Scorn Valor: The deplorable absolutes from Bobby Seale’s mistrial and appeal

The American judicial system witnessed the dissolving of segregation during the Vietnam War draft. African Americans, who served in wars leading up to Vietnam, did not receive equal honor for their time spent defending their nation. The African American community spoke up through its leaders.

#bobby seale from 1967 (65 thru 69) - Adventure Through Inner Space
Bobby Seale received 16 counts of contempt from Judge Julius Hoffman. Seale stood up for justice while confined not only to a jail cell, but in chains and gagged to a chair by U.S. Marshals. The Jaded Patriot did time for no committed crime. Photo Credit: Adventure Through Inner Space on Tumblr.

One man, Bobby Seale, stood up to a judge who sought to destroy him in the name of prejudice. Judges like the one Seale faced oftentimes scorned the valor of African American servicemembers in court and in the press.

Judges were responsible for over sentencing many who spoke out against the war. The man who received the worst punishment was Bobby Seale, who served in the Air Force in the ‘50s, speaking out through his Black Panther platform.

The Vietnam War draft sparked a heavy-handed blow to free speech by the federal government through the Anti-Riot Act of 1968, which cracked down on the African American press starting with the Black Panther by gagging Seale.

The federal government did all it could to ignore due process by indirectly administering a gag order that not only silenced Seale, but symbolically administered prior restraint, abridging Seale’s Sixth Amendment right by assigning counsel without due process (Seale, 26-27).

Abuse of process happened the moment co-founder Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense received Honorable Julius Hoffman’s three-day torture standing up for his rights. As an American prior service member, Seale used his platform to publicly speak on behalf of his fellows serving in Vietnam through his press speaking historical truth. Seale, as a social justice advocate, stood up to the federal government through jaded patriotism.

Seale was not a militant. He was a jaded patriot. Jaded patriotism resulted from scorned valor, which hardened the heart and soul of those receiving less than honorable discharges like Seale. The scorned advocate of the ‘60s laid down their life to fight the system of oppression with rigor and might, instead of accepting defeat, who protected the people.

Abuse of Process

The First Amendment should never tolerate gagging any person who served in the military under any circumstances despite their discharge when appearing before a judge. Those who serve deserve fairness in court and equal mobility.

Scorn valor happens, which leads to oppression, and results in resistance. The riots of the ‘60s were the artistry of scorn valor.

The African American press spoke truth by spotlighting corruption instead of accepting abuse of process. Scorn valor fueled the jaded patriotism platform. Jaded patriotism turned pride into anger and the American people were left to deal with the aftermath.

Abuse of process happened when Seale was denied his liberty by the deplorable absolutes of contempt and prior restraint in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic Convention.

Judge Julius J. Hoffman’s balking from the bench with the “Chicago 8” was one that not only ended up in mistrial, but wasted time and money with appeal, which ended up costing the American people valuable resources pertaining the safeguard of the First Amendment (Alonso, 49-88).

Hoffman refused to honor the request to postpone his high-profile trial so that a political party attorney could be excused for gall bladder surgery and wait until a later date (Seale, 44-45). Hoffman committed the deplorable act of scorn valor with his mistrial in the case of United States v. Bobby Seale (1968).

Throughout history, judges like Hoffman would instruct Americans about their due process rights in one breath and then apply a loosely governed gag order for contempt flexing their muscle with the other.

Gag orders and contempt of the ‘60s did not require accountability that almost cost America the restriction of free speech. Physical restraint gag orders allowed judges free reign with Anti-Riot Act of 1968, enabling abuse of process without punishment.

The casualties of the war on free speech oftentimes intersect with the First and Sixth Amendment through contempt and gag orders. During the Vietnam War, America challenged the validity of dodging and speaking out against the draft with cases like Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).

Social justice became the platform of advocacy through civil rights demonstrations, by seeking justice as the protestor and peacekeeper, which challenged its government through jaded patriotism. Jaded patriotism as an advocacy faced discrimination and degradation commonly found in the independent press, which reported about the African American post-military servicemember in court.

The press was the only means to spot infractions by judges. The independent press became the advocate for free speech and due process. Judges from the ‘60s viewed the African American servicemember demographic as second rate.

Gag orders and contempt charges became a method to wield authority over the community and silence the African American press, which corrupted American history. Judges like Hoffman simply viewed African Americans and the press as a threat, which enabled contempt prior to investigation through abuse of process.

Court authorities exercised their heavy hand during trials and blocked the press from reporting through prior restraint. The corrupting of the Constitution through abuse of process and prior restraint wasted America’s resources with unnecessary procedures, such as appeals.

The American justice system needs to invest in governing judges who prolong unnecessary trials like Seale’s. Ethically, Seale had every right to stand up to his oppressor, especially when the defendant spoke on behalf of an entire political organization during a time when the African American was forced to be seen and not heard.

Being African American in Times of War

The federal government during the ‘60s favored restraint and obedience. The federal government despised African Americans who spoke out against the war by categorizing them as “militants,” which allowed deadly force during riots. Celebrities like Muhammed Ali refused to fight in a war for a nation who treated his descendants as disposable casualties of war.

Seale supported Muhammad Ali’s stance. The only casualty was the African American servicemember fighting a war for those who prejudiced them in wars past. Conscientious objection drove the heart of the Vietnam War Jaded Patriot during a time when segregation lifted, and the federal government enforced the draft. Tension rose to new heights and Americans were looking for change with equal rights.

Many evaded to Canada or sought asylum to other countries to avoid the draft. Scorn valor became their means to recover as refugees, who avoided society, instead of hanging onto hope of ever finding the means to end the draft. Their protector, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, defended them in the press by reporting about equity and fairness for African Americans on the home front.

The ongoing struggle with oppression in the African American community dealt with being treated second rate due to segregation from previous wars. Seale sought to set the record straight by standing up as the resistance, to a war that cost America its children, who were forced beyond their will to engage in the Vietnam conflict because of the draft.

The Black Panther Protection from the Draft

During the Vietnam War, veterans returned home from deployment receiving ridicule and shame from Americans. The Black Panther Party Ten-Point Plan sought to stop African Americans from serving and being drafted, which played a major role with Hoffman’s perception and abuse of process.

Seale would not tolerate drafting African Americans in a war that mistreated his people, who spoke publicly to address his oppressive government. Seale used the Black Panther to warn the people of his discoveries as a party leader. Seale did not waiver. Many would witness Americans waiting to spit on them and disrespect them while wearing the uniform.

Scorn valor became their reward for their sacrifice. Degradation was their thanks viewed on the television set.

The argument, presented by the Jaded Patriot Press, reports from the scene of transparency, while profiling the misuse of American justice in the ‘60s with Bobby Seale.

Through the jurisprudent inspection of Bobby Seale’s appeal and mistrial, the truth of jaded patriotism surfaces through the slamming of Hoffman’s gavel, who abused his prior restraint and contempt powers, which proliferated his unethical agenda. Revisiting Julius Hoffman’s infractions to the Black Panther and the African American press avails scorned valor.

Jaded patriotism presents the argument that the federal court committed several undermining acts, which sought to disrupt the Black Panther community in support of Seale, thus cheapening free speech through the independent press and unlawful actions to control the leader of the Black Panthers.

Hoffman used his authority to abuse the Constitution, through charges against the Anti-Riot Act of 1968, which enabled corruption and witnessed the unbecoming of judges.

The Jaded Patriot Profile  

The jaded patriot profile of Bobby Seale clashed with the concepts of segregation, who stood before Judge Julius Hoffman with truth, and Hoffman did not respond with due process. Seale was armed with extensive knowledge of legal self-defense and demanded his judge stand down from contempt (Seale, 121-128).

Hoffman’s exchange with Seale would not give an African American his or her due process rights without prejudice. Seale’s contempt sentences created prior restraint of the African American press, and the Black Panther survived while its co-founder sat in confinement after mistrial (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968).

Hoffman did not follow his sworn allegiance to act morally, as the moral agency of the court, and perpetuate Americanism in the presence of those who served, being the fulcrum of justice without prejudice.

Hoffman was an immoral judge. Hoffman’s first responsibility was to act in accordance with transparency and justice for all Americans in court. Hoffman was hired to be a man of virtue, not deceit.

Integrity did not take the bench the day Bobby Seale asked to have his representation be his party’s attorney. Seale scoffed at his judge’s “conspiracy 8” media hyperbole, while sitting in his chair pondering how Huey P. Newton would move the party forward while Seale sat in jail (Seale, 121).

The trial disrupted the communication of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Bobby Seale went all in for the sake of preserving free speech.

The jaded patriot did time for no committed crime because his judge sought to throw the book at him. Judge Hoffman did not act with maxim, which would honor “A general rule or pattern or behavior that one act in accordance with” (Burner, Raley, 343). Had he done so, the Doctrine of Double Effect would have proven him solvent based on the good effect being the postponing of the trial.

Philosophy Professors Dr. Richard Burner and Dr. Yvonne Riley, authors of “Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases,” define Dr. John Rawls’ Doctrine of Double Effect as: “When an act will lead to both a good and a bad effect, it is permissible to perform that action only if all four of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Moral Principal Condition: The act cannot itself be of a kind that violates a principle, for that would make the act wrong.
  • Means-end Condition: The bad act cannot itself be the means for achieving the good effect.
  • Right Intention Condition: One must intend only the good effect, not the bad effect.
  • The Proportionality Condition: The good effect must be at least as great as the bad effect (Burner, Riley, 183-184).

“We must clearly distinguish between the act itself—what someone does—the intention, and the two effects. Condition one applies only to the act; condition three to the intention, and conditions two and four to the effects of the act” (Burner, Riley, 184).

When Hoffman issued contempt and paraded his courtroom through a trial that should have been postponed, Hoffman’s choice became the deliberate bad end. Hoffman’s reverence to both the First and Sixth Amendments were the good end.

Instead, Hoffman violated rule number three which states, “One must intend the good effect, not the bad effect” (Burner, Riley, 183). Hoffman flexed his authority with malice to make Bobby Seale submit stating, “Shut up sir” (Seale, 111). The heated exchange began when Seale requested his lawyer, Attorney Charles Garry, stating clearly, “There’s just one lawyer that I want; no sub will do” (Seale, 111).

Had Hoffman respected decorum, he would have held himself accountable by considering principal number three of the Doctrine of Double Effect, representing the best interest of Constitutional fairness as a priority.

Hoffman went off the grid taking matters into his own hands, whose choice produced a bad effect by applying restraints to Seale. Meanwhile, the trial continues, and the bad effect decision maliciously administers contempt charges, which punished a man standing up to an authority of justice who was supposed to be fair and impartial.

Hoffman willfully committed the penalty of allowing the jury to weigh the evidence when the trial should have respected Seale’s wishes to allow his representative to appear. In retrospect, the infractions committed by Hoffman gagged both Bobby Seale and the African American press.

The jaded patriotism resistance became an underground medium communicating through the free press, which allowed for the African American press the ability to send papers to the troops who served.

The press showcased protestors stepping back from freedom, instead of blindly following an unjust war, which was protected by the First Amendment, and the troops were made aware. Freedom fighters like Seale and Ali led the jaded patriot charge.

Muhammad Ali’s Supreme Court overturning of convictions provided the African American community with hope of being free from discrimination through the course of his draft appeal. Appeals awarded the jaded patriot with fervor to continue to speak truth in the African American press.

History displays the heart of the jaded patriot who does not step aside. They are a social justice advocate who deserve fairness in court.

The Defense and the Vexatious Absolutes (Hoffman’s Motives)

In the case of United States v. Bobby Seale (1968), African American history could not turn its back. From introspect, Seale defended his position while protecting the integrity of the Constitution, who stood in the presence of Hoffman’s violations. Bobby Seale’s trial pivoted democracy over the cliff.

The courtroom broke out into disruptions, which tolerated the unethical behavior of a high-ranking authority in federal court, and the undermining of jurisprudence. The prosecution provided the jury with speculation that led to the judge moving forward with the trial (Seale,45-49).

The law ignored the requests of the defendant (Seale, 45). Judge Julius Hoffman was not concerned about the delicate relationship between the First and Sixth Amendment. Hoffman’s first job as an ambassador of justice should have been to acknowledge his conflict of interest.

The Constitution maintains the original position and moral code of judges. Judges who commit infractions through gag orders bypass the Constitution with their authority to restore order in the court. Hoffman manipulated Seale’s trial with a litter of contempt charges.

Harvard Law Review Editor Norman Dorsen commented on the trial stating, “For Judge Hoffman himself to rule on the contempt charge is to permit him to be a judge in his own cause—to lay down the law, to prosecute those he believes violated it, to sit in judgement on his own charges, and then, within broad bounds, to punish as he sees fit. A Wisconsin court described this as ‘perhaps, nearest akin to domestic power existing under one government’” (Seale 21-22).

The vexatious and deplorable absolute: Judge Hoffman ruined Seale’s life without restriction. Ultimately, Hoffman’s trial landed in mistrial, which manifested the deplorable absolutes of Hoffman’s abuse of process (Alonso, 73-80).

In retrospect, Hoffman’s subpar decision-making requires a logical explanation. Unfortunately, there is none. The Jaded Patriot Press mistrial and appeal inspection draws the line in the sand requiring tougher enforcement on abusive judges like Hoffman. Hoffman abused the Black Panther Party for Self Defense the day he ignored the request of defense attorney’s representation—the vexatious absolute.

The vexatious and deplorable absolutes of the African American press during the Vietnam War showcased the undeniable truth that an African American could not possibly be treated as a patriot in court. The judge viewed them as jaded and treated Seale and the African American press as such.

For Seale to allow the judge’s abuse of process in federal court during a time when America spit on those returning home, would scorn the valor of Seale’s sacrifice. Seale could not be silent.

Seale spoke up saying, “Your Honor, I would like to correct something for the record that Mr. Kunstler here has just stated. He said that on the 29th he was informed that I didn’t want him for my attorney. Correct that, because it was a Friday, the 27th, if I am not mistaken, that I filed a written statement firing all of these other lawyers who represented me on pretrial motions and proceedings” (Seale, 44).

Seale stood up to his oppressor to preserve the power of the people and set the record straight. The trial should have been over. The right end would have been to grant Seale his request and pass the trial onto someone else who did not have a vested interest.

Hoffman knew Seale’s speech outside the 1968 Democratic Convention symbolized a nation on the verge of unrest, and Bobby Seale played a key role in protecting the people. Seale could not back down to intimidation.

Hoffman represented the government, who was hell bent on enforcing decorum instead of due process and free speech. Had Hoffman won, democracy would have failed.

The 1968 Democratic Convention

The year was 1968 and the war on the home front with Vietnam hit new heights to end the draft and stop the war. For the first time, America saw a presidential campaign being marauded by angry citizens. Seale was one of the eight speaking out against the war.

Seale was asked to speak as a last-minute replacement at Grant Park who was not at the demonstrations in Chicago ’68 to defy a Federal Anti-Riot Act, he was speaking on behalf an entire political party to include a working press (Alonso, 33).

The Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley ordered his police task force to “be tough on looters and rioters,” and to “shoot to kill” anyone who threatened Chicago’s peace (Alonso, 25).

  • Protestors came to demonstrate the Democratic nomination of Hubert Humphrey.
  • Yippies, hippies, peacekeepers, and “clean-cut supporters” backed Sen. Eugene McCarthy.
  • Protestors showed up to display their dissatisfaction with the present condition of the war in Vietnam.

Young Americans largely supported McCarthy, who opposed Americans being involved in the war (Alonso, 27). In summary, Alonso writes, “months before the Convention, the radicals advertised their promise to ‘turn the city upside down’” (Alonso, 27).

Prior to the convention, a similar occurrence broke out on a Wisconsin university campus. On Oct. 24, 1967, a riot broke out at Library Mall of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students began organizing against the government when the Central Intelligence Agency began recruiting at the Commerce Building.

Students formed anti-war protests against DOW Chemical Co., which sparked upheaval. Riots and protesting of the Vietnam War became commonplace, thus the need to enact an anti-riot legislature. The UW Madison chancellor dealt with DOW Chemical protests, fueling the fire prior to the Chicago ’68 Democratic Convention (Maraniss, 77-90).

The war’s use of napalm and the harsh chemical side effects troubled peace protestors to break out in rage. The home front captured each event in the press and the Black Panther was no stranger to spreading the word taking action to stop the war. Riots offered the Black Panther Party resistance a venue, who reported from the riots as a literary force through the African American press.

In 1968, Chicago was nominated as the host for the convention, and the streets became packed with protestors standing firm with ending the Vietnam War, which witnessed an explosion on August 25, 1968 (Alonso, 29).

The Democratic Convention during the heat of the Nixon era sparked animosity, required an 11 p.m.curfew, a “Festival of Life” that turned ugly, a police show of force to prevent protestors from sleeping in parks, and three men “in nearby Grant Park, Bobby Seale, David Dillinger, and Tom Hayden addressed a crowd” of 10,000 people, where Hayden announced, “Make sure that the blood is going to flow, let it flow all over the city (Alonso, 27-33).

“The Chicago 8” were cited for inciting the Grant Park riot and became the scapegoats for the mess from the convention in federal court. “The mere fact that the United States Government chose to prosecute carefully selected political leaders in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic Convention suggested that no ordinary trial would ensue” (Seale, 16).

Judge Julius Hoffman was selected to be the referee overseeing a zoo in his courtroom, which could not be tamed, and ended in mistrial.

Bobby Seale converged both due process and free speech during his trial. The press of the ‘60s focused on the war, not so much on the war at home. The independent African American press published the truth about the war at home.

In the case of United States v. Bobby Seale (1968), America would view a judge hell-bent to deny Bobby Seale the right to represent pro se or utilize his party’s attorney during the trial of the Chicago 8 (Alonso, 49). Seale called out Hoffman on every turn seeking due process and the ability to speak pro se (Alonso, 51). Bobby Seale, demanded America respect the African American and their service in all wars.

The Trial of the Chicago 8

Seale represented the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and was not about to settle for anything other than a mistrial or acquittal, which eventually happened, landing him three days of inhumane treatment and 16 charges of contempt (Alonso, 73-80).

The gag order authorized by Judge Julius Hoffman robbed Seale of his right to appear pro se, on the count of his political lawyer’s absence, who “always saw the ‘defense in any criminal case as the enemy and his duty to help put them away’” (Alonso, 37). Hoffman cited contempt each time Seale spoke up, who stated “Sit down, Mister.

You will defend with that attorney” (Seale. 44). Seale would not entertain Hoffman’s jaded due process. Hoffman assumed the position as the decision-maker regarding who would defend Seale (United States v. Bobby Seale 1968).

“The Chicago 8 were to have been the first test of the 1968 Conspiracy Act, passed as a rider attached by Senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) to the Civil Rights Act” (Seale, 8). Hoffman’s historical trial required an ethical judge, not a ringmaster of a circus, who should have postponed the trial in accordance to establishing a standard to act as a judge indiscriminately.

Judge Julius Hoffman dishonored Seale on the premise that his logic did not meet the test of the Doctrine of Double Effect. Hoffman’s background as a representative of justice overstepped his boundary in reverence to jurisprudence. Hoffman wanted to punish Seale for making a mockery of his court.

Hoffman knew his authority need not be backed up by virtue when applying Seale’s gag order. He abused his authority as a court official, which affirms the judge was corrupt. Hoffman made clear his motive to lead by example, tolerating the shameful display of scorn valor, which witnessed the jaded patriot being denied freedom. Hoffman’s decision-making ability became prejudice.

His past reputation should have been taken into consideration during the judge selection process of the trial. The likeness of scorn valor appeared in the press the day of the mistrial of the “Chicago 8.”

Seale was not made whole because Hoffman refused to reschedule a dead trial. Hoffman did not follow protocol. He followed the bad end. His trial got the best of him with prejudice. Hoffman forced a man who served the Air Force to sit silently in court, against Seale’s morality, receiving prior restraint.

Hoffman did more than defame Bobby Seale. He disenfranchised the entire independent press. Hoffman followed a double motive ignoring maxim with all counts of contempt. History shows due process got the best of Honorable Julius Hoffman.

Clearly, Honorable Julius Hoffman’s motives would not honor Seale’s request to receive his Sixth Amendment rights (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968). The judge, using whatever means possible to establish decorum, made clear the defendant could not go peacefully forward into his sentence, as a co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968).

Deplorable Absolutes

Gag orders give judges too much power by allowing them the power to suppress the independent press and press executives. The Doctrine of Double Effect focuses on the taproot of judicial decision making and court reporting.

The Doctrine of Double Effect would quickly reveal Hoffman’s infraction tainted the need to continue the trial. Hoffman sadistically carried out his wrath and his mistrial spotlighted his abuse. Jaded patriotism featured the infractions during the events by reporters and protestors.

Had America followed due process in Hoffman’s court, ethics would have played a primary part. Hoffman knew that jaded patriotism was developing outside his courtroom through mass communication.

African American history survived in the independent press. African American history develops an absolute of truth through its accounts of abuse of process. When the federal government stifles the independent press through heavy handed threats met with contempt charges, American historical accuracy flounders.

The facts of African American history during the Vietnam War draft pinpoint where scorned valor began. Fundamentally, scorn valor is a measure basing the performance of the oppressor. The American people cannot govern gag orders and ruthless judges. Jaded patriotism carries the liability justice cannot afford.

The selection process of trial judges must conduct conflict of interest investigations based on the track record of the judge and their authority of the court. In Chicago of 1968, the Vietnam War riot story showcased the absolutes of the federal government jamming the African American press.

The Black Panther Party lost its ability to speak and print through Hoffman’s gag order. Charles Garry was Seale’s attorney representing a co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Garry made decisions based on the party as Seale’s attorney, who was the only responsible person arguing on Seale’s behalf.

Hoffman did not bother to excuse himself from prejudice. Bobby Seale stood before a judge ignoring jurisprudence playing pickle with the prosecution ignoring both the First and Sixth Amendment.

The judge stacked the deck unfairly by balking when the trial began. The decision to postpone the trial would have been the good end in the eyes of jurisprudence. The judge forcefully handed down 48 months of prison time over contempt charges that took away Seale’s life and forced America to excuse his excessive gagging of Seale to his chair (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968).

In essence, from the vantage point of objectivity, Judge Julius Hoffman goes down in history as a ruthless villain who scorned the valor of the African Americans deployed to the Vietnam jungles.

When upholding the law, Hoffman ignored logic. Logically, an unbiased judge would favor the postponement of the trial, or allow Bobby Seale to represent himself pro se. The infractions of prior restraint became the words of the Black Panther, and at no time should have been allowed to continue the trial further.

The tug-of-war with the printed voice of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and the power grab by Judge Hoffman in a federal court did not play it safe by doing the next right thing. Instead, the federal court appointee fought for the wrong reasons when free speech was at stake.

The Solution

A panel of superior judges should be required to authorize gag orders through a three-to-four-party signature to include sanctions. To quell jaded patriotism in the justice system, a panel of Constitutional advocates ought to be appointed, especially when historical truth is on the line.

Free speech applies to both journalists, defendants, and lawyers as a mutual vested interest. Hoffman could not stand disorder of any kind in his court despite being a hypocrite with his abuse of process.

From the vantage point of reputation, Hoffman did want to view the receipt of his misdeeds by the Black Panther (Seale, 112). In the end, jaded patriotism is Hoffman’s legacy. Hoffman’s decisions sparked the jaded patriotism resistance through his prior restraint with Seale.

In 1976, a similar case of prior restraint opened the floor of the Supreme Court to begin the process of creating due process regulation of gag orders in court.

The Vietnam War ended, and America began to inspect abuse of process during the ‘60s. Seale’s cries through his gag allowed the free press to respond in favor of reform. The press examined:

  • Who was harmed by the good end when the doctrine of double effect impacted African American liberty and respect to freedom?
  • The over punishing of African Americans on trial for crimes against the Anti-Riot Act of 1968.
  • Their defense appeals.
  • The costly mistake of mistrial (Camp, 427-430).

Seale’s restraints were not necessarily unauthorized, just unmonitored, and excessive, like someone receiving two lethal injections for a death sentence. Gag orders are equally damaging as lethal injections, which must be monitored.

Unmonitored gag orders are above the law. Hoffman as a moral agent should have taken the position of protecting both a good and bad end of his trial. Instead, Hoffman led his trial all the way to the end knowing Seale was not represented by his lawyer. Had Hoffman followed jurisprudence with integrity, he would have postponed the trial.

  • He allowed the African American press to forcefully accept his prior restraint to silence Seale’s Ten-Point Plan from its protected First Amendment rights.
  • Hoffman’s misuse of justice crumbled as Seale’s appeal unloaded Hoffman’s abuse of power, which led to an end with due process governance of unruly gag orders.
  • Seale represents the scorn valor of the African American press during the Vietnam War.

Hoffman created jaded patriotism and the African American collective body would not remain silent when sending their children off to fight the draft. Gag orders kept the press and Seale silent to avoid embarrassment.

Gag orders are both political and physical. Prior restraint can be administered freely without a writ because of Hoffman. Gag orders get away with dissolving the independent press. Whether gag orders be written or silenced with chains and a rag, the African American press advocated against abuse of process, which is ongoing.

Spotlighting corruption through the lens of political philosophy, contained in Dr. John Rawls’ Doctrine of Double Effect, allows the weighing of the merits of jurisprudence, which cannot weigh in favor of a dirty judge.

Seale got a raw deal and now the African American press is tarnished for life. Scorn valor of African American servicemembers of the Vietnam War cannot be any justified ends. Like a two-headed coin, Hoffman is corrupt on his face.

Law Professor John D. Zelezny defines abuse of process as “the improper use of any legal procedure—that is, the use of legal procedure for some ulterior purpose” (Zelesny, 163).

To inspect the misuse of legal procedure, the weighing of the merits with Judge Hoffman’s decision making would clearly show he prevented a good end by forcefully binding a member of the press. His First Amendment prior restraint ended in an ugly three-day ordeal (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968).

Bobby Seale, reflecting on his stance, states, “The fascist state representation (what has been done to black America for countless years) was seen being done to even white youth who are demanding and protesting rightfully, for the same just society that the hearts, minds and souls of black people, and brown, red, and other oppressed, have been crying out for and demanding for years” (Seale, 128).

The trial was Seale’s platform for abolishing fascism and would have had the trial been postponed. The trial was the mark of an era of political leaders being denied their Constitutional rights.  

Hoffman’s abuse of process began when he made the decision to pursue the trial despite Seale’s lawyer’s life-or-death surgery. Hoffman and the prosecution played “Who’s on First,” a parody by Abbott and Costello, stating “Your honor, this is a ploy. It’s just a simple, obvious ploy. At first, we were told by the defendants that they had a trial team of four men” (Seale, 45).

On Nov. 6, 1969, Chicago Tribune Reporter Joseph Boyce observed Attorney Charles H. Garry filing a notice of appeal while recovering from surgery. Upon interview, Garry stated, “The multiplicity of punishment for the same act is not only barbaric but ludicrous and the judge knows it or should know it.

He should have been entitled to an arraignment, the right to have counsel, and a jury trial. He should have a judge who is not already prejudiced against him to decide the contempt citation. I think the judge is out to circumvent the due process of law” (Boyce, 2).

At no point should the prosecuting attorney have argued that the defendant be forced to accept the court’s decision, or to forcefully adhere to the abuse of process with their First and Sixth Amendment rights, but to be allowed to speak on their behalf and select the attorney of their choice.

Hoffman balked and misrepresented justice, which allowed an evil end to fully manifest manipulating the jury. Hoffman should have set the standard of due process as the authority of the court.

On November 11, 1969, Chicago Tribune Reporter Robert Enstad wrote, “Judge Hoffman said the federal court has rules of conduct for criminal proceedings and Seale had reportedly violated the rules during the trial, even including the first day. He said he had done everything he could to maintain decorum in the courtroom and even found it necessary, last week, to order Seale bound and gagged to keep him from shouting” (Enstad).

Hoffman did all he could to keep the trial moving forward even though he forgot to allow the defense the opportunity to postpone the trial. Hoffman ignored his responsibility to ensure the Constitution remain intact, which cost him a mistrial.

Scorn valor began with Hoffman. Jaded patriotism developed in the press. Ultimately, Hoffman’s refusal to see past his nose and recognize his conflict of interest in complicated trial, damaged courtroom ethics by defending decorum, and ignored his responsibility to protect due process.

Hoffman failed to cultivate justice, who barbarically kept the trial going to make waves with the African American press covering his trial. His 16 counts of contempt warranted the Black Panther Party for Self Defense to act and did.

Appeal Redress

In 1972, the United States v. Bobby Seale (1968), 461 F. 2d 345 (7th Cir. 1972) appeal offered insight with Hoffman’s trial appearing before United States Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit. Judge Hoffman committed the deplorable act of contempt prior to investigation, which scorned the valor of the African American servicemember through Bobby Seale as their advocate.

His prosecution co-conspired against Seale by inflicting “the certificate of contempt.” Seale’s appeal documented the occurrence for his 16 contempt charges stating, “In the certificate of contempt, the trial judge found that each the 16 acts of contempt constituted:

  • A deliberate and willful attack upon the administration of justice.
  • To attempt to sabotage the functioning of the federal judicial system.
  • That the misconduct was of so grave a character as to continually disrupt the orderly administration of justice.

Declaring the mistrial severance of Seale were the emergency measures taken to ensure a fair and orderly trial of the other defendants” (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1972). The abuse of process happened to promote the means of punishing Seale beyond human measure and wield power over those who defied the draft. The appellate court ruled:

  • It was their duty to consider Seale’s desires and predicaments with each appeal and his intent.
  • Seale requested to discharge counsel and represent pro se be voiced mid-trial.
  • Considerable weight was given according to Hoffman’s balancing of interests with all parties involved.
  • Ruled against Hoffman stating, “The trial judge must make his determination on the basis of ‘the facts and circumstances of the case’” (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1972).

The final ruling of Seale’s appeal stated, “The issue, one of first impression in the federal courts, is fraught with difficulty, be we resolve in favor of the appellant” (United States v. Bobby Seale 1972). The court “articulated the scope of judge’s authority to punish under the contempt statue in derogation of regular due process procedure” (United States v. Bobby Seale 1972).

“The appellate court noted that the defendants’ behavior in the courtroom required correction from the judge. However, a panel of judges went on to state that there was a high standard for the behavior of judges, and improper actions by defendants and their attorneys does not give the judge any reason to behave with less dignity” (Alonso, 86).

Law Review (Due Process Rules)

By 1976, University of Nebraska Law Student Laurie Smith Camp, who later became a Senior U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Nebraska, began dissecting and inspecting gag orders to provide insight regarding applying due process with gag rules and orders (Camp, 1).

The American Bar Association met in August at the ABA House of Delegates to discuss new court procedures to ratify due process application and the issuance of gag orders. The meeting proposal sought to “reduce the current glut of judicial restraints by providing more specific procedural guidance than was offered by the Supreme Court in Nebraska Ass’n v. Stuart 1976(Camp, 427).

The American Bar Association discussed two major pressing issues: “When does the Constitution allow a judge to gag a journalist, lawyer, or other individual interested in the trial? Should one who violates an improper or erroneous gag order be punished?” (Camp, 428).

The American Bar Association’s proposal sought to inspect the power of judicial restraints with three major respects:

  • The use of due process standards preventing the issuance of unnecessary gag orders.
  • The use of due process would not offend the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press as gravely as does the current use of no-notice prior restraints, and yet would not be as expensive as other alternatives in the present system.
  • The uncertainty of the system should be rectified by the “standing guidelines—special order approach” of the American Bar Association proposal (Camp 429-431).

Camp states, “The Constitution provides protection against possible abuse of power by judges but does not contemplate the effects of joint action by attorneys and journalists during trial proceedings” (Camp, 432).

Camp cited the United States v. Dickinson appeal of 1972, which appeared before the Fifth Circuit to address a gag order that was issued without due process.              

Camp wrote, “Under the Dickinson ­rule, if a judge erroneously restrains the publication of any trial information, attorneys and journalists must abide by the unconstitutional court order until an appellate decision is in an effect. Otherwise, they must go to jail” (Camp, 438).

Seale went to jail. Seale received an appeal. Camp’s law review outlines the troubling abuse biased judges enforce that needed attention during the trial of Bobby Seale.

 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press issued a newsletter in 2001 titled, “Secret Justice: Gag Orders.” Contributor Ashley Gauthier’s “Good judges, denying gags” column discussed the liability of being a reporter.

Gauthier states, “Gag orders may sometimes seem like an inevitable part of a reporter’s life. A judge has many less restrictive alternatives to choose from, including extensive voir dire, changes of venue and admonishments to the jury to sway the news reports. Nevertheless, many judges choose to impose gag orders” (Gauthier, 6).

Gauthier noted several honorable attributes pertaining to judges who have been persuaded to move past the use of gag orders. Gauthier states:

  • Judges in at least eight states have moved away from the common practice of issuing gag orders.
  • The small number of them based on these members make decisions based on making members of the bench noteworthy.
  • Florida holds the largest number of gag order denial found in Gauthier’s search (Gauthier, 6).

The conflicting points of interests with gag orders depend upon the abuse of process. A contempt gag order results in restraint of the defendant. A press gag order, as outlined by Gauthier, pertains to the reporter.

In the scorn valor case of Bobby Seale, Hoffman allowed the trial to continue until mistrial. The judge needed to be reprimanded. Both forms of gag orders were used to wield power. Gauthier notes, “Martin Reader, an attorney for the Palm Beach Post, attended the hearing in West Palm Beach and told the Reporters Committee that the judge did not believe it was necessary to issue a gag order when the parties could, on their own initiative, simply refuse to answer questions of the press” (Gauthier, 6).

Seale was an ambassador for African American servicemembers. Both physical restraint and press gag orders applied to Seale’s testimony. He had both his First and Sixth amendment rights tampered with by Hoffman.

For the sake of jurisprudence, judges like Hoffman are the reason why sanctions should be established between both defendant and the press. The First Amendment protects the press while the Sixth Amendment allows the right to act in a sovereign state (moral agency) making decisions on the outcome of the jury’s decision.

Hoffman tampered with both the press and jury with Seale. Without due process, judges like Hoffman are not required to act as moral agents, which makes gag orders an unethical practice.

Similar Cases

By 1997, Paul L. Hoffman of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review shared the lessons to be learned regarding the gag order in the O.J. Simpson civil trial. Like in Seale’s case, a gag order was applied that did not “withstand the First Amendment scrutiny and given the unique nature of the Simpson case, should not be used as a precedent for issuing such orders in future civil cases” (Hoffman, 333).

 Author Paul L. Hoffman writes, “On August 13, 1996, when Judge Fujisaki issued a draconian gag order directed against all lawyers, parties, and certain other trial participants, prohibiting them from speaking publicly about the trial” (Hoffman, 334). The judge enforced an order that silenced a high-profile case. Gag orders shut the door to social injustice debate.

Seale, like O.J., drew national attention. The only difference, the O.J. Simpson civil case sought punitive damages instead of criminal charges. The civil case enforced a gag order with a strange twist. “The gag order issue in the Simpson civil proceedings arose from an unusual procedural posture. On August 13, 1996, without advance notice, Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki issued a sweeping gag order” (Hoffman, 335). Fujisaki’s order stated:

  • No public awareness that the order was being considered.
  • Proceedings took place in an undisclosed chamber for conference.
  • The lawyers for Goldman later stepped back upon further reflection.
  • No motions made, no briefs filed, no evidence submitted.
  • No factual findings were made (Hoffman, 336).

Judge Fujisaki enforced a gag order without due process. Hoffman states, “News of the order spread quickly, and lawyers representing television, radio and print media, joined by the ACLU challenged the order” (Hoffman, 336). The American Civil Liberties Union and the media challenged:

  • The need for any gag order.
  • The volume of Simpson’s coverage of his proceedings.
  • The coverage over the course of 26 months was highly publicized.
  • The ACLU amiscus curiae brief, presenting a pressing argument that the August 13 order constituted prior restraint.
  • The order could not meet strict requirements that governed restraints (Hoffman, 336).   

Paul L. Hoffman’s law review offers less restrictive suggestions starting with admonitions. Applying admonitions according to Hoffman, “would be ineffective to prevent prejudice at trial. A court must determine that such an order is both ‘necessary’ and the ‘least restrictive means’ of achieving the objective of avoiding prejudice at trial. If admonitions are effective, then a gag order is both unnecessary and overly restrictive” (Hoffman, 349).

 Admonitions are warnings issued prior to contempt. Through admonitions, court decorum and freedom of the press are monitored with integrity and support the claims made by the Doctrine of Double Effect.

Gag orders flex their muscle on the press, jail the defense in contempt, and restrict the people from truth. Gag orders require reform. Gag orders patronize the people, especially those who are African American in court. Jaded patriotism becomes the aftermath.

On February 7, 1996, the Boston Herald reported about a similar outlandish gag order case. Bobby Seale’s trial became the topic of discussion during a murder trial involving two secretaries of an abortion clinic, which became a high-profile case. The defendant, John C. Salvi III, became disruptive like Seale.

A civil trial lawyer from Boston and former Superior Court Judge Rudolph Pierce weighed in on the gag order threats from the bench with the Boston Herald. Pierce states, “Nobody likes to do that, because every time you do it someone is going to say you prejudiced the defendant’s rights” (Talbot, 6).

Talbot citied the exact nature of Seale’s jaded patriotism, who agrees with the governing of gag orders stating, “Some judges have gone to extremes to silence defendants, memorably the Chicago Seven trial in 1969 and 1970, when seven men were tried for rioting at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

But it was Bobby Seale, then the Black Party chairman, who was tried separately from his seven comrades, who received the harshest treatment after derisively calling Judge Hoffman and ‘old man’ and demanding the right to defend himself” (Talbot, 7).

The fact that Seale was met with force substantiates the origin of jaded patriotism. Scorn valor tolerates stacking the deck in favor of the prosecution eliminating due process responsibility to the Constitution. The African American press protects the historical truth as an independent reporting source.

When a judge abuses the people’s trust, the people should be allowed to ask them to be excused.

Gag orders are oftentimes appealed and overturned. Gag orders cost money with appeals. Gag orders are a waste of resources and need to be ratified to bind the powers of abusive judges in court. Gag orders handed down by biased judges are the reason why journalists must never abandon the position of the independent press.


Works Cited

Alonso, Karen. Headline Court Cases: The Chicago Seven Political Protest Trial, A Headline Court Case. Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2002, pp. 16-89.

Boyce, Joseph. “Lawyer to Appeal Seale Contempt Case.” Chicago Tribune, 6 Nov. 1969 Accessed 11 Dec. 2021.

Burner, Richard, and Raley Yvonne. Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases. Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 183-184, 343.

Enstad, Robert. “Hold Seale in Contempt: He Gets 4 yrs., Mistrial Against 7 Will Continue.” Chicago Tribune, 6 Nov. 1969.

Gauthier, Ashley. “Good Judges, Denying Gags.”  The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2001, pp. 6-8. Untitled-2 ( Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Hoffman, Paul L. “The Gag Order in the O.J. Simpson Civil Action: Lessons to Be Learned.” Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, vol. 17, 1 Jan. 1997, pp. 333-52. Google. The Gag Order in the O.J. Simpson Civil Action: Lessons to Be Learned ( Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Maraniss, David. They Marched Into Sunlight. New York, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Inc., 2003, pp. 77-91.

Seale, Bobby. The “Trial” of Bobby Seale with Special Contributions by Julian Bond, Norman Dorsen and Charles Rembar. New York, Priam Books and Arbor House Publishing Co., 1970, pp. 7 -128.

Smith Camp, Laurie. “Applying Due Process to Gag Rules and Orders.” Nebraska Law Review, vol. 55, no. 3, 1976, pp. 427-39. Google. Applying Due Process to Gag Rules and Orders (, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Talbot, David. “Judge’s Hands Full Keeping Order in the Court.” Boston Herald, 7 Feb. 1996, p. 6. ILLiad – Transaction 2888971 ( Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

United States v. Bobby Seale (1968).

United States v. Bobby G. Seale, 461 F.2d 345 (7th Cir. 1972).

Zelezny, John D. “Communications Law: Liberties, Restraints, and the Media.” Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011, 6th Edition, p. 163.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s