Saturday, September 12, 2009

Something for Sullivan to think about during his Mental Health Break

Andrew Sullivan (political commentator/blogger for The Atlantic magazine), April 17th, 2009:

My view is that no one is above the law, and that when a society based on law prosecutes the powerless and excuses the powerful, it is corroding its own soul.

Fast forward a few months. As reported by The Docket, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s news blog:

Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore — but a federal judge isn’t happy about it.

U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes “small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice.”

While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.

The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.

Read the judge's full opinion here. It's very much worth a read, particularly in noting that U.S. Attorney’s Office had other pot-bust cases they were going to prosecute before the same judge on the same day.

Sullivan's latest blog post says he's taking a "Mental Health Break." Here's hoping he'll spend some time during said break thinking about the repugnant hypocrisy of this.

(H/T Internet Scofflaw)

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