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Is Anyone Above the Law?

No one in the United States is above the law. In fact, every member of Congress, the Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, and prosecutors must take an Oath or Affirmation that states, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the duties of (the designated office), and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

I took a similar Oath when I was sworn in as an Oakland Police Officer, which is why I understand the importance of fulfilling your duties to the best of your ability.

Under Article 1 and 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the following citizens are immune from prosecution:

  • Members of Congress
  • Members of the Executive Branch
  • Members of the Judicial Branch
  • Prosecutors

Every other citizen can be charged, civilly or criminally, for their horrendous acts.

“The governing principle of law is well established, and is not questioned by the parties. As early as 1872, the court recognized that it was ‘a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority vested in him, [should] be free to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequences to himself.’” This doctrine applies to the parties listed above.

The U.S. Supreme Court case of Stump v. Sparkman confirmed this law in 1978. This case involved a judge who was sued by a young woman who had been sterilized without her knowledge as a minor in accordance with the judge's order. The Supreme Court held that the judge was immune from being sued for issuing the order because it was issued as a judicial function.

Because the case violated due process, it has been called one of the most controversial cases in recent Supreme Court history. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed in a 5-3 decision and reversed the Court of Appeals. While the Court upheld that the judge could not be sued, it also announced a test for deciding when judicial immunity should apply.

When it comes to the executive branch, President Andrew Johnson was impeached for firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. His actions had violated a statute passed by Congress. He was acquitted by the Senate, and the Supreme Court subsequently declared the statute unconstitutional because it impinged on the president’s power to fire members of the executive branch.

Impeachment in the U.S. is like the fox guarding the henhouse. The lower house brings charges against a civil officer for alleged crimes to members of congress. The Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. This applies to both the President and Vice President. All civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

As an Oakland Police Officer, I followed the rulings of California Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings regarding the 4th Amendment (searches and seizures), the 5th Amendment (advisement of rights), and the 1st and 6th Amendments. As a police officer I disagreed with some of those rulings, however, I followed the law for those rulings.

As a defense attorney, I have a duty is to defend my clients at all costs when representing their interests. The U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right and opportunity to present a complete defense. This right is found in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Confrontation Clauses of the Sixth Amendment.

Our Constitutional system of separation of power and checks and balances provides that the members of each branch of government should be protected from legal consequences for performing their constitutionally mandated duties and functions.

I would like to think that our Congressmen / Congresswomen, Senators, members of the Judicial Branch, and members of the Executive Branch will have what is in the best interest of our country. While I disagree with many of their opinions, rulings, and their politics, I still feel that is good for our democracy.

Are you facing criminal charges? If so, call 888.865.0741 to schedule your free case consultation with a Dublin criminal defense lawyer. We are here to fight for your rights.