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Journalist Arrested Upon Inquiry into Judges – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2021

By David Tulis


I am the journalist suing Gov. Bill Lee to halt the fraudulent state of emergency. The courts are blocking this effort, and threw my petition for writ of mandamus into the appellate court.

Meanwhile, the court system arrested me for crashing their secret conclave Saturday in Franklin, near Nashville. Here’s my press release.

I’m a big fan of, and often recommending it to my listeners at 96.9 FM.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Two reporters who crashed a secret meeting of the Tennessee judiciary were forcibly removed by police after asserting their rights to cover the event as guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution and the Open Meetings Act.

On Saturday, Nov. 6 at roughly 10:30 a.m., NoogaRadio 96.9 FM investigative reporter David Tulis was handcuffed and arrested following his inquiry into a secretive backroom-style conclave of court judges paid for at taxpayer expense.

In an arrest streamed live on social media, Tulis could be seen sitting at a table calmly asserting his right under the constitution and state law to be in the room.

Staff from the Administrative Office of the Courts vociferously objected to the presence of the press, stating that the event was a “members-only conference.” But they cited no legal authority for excluding the public. “It’s our policy,” said one unidentified court staffer.

Retorted NoogaRadio’s midstate bureau chief Christopher Sapp: “Policy does not trump law and it certainly does not supersede the constitution.”

Tulis rebutted the closed-door policy by reminding officers that according to the Tennessee constitution art. I § 17, “That all courts shall be open.”

“I’m here as a matter of right!” Tulis said. “This is a taxpayer-funded event in which public business is being conducted.” The meetings cannot be closed to the public “because Tennessee government does not  — and cannot  — be conducted in secret,” Tulis says.

Municipal judges from around the state had descended on the Embassy Suites hotel over the past weekend to take part in a state-sponsored annual conference to discuss the formation of public policy, court procedures, legislative recommendations, and the administration of justice — all public business.

Sapp was the first to point out potential improprieties and the lack of transparency for the way these conferences were being conducted.

“I simply wanted to monitor the conference for myself no differently than I watch the General Assembly when they are in session,” Sapp says. “When I was denied access to online log-in credentials, it prompted further inquiry as to why my request was being denied. After the AOC’s general counsel refused to yield on the matter, we decided that we would just walk into the lions’ den to see what they would do.”

Expecting resistance from AOC staffers, the journalists filed extensive briefs with Chief Justice Roger Page to avoid confusion or public embarrassment to the judiciary. Justice Page holds direct supervisory authority over the administrative director and AOC.

Tulis sent an 8-page “Memorial, remonstrance & petition invoking administrative authority to access AOC conference” via certified mail 17 days before the meeting. Sapp hand delivered a 9-page analysis on the constitutional rights of the press and the state’s open meeting laws to Supreme Court staffers on Thursday. It included 33 footnotes of legal authorities.

Sapp and Tulis were  backstopped by John Gentry, a judicial reform activist who stood ready with habeas corpus petitions in hand in the event the two men were unlawfully incarcerated.  Gentry was prepared to file emergency “next friend” petitions with a U.S. district court judge on behalf of the two to secure their release. Gentry is an independent candidate for governor and a staunch supporter of open government and court reform.

Tulis was arrested, handcuffed, and forced onto a gurney for a medical evaluation after stating to police, “I have the strength to report the news, but I don’t have the strength to assist you in violating my rights!”

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