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State v. Stonecalf Warriorwoman,

Idaho District Court (Aug. 26, 2008):

According to the stipulated facts, on February 10, 2007, North Idaho College (NIC), learned that defendant Stonecalf Warriorwoman (Warriorwoman) was planning on attending a concert at NIC, on February 27, 2007, for the purpose of making a political statement. NIC learned of this through a posting placed on the internet by Warriorwoman. NIC also received a telephone call from Warriorwoman saying she was going to be at the Raining Jane concert that night, and she was going to bring a “Tomahawk with a 30-million-year-old part to it, that she planned to dance and would be wearing too tight of clothing, and she wanted a black student and a yellow student to dance with her.” The stated reason was “She was holding the four corners of the earth to save the evil American.” Warriorwoman did show up at NIC on the evening of February 27, 2007, with a backpack and was told by a security officer for NIC that she was “being trespassed” and needed to leave. Idaho Code § 18-7008(8) lists the following as one of several ways one can commit the crime of trespass:

Every person, except under landlord-tenant relationship, who, being first notified in writing, or verbally by the owner or authorized agent of the owner of real property, to immediately depart from the same and who refuses to so depart, or who, without permission or invitation, returns and enters said property within a year, after being so notified;

On March 20, 2007, Warriorwoman returned to the NIC campus and attended the Popcorn Forum. NIC security called Coeur d’Alene Police, and Warriorwoman was arrested and incarcerated on the trespassing charge.

Held: Applying the trespass statute here didn't violate Warriorwoman's First Amendment rights. "For obvious reasons, Warriorwoman’s February 27, 2007, phone call to NIC, that she was going to attend the concert that night, that she was going to bring a tomahawk with a 30-million-year-old part to it, that she planned to dance, and she would be wearing too tight of clothing and wanted a black student and a yellow student to dance with her, and then her showing up that night, raised obvious safety concerns. You simply do not threaten to bring a tomahawk to a concert, then show up at the concert, and later claim your free speech rights were violated."

The court then errs, I think, in concluding that "It is conduct, not speech that is involved"; Warriorwoman was barred from the college because of her speech -- but I do think that the speech was such as to lead the college to have good reason to fear her future conduct.

I should note that Warriorwoman has also "warned citizens of Vice President Chaney’s attempts at mind control and announced that she would be willing to be Barack Obama’s Vice-Presidential candidate."

Matt_T:
I wonder what sort of dissociatives and hallucinogens the cops found in her pockets.
9.22.2008 12:13pm
PLR:
I don't see the safety concern at all. She was there to save the evil Americans, a fact which the District Court mentions, and then conveniently overlooks.
9.22.2008 12:18pm
darelf:
You think BHO will drop Biden in favor of Warriorwoman?
9.22.2008 12:22pm
Arkady:

"...You simply do not threaten to bring a tomahawk to a concert, then show up at the concert, and later claim your free speech rights were violated."


Unless there's something else, merely saying you're bringing a tomahawk to a concert does not imply that you intend to lay waste to concert-goers with said tomahawk. Personally, I think it was the "too tight of clothing" thing along with the threatened multi-racial boogie, which could have led, you know, to the whole audience gettin' down, that sunk her case.
9.22.2008 12:40pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
I couldn't read the whole thing 'cause we're already full-up on crazy 'round here. Is the "30 million year old part" (of the tomahawk) a rock. As in: a rock tied to a stick?
9.22.2008 12:42pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

You think BHO will drop Biden in favor of Warriorwoman?


McCain already got her.
9.22.2008 12:43pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
It's interesting that a security guard on gate duty is considered "the owner or authorized agent of the owner." I bet when a rent-a-cop screws up they argue differently.
9.22.2008 1:04pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
was told by a security officer for NIC that she was "being trespassed" and needed to leave



There's a meeting of the minds.
9.22.2008 1:37pm
Don Miller (mail) (www):
LarryA

It's interesting that a security guard on gate duty is considered "the owner or authorized agent of the owner." I bet when a rent-a-cop screws up they argue differently.


Hey I think I know the answer to this rhetorical question. Of course if the Rent-a-cop screws up the College will argue will argue that he is acting outside his scope of authority and is there for not acting as their agent when he screwed up.

If I remember correctly, there are different levels of agency. The most common being a grant of limited agency. The power and authority of the agent (ie Rent-a-Cop) are spelled out in the agreement. If the person acts outside the scope of the agreement (ie screws up) the person or organization granting the agent status says that the person wasn't acting as their agent when he screwed up because that screwup was outside his scope of authority.

Of course the argument against this would have to be Apparent Authority, the Rent-a-Cop had the apparent authority to screw up the way he did.

Not a lawyer, but I think that covers the basics of those arguments

(probably worthy of a D on a 1st Yr Law quiz though)
9.22.2008 1:39pm
Happyshooter:
Guys, 30 seconds review of the NIC web site showed that the guards are government employees who pack tasers and can make 'citizens arrests'.

One of the listed job functions was enforcement of college rules and fderal, state, and local laws on the campus.

The guard was a .gov employee armed with a taser and whos offical job duty was enforcing the laws and college rules. He was the government at the time of his action, as was whatever supervisor told him to do it.
9.22.2008 2:13pm
Milhouse (www):
Do they speak a different language in Idaho, or is this just sloppy?
9.22.2008 2:13pm
PersonFromPorlock:
I suppose I'm just grumpy today but I'd have been delighted if the court had simply observed that whatever the plaintiff was going to say would have been too silly to deserve First Amendment protection.

I know, I know, mea maxima culpa.
9.22.2008 2:16pm
one of many:
I do wonder at the court's equating a tomahawk with a weapon. Certainly one could be used as a weapon, but so could a bicycle chain and there is no indication the M. Warriorwoman intended to use it as a weapon. Every indication is that she did not intend to use the tomahawk as a weapon.
9.22.2008 2:20pm
DiverDan (mail):
Maybe the Court got the First Amendment issue wrong, but it strikes me as eminently fair that if full-on crazy people are given certain legal advantages (i.e., they have a defense to most criminal charges, and can't be sentenced to death for capital convictions), they ought not get the full protections of the First Amendment. If the First Amendment is supposed to protect the full and open exchange of information and ideas, I think we can live without whatever information and ideas full-blown loons might otherwise bring to the marketplace.
9.22.2008 2:21pm
Sk (mail):
What is wrong with banning, censoring, or controlling her speech? The facts of the case (the first sentence: "...defendant Stonecalf Warriorwoman (Warriorwoman) was planning on attending a concert at NIC, on February 27, 2007, for the purpose of making a political statement...") state she was going to the college to engage in political speech. We have an election in about 45 days. McCain-Feingold was upheld to allow the control of political speech shortly before elections. What is the constitutional issue at stake?

Sk
9.22.2008 2:24pm
Arkady:

I think we can live without whatever information and ideas full-blown loons might otherwise bring to the marketplace.


Well, one person's full-blown loon is another's profound political thinker. And, given the times, was there a greater piece of looniness than this?


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


Let the loonlight in!
9.22.2008 2:36pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I have two problems with this. First, it is not at all clear that declaring the intention to bring a tomahawk is a threat. This, together with the fact that the woman is probably crazy, are grounds for having a chat with her, but in the absence of further evidence that she is dangerous, not for barring her from the grounds. Second, I don't see the basis for arresting her on the second occasion. It was three weeks later, a different sort of event, and there was no further evidence of any sort of threat. In any case, even if there were justification for turning her away on the second occasion, what was the basis for arrest? Surely being turned away from a different event three weeks previously does not constitute valid notice?
9.22.2008 2:36pm
tsotha:

I should note that Warriorwoman has also "warned citizens of Vice President Chaney's attempts at mind control and announced that she would be willing to be Barack Obama's Vice-Presidential candidate."



She could hardly be less inspiring than Biden.
9.22.2008 2:57pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I think we should not that she isn't as crazy as she might be. She could spell her name "Warriorwomon".
9.22.2008 3:00pm
Calculated Risk:

Surely being turned away from a different event three weeks previously does not constitute valid notice?


According to the Idaho statute, the notice only needs to be given once and is valid for a year there after.

That said, this is definitely an example of exercising very poor discretion on the part of authorities. It appears at the previous event she left the premises without incident when she was asked to leave. It is highly likely that she would have left the second event without incident if she had been asked to leave. But instead, they decide to arrest her without any warning whatsoever.

My bet is that she did not even realize that she was trespassing the second time. I don't think that most people who were similarly situated would realize they were trespassing. Especially as this is the grounds of a public university, which has the feel of a public space. This is not some private enclosure where one knows they are not welcome. Common sense and common courtesy would suggest that in fact authorities should have handled this differently, even if they were not obligated by law to do so.

In fact, I think that those in charge who arrested her should be fired for wasting public resources and exercising poor judgment. Exactly what has society gained by sheltering and feeding "WarriorWoman" in jail for at least 10 days, when the entire incident could have probably been resolved with a warning? This is a waste of taxpayer funds that could have been utilized more effectively.
9.22.2008 3:01pm
Calculated Risk:
I should also note another cost of the poor judgment by authorities in this case. Although it is perhaps mildly amusing, the fact is that it is unlikely that the Public Defender's office would have invested resources in an appeal if they did not feel that their was unfairness in the course of events stated in this case.

I am pretty sure that the Prosecutor's office does in fact have more important cases it could be working on, rather than responding to an appeal that only came about because of the bad judgment exercised by law enforcement.

Legal merits of the case aside, I think someone should be fired. Or, at the very least, trained in the use of basic common sense. (Of course, one must ask, if someone shows such a basic failure to use common sense, can they really be trained to use it in the future?)
9.22.2008 3:07pm
fishbane (mail):
You simply do not threaten to bring a tomahawk to a concert, then show up at the concert, and later claim your free speech rights were violated.

However, we have no problems with teachers packing heat in schools, right?
9.22.2008 3:08pm
Calculated Risk:

She could hardly be less inspiring than Biden.


In contrast, the completely inexperienced and rather unintelligent pitbull from Alaska is very inspiring.

I mean, what could be more inspiring than a pitbull with lipstick? Just what America needs. Oh so inspiring. I am sure that Ms. Palin's degree in communication from University of Idaho and career as a sports journalist qualifies her to run the country. Oh wait, she was also the mayor of an small town before becoming governor.

What an oh so inspiring resume. I will sleep well at night knowing that Ms. Palin's in charge and not in over her head.
9.22.2008 3:14pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Must have been an interesting trial.
9.22.2008 3:39pm
PLR:
I think we should not that she isn't as crazy as she might be. She could spell her name "Warriorwomon".
The fact that she is willing to be Obama's running mate isn't evidence of craziness. A lot of us would like to be his running mate, especially if we can decline interview requests like SP does. The bit about Cheney mind control isn't right, it's Addington who has that job, but I bet a lot of Americans have trouble distinguishing those two.

But when she says a 30 million year old part, come on. We know the earth is only a little over 6,000 years old.
9.22.2008 3:45pm
Bob in SeaTac (mail):
Calculated Risk:

Biden has proved he's in over his head in most everything he's attempted.
9.22.2008 4:38pm
BillW:
Does North Idaho College have a policy on carrying of weapons, concealed or openly?
9.22.2008 5:25pm
pete (mail) (www):

I am sure that Ms. Palin's degree in communication from University of Idaho and career as a sports journalist qualifies her to run the country. Oh wait, she was also the mayor of an small town before becoming governor.


Hey that is pretty close to Reagan's resume! Except replace Idaho with Eureka College and small town may with pesident of SAG. Even more reason for nme to like her.

It does seem the most recent attack on Palin by liberals is that she is not very bright because she went to a state school, since we all know that if you went to a state school you should not even think of running for higher office.
9.22.2008 5:57pm
Fub:
Bill Poser wrote at 9.22.2008 1:36pm:
Surely being turned away from a different event three weeks previously does not constitute valid notice?
The decision and order seemed very vague on exactly what property she was ordered to leave in the first incident. Was it the specific event, or was it the entire college grounds? The court didn't recite a specific finding of fact about that question. Instead they applied the statute as if she had in fact been banned from the campus, not just the event.

That's why I think the statute was overbroad as applied.

For an exaggerated gedanken example to illustrate, suppose that Betty Bigmouth Benefactor is told to leave a university theatre for talking too loud during a performance. Should she then be arrested the next day when she enters the university campus to deliver a big endowment check?

Presumably the university would not file a complaint in that circumstance. But such a prosecution would be constitutional on such a muddy fact-based principle as the ID court set forth.
9.22.2008 6:36pm
Visitor Again:
Diver Dan wrote:

I think we can live without whatever information and ideas full-blown loons might otherwise bring to the marketplace.

Yeah, right, people who posited the earth is round were regarded as full-blown loons at one time and some of them were locked up for it. I've never read a comment on the VC as singularly uncomprehending of the meaning of the first amendment. But I don't suggest you don't have the right to expound your drivel. And I find value in it since it amuses me.
9.22.2008 8:11pm
Peter J Moriarity (mail):
First, it is not at all clear that declaring the intention to bring a tomahawk is a threat.

Bill: Do you think there may be a little liability if she whacks someone with it?
9.22.2008 8:45pm
Dave N (mail):
I just think "Stonecalf Warriorwoman" sounds like a name from a very, very bad sci-fi or western novel.
9.22.2008 9:01pm
New Pseudonym:
I believe certain units of the Virgina Militia under George Rogers Clark carried tomahawks in lieu of bayonets in the Revolution. Or does it have to go bang to have Amend. II protection?
9.22.2008 11:37pm