One of the many complaints conservatives have against both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was their seemingly placing themselves above the rules the rest of us must live by, lest we do a stretch at Club Fed, which most assuredly is not a country club.
In his Opinion piece “The Rule of Law,” (Capital Journal, A4, May 29) Bruce Venner forgot a key item about what federal judge Charles Kornmann is unconstitutionally demanding of U.S. Marshal Dan Mosteller; namely, to provide proof of COVID vaccinations for both himself, as well his deputies, something Mosteller refuses to do; invoking his right to individual patient privacy, in accordance with HIPAA, the very privacy rights signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996, the same president who appointed Kornmann to the bench the year prior (1995).
Clearly, Kornmann seeks to ski a slippery slope of taking away rights of those of whom he does not approve; this, despite the fact that ski season is clearly over. It also can rightly be seen as a violation of the Marshals’ Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure (specifically medical privacy under HIPAA), not to mention their Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection under the laws as well!
Like Mr. Venner, I also taught American Government at the high school level, including the importance of the rule of law, and also the essential need of police and the courts to abide by such. Something that cops, and especially judges like Charles Kornmann, should know is that they cannot and must not place themselves above the law. Yet the manner in which Judge Kornmann has clearly shown a blatant conflict of interest is the case over which he’s presiding, and is a clear-cut case of judicial abuse and misconduct if ever there was one, as exemplified through his ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ approach!!!
Marshal Mosteller has both an obligation and a duty to protect both his own personal medical privacy under HIPAA, as well as that of his deputy marshals. As a federal judge, Kornmann knew from the moment he put on his black robe, he needed to place partisan politics aside, and focus on the law, leaving any and all personal agendas at home.
Just as it was for me when in uniform, my political activities were severely limited, under provisions of the Hatch Act (1939), something I’m sure the Judge is well aware of, and which I feel he may well have violated in this case.
At age 83, having imposed these unreasonable, unconstitutional demands—seeking to violate the medical privacy of those who protect the federal court building and those who come and go every day—such would severely undermine, if not outright detonate public confidence in our institutions of justice.
Kornmann’s imposing a ‘show-cause’ order on the Marshals and insisting on proof of vaccinations is proof positive of tyranny, as well as injustice by a bully in a black robe, whose abuse of power through the issuance of a directive that is neither legally, nor constitutionally enforceable, shows that in this case, that it is time for Kornmann to step down.
As a veteran myself, I remember the only two types of orders I didn’t have to obey were (a) unlawful orders; or (b), orders requiring me to commit an unsafe act. Kornmann’s issuance of a show-cause order to the Marshals in the Rapid City federal courthouse was both a clear and blatant disregard—as well as a repudiation—of the oath all of us who have served have taken, an oath we followed with honor, integrity, and diligence.
In light of Judge Kornmann’s inexcusable abuse of his office—especially as it pertains to the issuing of illegal orders and creation of a toxic work environment to those who have sworn to serve and protect him—he needs to salvage what honor remains, and submit his retirement papers to the president, effectively immediately, in order that another qualified jurist with an open mind may take his place.
Timothy Rollins is a campaign and electoral consultant who has worked on campaign races in both the United States and Canada. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he is an alumnus of both Utah State University and The University of Utah. A dual citizen of both the United States and Canada, he currently lives in Calgary. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.