the game, he found himself in Roll’s federal courtroom fighting a provision in the new statute that threatened to put him in federal prison. Mack says that Roll seemed sincerely concerned about federal power to arrest any sheriff that failed to comply with the federal mandate, even though then-Attorney General Janet Reno had said that the bill’s language was aimed at gun shop owners and not the sheriffs.
Roll granted Mack’s injunction against the government for any arrest for failing to comply. Then the prosecutor told the judge that in only the first four months of enforcing the Brady Bill the government had prevented over a quarter million felons from gaining access to handguns. Disregarding the audacious exaggeration of numbers, Roll further impressed Mack by telling the prosecutor,
“Counselor, do not pretend in this courtroom that your statistical analysis somehow equates to Constitutionality.”
Mack tells us what Roll included in his ruling on the Mack v. US case:
The court finds that in enacting [the Brady bill] Congress exceeded its authority under Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution , thereby impermissibly encroaching upon the powers retained by the states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The court further finds that the provision, in conjunction with the criminal sanctions its violation would engender, is unconstitutionally vague under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution .
“Judge Roll,” writes Mack, “of all the dozens of judges who had heard this case from me and the other six sheriff defendants, was the only one who ruled that the Brady Bill violated the Fifth Amendment as well as the Tenth. It was pursuant to Judge Roll’s insight and sensitivity to the threat this ‘law’ posed to us, the sheriffs, that this case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court .”
Further into the decision, Mack saw Roll display another principle and said, “It truly brought me to understand how astonishing this man really was.”
Roll had said, “Mack is thus forced to choose between keeping his oath or obeying the act, subjecting himself to possible sanctions.”
“I have to say that Roll’s understanding of principles amazed me,” Mack writes today. “He was so professional and knowledgeable. He took his job and the Constitution so seriously.”
Pima County, Ariz. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s ridiculous blaming of conservative talk show hosts was reminiscent of the same cover-up ploy at Oklahoma City in 1995, but his public statements regarding Roll having just dropped by to say “Hi” and his being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” may merit further examination considering there have been some questions about who will have jurisdiction over the crime—the state or the federal government.
FBI Agent Tony Taylor filed an affidavit with the court swearing that he saw Roll chatting with Gifford’s congressional aide, Ron Barber , for several minutes prior to the shooting, and that Roll had been notified by telephone of the Saturday rally on Friday. Roll was apparently at the rally to discuss illegal immigration and the extreme caseload imposed on federal judges in Arizona largely related to immigration cases.
Judge John Roll Dead: Killed In Arizona Shooting AP/The Huffington Post Posted: 01/08/2011 3:59 pm EST Updated: 05/25/2011 6:25 pm EDT Federal Judge John Roll was killed during a shooting in Arizona that also involved an attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales confirmed to the Associated Press that the U.S. District Judge had died. He offered no other details on the shooting. Arizona Central talked to Gonzales in 2009 after Roll allowed a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit to proceed against a local rancher. The case was filed by illegal immigrants and drew the ire of local talk radio hosts, who "spurred audiences into making threats." In one afternoon, Roll logged more than 200 phone calls. Callers threatened the judge and his family. They posted personal information about Roll online. "They said, 'We should kill him. He should be dead,' " Gonzales said. Both Roll and his wife were given a U.S. Marshals Service protection detail at the time. Roll called the month-long protection experience "unnerving and invasive." According to Arizona Central, authorities identified four men believed to be responsible for the threats, but Roll declined to press charges at the recommendation of the Marshals Service. Named Arizona's chief federal judge in 2006, U.S. District Judge John M. Roll won wide acclaim for a career as a respected jurist and leader who had pushed to beef up the court's strained bench to handle a growing number of border crime-related cases. His death Saturday, at the hands of gunman apparently intent on assassinating Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, stunned those who mourned the loss of a devoted, talented and gentle man. "I have never met a more sincere ... fair minded, brilliant federal judge or any judge for that matter in my whole life," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said. Dupnik emotionally recounted Roll's final morning. A typical Saturday: a trip to church, then to the store and most likely a plan to go home to help with chores. But before heading home, he apparently stopped to visit briefly with Giffords at an event she was holding for constituents. "Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Dupnik said. Mark Kimball, a Giffords aide who was at the shooting scene at a shopping center, told The Associated Press that he believed the judge, who lived in the area, had simply gone to the Safeway where the shooting occurred to shop. Five others died in the attack, and several others were wounded, including Giffords. Kimball said Giffords had worked with the judge in the past to line up funding to build a new courthouse in Yuma. Roll, 63, was appointed to the federal bench in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. Roll previously served as a state trial judge and as a judge on the midlevel Arizona Court of appeals. He previously worked as a county and state prosecutor. Named chief judge for Arizona in 2006, Roll pushed for more judges placed on the court's bench as border violence has swelled the district's caseload. "Judge Roll was a widely respected jurist, a strong and able leader of his court, and a kind, courteous and sincere gentleman," said Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal circuit that includes Arizona. "He worked tirelessly to improve the delivery of justice to the people of Arizona." U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he recommended Roll for federal appointment. "Words are inadequate to express such a profound loss to his family, friends, state and country, but it is appropriate to note that a man of great qualities and character was struck down today," McCain said. Chief Justice John Roberts said in Washington that the killing of Roll was a terrible loss for the judiciary. The judge served Arizona and the nation selflessly and with great distinction, Roberts said. As a federal judge, Roll handled a wide variety of cases. He ruled in 2009 that federal wildlife officials used incorrect criteria when deciding against designating critical habitat and develop endangered jaguars. In the 1990s, he was among several federal judges who ruled that the Brady gun law's requirement for a records check by local authorities violates the Constitutional's 10th Amendment. Roll was a Pennsylvania native who got his law degree from the University of Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three sons, and five grandchildren. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/08/judge-john-roll-dead-killed_n_806239.html