Going to Florida on Monday to Support Nancy Jo Grant


Nancy Jo Grant’s October 12 2007 Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss her Civil Rights Action

I’ve only been “out” for a day over two weeks, a fortnight, “una quincena” in Spanish, but I need to go visit Nancy Grant in Sarasota and Arcadia Florida.  Nancy Jo Grant is the second of my great allies and supporters while I was in jail (and before and I would sincerely hope and expect, for life).  Frankly, I’m going to be “backup” for Nancy on Tuesday because she’s engaging in civil disobedience even weightier and more daring than my own.  You see, Nancy Grant contends that her conviction for maintaining a Christ-like Prison ministry in Florida is illegal, void for lack of jurisdiction as well as multiple constitutional violations, and I happen to agree.   http://www.nancygrant.info/  The problem is that Nancy was sentenced to an outrageous 15 years probation and a $33,000 fine which DeSoto County apparently needed to cover a county budgetary shortfall.  Nancy’s conviction is even a more outrageously “criminal” violation of her rights than my arrest in Los Angeles for contempt of court for failure to appear in a closed civil case.  But Nancy is going to be accused of violation of her probation, and willful disregard of a court order.  I happen to agree with Nancy that the judgment entered against her was entered in the absolute, complete, and total absence of jurisdiction, so that all the State Court judges who proceed against her are personally liable to Nancy for her actual damages.  But it will be a tough fight.  Nancy has been there for me during my ordeal and so I plan on being there to stand beside her in case the State decides to make her an even bigger hero than she already is.  Nancy’s best chance is that if DeSoto County tries to arrest her, her case and illegal conviction will receive even more publicity than it already has, Nancy will become more famous.  In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “strike me down and I will become more powerful than you could ever imagine.” I’m not at all sure that applies to me but I am very sure it applies to Nancy Jo Grant.  As Jerry O’Neil and I have discussed, Nancy’s great strength is her purity of purpose, her lack of guile or “sophistication” in the sense of a cynical appraisal of social and political strategy.  Nancy is just a true missionary, has just “gone out into the world and preached” to the prisoners of Florida, sending a message of hope, in this world as well as in the next, and the State of Florida, especially Nancy’s native DeSoto County, cannot tolerate this threat to their illegitimate authority.  I would ask that everyone pray for Nancy—to give her strength to withstand whatever the State of Florida wants to throw at her.  I frankly doubt that the State will dare try to enforce its illegal judgment of conviction against her, but her defiance is so open and direct, that the State will have no choice but to admit its error, and in particular the constitutional violations committed by the DeSoto County Judges, if the State backs down.  “These are the times that try men’s souls.”  And Nancy Grant has been subjecting herself (and the State of Florida) to the truest modern “trial by ordeal” for many years.  The outcome of this battle is going to be one of the most significant events in the early constitutional history of the 21st century.

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