You just can’t do this.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama-appointee, has made her animus against Donald Trump clear for years. She ordered Trump ally Paul Manafort into solitary confinement and was cavalier about law enforcement against Roger Stone. How anyone, including the judge herself, could think it was appropriate for her to preside over the fates of any of the January 6 rioters, is beyond me.
Nonetheless, she did, and is, and just demonstrated what kind of justice any of them can expect.
Michael Sibick is one of the more egregious rioters. He was arrested and charged with assaulting and robbing a Metropolitan Police Department officer of his police badge and radio during the attack on the Capitol, and stands indicted on 10 counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, robbery, and engaging in physical violence on the Capitol grounds. Though most defendants with far more extensive charges are usually granted bail, he has not, and has been incarcerated since March.
Last week, lucky Sibick had his renewed motion for bail considered by Judge Jackson. In a groveling letter to her, he wrote, in a letter to Judge Jackson, Sibick wrote:
“January 6th was a disgrace to our nation that left a scar Trump is ultimately responsible for, but we are strong and we will heal from it. While many praise Trump, I loathe him. His words and actions are nefarious causing pain and harm to the world. He is not a leader and should be ostracized from any political future, what he honestly needs to do is go away!”
Gee, Mike, why were you so upset about the election, then? Well, never mind: the whole idea of these prosecutions is to make the idiotic rioters blame Trump, so go ahead. The letter seemed to satisfy Jackson, even though the Biden Department of Justice wants to keep him locked up—domestic terrorist, don’t you know! Still, she had some special conditions if the now fully converted Trump-Hater was going to be able to breath free, even for a little while.
Jackson added conditions to the bail order that to gain release, Sibick had to agree not to watch “any news programs or political programs or talk shows” and not to attend any “political rallies.” Nor can Sibick “use any social media–including, but not limited to, Parler, Gab, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Twitter, SnapChat, TikTok, and any similar platform–on any electronic device (e.g, phone, table, computer, laptop).” By use, I assume that means “read.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution prohibits the government from directly imposing a particular ban on constitutionally protected activities, and the “unconstitutional conditions” doctrine means that it cannot ban simply taking in ideas (as in rallies, online or from TV) as a condition of of pre-trial release. Do notice how the first social media platforms Jackson mentions are the conservative ones.
This case would be an ideal one to challenge for an American Civil Liberties Union that, sadly, no longer exists. Once, liberals would find this totalitarian-style restriction on thought as offensive as conservatives. So far, the only pundits I see sounding alarms are the conservatives.
Pointer: Legal Insurrection