Yesterday, we reviewed the travesty that occurred in the District Court hearing concerning the second peace order petition filed by TDPK against Aaron Walker. The Cliffs Notes version of that hearing is that Judge Cornelius Vaughey ignored the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent and slapped a peace order on Mr. Walker that forbade him from speaking or writing about Brett Kimberlin for six months. (BTW, this is what earned TDPK a spot on the ballot for the Second Annual Popehat “Censorious Asshat of the Year” Poll. You can vote for TDPK here.)
Of course, Aaron Walker appealed for a trial de novo in the Circuit Court, and it was scheduled for 5 July. I was able to attend. The first part of the trial contained echoes of the previous Circuit Court peace order trial. TDPK tried to enter tweets and blog posts into evidence. While he was able to get some of Mr. Walker’s writings authenticated this time, nothing he submitted was germane to a peace order petition. When he rested his case, Reginald Bours, Aaron Walker’s lawyer for both peace order cases, cross examined TDPK. After the District Court hearing, Aaron Walker had been SWATted. This led Mr. Bours to ask the following questions of TDPK:
Q Are you familiar with the term, SWAT-ing?
Q And have you caused Mr. Walker to be SWAT-ed by the Fairfax County or Prince William County Police?
A That is a despicable claim, and, and—
Q Yes or no?
A —and I resent it.
Q Yes or no?
A I resent it. He knows I didn’t and you know I didn’t, and you’re trying to, again, harass me. You are harassing me just like—
Q I’m asking if you are responsible—
A No, you are harassing me.
Q —for someone calling—
A This man, this ma,—
Q —the police —
A —this man—
Q Excuse me, sir. I am asking you, yes or no, are you responsible—
Q —directly or indirectly?
A Absolutely not, and it’s despicable.
TDPK really lost his cool during that exchange.
There was some more back-and-forth, and then Judge Rupp ruled.
Based upon everything that I have reviewed, these are blogs or tweets that Mr. Walker has issued that this, I’m not satisfied has been directed directly to Mr. Kimberlin. They’re about Mr. Kimberlin and about his opinion concerning what he believes Mr. Kimberlin has done that impacts him. But I do not find that there is sufficient evidence to support harassment that would permit the issuance of a peace order. Accordingly, I am going to deny the request for a peace order.
So ended the second Kimberlin v. Walker peace order case. Howerver, TDPK was not yet done with peace orders. He filed one against a fellow by the name of John Norton. The match against Mr. Norton was turned out even worse for TDPK than the Walker peace orders. We’ll look at that tomorrow.