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Appeals Court Opening Brief Filed in 'Right To Travel' Lawsuit

Written by Subject: Criminal Justice System

On September 4, 2007, my Federal Appeal's Court Opening Brief was hand delivered to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. This appeal, from final rulings made in District Court Case No. CV-04-264-JMR in the District of Arizona, marks the forty-fifth month of litigation regarding a civil rights lawsuit filed in December 2003 against four tribal police officers from the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Those unfamiliar with the incident and associated legal action leading up to this appeal should go to Checkpoint USA for a comprehensive overview.

Without going into detail here, the main points covered in the Brief (from the Table of Contents) include the following:

* Police roadblocks that check for driver's licenses and warrants impermissibly burden citizens' Constitutional Right to Travel and Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
* The Government's requiring motorists to provide ID violates the First Amendment by restricting citizen's Right to Travel
* The District court erred as a matter of law by not relying on the Appellant's statements of facts as true, by resolving disputed facts in favor of the police defendants, and by ignoring disputed facts that were beneficial to the Appellant
* The District Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Constitutional claims because the officers were acting under color of State and Federal law

Supporting points include:

1. The Right to Travel is fundamental 
2. Mr. Bressi's Right to Travel was violated 
3. Strict scrutiny applies to violations of the Right to Travel 
4. Law related to sobriety checkpoints is clearly established 
5. The facts support Mr. Bressi's claim that the roadblock was conducted for general law enforcement purposes 
6. The police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity because they knew or should have known that their actions caused the violation of Mr. Bressi's rights 
7. The police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity against Mr. Bressi's claims for injunctive relief

The remainder of the Brief discusses each of these points in greater detail and is well worth the read.

Many thanks to all those who have assisted with this case to date with special thanks to attorney's David Euchner and Jim Harrison of the Identity Project


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Jerry Alexander
Entered on:

Quote: **QQ**The police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity because they knew or should have known that their actions caused the violation of Mr. Bressi**Q**s rights**QQ**
The Police forget their oath also.The American Police will do anything they are told to do and therefore are a real danger to the health of our country.They will ignore their OATH like it was never means NOTHING to a COP
OH Yeah!! It`s very east for ones I.Q. to be too high to become a policeman/women.
We see evidence of this each and every day in their disrespect for the Constitution of the United States.
I one of their leaders told them to Kill You...they would.

Comment by William Shaw
Entered on:

About time we made a stink about the abuses of law abiding people,however we should have not been law abiding in this situation ,nor a few others.
Too bad the law enforcement community are a bunch of brainwashed, non thinkers and go along to keep their jobs, and to heck with Bill of Rights.
Some day they will be in our shoes after the new world order no longer needs their stupidity.
Then what will they think or do ? I among others will care less about them. No mans land !

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