FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 December 2005
Michael New has a date
With Donald Rumsfeld!
(and you are invited!)
(District of Columbia) - The US Court of Appeals has set a date for oral arguments in the case of Michael G. New vs. Donald Rumsfeld, et al/
16 February 2006
Specialist Michael New was court-martialed in 1996 for his refusal to wear a United Nations uniform, to deploy to Macedonia under United Nations command, and to serve under the command of a general officer from Finland.
In a radical departure from constitutional requirements of criminal prosecution, the District Court of D.C. had agreed with the military courts that there was no fatal defect when the military judge in New's court-martial refused to allow any evidence before the jury (panel). Legally, the Jury is the "trier of fact" and not the judge.
At issue is the question of whether an American soldier, having taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, may be forced instead to serve under the military command of a foreign power, specifically the United Nations. The military courts ruled that this was a political question, outside the jurisdiction of their courts. Thus, New was denied his day in court in order to protect the Clinton administration from having to justify the deployment.
In a surprising ruling, US District Court Judge Friedman conceded that Clinton may have broken the law, but that it is the duty of Congress to challenge the president, not a lowly soldier. ( www.mikenew.com/orlndsen.html) This decision continues to astonish attorneys and Constitutional authorities when they hear about it. As one attorney recently said, "I have always been under the impression that the citizen possesses every right under the Constitution that exists. Perhaps that is no longer true."
According to Lead Attorney Herbert W. Titus, of Virginia, who heads up the legal team representing Michael New and the Constitution, "We have here a case with serious implications for every American who ever wears a uniform. Michael New's stand is for them, and their right to defend their country exclusively, in accordance with the American soldiers Oath of Office."
According to legal observer Joseph Dale Robertson, "Every judicial circuit court of appeals in the federal system - except the District of Columbia - has ruled that in all criminal cases it is the jury, the trier of fact, that must exclusively determine each and every essential element of the alleged crime. Michael New was denied this fundamental right in his original court-martial. Every circuit court in the United States has said so with the singular exception of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It is now time for the DC circuit court of appeals to join with all other federal circuit court of appeal in the land and hold in the Michael New case that the constitution applies to criminal court martial trials as well. Further, that Michael New was denied a fair trial in that he was denied the fundamental right to have every element of the alleged crime determined by a jury and not a judge."
And what does Michael New think of all this? "Right is right, and wrong is wrong. They can argue until the End of Time, but I will never serve the United Nations." New is pursuing a degree in Information Management Systems in Texas.
- 30 -
|Order to wear UN uniform disobeyed|
|US District Court refuses to hear case |
|Court-martial - Bad Conduct Discharge|
|Oral arguments, Army Court of Criminal Appeals|
|ACCA upholds court martial decision|
|Oral arguments, Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces|
|LTC.Hamilton files Appellant's Motion for a Decision by the Court|
|CAAF upholds, after a stall of 495 days|
|US District Court hears case|
|US District Court dismisses case|
|US Court of Appeals agrees to hear oral arguments|
You are invited!
Do you want to attend this court session, and "stand with Michael New" in a court of law? It's open to the public, so you don't need our permission, of course. But if you want to be invited to the reception that follows that evening, at a venue to be determined, we need your contact information. To RSVP, click here.