Your Honor, I would just briefly object to any
of these defendants being allowed to prefer their religious
beliefs, again however sincere they may be, as a defense at
this time, because I don't think it is appropriate.
That would be all, Your Honor
THE COURT: You mean -- Does the Government
wish to prove any governmental interest in preventing
Mr. Thomas from sleeping in the park or the other defendants?
MS. CHAPMAN: Your Honor, the Government has no
interest per se in prohibiting any of these particular
defendants from sleeping in the park.
The Government's interest is in enforcing the
regulations which are designed to protect the national park
THE COURT: Anything else?
MS. CHAPMAN: No, your Honor.
THE COURT: Do you wish to cross-examine
Mr.Thomas at all?
MS. CHAPMAN: No, I do not, Your Honor, thank you.
THE COURT: Very well.
The Court will stay a short recess and everybody
will remain seated.
(The Court left the courtroom at 3:19 p.m.)
THE DEPUTY MARSHAL: Remain seated and come
(The court reporter reading to the Court informally
at the bench from the court reporter's notes.)
THE COURT: Ms. Asiner.
MS. ASINER: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: On behalf of Mr. Galindez you have
heard the discrete questions I asked Mr. Thomas with respect
to this particular motion.
On behalf of your client is your answer the
MS. ASINER: Yes it is, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Very well.
Is your answer the same on behalf of Stephen
Semple, also known as Sunrise?
MS. ASINER: Yes, it is, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Mr. Hurley, you have heard the
questions and the answers by Mr. William Thomas.
Does Ms. Ellen Thomas adopt the same answers
and position that William Thomas has proffered to the Court
in this discrete motion?
MR. HURLEY: Yes, Your Honor, she does.
THE COURT: Mr. Philip Thomas, is your answer the
THE DEPUTY CLERK: Your Honor, I am sorry. That
is a mistake. It is Philip Joseph, his name. I am sorry.
THE COURT: Mr. Philip Joseph, is your answer
the same as the other defendants in regard to this discrete
DEFENDANT PHILIP JOSEPH: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you.
THE COURT: Have we covered all of the defendants,
THE DEPUTY CLERK: Yes, Your Honor, we are.
THE COURT: Ms. Chapman.
MS. CHAPMAN: Yes, Your Honor.
The Court is obliged to tell you that under the
You don't have to stand.
MS. CHAPMAN: Thank you. Your Honor.
THE COURT: -- enunciated by the Supreme Court
of the United States construing the free exercise clause
of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitu-
tion that, if a person who is a defendant, such as these
defendants in the cases at bar, objects to a regulation or
a requirement of law based upon a sincerely held religious
belief, which is an undisputed fact here, and thus the
defendants having made such a showing, and your response
thereto, namely, and I just had the court reporter read it
back to me, that the Government has no interest per se in
prohibiting any of these defendants from sleeping in the park,
that its only interest is in enforcing the regulations which
are designed to protect the national park lands --
That is all you said in opposition.
I offered you an opportunity to cross-examine.
The defendants having thus raised a sensitive
and important issue under the free exercise clause of the
Constitution and the critical part thereof, namely, that they
sincerely did what they did based upon a sincerely held
religious belief, then, and in that event, their motion to
dismiss must be granted on this record.
Accordingly there is no need for any further
proceedings in this case, and the defendants will be allowed
ALL DEFENDANTS: Thank you, Your Honor.
DEFENDANT ELLEN THOMAS: God bless you.
THE COURT: You see, Ms. Chapman, you have to
show a compelling governmental interest in response to that.
That is a critical part of the law.
MS. CHAPMAN: Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right.
All right, Mr. Clerk.
THE DEPUTY CLERK: Your Honor, we have one
(Whereupon, at 3:35 p.m., the Court proceeded
to other matters.)
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
I, M. Eugene Olsen, C.S.R., an Official Court
Reporter for the United States District Court for the District
of Columbia, do hereby certify that I reported in my official
capacity the proceedings had and the testimony adduced in the
cases of USA v. Scott M. Galindez ak Scot E. Galindez,
Criminal Nos. 87-60 and 87-158, USA v. Stephen Semple aka
Sunrise, Criminal No. 87-61. USA v. William Thomas, Criminal
No. 87-62, USA v. Philip Joseph, Criminal No. 97-63, an
USA v- Ellen Thomas, Criminal No. 87-66, in said court, on
the 23rd day of April 1987.
I further certify that the foregoing 52 pages
constitute the official transcript of said proceedings,
hearing on motions, as taken from my shorthand notes.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed
my name, this the 28th day of April 1987.
Official Court Reporter
Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park