UNRUH AND CRITTENDEN FINED,
Judge Slack Upholds the Dignity of His Court.
[Rather than "upholding" the Supreme Law of the land, eh your 'honor'?]
NO ARMS ARE ALLOWED.
His Honor Saw Unruh Stand and Level a Pistol at Crittenden.
EMMA A. ASHLEY HELD.
Judge Joachimsen, After Hearing Evidence, Reduces the Bail to $5000.The aftermath of the shooting and display of revolvers in Judge Slack's courtroom Thursday morning was fines of $100 and $250 imposed, respectively, upon Attorney James L. Crittenden and Henry A. Unruh yesterday. Unruh submitted to the decision, but Crittenden gave notice that he would appeal to the Supreme Court.
When the contempt case of the two persons was called a large crowd was present, drawn there by the association of the almost tragic affair of the day before, when Emma Ashley made a frenzied attempt to kill E.J. Baldwin and avenge the alleged wrongs of her sister Lillian.
Crittenden asked the Judge what the charge against him was. He was told that the specific charge was coming into the court armed with a loaded pistol, and that he threatened to use it.
"I utterly disclaim having made any threat of the kind, your Honor," he answered. "As to my carrying a pistol, I claim that I have that right when traveling as a resilient outside of the City limits. I have done so for years.
"Now, I claim that there can be no contempt because there was no intention to commit contempt. The right to carry firearms is guaranteed to every citizen by the constitution of this country and never has been disputed except as to concealed weapons. And that right exists in my favor wherever I may be. The only question is as to whether or not an attorney should, on entering a courtroom, disarm himself when he has no intention whatever against the dignity of the court.
"I also deny that I threatened any one. My own life was threatened when I endeavored to prevent an assault. I saw an unseemly scuffle going on between a man and a woman. I separated them and the man had a pistol. He stood with it in his hand and endeavored to cock it. Seeing that and also seeing that the weapon was leveled directly at me 1 put my hand behind me, and only to protect myself. It was impossible for me to determine whether Mr. Unruh intended to use the weapon or not; I only saw him with it.
"I would like to ask. Is an attorney to be at the mercy of others by being unable to protect himself? I have been shot several times, and my arms are almost useless as a means of defense, so I have to protect myself in some other way. For thirty years and during the war I have carried a pistol, and I have only had occasion to draw it once. On that occasion I did not kill the person, although all persons present said I ought to have done so.
"Had this young woman killed Mr. Baldwin--and I want to say right here I am glad she did not--the plaintiff would have lost all her rights in this case and all litigation would have boen ended. So there was certainly no motive for a conspiracy on the part of the lady, her sister or any one else to kill Mr. Baldwin.
"And, had I intended to use my weapon upon Mr. Unruh, I could have done so fatally without any difficulty. Those who know me know that I can use a pistol. But I did not so intend, but merely to protect myself. My life has been threatened in court and Judges have known of my taking means to protect myself and have not objected. Once, in the United States court, this occurred and Judge Hoffman knew of my being armed. It is the same for me to carry a pistol as it is for other men to carry a penknife, and I have a pocket made for it in my pantaloons. Without my pistol I am at the mercy of a stronger man."
Henry Unruh on being asked what he had to say, replied that while he was wrenching the revolver from Emma Ashley he heard a voice behind him saying, "Let that woman alone." He feared an attack in the rear, and jerking the weapon from the woman he turned around and saw Crittenden facing him and preparing to draw his weapon. He had no intention of firing.
"But did you not stand with the pistol pointing at Mr. Crittenden ?" asked Judge Slack.
"I was so disturbed I did not exactly know what I did. I only saw Mr. Crittenden's movements and thought 'If he draws on me I am done for.' I held the pistol up and did not point it at Crittenden.
"Your Honor," said the attorney, "saw Mr. Unrun point the weapon at me. I prefer to have your statement."
"As I held the pistol pointing up in the air," said Unruh, "I was wondering what kind of a gun it was, and if it would be useful in case I should be obliged to use it."
"I saw Mr. Unruh standing on the floor with the pistol pointed at Mr. Crittenden," observed Judge Slack. "He probably in his excitement did not know that he was doing so, but he was certainly in that position. It is necessary for me to preserve the dignity of this court and to inflict punishment for what occurred here yesterday. I have no feeling other than as an officer of justice." [Beleive that you are BOUND by oath to preserve the "dignity" of the CONSTITUTION, your 'honor' - NOT the 'court'. (Which is just a creature of that SUPREME instrument). Your 'decision' or 'opinion' is MEANINGLESS if it contravenes that SUPREME LAW in ANY way, shape, or form PERIOD.]
"The greatest fault of Mr. Crittenden lay in bringing a loaded pistol into court. No attorney, nor any other person, shall bring a weapon here with my knowledge. [REALLY, your TRAITOR-ship? And what of the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, which unequivocally states; "The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed."] The court is perfectly able to protest, its officers from harm, if its attention is called to any threats made against any one. Mr. Crittenden, as an officer of this court, should know this. By threats in this instance I refer to the attempt of Mr. Crittenden to draw a weapon. As to Mr. Unruh, I saw him point the pistol at the attorney, and I cannot be mistaken. His arm was extended and the weapon was on a level with his eye. The action was unmistakably threatening.
"I shall therefore [Throw the SUPREME LAW ASIDE and] impose a fine of $100 on Mr. Unruh and one of $250 on Mr. Crittenden, or imprisonment in the County Jail at the rate of one day for every $1 of the fines."
Unruh stated through his attorney that he would submit to the decision, but Crittenden informed the court that he declined to pay the fine and would appeal to the Supreme Court. Upon this Judge Slack ordered him into the custody of the Sheriff.
"Does your Honor wish to humiliate me?" asked Crittenden. "I have a little money myself and 1 can furnish ample security for my appearance here. I am not going to run away."
"I have no such desire, Mr. Crittenden," answered the court. "I will stay execution until Monday next so as to give you time to prepare."
This ended the contempt proceedings for the day, and the parties, with their friends, filed out of the courtroom. Attorney Crittenden stated in an interview that he would test the constitutionality of the deadly-weapon law and also plead his inability to protect himself without a weapon; also the extenuating circumstances of the case in his favor.[The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, Saturday, July 04, 1896. Volume LXXX.--No. 34. Pg. 7]
"The personal liberty of individuals, it has been well said, 'consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or moving one's person to whatsoever place one's own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.' 1 Bl. Comm. p. 134, c. 1.[Page 165 U.S. 275, 293]And if congress cannot act "in disregard of the express injunctions of the constitution", neither can the courts. For the courts are nothing more than a creature of the Constitution. Under the authority of congress, which is expressly granted by the Constitution. And BOTH congress AND the courts are EXPRESSLY BOUND by the Constitution of the United States. Neither are permitted to act or rule outside of the express provisions of that Supreme Law. Nor can they enact or impose 'regulations' or 'rules' which clearly violate that Supreme Law. To Wit:
"Can the decision of the court be sustained under the clause of the constitution granting power to congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states? That power cannot be exerted except with due regard to other provisions of the constitution, particularly those embodying the fundamental guaranties of life, liberty, and property. While congress may enact regulations for the conduct of commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and may, perhaps, prescribe punishment for the violation of such regulations, it may not, in so doing, ignore other clauses of the constitution. For instance, a regulation of commerce cannot be sustained which, in disregard of the express injunctions of the constitution...."--Mr. Justice HARLAN, in dissent, U.S. Supreme Court, ROBERTSON v. BALDWIN, 165 U.S. 275 (1897).
U.S. Constitution, Section IV, Article VI, 2nd clause;
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
U.S. Constitution, Article II of Amendment, "Restrictive" clause;And this FACT was reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in more recent years:
"The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed."
"A higher power declares this constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme laws of the land, and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding" Const U.S., art. 6, clause 2.
"An amendment of the constitution is of still higher authority, for it has the effect of controlling and repealing the express provisions of the constitution authorizing a power to be exercised, by a declaration that it shall not be construed to give such power. 3 Dall 382.
"We have stated to you the various provisions of the constitution of the United States and its amendments, as well as that of this state; you see their authority and obligation to be supreme over any laws or regulations which are repugnant to them, or which violate, infringe or impair any right thereby secured; the conclusions which result are too obvious to be more than stated."--U.S. Supreme Court Justice BALDWIN, Circuit Court of The United States, [PENNSYLVANIA APRIL TERM 1833 BEFORE Hon. HENRY BALDWIN, Associate Justice of the [U.S.] Supreme Court, Hon JOSEPH HOPKINSON District Judge, Johnson v Tompkins, (13 F. Cas. 840 (C.C.E.D. Pa. 1833)), and others.]
"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."--U.S. Supreme Court, Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491, (1966).CASE CLOSED.