We hardly heard a word spoken, or saw anything written, about John Roll's execution.
Following is a great patriot's tribute to another great patriot and friend of liberty.
Judge John M. Roll: A True American Hero
By: Richard Mack
Member of Oath Keepers Board of Directors
Liberty News Radio
On January 8, 2011, Federal District Judge John Roll was gunned down by a
maniacal coward lunatic. Since this unspeakable and unimaginable tragedy
much has been said about who caused this tragedy or who may have prompted
its occurrence. Some of this rhetoric bordered on the absurd. I would much
rather talk about the good people who had their lives snuffed out before
their time and to pay tribute to who they were and what they stood for.
Certainly, a beautiful little nine year old angel, named Christina Green,
deserves to have her life displayed as an example to others to learn from
and enjoy. So, I will do that regarding a man who changed my life and
helped alter American history; Judge John M. Roll. He was an honest man
and a principled judge. He stood for what he believed was right despite
the possible consequences. I met Judge Roll back in 1994, in fact, it was
in his courtroom. He was the judge who first heard my lawsuit against the
Administration. Judge Roll had the courage to take a strong stand against
the very entity that controlled his salary and career. He actually had
the audacity to tell Congress and President Clinton that they exceeded
their authority when they made the Brady bill a law.
I was extremely nervous when I walked into Judge Roll's courtroom. There
was a big crowd of supporters and numerous reporters and cameras outside
the courthouse. Although I had been to court many times before, this was
the first time it was in front of such a crowd of onlookers and the Press
and in Federal court. I remember looking at Judge Roll and relaxing
somewhat; he was nice looking and rather young, about my age. He had
already defended me with at least two pretrial motions that he ruled on,
both in my favor. The first one was the Federal Government's attempt to
remove me from the case entirely by claiming I had no standing to sue them
in the first place. They argued that only the county's Board of
Supervisors could represent the county in such legal actions. Judge Roll
said this was wrong because it was the sheriff being commandeered by the
Federal Government, both officially and personally. Next, my lawyer asked
for an injunction against the
government from being able to arrest me for "failure to comply." (There
was an actual provision in the Brady bill that threatened to arrest the
sheriffs if we failed to comply with this unfunded mandate from
Congress.) Judge Roll seemed legitimately concerned about this threat
throughout the entire lawsuit. Janet Reno herself wrote a memo to the
Judge and assured him that the Feds had no intention of arresting me and
that the threat of arrest within the language of the Brady bill, was only
intended for the gun shop owners, not the sheriffs. Judge Roll, as he
announced his decision regarding the injunction said that Janet Reno was
not allowed to change the law "by fiat" nor interpret the law for
Congress. "Mack's injunction is hereby granted," the Judge said calmly
Then as the hearing proceeded I was called to the stand. The butterflies
returned big time. As the Justice Department's lawyer cross examined me,
she did something unusual; she actually began to address the Judge while I
am still sitting on the stand. She said, "why your honor, already in just
the first four months of the implementation of the Brady background
checks, we have denied over 250,000 felons from gaining access to handguns
in this country." I was thinking to myself what a crock her numbers were
and wondering why we had so many felons on the streets all trying to buy
handguns in government checked gun shops. Suddenly, Judge Roll interrupted
the attorney and rebuked her with, "Counselor, do not pretend in this
courtroom that your statistical analysis somehow equates to
constitutionality." I have to say that Roll's understanding of principles
amazed me. He was so professional and knowledgeable. He took his job and
the Constitution so seriously.
He was truly an exemplary Justice.
When Judge Roll issued his ruling on the Mack v. US case on June 28, 1994,
he said two things that absolutely floored me. The first one was the order
of the court which summarized his findings:
"The Court finds that in enacting (the Brady bill) Congress exceeded its
authority under Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution,
thereby impermissibly encroaching upon the powers retained by the states
pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The Court further finds that the
provision, in conjunction with the criminal sanctions its violation would
engender, is unconstitutionally vague under the Fifth Amendment of the
United States Constitution."
Judge Roll, of all the dozens of Judges who had heard this case from me
and the other six sheriff defendants, was the only one who ruled that the
Brady bill violated the Fifth Amendment as well as the Tenth. It was
pursuant to Judge Roll's insight and sensitivity to the threat this "law"
posed to us, the sheriffs, that this case made it all the way to the U.S.
When I read the other Judge Roll principle, it truly brought me to
understand how astonishing this man really was. He said:
"Mack is thus forced to choose between keeping his oath or obeying the
act, subjecting himself to possible sanctions."
To have a federal Judge actually grasp the full extent of my personal
motivation for filing this case was absolutely remarkable. He touched my
soul with this comment and it is recorded in my books and memory forever.
He was truly before his time. Now, his work is a part of American history.
His legacy should be one of honesty, courage, and living up to his oath as
a true defender of our nation's rule of law. He changed my life and showed
us all that the Constitution is still the supreme law of the land.
Please visit The Oath Keepers website to comment on this article.
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