Civil Liberties

Libertarian Activist Dragged to Floor, Cuffed, and Dragged Out of Court for Not Taking Off Hat


In, alas, the Free State Project's chosen home of New Hampshire. Pete Eyre (fingered as part of the Koch Brothers' sinister civil liberties machine in the Nation, such that even being his friend made you guilty) declined to take off his hat in a Keene, NH, district courthouse when a bailiff asked, and was taken down, cuffed, and dragged out of court. He was arrested as well.

From a New Hampshire Sentinel account:

A man affiliated with the libertarian Free Keene movement is being held without bail because he refused to give his name after being arrested in Keene District Court Monday, according to Keene police.

The man was arrested after he refused to take off his hat in the courtroom and argued with a bailiff who asked him to leave court, according to Keene police Lt. Darryl W. Madden.

He faces charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and is being held at the Cheshire County jail without bail until he identifies himself, Madden said.

An arraignment scheduled for this morning in Keene District Court would likely go ahead only if the man tells authorities his name, Madden said.

A website dedicated to the cause of freeing Eyre.

And the video of the incident, which later on shows the court officials doing their best to keep independent eyes on what was happening to Eyre at a distance:

Pete and his old partner Jason Talley interviewed at about their "Motorhome Diaries" adventures driving around our nation, which also lead to bullshit conflicts with cops.

NEXT: RT: Do American Video Games Cause Suicide Bombings?

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  1. Refusal to remove hat in court

    General disrespect for authoritah



    Connect the dots, people!

    1. Since he is younger than me I bet he also makes incoherent posts on message boards. This is totally another “Tuscan.”

      (Speaking of which, where is Orrin today?)

      1. Do you really care where Orrin is today? I hadn’t thought of him till you mentioned it….


        1. It’s the Orrin you don’t see that shoots up crowds.

          1. Or blows up airport baggage claims

            1. or delivers State of the Union addresses.

  2. STFU. Take your hat off when you are in a court, or inside for that matter. This one I don’t get. Get all anti-authority and shit when it serves, but show a little respect, take you fucking hat off and sit the fuck down.

    1. STFU. People wear hats indoors in the 21st century. Throw him out of your court if you don’t like it, but don’t add bullshit charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

      1. disorderly conduct and resisting arrest are to cops as interstate commerce and general welfare are to congress

        1. +11

    2. Fuck you. Why should I show respect for something, or someone, I don’t respect?

      1. Is this really the fucking issue you want to create a government revolution over.

        Pick your fucking battles.

        (I was raised that you took your hat off inside). Sue my mother, you fucking scumbag.

        1. Is this really the kind of thing you want people detained over?

          Pick your fucking battles.

          1. I do agree that the response was a little heavy.

            1. Is that intentional understatement or were you talking about your response?

        2. Agreed. There has to be a line somewhere.

          If he didn’t like it, why did he go to court?

        3. I don’t give a flying fuck how you were raised. What if you were raised to put your hat on inside? Your stupid obnoxious arbitrary rules have no bearing on anyone else.

          1. I would argue that all rules are arbitrary.

            1. Some rules and their purpose are quite clear:

              Keep your hands to yourself and mind your own business.

          2. Oh, Episiarch. You’re so edgy and antisocial.

        4. Does your mother approve of such language, fucktard?

          1. she’s turning in her fucking grave.

            1. Better not be wearing a hat, then.

              1. no, she’s a fucking pile of old fucking bones that smell too horrible to comptemplate. God, the last time I ssw her, she was so fucked up after multiple strokes that I wished nothing more than that she rise up, say “fuck you” to the whole of the hospital establiment and fall down dead.

                1. this no shit- this no joke.

                  1. I meant you, Greer, not your mom’s corpse.

        5. If this resulted in popular backlash of government in general, yes. Not because I’ll take any port in a storm, but because it represents the epitome of authoritarian control over something which matters not at all.

          1. …love to see yet another fuck-the-statists movement spring forth right about now.

        6. “Is this really the fucking issue you want to create a government revolution over.”

          No act of tyranny is too small to be challenged. I for one would be satisfied if a revolution were to occur over such a humble issue.

          1. That’s because you’re an immature moron who cares more about playing rebel than reality or principle.

    3. What the fuck exactly makes wearing a hat indoors so god damned disrespectful? You old people and your superstitions sound fucking crazy, and I am glad these primitive ideas about “manners” are going by the wayside and replaced by more practical methods. Where the hell am I supposed to put my hat?

    4. So on duty Marines should drop their covers inside? It was an authority play plain and simple. Taking your hat off has nothing to do with respect.

      1. It has to do with obedience and servility. Judges are petty tyrants in their courtrooms.

  3. Is there a statute against wearing a hat in court? Does unrestricted chapeaury interfere with the court’s business, or otherwise obstruct the proceedings?

    Could it be argued that the deliberate refusal to ‘show respect’ was actually a type of protest, arguably one that could not be construed, in any way, as interfering in court procedures (as opposed to yelling or other disturbances)?

    Most people probably agree that individuals should not be unilaterally able to disrupt court proceedings. But at what point are court personnel able to simply make up rules as they please, and then enforce them with physical coercion?

    1. That’s the trouble with the judiciary: You have trouble with the court(s), who you gonna appeal to?

      AFAICT, the judicial branch can make up their own rules on anything not specifically contradicted by statute. The only solution in this case would be to enact a law saying specifically that people can dress as they please in court, or at least that they can wear hats — but that means the courts can make up whatever other chickenshit isn’t prohibited them.

  4. Oh jesus christ, GTFO of here with this shit. Take your fucking hat off when you’re in court, and when you’re in church or sitting in a meeting or in a class. It’s called common fucking courtesy and respect

    1. Common courtesy like not swearing in a public space? Quick, call the cops and have Edwin locked up for disorderly conduct. Oh, and I am sure he will “resist.”

    2. What’s the connection between courtesy and arrest again?

    3. It’s called common fucking courtesy and respect

      Enforced at gunpoint with metal restraints.

      This isn’t a question of courtesy or respect, retard.

      It’s a question of who has the authority to physically administer a ‘beat down’ if no law has actually been broken.

      My favorite part of church was always the point where the minister gave a good ass-kicking to the cheapskates that didn’t put in any offertory.

      1. not all laws are statutes enacted by the legislature. Judgements are also a kind of law.
        And the judge has the legal right to maintain basic decorum in his courtroom.
        Jacking off in the middle of court also wouldn’t “hurt” anybody (if you’re a spectator). Should people be allowed to do that?

        1. Not the same thing, and you damned well know it.

        2. Jacking off in the middle of court also wouldn’t “hurt” anybody (if you’re a spectator). Should people be allowed to do that?

          No, for two reasons:

          1) It’s illegal by statute – both public nudity and probably obscenity.

          2) It’s disruptive to the function of the court.

          The only point at which the wearing of the hat became disruptive to the function of the court, however, is when a physical confrontation was enacted by the court personnel.

          The justice system is broken, and, I would argue, part of the reason for that result lies in the inability of those inside the system to appreciate the reality that they are acting in the public interest, and not in their own interest.

          Crowning a king with arbitrary powers does nothing to discourage that result.

          And if the William Penn history of the practice is indeed true, then it’s even more offensive than I previously thought.

        3. Because assaulting someone and hauling them out is less of a breach of decorum than wearing a hat, right?

    4. Do you go around punching the shit out of rude people or something?

    5. You’re a REAL AMERICAN, obviously

      The Trial of William Penn (1670)

      Penn was a leader of the Quakers in London. The sect was not recognized by the government and was forbidden to meet in any building for the purpose of worship. In 1670 William Penn held a worship service in a quiet street which was attended by a peaceful group of fellow Quakers. Penn and another Quaker, William Mead, were arrested on a charge of disturbing the King’s peace and summoned to stand trial. As the two men entered the courtroom, a bailiff ordered them to place their hats, which they had removed, back on their heads. When they complied, they were called forward and held in contempt of court for being in the courtroom with their hats on.

      “”Penn: The question is not, whether I am Guilty of this Indictment, but whether this Indictment be legal. It is too general and imperfect an answer, to say it is the common-law, unless we knew both where and what it is. For where there is no law, there is no transgression; and that law which is not in being, is so far from being common, that it is no law at all. “”

      …that punk. Where does he get off questioning the “lex non scripta”. If only they had tasers back in 1670… next thing you know, they’ll start thinking they can pray to their own god and nonsense like that… if they’re not kept in line, these idiots might start enumerating their rights, and then everything will go to hell in a handbasket…

    6. Edwin|1.25.11 @ 7:05PM|#
      “Oh jesus christ, GTFO of here with this shit…”
      Stuff it up your butt.

    7. “”Edwin|1.25.11 @ 7:05PM|#
      Oh jesus christ, GTFO of here with this shit””

      Have this man raped with a billy club for taking the lord’s name in vain. He knows no respect for god.

    8. Spoken like a true authoritarian, Edwin.

    9. Oh, spare me. I can’t understand for the life of me why anyone needs to be taking their hat off inside buildings. Who are you supposedly “showing respect” to? How does removing one’s hat in any way demonstrate “respect’? It’s the sort of moronic, old-school “rule” that only gets backwards old people into a tizzy. Why should anyone else follow this? And most of all, why should anyone get ARRESTED for doing this?

      And frankly if you support someone being harassed and arrested for wearing a hat inside a public building, you are 1) disgusting and 2) part of the problem.

    10. Take your fucking hat off

      You have a special hat just for that?

      1. I laughed at this. Out loud. As the kids say, I “LOL’d!!!1!”

        At age 42 I should be more mature but I laughed nonetheless.

    11. “It’s called common fucking courtesy and respect” -Edwin

      a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.

      the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people in the form of legislation recognized and ENFORCED by judicial decision and agents of the governing body.

      The difference in the two, Edwin, is the ENFORCEMENT. It is not about the hat. It is about government applying force in situations where there is no law authorizing its use.

      Do you think it is OK for law enforcement to enforce politeness, social customs, and courtesy when the refusal of their practice violates no law and infringes on no others’ rights?

      “just go with the flow, they say take off your hat, take it off.” _edwin

      The more trivial the act, the more worried we should be that that it elicits such a response. If the police and authorities react in such a way to such trivial acts (willing to trump up charges and use violence) it makes it even more certain that it will be used with larger and more significant acts of civil disobedience.

      Get the with the fuckin’ program.

    12. Right. And clearly the only sensible response to discourtesy and disrespect is immediate arrest and imprisonment. Because society must depend upon armed police response to enforce proper manners.

  5. this same fuckface probably thinks he has the right too fuck your kid or shoot everyone who looks at him funny

    1. this follows.

      1. Quite obvious now that Edwin points it out, actually. Thank you, Edwin. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

        1. Edwin connects the dots! We’re fucked, obviously, as a society, because some guy refused to take off his hat.

          It’s the downfall of civilization!

          1. …the broken-windows theory, only with hats.

            1. did you see my links from the Pittsburgh beating article? It’s not my job to repeatedly cite my evidence

              you guys don’t have the balls to actually confront how fucked your bullshit philosophy is

              1. *cite my evidence when you refuse to actually read it

            2. I srsly LOL’d at that one… it was like half retarded laugh, half hyperventilating

    2. Edwin|1.25.11 @ 7:07PM|#
      “this same fuckface probably thinks…”
      Stuff it up your butt.

  6. Do not feed the troll.

    1. I like my trolls like I like my fish: ugly, dead, and stuffed to the gills.

  7. Free Hat!

  8. My favorite Lex Non Scripta was being threatened with arrest for *blaspheming* in Atlanta airport. I was on the verge of asking to see the specific list of codified Blasphemisms so I could know which God I *could* curse (Odin? Krishna? Kali Ma?) when dealing with such a poorly run, clusterfuck of a facility, but my spider sense started tingling and I realized… Never Fuck with Airport Cops. They are very very touchy. So I knelt and said the lords prayer. I dont think he liked Catholics much either, but it seemed to satisfy him enough to let me be. Either that or he was worried if he busted me for praying he’d be running afoul of God himself.

    …Because, come on, have some respect, citizen! If you’re in court, you take your hat off, and if you’re in an airport, Respect The Divine Creator. Don’t you people know anything? It starts with the Hat Wearing and the Blaspheming and next thing you know men will marry other men and institutions wont mean anything anymore…

    1. I don’t know.

      Every fucking thing is a slippery

      When I was young I ALWAYS wore hat. One day, I went to the city hall to seal records for a shoplifting offence. While I was downtown, I went into a courtroom, just to see what the fuck goes on there. When I entered, a guard at the door, motioned to me to take off my hat. I took it off.

      I never thought that I wss submitting to the lord, knucking under to the fascists, showing respect for my betters or bowing down to the establishment. I just thought that they wanted hats off in the court room and I’d oblige.,

      I also wouldn’t yell “fuck” in the Atlanta airport. The authorities may make too big a thing of it, but I just feel that it would be wrong. saying “goddamn” shouldn’t get you arrested.

      I guess some of my behavior is just based on what I feel is right, not on what will get me busted.

      1. I probably didn’t respond very well to your post.

        blaspheming, saying “god” should not be an arrestable offense. but I don’t get your second paragraph. This equals never having respect? I say, the 2 things don’t compute. Over compensation is not the same as just having a little respect.

        You don’t want to show some respect? Stay home and blog.

        1. Good… Now the Left Boot. Less spittle this time. Make that tongue respect the boots.

          1. this I don’t get.

            I didn’t RTFA all the way, but these people seeem to be persesuted for WEARING a hat. The thread is NOT wearing a hat.

        2. You don’t want to show some respect? Stay home and blog or get raped in jail.

          Fixed That For You

      2. “Fuck” is arrestable but “goddamn” isn’t? At least it’s secular nonsense.

        1. didn’t say arrestable but I wouldn’t say it out loud

        2. I honestly just feel that you can have public manners, personal manners and then h&r manners…


          Serious though, cut out the blaspheme dude. Its not arrest-able, but you dont want retarded children, do you? You make the call.

          1. God can suck my non-reproducing testicles.

            1. Oh, it’s you…Wylie. Didn’t recognize you. Yeah, forgot about that, the impotence thing I hit you up with a while back. Jeez, what else do I have …umm…. OK, how about an eternity of damnation where your insides are constantly eaten by vultures and keep regrowing..? Got that from an Italian guy…. never thought of that, but clever!

          2. dude, I have all the fucking kids I need. All of them turned out great, no fucking brain addled diseases.

            They cuss too much, but great kids.

            1. Fuck off retard, I wasnt talking to you.

              and while we’re here, I’ll remind you AGAIN *it wasn’t your kids I made the retards*, retard.

              1. A non-hereditary Retardation Curse…that’s some mighty fine smiting right there.

      3. Maybe if your mother had spent less time instructing you about the appropriate hat-wearing settings, she would have been able to teach you not to fucking shoplift. Where do you get the balls big enough to lecture me about wearing a hat, thief?

  9. I wonder if the law goes all the way back to the Mass Bay colony of the 1650’s? The Puritans–who ran Mass Bay–outlawed the wearing of hats in court because that was one of the way’s the Quakers passively resisted. Mass Bay was so dominant at the time, that it essentially ruled over all of New England–except for Rhode Island. (see Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, V1)

    1. now we get the fucking intellectual chiming in.

      yeah, it goes back to Ceasar who had a hat fetish.

      Fuck, take your fucking hat off in doors.

      1. Yeah, because we can’t have somebody pointing out the possible historical roots of the rule upon which someone’s arrest was made, never mind if those historical roots happen to possibly illustrate an example of why codifying the First Amendment was important.

        An intellectual commenting on a political blog. Heavens, no!

        1. Sme history teacher told me it goes back to the days of armour, if ya didn’t take off your helmet it was taken as a threat.

          So the court felt threatened….

          1. Sure, if you didn’t take your helmet off, they couldn’t split your head with a sword when you spoke out of turn.

      2. You know who had a hat fetish?

        1. Elton John?

          1. Lady Diana Spencer?

              1. Fuckin’ A!

              2. it was the only shit I could get.

              3. LMFAO… LMFAO… LMFAO…

              4. LMFAO… LMFAO… LMFAO…

        2. Hats are hot.

      3. Fuck, take your fucking hat off in doors.

        Are you ready to kill someone if they don’t? Because that is what we’re talking about.

      4. LOL, if you are referring to me, I am a Retired Sergeant First Class in the US Army–hardly intellectual material.

        My point was that if it a law based on original religious intolerance and was using the power of the state to enforce it, there is no excuse for it…not common courtesy, nothing at all.

        1. a Retired Sergeant First Class in the US Army–hardly intellectual material.

          Some of the smartest people I ever met were NOT intellectuals.

      5. How can someone so concerned about propriety that they are literally frothing at the mouth over a hat think it is okay to appropriate to say ‘fuck’ every other word?

        I’ll wear my hat where I damn well please, you cunt pickle.

        1. I will fucking say that I fucking say that I fucking say that it is fucking appropriate that fucking only fucking gentlemen of the fucking highest fucking order be fucking allowed to fucking expropriate on the fucking approbriation of the fucking original fucking article

          1. fuckin’ A!

          2. Fuck the fucking fuckers, you fucking fuck!

            1. Fuck this and fuck that/ fucking you’re a fucker fucking brat/ she don’t want a baby that looks like that/ I don’t want a baby…


        2. dude, I’m not frothing at the mouth, I started the SOTU drinking game early.

          1. Fuckin’ A!

            1. Fuckin’ A!!

              1. Fuckin’ A!!!

                1. Fuckin’ A+

                  1. Fuckin Anal!

                    1. Fuck your mom, fuck your mom’s mom, fuck the Beastie Boys, and the dolly llama.


        1. Fuckin’ A!

      7. “Fuck, take your fucking hat off in doors.”

        Talk about a hat fetish…

      8. Fuck, take your fucking hat off in doors or get raped in jail.

        Fixed That For You

        1. Because anyone who wears a hat indoors DESERVES to be raped in jail.

          1. …here.


    2. See trial of William Penn mentioned above.

  10. Next time, he should bring a niqab wearing girlfriend.

  11. 1. Take your goddamn hat off when you’re indoors.

    2. Fuck the police, these police in particular.

    These propositions are not mutually exclusive.

    1. Why take your hat off indoors? What is this, the 1950s?

      1. You guys all understand the difference between cultural norms and laws, right? And wouldn’t want to mix the two up, right? Because that’s basically what the bailiff has done here.

        There is nothing authoritarian about cultural norms and community standards. In fact, they should form the basis of any libertopia which, as I understand it, posits that when it comes to personal behavior, it’s best when rules develop organically and are not imposed by force. That’s what the hat rule is – a perfect example of how society can self-organize.

  12. I understand the sentiment that its not a big deal to take off a hat. Its a tradition. Many remember mom and dad instilling the sacred values of removing ones hat indoors.

    But to think that not taking a hat off is a justifiable reason to handcuff and arrest someone is stupid and offensive. Sometimes its not about picking battles but exposing the uncontrollable urge those in authority have to exercise their powers. The seething contempt authority has for all of us that don’t behave is evident in incidents like this.

    1. Its a tradition.

      And as freedomsadvocate has pointed out, that tradition may very well be based on religious intolerance….so, enjoy your tradition, I’m off to go call a black guy a nigger (in a traditional way, not an offensive one.)

      1. Um, no. The cultural norm is that hats are removed in indoor formal settings. The cultural norm is that ‘nigger’ is a grossly offensive term. Just because one tradition retains its normative value doesn’t mean you get to revive traditions that are no longer normative. That’s not how culture works. But be my guest if you’d like to try.

    2. then you picked your battle. have fun in the dungeon.

      1. You’re wearing an asshat+2, right?

      2. Fuckin’ A!

  13. Uh, did anyone say it was about respect? I’d assume it’s a security measure. Maybe a stupid one, but it’s pretty telling that everyone here has jumped to that conclusion, absent any evidence from the news article. Children.

    1. I think everyone jumped on the respect angle because the security angle is even more incredulous…

    2. It’d be more than just a stupid security measure. It would be absurd given the security measures most courthouses already have in place.

      I don’t think it is about ‘respect’. I think it is about authoritarianism. Nothing the court or the police did in response to this was worthy of respect. They got violent and – judging by the charges – vindictive because he didn’t do as he was told.

      I don’t give fuck all why they told him to do it. I only care that: 1. It was a stupid request. 2. Their response was inappropriate and disproportionate.

      Even if you think the court has the right to kick him out if he doesn’t comply with their rules, the arrest was completely unnecessary.

      1. I don’t think it is about ‘respect’. I think it is about authoritarianism.

        Authoritarianism, how do they work?! (Certainly not by forcing your subjects to respect the power structure, no, never that.)

        1. That’s not respect.

          1. Oh, I’m not arguing that it’s true respect.

            1. Perhaps a public whipping would satiate the authoritarians…

              1. Besides, the deal with the hat removing far predates our modern concepts of “security threats”.

                They made people in the 50s take their hats off in court, when the only identifiable threats to civilization were the Reds and blacks lusting after virtuous white women.

                1. Hey now, a black man can hide a whole lotta lust under a hat.

                  1. I’d be for a public whipping.

                    Oh, I thought you meant… never mind.

      2. You’d enforce your property rights with violence
        Maybe I should call you an authoritarian

        Or maybe the the whole point of rules is that they can be enforced

        1. Or maybe the the whole point of rules is that they can be enforced

          One can enforce anything, no rules are necessary.

          However, mutually agreed upon rules set up a system by which all parties can operate without the threat of arbitrary actions from both other actors as well as the state.

          Unless of course, the rules are not set up by mutual agreement, and, in fact, are used to favor one actor (or the state) over another – arbitrary, one might say. At that point, too many rules become restrictive to the functioning of society, as well as self-destructive in that their arbitrary and favored application is widely ignored.

          Rules that benefit the most people are usually the most respected (think 1st Amendment). Additional rules do not always add clarity or value (Think Campus Speech Codes)

  14. Baby take off your coat
    Real slow
    Take off your shoes
    I’ll take off your shoes
    Baby take off your dress
    Yes, yes, yes

    You can leave your hat on
    You can leave your hat on
    You can leave your hat on

    1. this reminds me of The Full Monty.

      Getting chubby.

      1. Fuckin’ A!

        1. Fuckin Fuck Fuddruckers!

  15. Never really thought about it like that before. Makes sense dude.

  16. Respect for authority – what a fucking concept. Fuck authority and fuck the people who respect it.

  17. Fuckin’ A!

  18. He could dance if he wants to

    1. He’d dance safely though, if he wanted to dance, right?

      1. If he fails to dance he is no friend of mine

        1. I believe there is a line in that song about being dressed real neat which specifically mentions hats.

  19. Sweet!

  20. I don’t judge a man by the length of his hair or the kind of music he listens to. But you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public Library, fella.

  21. Pretty much lost me with this one. The dude was purposely being a dickhole. You’re in fucking court, you know you’ve got to play by their rules. “I didn’t sign that policy” is a bullshit argument. Sorry, but I’m finding it hard to be too sympathetic. Were the cops too quick to react too aggressively? Maybe. But I’m not finding myself too outraged on this one.

    1. I don’t see anyone being very outraged over the incident from the original post. The outrage I’m seeing is towards people who think the traditions they were raised with should be law.

      1. Why should I fucking listen to you if you’re not wearing a fucking onion on your fucking belt?

        1. I didn’t have enough bees to buy a beltonion this week, so sue me.

        2. from the REAL Greer- didn’t post this, but glad that he used the correct form of you’re. Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t abide the wrong form of you’re.

          1. Why the fuck shouldn’t you fucking be fucking put in fucking jail if you can’t fucking use correct fucking grammar????? WHY THE FUCK AM I SO FUCKING ANGRY???? GRAAAAAAAAWRRRRRRRR!!!!111

      2. Yeah, I’m not convinced by the argument that it’s proper respect to take your hat off when you’re indoors (although I do agree with that as a general principle – sort of like you hold doors open for other people and don’t chew with your mouth open and cover your coughs and sneezes).

        To me, the better argument is not that “it’s the polite thing to do”, but rather, when you’re in court, you’re subject to the court’s rules – such as you can’t bring in a cell phone, a pocket knife, a gun or a hand grenade. And you can’t come in and sit there eating a cheeseburger. And – god forbid – take off your stupid hat. And if the bailiff says, “you need to take your hat off,” don’t be a douchebag just to make some stupid point. Pick your battles. This one proved only that that hat guy is a dick.

        I no longer wonder why people sometimes roll their eyes and give a little smirk when I say something about libertarianism. Too many self-proclaimed libertarians think it means “I can do whatever the fuck I like, wherever the fuck I like and nobody can say shit about it.” That’s not libertarianism, that’s anarchy.

        1. I’m all for the court having rules, and for people following those rules, but I’d like for the rules to have a purpose in actually making the court function. Not just rules for the sake of rules, or rules for “stuff that annoys me, The Judge.”

        2. Really, I don’t know why I even bothered…

        3. This is a post I can get behind.

          just go with the flow, they say take off your hat, take it off.

          90 per cent of the problems of life would be solved by just going with the flow….

          Except when the flow is wrong.

          1. Except when the flow is wrong.

            And that’s the rub, ain’t it.

            1. Just mill around, eat your feed, and make mooing sounds with your head hung low. There, that’s a GOOD citizen.

        4. A lot of libertarians ARE anarchists. Ever hang out in the comments on a article?

        5. Right, libertarianism isn’t about questioning the validity or reason behind rules, just blindly accept them because a government official told you to. Libertarianism isn’t about freedom, that’s anarchy! Somalia!!!!11

        6. when you’re in court, you’re subject to the court’s rules – such as you can’t bring in a cell phone, a pocket knife, a gun or a hand grenade.

          Fine, but does that translate into: The court can make up any rule it wishes at any time?

          Because that sounds a lot like your “I can do whatever the fuck I like, wherever the fuck I like and nobody can say shit about it” castigation of Libertarians.

          What if ‘hizzoner’ decides that everyone should wear a dress?

          The Justice system already has enough of a problem with arbitrary and vague rulings. Combine that with violent coercion and you get the current result – decreasing confidence in a ‘system’ that is arguably a necessary function of government – resolving societal conflict.

          This has nothing to do with hats. This resonates with a lot of people because they see government overreach in almost every facet of their lives.

          1. When I become a judge, I am going to force all men to have their dicks hanging out through their flies while in my courtroom. This rule is about as necessary to the functioning of the court as the no hats rule.

            I generally do take my hat off indoors. I think it is polite to do so. But the worst that should happen with such a breech of protocol is that someone thinks slightly less of you. That such arbitrary bits of protocol can have the force of law in a courtroom is not a good thing.

    2. Still overkill considering the offense in question.


  22. Sure, the cops are steroidal apes in uniform, but I don’t understand the school of activism where you encourage them to kick the shit out of you and fling shit at you and whatnot.

    1. Show your opponent for the brutal primitives they are so people stop supporting them? I dunno, I’m no expert at Schools Of Activism.

  23. Fuck the draft.

      1. I thought you were directly on point, but it turns out you only wore the jacket in the courthouse, not in the courtroom. Still, fuck the draft.

    1. Fuck the daft.

  24. What if it’s a toupee, and not a hat?

    1. What if you normally wear a toupee, but you couldn’t find it that morning, and all you had was a cowboy hat with a blonde wig attached to it?

      1. I only wear that on the weekends.

  25. More serious hypothetical:

    Cancer patient is wearing something to cover the baldness, and Judgie Wudgie decides he/she doesn’t like this Blatant Stabbing of Authoritah.

    Will the ACLU ride to the rescue?

    1. This scenario in fact did occur…..t_out.html

      Strangely, they did not wrestle her to the ground and incarcerate her. ?? Justice clearly miscarried in this case.

      1. Shit. Y’think you’ve come up with an improbable scenario, and Life manages to make it reality.

        Bonus stoopid from the blog link:

        “I ask everybody to remove hats,” he said, noting the only reason he has allowed it — once — was for a religious reason.

        So, he never allows people to wear hats, except for that one time.

        Another two-faced prick with Authoritah.

        1. I really hate religious exceptions to things. If there is a religious exception to rules like this, then anyone should be able to make up a religion on the spot that requires them to wear a hat at that very moment and has no other tenets.

      2. But Hollenbeck said, “I am very understanding with people who battle with cancer. My own mother died from cancer. I’ve had hundreds of cancer victims come through my court and I’ve never had one not remove their hat, ever.”

        Some of my best friends are black and when I demand they sit in the back of the bus, I’ve never had one try to sit in the front, ever.

        1. I’m not fascist or racist.

          I guees for me this question wasn’t that deep, take your hat off in court. Shit, I’ve changed my mind.

          but can you also concede that it’s pick your battle kind of thing? the original post was about guys who just simply refused to lift caps… presumably because it was deferential to authority.

          1. Greer|1.25.11 @ 9:16PM|#
            “but can you also concede that it’s pick your battle kind of thing?”

            Yeah, but how many battles do you slide on before you say Enough!?

          2. Like the “Constitutional Peasant” in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, he is an annoying provocateur who is being blatantly disrespectful of authority, needling and prodding until action is taken so he can shout, “come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help help I’m being repressed!”

            But also like the Constitutional Peasant, he happens to be correct about everything he’s saying.

  26. I have little sympathy for men who don’t take their hats off indoors.

    1. Another authoritarian chimes in.

      1. Duuude looks like a duude who looks like a ladayyyy!!!

    2. What if the man isn’t white, and it’s a culturally significant hat?

      1. Obviously, we need a Headgear Czar.

        1. I see no other way to keep from offending democrat voters.

    3. Like your Pickelhaube?

      1. No I’m never gonna do it without the fez on. Oh no.

        1. Fez? I offer you the noble Pickelhaube and you speak of the fez?

          1. I fought them fuckin’ Krauts, I EARNED the right to wear this hat!

            The Kaiser? That one-horned devil? I personally tore out his spleen with my bare hand!

            1. You putsch your beer down and you reach for the pretzels! Nyuk nyuk!

    4. Tony|1.25.11 @ 8:38PM|#
      “I have little sympathy for men who don’t take their hats off indoors.”

      And a lying asshole’s opinion on anything is worth…………

  27. Fuck, I’m already sick of these egotistical motherfuckers. Shut up, sit down and get this over with.

    1. …egotistical motherfuckers?

      1. We KNOW you’re not talking about *us*…

  28. The only people who should ever be trusted with authoritarian power, are the ones who resist the urge to use it unwisely.

    Like the judge in this sordid tale, for instance.

    Speaking of egotistical motherfuckers… I have to go watch Blazing Saddles and drink beer until the SoU address/Obama re-election halftime extravaganza is on.

  29. Oh jeez – this made me groan like a motherfucker. See the part where he puts in a caption “They’re breaking their own policies” and then focuses on the sign “Do not block door” as the guy stands at the door.

    WOAH! WOOOOAH HO HO! OOOOHHHH! You guys got them good. Wow. You caught them violating that little sign. Wow, you’re so clever!

    1. What the fuck are you on about now, Edwin?

    2. “I didn’t sign an agreement to that!”


      These are guys who read one Wikipedia article on Contracts and now think they’re Warren fucking Burger.

  30. What if in place of hair, one had on their dome a large penis tip instead? Would the court then find it more tasteful to wear a hat?

  31. Is a giant, ugly, gray, silly-assed retarded curly wig not also a sort of hat? How do they expect me to take court seriously when the magistrate is wearing that thing?

    1. I’m pretty sure judges in NH don’t wear wigs.

  32. If the he wore the hat for religious reasons, he has a first amendment right to wear it under the freedom of religion clause. If he did not wear the hat for religious reasons, we have to allow him to wear it anyway under the establishment clause. I’m wearing hats once in a while to my local school board meetings to protest their refusal to allow students to wear hats in school. I wore a kippah when I visited Paris to protest their ban on the public display of religion. This is a battle I’m willing to fight for.

    1. You have some balls for the Paris thing.

  33. I hear hats have waged war on police.

    1. I’d love to have a Miroslav SATAN and Clayton STONER sweater.

  34. As a law student, I’m curious about the legal basis of all of this. However, when in court, you should respect the rules of the court. Those are mutually agreed on rules in the sense that the authority to make those rules has been delegated to the relevant judge by either a federal or state constitution or statute, and the legitimacy of this grant of authority derives from the consent of the governed.

  35. Contempt of court what?

    Courtrooms are not the place for expression. Deal.

    Can judges still order summary execution for contempt? I hope so.

  36. I’m sorry, but “Libertarian Activist”
    sounds a lot like Community Organizer.

    Perhaps I’m just a little l, but I don’t see how this guy is advancing the cause of liberty. People on this board are acting like he’s Rosa Parks. I don’t see wearing a hat in a courtroom as a sign of oppression. I know, the “pick-your-battles” meme has already been posted, but it seems appropriate.

    I’m not defending the bailiffs one bit. What they did was inexcusable. But watching the guy get dragged out reminded me of a toddler who won’t leave the toy store/Chuckie Cheese etc. and his mother drags him out.

  37. Here’s a question for all of you who think this is no big deal.

    What if the Judge decided that a Burka was considered a hat and was not allowed? Would you support the forceful removal of a Muslim woman from the courtroom for not complying with that order? or a person whose religion required a hat on that day?

    How about my next door neighbor who lost all of her hair after chemo and wears a hat to conceal her baldness?

  38. Maybe if he had had a baton or billy club too it would have been allowed?

  39. Don’t take off your hat in my 92 year old Grandmother’s house, and she will promptly stick her cane straight up your ass. I’ve been the recipient of a few backhands, as an adult.

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