Laws are made public for everyone to abide by them. Laws are made in congress and may sometimes have some bias against particular communities and individuals, especially those who are not legal citizens.
However, the American Constitution is very comprehensive and protects every individual from identity discrimination and persecution. The content and context of the American Constitution are made public and everyone is obligated to read the Constitution for the sole reason of defending it. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
The Constitution defends itself through public institutions which may challenge or be used to challenge laws and policies that may be formulated by state and federal officials, either appointed or elected.
Where state and federal officials contravene the American Constitution and seek to infringe on the rights of the people, brave Americans have the right and the responsibility to express their discontent.
More than just express themselves, they also have the right, and responsibility to challenge such officials or laws and policies in the court of public opinion. Such challenges are mostly made by members of the media, and activists. Similar challenges can, and should, be made in courts of law.
Those who vehemently believe in certain ideas that are in line with the American Constitution have been known to brandish them in public and defend them in courts of law, concurrently.
Such are the likes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who single handedly initiated the demise of the most oppressive county regime known to the 21st century in American.
The Maricopa County Lawsuit
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin initiated a lawsuit against Maricopa County for wrongful arrest and harassment back in the year 2007. In the lawsuit, the two veteran journalists accused three county officials of abuse of office. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Phoenix New Time
They accused County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Andrew Thomas and special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik of conspiring to silence the media. More specifically, the lawsuit argued that the three conspired to conjure fake grand jury subpoenas that were in clear contravention of the Constitution.
They claimed that the illegally drafted subpoenas were a result of the county officials’ ill-motivated efforts to cover up the illegal and underhand activities perpetrated by the office of the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office.
Exposed for Abuse of Office
Self-proclaimed America’s toughest sheriff has a long history of oppressive tactics of handling his jail inmates and critics. The Phoenix Times and Village Voice Media officials had been on the sheriff’s Case for a while because they wanted to verify whether accusations made by the Phoenix Hispanic Community on numerous counts of racial profiling and brutality were true.
The Phoenix, Arizona community, in general, had been whispering in silent fear about the sheriff’s abrasiveness and authoritarian demeanor. Upon investigating, Larkin and Lacey found out that indeed:
• Prisoners (60 in two years) were dying under Joe Arpaio’s custody because of malicious negligence
• The sheriff’s office was losing large sums of money to embezzlement
• The sheriff conducted numerous unlawful raids in Hispanic neighborhoods and detained Hispanics indefinitely and without due process
• The sheriff intimidated and persecuted any of his many verbal critics
• The sheriff maintained county jails in deplorable conditions and subjected jail inmates to torturous treatment
The alleged fake grand jury subpoenas demanded of the Phoenix Times to surrender Lacey and Larkin’s journalist notes and sources as well as private browsing information of all persons who read articles on the Arpaio tyranny. In defiance, the duo declined to comply and sued for indulgence by the public.
They published the subpoenas and explained how and why they were a breach of the Constitution. The sheriff ordered the arrest of the two: the arrests were made at night, violently and in a suspicious manner.
The public held demonstrations over the arrests and the two were released the next day only for them to initiate the lawsuit. The lawsuit was won and a powerful precedence was set against law enforcers who conspire to infringe on the rights of others.
Larkin and Lacey decided to commit the 3.75 million dollars awarded as compensation to the Frontera Fund; an initiative to protect the Phoenix Hispanic Community and the First Amendment of the American Constitution from further abuse.