Some light humor from Wikipedia

On September 14, 2007, Sen. (Ernie) Chambers filed a lawsuit against God, seeking a permanent injunction ordering God to "cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats...of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent".[13]
Sen. Chambers said his action was in response to another lawsuit filed in the state court that he considers to be frivolous and inappropriate.[14] In that case a woman was taking Lancaster County Judge Jeffre Cheuvront to federal court for ruling that the words "rape", "sexual assault kit", "victim", and "assailant" could not be used in her testimony.[15] Judge Cheuvront agreed with the defense attorney that "The word 'rape,' is not a legal term, he said. 'Sexual assault' is, but whether a defendant committed that crime is a question for a jury to answer based on evidence at trial. Under the rules of evidence, witnesses can’t reach legal conclusions. ...Using words like 'rape' creates unfair prejudices for defendants and invades the (duties) of the jury."[15] The judge also denied the plaintiff's motion to bar the defendant from using words like "sex" and "intercourse" in his testimony.[15] The defendant argued that they had consensual sex after meeting at a bar, drinking together until it closed, and returning to his home after 1 am. The plaintiff "told an investigator the following day she could not remember most of the previous evening and that she did not willingly accompany [him] [though a surveillance camera video did show her leaving with the defendant[16]]... she could only recall waking up in a strange apartment with an unknown man who was 'having sexual intercourse with her.'"[15] She went on to say "he stopped the sex when asked. His words were, 'You don't remember last night? You consented.' That shows he knew the difference."[16] Prosecutors alleged the defendant knew she "was too intoxicated to consent to sex."[15] In response to the media attention "Bruce Lyons, a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said he could not understand the controversy over Cheuvront’s order...[and] he knew of similar rulings in other jurisdictions. ...judges have an overriding responsibility to keep trials fair. And a prosecutor, he said, should be able to elicit testimony that will tell a jury the alleged victim believes a crime occurred, even though the victim can’t use words like rape."[15] The defense attorney also stated "words like 'sex' and 'intercourse' are, unlike 'rape,' legally neutral. You can have forced intercourse, or you can have legal intercourse."[15] At the time of the controversy the case was moving to its second hearing as the first had ended in a deadlocked jury that resulted in a mistrial. With the media coverage and controversy (which escalated into street demonstrations[17]) the judge declared a second mistrial "citing news coverage and public protests on behalf of [the woman]."[18] In response to his ruling barring certain words the woman filed suit against Judge Cheuvront in Federal Court saying that he had violated her First Amendment right to free speech.[18]
Senator Chambers (a member of the Judiciary Committee[19]) found the lawsuit against the judge outrageous, and stated the case "is inappropriate because the Nebraska Supreme Court has already considered the case and federal courts follow the decisions of state supreme courts on state matters."[14][20] He went on to announce his lawsuit against God and said "This lawsuit [against Judge Cheuvront] having been filed and being of such questionable merit creates a circumstance where my lawsuit is appropriately filed. People might call it frivolous but if they read it they’ll see there are very serious issues I have raised."[14][20]
In the lawsuit filed to prove his point that under current law any case no matter how ridiculous must get a hearing he stated that "Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon defendant 'Come out, come out, wherever you are,' has been unable to do so." The suit charged God "of making and continuing to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent...[by using] fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like. ...[Often causing] calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction. ...[And] has manifested neither compassion nor remorse, proclaiming that defendant will laugh [Proverbs 1:26]."[21] The Senator asked "for the court to grant him a summary judgment... [or for] the judge to set a date for a hearing as expeditiously as possible and enter a permanent injunction enjoining God from engaging in the types of deleterious actions and the making of terroristic threats described in the lawsuit."[21]
Chambers' lawsuit drew even more media attention than the lawsuit that had inspired him to take the action to prove his point. Many media outlets covering the story made no mention that Chambers' case was intended to show that the courts were currently required to hear cases regardless of how frivolous they were. The confusion was furthered by Chambers himself who apparently tongue in cheek told reporters that his case was not to protest frivolous lawsuits but to insure them saying his action was "in response to bills brought forth by other state senators to try and stop lawsuits from being filed. 'The Constitution requires that the courthouse doors be open, so you cannot prohibit the filing of suits, Anyone can sue anyone they choose, even God.'"[22]
In response to Chambers' case two responses were filed. The first was from a Corpus Christi lawyer, Eric Perkins, who wanted to answer the question "what would God say".[23] The second was filed in Douglas County, Nebraska District Court. The source of the second response, claiming to be from "God", is unclear as no contact information was given.[24]
On July 30, 2008, local media sources reported the Douglas County District Court was going to deny Chambers' lawsuit because Chambers had failed to notify the defendant.[25] However, on August 1 Chambers was granted a court date of August 5 in in order to proceed with his lawsuit. "The scheduling hearing will give me a chance to lay out the facts that would justify the granting of the motion," Chambers was quoted as saying. He added, "Once the court enters the injunction, that's as much as I can do," he said. "That's as much as I would ask the court. I wouldn't expect them to enforce it."[26]
However, a judge finally did throw out the case, saying the Almighty wasn't properly served due to his unlisted home address.[27] Chambers responded to the news by saying "the court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgment is a recognition of God's omniscience. Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit." As of November 5th, 2008, Chambers has filed an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court. [28]
The lawsuit against Judge Cheuvront that had motivated Chambers had been dismissed months before with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf finding that the plantiff did not "provide enough evidence to show why her lawsuit against Lancaster County District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront isn't frivolous."[29] He stated that he was concerned the "lawsuit against Cheuvront was actually intended to force Cheuvront to recuse himself from her case."[29] And while "For the life of me, I do not understand why a judge would tell an alleged rape victim that she cannot say she was 'raped' when she testifies in a trial about rape[30]...there is something profoundly disturbing about the notion that a federal judge has the power to tell a state judge how to do his job."[29] The case had also been appealed to a panel of three judges on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who held that "the federal court didn't have jurisdiction in the case." At the time the plantiff's attorney stated that she would "appeal to the full court, then to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."[31] In early 2008 Lancaster County prosecutors announced that they would not be seeking a third trial of the man accused of sexual assault.[30]

Views: 25


You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by Dre Smith on January 7, 2009 at 3:50pm
Either she was raped, or had sex and realized it was a mistake the next morning. Leaving a a bar with a guy willing with a guy back to his place after do we even know both legally speaking could consent to sex? Why does the emphasis just seem to be on the guy? Just saying if both are drunk, both can't consent, right? So wouldnt it be both raping eachother?
Comment by Shoe on January 7, 2009 at 2:49pm
...and the validity of the alleged rape in question should not have any effect on the argument. A precedent like that would have a deleterious effect on the ability of any prosecutor to defend a rape victim, not just this one plaintiff.

And yes, I do realize that I just claimed that prosecutors defend rape victims (as opposed to _prosecuting_ rapists, as one might think the term "prosecutor" implies) because that's the unfortunate reality.
Comment by Shoe on January 7, 2009 at 2:43pm
'Sex' is legally neutral, but 'rape' isn't?! Bullshit. I call shenanigans. Absent of qualifiers, the word sex implies consensual. If a person is raped, she (or he) did not experience sex. She or he experienced violence, assault, possibly genital penetration, mutilation. Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

I'm disappointed in this Senator for associating himself or atheism with advocating this position.

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service