214: Veteran Disarmament Courts
Peter Knudson, senate district 17, "Republican".
Summary: SB 214 establishes "veterans courts",
modeled directly after Soviet-style
"drug courts". These Kangaroo Courts require court
dictators (i.e. "judges"), prosecution teams, defense counsels,
state agencies, and federal agencies, to closely "collaborate" and
"cooperate" as glorified social workers with a
As will be demonstrated, the
ultimate aim of SB 214 is to further manipulate
veterans, strip them of their rights and dignity, and prohibit them from keeping and bearing arms.
Position: UT Gun Rights
opposes this bill. See its
bill status page.
To contact your statutators,
Status: ENACTED. This bill unanimously passed (6
yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent) Wayne Niederhauser's hand-picked
judiciary, law [sic] enforcement,
and criminal justice committee, unanimously passed the senate
yeas, 0 nays, 4 absent/not voting), passed
Greg Hughes' hand-picked house law [sic]
enforcement & criminal justice committee (10
yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent), and passed the house (58
yeas, 1 nay, 16 absent/not voting), and was signed by
this page to
see latest version.
Last updated: 4/3/15
at 12:20 PM.
Jump Down to Topics:
1. What are "Veterans Courts"?
2. Entire Court Gangs Up Against Defendant
3. Will Veterans be Bullied to
4. Lip Service to Veterans' Rights
5. Modeled after Soviet-Style
6. Real Agenda: Disarm Veterans —
7. States Are Key to Disarming Veterans
8. Appropriate Action: Contact the Two
Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators
What are "Veterans Courts"?
Click picture to
SB 214 creates special "veterans
courts" for those who meet the following criteria:
"Screening criteria for participation
in a veterans court program shall include:
(a) a plea to, conviction of, or adjudication for a criminal
(b) frequent alcohol and other drug testing, if
(c) participation in veteran diversion
outreach programs, including substance abuse treatment
programs where appropriate; and
(d) sanctions for noncompliance with diversion and substance
abuse programs' requirements." [bold added]
Note that the term
"include" does not preclude coercing other participants
to participate. In fact, as amended, SB 214
implies that veterans may be forced to participate
in these "veterans courts".
SB 214 requires participating veterans
subjected to a "collaborative
strategy" and "cooperative approach" between an
unaccountable* court dictator (i.e. "judge"), prosecution team, defense counsel, corrections
agencies, substance abuse
treatment "services", and the infamous U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) "Veterans Justice Outreach Program".
*Note: The Utah governor, without any substantive review or
confirmation process, hand-picks all voting members of
"judicial nominating commissions." These commissions select
judicial candidates, the governor selects his favorite, and
his favorite is confirmed by the state senate. The "judicial
council" selects court commissioners, who are deemed
"quasi-judicial officers of courts of record". Sources: Utah
Constitution, Art. VIII, Sec. 8,
and state statutes 20A-12-201, 78A-5-107, 78A-10-103, 78A-10-105,78A-10-202,
In order for voters to remove a judge, over 50 percent of them
must be sufficiently angry at him/her to vote "no" on his/her
judicial retention election. Imagine how many lives a judge
can destroy before half the voters voted "no"?
Obama regime advocates "veterans
courts" (or "veterans treatment courts") as follows:
"Based upon the success of
drug courts and a pronounced need to address
challenges unique to our Nation’s veterans, Veterans Treatment
Courts (VTCs) are being established in jurisdictions across
the country. VTCs utilize the same rigorous protocol of
treatment and personal accountability to treat veterans
suffering from a substance abuse and/or mental health
disorder, while helping ensure public safety." [bold added]
According to the national Center for
"Veterans Courts Resource Guide":
"The first veteran’s court opened in
Buffalo, N.Y. in 2008. The veteran’s court model is
based on drug treatment and/or mental health treatment courts."
Government and pseudo-government
sources boldly parade supposed "drug courts"
success stories. Critics across the political spectrum paint a
very different picture, citing
gross human rights abuses and the destruction of
authentic due process. Here are a few examples:
Drug Courts: No Mother Should Have to Go Through What I Did,"
by Elaine Pawlowski Huffington Post, July 29,
to Go to Drug Court? Say Goodbye to Your Rights", by
Mike Riggs, Reason magazine, August 17, 2012.
Courts are Not the Answer", by the Drug Policy
Alliance, March 2011.
Jurisprudence: Embracing a Tainted Ideal," by former Utah
juvenile court judge Arthur Christean, June 2002.
Subsequent topics focus on how
these broad "collaborations" in both "drug courts" and
"veterans courts" destroy the very essence of traditional
American jurisprudence and threaten the safety and well-being
of those subjected to them.
Back to Topics
Entire Court Gangs Up Against Defendant
"Have we got
a deal for you veterans!"
When you read terms like "collaborative" and "cooperative"
in statute, what is your gut reaction?
Without reading further, how comfortable would you be with all these parties working
closely together for
your supposed benefit? If you feel less than enthusiastic, you are not alone.
Take court dictators (i.e. "judges"),
for instance. Ideally, he/she is supposed to act as a
referee to assist the jury in determining whether a statute
was violated and whether that statute is reasonable or
unreasonable. Less ideally, he/she is currently tasked
to determine a sentence based upon a guilty verdict given by
the jury (this task should ultimately be in the hands of the
jury as well).
Under SB 214 "veterans courts",
court dictators would
be required to surrender even a semblance of objectivity.
He/she now assumes the mantle of an all-powerful
social worker and
head of a "clinical team" that pursues a
"therapeutic process". Consider how these "clinical
teams" operate in "drug courts"
and inevitably in "veterans courts":
"When acting as a member of a clinical
team bent on achieving certain outcomes, judges cannot avoid
unethical ex parte communications, that is, discussion of the
case with one party outside the presence of the
other party. Ex parte communications are traditionally a
serious ethical breach for judges, but such communications
form a regular part of the therapeutic process. Further,
judges become the central focus of the entire effort as the
enforcer of the treatment team's decisions, rather than an
independent adjudicator of the facts and the law, the
appearance of bias cannot be avoided. To the
defendant, the judge becomes simply 'one of them.'"
Jurisprudence: Embracing a Tainted Ideal," former Utah
juvenile court judge Arthur Christean, June 2002.
In other words, court dictators would be unable to avoid blatant conflicts of
interest that would inevitably arise from these communications.
They would be required to pursue, and
achieve, pre-determined social outcomes that may have little,
or nothing, to do with the defendant's alleged crime.
In these compromising environments, the defense
counsel would no longer remain focused on
defending innocence, in helping the defendant challenge and resist
the injustice of absurd statutes, or necessarily to obtain as
light a sentence for the defendant as possible. Rather,
the defense counsel would be required by statute to work together with the
prosecution and government agencies to make you a more
Consider this warning regarding "drug
courts" — again from which "veterans courts" are
"'In many drug courts,' says
Elizabeth Kelley of the National Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers, 'the defense attorney is asked to forfeit the
traditional role of being the zealous advocate of the client,
and is asked to be part of the proseuctor or judge as part of
’treatment.’' Federal drug court guidelines say that defense
attorneys are to 'explain all of the rights that the defendant
will temporarily or permanently relinquish,' and then work
with prosecutors 'to build a sense of teamwork and to
reinforce a nonadversarial atmosphere.'"
to Go to Drug Court? Say Goodbye to Your Rights," by Mike
Riggs, September 17, 2012.
Corrections and substance abuse "experts"
salivating at the potential for increased government
employment opportunities, benefits, and retirement
also "collaborate" and "coordinate" with the court dictator, prosecution, and defense,
prior to sentencing; rather than waiting for the sentence to
be delivered and performing their function independently.
The VA would further obsure this mess by
dangling carrots in the form of perverse incentives to state
and local budgets, and by pressuring veterans in other ways
You, the defendant, would stand very much
Back to Topics
Will Veterans be Bullied to
go... or else."
As previously mentioned, the most
recent version of SB 214 implies that veterans may be forced
to participate in these "veterans courts". As is
apparent to critics of "drug court" schemes, once federal and
other grant monies flow into the process, participation can be
coerced through multiple avenues of attack.
Court dictators (i.e. "judges"), as
leaders of these
"treatment teams", would have megalomaniacal and perverse funding incentives to
expand these courts and affiliated programs by cajoling, threatening, and
otherwise pressuring more veterans into participation.
Would you feel comfortable serving as a test case for a judge's
ethical and/or moral courage?
prosecution and defense, now completely aligned within this
perverse "therapeutic" infrastructure, may be motivated to
induce veterans to plead guilty with glamorous assurances of
obtaining a "better outcome" in these special courts.
Once trapped, veterans must comply with every team whim, or
face punishment with no realistic recourse.
administrators could reinforce this enslavement, to theoretically
include withholding certain federal
benefits and services for veterans who resist these
Back to Topics
Lip Service to Veterans'
Utah: This is
NOT the place for veterans.
SB 214 claims, "A veterans court
program shall... promote public safety, [and] protect
participants' due process rights..." Notice which
priority is listed first.
How could SB 214 "protect participants'
due process rights"? As UT Gun Rights has pointed out
of InJustice versus Clark Aposhian", this
rhetoric is meaningless in Utah's criminal injustice industry where,
"...unreasonable seizures occur, the right to Counsel is
effectively denied, the right to a public trial by an
impartial jury is obstructed, and deprivation of life,
liberty, and property may occur without authentic due process
Utah prosecution teams, courts, and
agencies have already demonstrated their callous disregard for veterans and
their sufferings. Consider Utah veteran Matthew Stewart,
whose home was violently invaded in the night by the
Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force thug squad.
Stewart, who statute enforcement
agents (SEAs) knew suffered from
post traumatic stress and was almost certainly asleep,
believed he was under attack by a violent gang, and defended
himself, killing and wounding several officers, and being
seriously wounded in the process. During the
public show trial that ensued, Stewart apparently lost all
hope of being treated fairly and
took his own life in prison. Where were all of
Utah's so-called veteran supporters?
absurd is it to pretend that the VA has expressed any interest
in the rights, let alone dignity, of American veterans?
Recent stories of
veterans who died after being placed on secret lists purposely
denying them care,
VA falsification of records to appear to be treating ill veterans
overall gross mistreatment tell the real story.
the self-proclaimed VA champions of veterans who suffer from
post traumatic stress in Matthew Stewart's case? Why did they not attempt to
publicly intervene and assist him?
The overwhelming government message is clear: Veterans are
expendable tools to expand the criminal injustice industry and corrupt
Back to Topics
Modeled after Soviet-Style Communism
discuss the details of your
As mentioned previously, "veterans courts" are modeled
after popularized "drug
courts". According to the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, veterans courts
"use a hybrid integration of Drug Court and Mental Health
These "principles" embrace a political doctrine known as
"therapeutic jurisprudence", or "therapeutic
justice". In 2002,
former Utah juvenile court judge, Arthur Christean, exposed
the dangerous follies of this doctrine in an article entitled,
Jurisprudence: Embracing a Tainted Ideal".
After detailing many of its practical flaws, Christean discussed its
close relationship to
philosophies espoused by the former Soviet Union:
"Therapeutic jurisprudence, and recent
legislation influenced by it, appears to share some of the
prominent characteristics of Soviet-style law...
"In the former Soviet Union, courts
and judges were expected to implement state policies and
demonstrate loyalty to the philosophical premises supporting
them. Unlike the United States Constitution, the Constitution
of the USSR established the law as an instrument of the
state's will—the 'people's will'—not as a limitation upon the
state. With such a view of the purpose of the law, it is not
surprising that such a legal system would fundamentally differ
from the American system...
"The first major difference between
Soviet and American legal systems, and the first major
parallel between the Soviet system and therapeutic
jurisprudence, is the separation of powers. As noted above,
the therapeutic justice model undermines our traditional
separation of powers. The creators of the Soviet legal system
rejected the concept of separation of powers, and checks and
balances between branches of government...
"Soviet legal codes tended to include
a great deal of policy pronouncements and statements of
political and social theory, another area where this model
resembles the therapeutic jurisprudence model but differs from
the American model. Soviet courts were expected to act in
harmony with policy pronouncements and to enunciate rules of
public order promoting the collective welfare of the state...
"Soviet judges did not function under
the traditional ethical standards that restrain American
judges and acted with little concern for judicial impartiality
and procedures that American courts refer to as 'due process.'
Soviet judges were free to engage in ex parte communications,
conduct their own interrogations and engage in prosecutorial
Exchange the term "drug courts" with
"veterans courts" and Christean's expose is entirely
applicable to the fatal flaws proposed by SB 214.
Back to Topics
Real Agenda: Disarm Veterans
Gun Control 101:
Neutralize any potential threat to the gun control
Many veterans have extensive combat
training and experience. As such, they pose a
potential, formidable, defensive resistance against the federal regime's
tyrannical gun control programme.
Their life and death experience are also scary to anti-gun
zealots like Executive Monarch Gary Herbert, who
believes that government should, for instance,
checks for BB guns.
Therefore, the federal government
has comprehensively targeted veterans for lifetime firearms
authentic due process. In 2007, the federal regime enacted HR
2640, which funneled massive resources, and opened veteran
records, to the scrutiny of the National Instant Check System
(NICS). According to Gun Owners of America,
"The core of the bill's problems is
section 101(c)(1)(C), which makes you a 'prohibited person' on
the basis of a 'medical finding of disability,' so long as a
veteran had an 'opportunity' for some sort of 'hearing' before
'lawful authority' (other than a court)," the
organization said in a new criticism of the plan. 'Presumably,
this 'lawful authority' could even be the psychiatrist
himself,' the organization said.
"Note that unlike with an accused
murderer, the hearing doesn't have to occur. The 'lawful
authority' doesn't have to be unbiased. The veteran is not
necessarily entitled to an attorney – much less an attorney
financed by the government,' the group said."
Owners 'Get Stabbed in Back'",
World Net Daily, 12/23/07.
In 2009, the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) published, "Rightwing Extremism:
Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in
Radicalization and Recruitment." With regard to
veterans, the report claimed the following on page 2:
"The possible passage of new
restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans
facing significant challenges reintegrating into their
communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist
groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent
attacks." [page 2, bold added]
The footnote at the bottom of page two claimed the
"Rightwing extremism in the United
States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements,
and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on
hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and
those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal
authority in favor of state or local authority, or
rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups
and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such
as opposition to abortion or immigration." [bold added]
predictably downplayed the significance of this report to
Then-DHS director anet Napolitano also "apologized".
This DHS report was hardly conducted in a
vacuum, however. It was published by the DHS's
Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and, according to
page 1 of the
report itself, was,
"Prepared by the Extremism and
Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis
Division. Coordinated with the FBI."
In 2012, the federal regime produced
on VA Facility Specific Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF),
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND)
Veterans Coded with Potential PTSD - Revised".
report claimed that a quarter of a million returning veterans
have been "coded" as having "potential PTSD". These veterans
are key targets of the gun control apparatus.
The disturbing nature of this federal gun
control effort against veterans is gradually coming out. Here are a few
examples from alternative news sources:
Vigilant Eagle: Is This Really How We Honor Our Nation's
Veterans?" by John Whitehead, OpEdNews.com, 5/22/13.
is the Federal Government Disarming Veterans?" by Joe
Wolverton, The New American, 2/26/13.
Declared 'Mentally Defective,' Has Guns Seized," by Paul
Joseph Watson, Infowars.com, 9/24/12.
Since its enactment in 2007,
repeated efforts have been made to rein back NICS and
increasing federal abuses. To no avail.
Instead, in 2013, the Obama regime
pursued a rule to expand NICS access to health and
other records. Speaking of the rule, the
Information Center argued:
"...DOJ regulations define 'committed
to a mental institution' as a 'formal commitment of a person
to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or
other lawful authority' INCLUDING 'commitment[s] for mental
defectiveness or mental illness, as well as commitments for
other reasons, such as for drug use.' The phrase 'for
other reasons' is overly broad and vague. Although the DOJ has
illustrated that drug use is an example of 'commitments for
other reasons,' the nebulous language would grant the DOJ
sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing
firearms, a constitutionally protected right. We
recognize that HHS does not have authority to amend DOJ
regulations. But, because HHS proposes to amend its Privacy
Rule so that states can comply with the DOJ's rule, HHS should
not amend its privacy regulations to facilitate states
implementation of the DOJ's broad rule. Thus, until the DOJ
clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments
that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its
regulations to release sensitive mental health information to
the DOJ." [bold and bold caps added]
In January 2014, Michael Hammond, general counsel of the
Gun Owners of America, wrote in
The Washington Times:
"The Department of Health and
Human Service's 'notice of proposed rule-making,' floated by
the White House in a Friday media dump, would waive portions
of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA) to allow psychiatrists to report their
patients to the FBI's gun-ban blacklist (the NICS system) on
the basis of confidential communications.
"The 1968 Gun Control Act bans guns
for anyone who is 'adjudicated as a mental defective or…
committed to a mental institution.'
"Unfortunately, under 2008 NICS
Improvement Act, drafted by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York
Democrat, and its regulations, that 'adjudication' can be made
by any 'other lawful authority.' This means a diagnosis by a
single psychiatrist in connection with a government program.
"In the case of nearly 175,000
law-abiding veterans, the 'lawful authority' has been a
Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, who, generally,
will take away a veteran's guns by unilaterally declaring him
incompetent and appointing a guardian over his financial
"Certainly, the findings can
be appealed, but most veterans don’t have the tens of
thousands of dollars to hire lawyers and psychiatrists to do
so." [bold added]
In December 2014,
Gun Owners of
America reported the following regarding the massive spending
bill that was enacted:
"The bill increases funds, by $13
million, for the widely abused NICS system which Obama has
spent the last two years trying to expand
— both through
unsuccessful legislation and then through unlawful executive
"Among the people stripped of their
Second Amendment rights by the bill's largesse will be over
175,000 law-abiding veterans. The bill is, thus, a kick in
the pants to those who served our country honorably and are
counting on you to protect them." [bold added]
The VA is ideal to play a
major role in disarming innocent veterans through these
federal gun control advances.
Federally-funded VA psychiatrists are paid and programmed to solicit
sensitive feedback from veterans. They then classify them as
suffering from "post traumatic stress," "depression," etc.
Such labels make veterans increasingly vulnerable to ongoing
statutory efforts to label them as being
"unfit" to possess firearms.
The dominant VA mindset was expressed
in its publication, "Firearms
best way to reduce gun risks is to remove the gun from your
"The presence of firearms in
households has been linked to increased risk of injury or
death for everyone in or around the home...
"Firearms in the home can increase the
possibility of completing suicide...
"Family members do not always take
appropriate action to unload, secure, or remove firearms from
the home. These actions should be taken
regardless of the severity of the dementia or
whether your loved one is suffering from a behavioral problem
"Many people see guns as a means of
self-protection rather than as a potential safety hazard. The
belief in the right to 'bear arms' can also be very high."
Are these the kind of government
agents you want "collaborating" with Utah courts on your
Back to Topics
Are Key to Disarming Veterans
"And then I
said, 'These veterans courts are ideal for America's
Some argue that the VA's power to
disarm veterans still has some limitations. According to
Gun Laws by State, a
loophole still exists protecting many veterans from federal
gun control aggression: state governments.
"A person who has been adjudicated as
a mentally defective or committed to a mental institution is
not prohibited if: (1) the person was adjudicated by or
committed by a department or agency of the Federal Government,
such as the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs
("VA") (as opposed to a State court, State board, or other
lawful State authority); and (2) either: (a) the person's
adjudication or commitment for mental incompetency was set
aside or expunged by adjudicating agency; (b) the person has
been fully released or discharged from all mandatory
treatment, supervision, or monitoring by the agency; or (c)
the person was found by the agency to no longer suffer from
the mental health condition that served as the basis of the
initial adjudication..." [bold added]
If this analysis is correct, what does
it mean? Under current federal code, the federal regime and
its VA lapdog may, in some instances, still need to "collaborate"
with the state agents and agencies to ensure that veterans are
forcefully and permanently disarmed.
Utah state courts are already rabidly
anti-gun, and need no additional incentive to pronounce
lifetime bans on veteran firearms ownership. They have
amply proven their eagerness to collude and conspire with the
federal government to neutralize the
perceived threat of combat
veterans bearing arms.
In addition to federal funding, the VA
will likewise provide "experts" who could furnish these
gun control courts with
heretofore confidential communications with veteran
defendants. Still comfortable with such a
Back to Topics
Appropriate Action: Contact
the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators
bullies steal more than your lunch money.
2013 Utah Government Corruption Report amply demonstrates,
two playground bullies abuse and dominate the house and senate and work
together to destroy your rights:
Greg Hughes and
senate president Wayne Niederhauser. Contrary to what you
learned in civics class, your house and senate statutators
merely serve their gun control agenda.
How can two people possibly exercise
such control? As one example, the house speaker and senate
president alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY
committee. Hughes and Niederhauser are empowered to do this
without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: "The general duties of the
Speaker are to:... appoint the members of committees…" (House
Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the speaker) and "The general
duties of the president are to:… appoint the members of
Duties of the president)
Consider the vast implications of this
incredible power. No bill may be voted on in the house or
senate without going through a committee. As a result, bills
live or die almost entirely upon the calculated orders of
these two bullies.
Previous House Bully Becky Lockhart candidly
admitted her power to the press:
"I empower [house] committee
chairs..." [bold added]
banning enforcement of federal gun laws 'stuck in limbo',"
by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News, Feb. 22, 2013.
Lockhart's successor, Greg Hughes, now
empowers the chairs of each house committee because he
appoints and fires them at his will alone, as does
Niederhauser for every senate committee.
Their powers are so extreme, no
provision exists in the house or senate rules to fire these
bullies before their two-year terms are over. They lord over
each body, trade favors, and sell your rights; all while
pretending that decisions are made by the will of the majority
instead of their bullying.
The political buck stops with Hughes and Niederhauser for failing to advance positive gun owner
bills, and for every gun control bill enacted. Until more
statutators are motivated to oppose their power, your rights will continue to be
Because your house and senate statutators
merely serve their will and agenda, contacting them is often
just a courtesy call. These two bullies hold the power
over Utah's statutarium ("legislature"):
For House Bully Greg Hughes' contact
information (and the rest of the house statutators),
click here. For Senate Bully Wayne
Niederhauser's contact information
(and the rest of the senate statutators),
Back to Topics
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