Is there a SCOTUS case that could mean more than ObamaCare?
Earlier this week, there was a relatively obscure case that the Supreme Court handed down a ruling on. The case was Rehberg v. Paulk.
Here’s the synopsis on what happened. Charles Rehberg, working with other folks, began to send out anonymous faxes all over Albany, Georgia. These faxes were critical of the business practices of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. The faxes went to a number of people, including hospital management.
The management contacted Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges for his assistance. Hodges, working with his chief investigator James Paulk, allegedly fabricated subpoenas for Rehbergs phone and internet records.
What began is a series of unusual circumstances that culminated in multiple indictments for Rehberg. The crimes ranged from harassment (reportedly because of the faxes), to breaking and entering a home where there was no evidence a crime had even happened. Paulk, apparently by his own admission, lied to the Grand Jury to get the indictments.
Rehberg sued both Paulk and Hodges. The case against Hodges was thrown out due to something called absolute immunity. The case against Paulk went to the Court because there was questions about whether he would enjoy something similarly.
The ruling this week was that he does.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters, this means that law enforcement apparently doesn’t have to be held responsible for their actions. Paulk lied to the Grand Jury, got the indictment, and will suffer no ramifications for anything he did. Neither will Ken Hodges (who thankfully lost his race to be Attorney General of Georgia).
Now, it all fairness, Rehberg was convicted of nothing. He committed no crime. However, should a man who did nothing have to defend himself in court when those who are tasked with finding lawbreakers lie? We justly bemoan police officers who try to cover up mistakes. We justly decry prosecutors who hide evidence that would prove a plantiff is innocent. Why is it now permissible for these people to now be able to lie to a Grand Jury?
While the attention of those who follow the Supreme Court has been on the ObamaCare case, make no mistake. This ruling may be just as scary.