On January 28th 2010 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals basically screwed the Church of Reality issuing a memorandum decision. As the founder of the Church of Reality I’m fairly pissed off about it. What the courts often do is to clear out the case load by letting law clerks decide cases using memoradum decisions and signing the judges name to it. That way the judges only deal with the cases the law clerks find interesting.
This is especially true of cases where the party is doing it themselves and is not a lawyer. They think that we aren’t smart enough to figure out when we’re getting screwed so they can blow us off easilly. And usually they are correct, but not with me.
The case is not over. I am going to file a motion for rehearing en banc, and I’m in the process of sending a letter to the chief judge of the court Alex Kozinski. The letter is to get their attention so that I might get some due process when they consider it. I need some public attention and public scrutiny to get a real decision out of the court.
This is a First Amendment case which under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires the Strict Scrutiny standard of review. It is also a case of first Impression. This is the first case to be reviewed since the UDV case of 2006 where the Supreme Court decided that religions could have schedule 1 drugs. Both sides have admitted that this is the first case. It is not the kind of case that should be disposed of with memorandum. It requires a real opinion. This was a go fuck yourself kind of decision.
The decision is an incomplete decision that relies on a statement taken out of context that I, Marc Perkel, founder of the Church of Reality somehow admitted that we can get along just fine without the use of marijuana. I made no such admission, and it is not the case. If not for marijuana there would be no Church of Reality.
I hereby challenge the legal community to read the decision and read the briefs and you tell me if you think this is a real opinion or you think I got screwed by some back room law clerk that wanted to clear cases out of the file so that the judges don’t have to be bothered. Below are links to the documents filed and the opinion.
I am in the process of asking for rehearing. I would appreciate all the help I can get to at least get a regular opinion in this case. I realize that they might still rule against me. But I want a decision that at least makes sense.