Separation of Powers Dispute in South Dakota: Federal Judge Holds U.S. Marshal in Contempt For Refusing To Provide Vaccination Status

If DOJ won't prosecute DOJ employees, then the judge will appoint a special prosecutor.


A separation of powers dispute is brewing in South Dakota. The facts are somewhat in dispute. Here are the broad outlines. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kormann demanded to know whether employees of the U.S. Marshal Service were vaccinated. The U.S. Marshal Service refused to provide that information. The Marshal Service is a component of the Department of Justice, but it largely serves the judiciary. Among other responsibilities, the Marshal Service moves prisoners to and from court proceedings. During a hearing, deputy U.S. Marshals declined to tell the judge whether they were vaccinated. (As a general rule, a person who declines to disclose their status is not vaccinated; people who got the jab are all too happy to boast about it.)

Judge Kormann offered this account of the incident in his court:

I returned from Florida on Saturday, May 8. Court had been scheduled by court orders for many weeks and we had six hearings scheduled for Monday, May 10, and six more hearings scheduled for Tuesday, May 11. A deputy marshal from Sioux Falls, on May 10, entered the courtroom with a prisoner in tow. I asked her in the courtroom whether she had been fully vaccinated. She refused to answer and I ordered her to leave the courtroom and not return until I knew the answer to the question. She attempted to take the prisoner from the courtroom and I told her to leave the prisoner where he was, with his attorney, at counsel table, so we could proceed with the hearing. At least one court security officer (fully vaccinated) is at all times in the courtroom. The refusing officer was very discourteous and frankly had to be told that she was bordering on contempt of court, whereupon she left and was replaced by a part time person under contract with the Marshals Service who told me he was fully vaccinated. We continued with the a.m. hearings. When ready to conduct the p.m. hearings, we learned that the Marshals Service had left the courthouse with the prisoners, without telling the Court or the assistant U.S. Attorney present, or the attorneys for the defendants scheduled for hearings, making it impossible for the Court to conduct the hearings long ago scheduled. The Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal called at 2:12 p.m. when I was on the bench and left a message for me to call. This was long after they had already "kidnaped" the defendants, apparently during the noon recess.

Yes, a federal judge accused a Deputy U.S. Marshal of "kidnapping" a prisoner. The judge also charged that the unvaccinated Marshals are the "most dangerous people" in the courtroom–not the prisoners.

I am the safest in the courthouse. I had always thought that the principle responsibilities of the Marshals Service was the protection of the federal judiciary. As it stands now, they could well be the most dangerous people in the courtroom in a given case. I do not know the answer to that as I have no information since deputies, with the encouragement and full support of their supervisors, are refusing to tell me whether they have been vaccinated or not.

The Clinton appointee also criticizes the leadership of the Marshal Service, a Trump appointee, who apparently authorized this kidnapping:

I assume that an official in the Washington, D.C. office authorized and perhaps directed the action which may very well be subject to contempt sanctions. I have never talked with John Kilgallon, the Chief of Staff for the Service nor with Marshal Mosteller. The Marshal has never, since he took office under the Trump administration, visited the courthouse in Aberdeen when I was present. I would not know him if I saw him on the street.

The judge acknowledges that the Marshal employees are not his employees. But he asserts the power to control what happens in his courtroom. And the Marshal obstructs justice by instructing his employees not to answer the judge's questions:

It may be that the Marshals Service may not question deputies as to whether they have been vaccinated. I do not agree with that claim and I believe any employer should be questioning employees about Covid 19 vaccinations to protect the public and fellow employees. They are not, of course, my employees. All of that, however, is a separate issue. One of the questions here is whether the defendants should be instructing or at least encouraging deputies to refuse to answer a vaccination question posed by a United States District Judge in the courtroom. I believe they are very likely interfering with and obstructing the administration of justice, contrary to their oaths of office. The officials have had more than enough time to carefully consider the foolishness of their actions. All the Article III judges in the District of South Dakota have tried to completely cooperate with the marshals, all to no avail. They advance the claim that policies set by the executive branch, i.e. the Marshals Service, can override lawful directives and orders of Article III judges. Who is running the courts, judges or bureaucrats who themselves are sitting in their offices in the District of Columbia, totally not exposed to Covid problems in their work-places?

As discussed above, the recent actions of the United States Marshals Service personnel in court and in the courthouse constituted direct disobedience to court orders. Following my sanction of requiring a Deputy U.S. Marshal to leave the courtroom for violating my order, the U.S. Marshals Service and defendants retaliated by "kidnaping" criminal defendants who had been ordered to appear before me. Those actions interfered with the administration of justice and were deliberately designed to do so, without regard to the statutory and constitutional rights of the criminal defendants, the busy schedules of the Department of Justice attorneys. Federal Public Defenders, Criminal Justice Act attorneys, and the disruption of judicial staff. Those actions constituted both in-court contempt and out-of-court contempt interfering with judicial proceedings. These rash and unreasonable actions caused each defendant to be in violation of a court order to appear for the given hearing, either a sentence hearing or a change of plea hearing.

I had thought that the concept of obstruction of justice was pushed beyond all recognizable bounds during the Trump administration. Judge Kormann has now extended those bounds. (I trust this blog post does not constitute civil  contempt in South Dakota).

Judge Kormann ordered the defendants to appear to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt. DOJ lawyers filed a brief opposing the contempt citation. DOJ contended that the prisoners were removed to ensure the court's safety. Here is an excerpt:

Second, the evidence will show that the Marshals Service did not temporarily remove the criminal defendants from the courthouse to obstruct the administration of justice or retaliate against the Court for its decisions on how to conduct its proceedings. Rather, the Defendants acted in compliance with their statutory mandate to ensure the physical safety and security of individuals in a federal courtroom, specifically the Court, its personnel, litigants, and members of the public. Moreover, they acted in good faith when faced with an unprecedented, urgent situation—the forced removal of its deputies while a dangerous criminal defendant remained in the courtroom. At that point, the Marshals Service could no longer ensure the safety of the courtroom consistent with its statutory obligations and its policy. Marshals Service policy mandates that at least one deputy marshal must be present to provide judicial and courtroom security whenever an in-custody person is physically present in the courtroom, regardless of the presence of district security officers or court security officers. That policy also is reflected in its court security officer contract. Accordingly, Defendants made the good faith determination that they had to temporarily remove the criminal defendants from the courthouse to comply with their statutory obligations and policy. In addition, the Defendants took remedial action soon after the issues arose to substantially comply with the Court's scheduling order to ensure that the criminal defendants were produced and their hearings could go forward with as little disruption to the Court's schedule as possible. The Defendants offer their sincerest regrets for the delays in communication that may have impacted the Court's operation. 

But those regrets were insufficient. The marshals are dangerous–not the prisoners.

Judge Kormann held a hearing yesterday. The ABA Journal rounds up the news coverage. And the local paper has some choice excerpts:

"When you move someone against their will, that's kidnapping," said Kornmann. "I don't care who you are." … "Nothing like this has ever been done in this country," bellowed Kornmann on Monday at the morning hearing. "This was such a most outrageous thing to do." … "You have dug yourself into a deep hole," said Kornmann, who appeared visibly angry at points and almost at a loss for words during the proceeding, adding their continued defense suggested the defendants had "brought their own shovels" to Monday's hearing.

Judge Kormann stated if the U.S. Attorney refuses to prosecute the case, the court would appoint a prosecutor. I'm sure Merrick Garland would be thrilled to prosecute his own marshals for contempt.

Judge Kormann's conduct reminds me a bit of Ex Parte Merryman. During the Civil War, Chief Justice Taney ordered the court marshal to arrest General Cadwalader, so he could be held in contempt of court. The poor Marshal was unable to effectuate the arrest. Here is Taney's account:

After it was read, the chief justice said, that the marshal had the power to summon the posse comitatus to aid him in seizing and bringing before the court, the party named in the attachment, who would, when so brought in, be liable to punishment by fine and imprisonment; but where, as in this case, the power refusing obedience was so notoriously superior to any the marshal could command, he held that officer excused from doing anything more than he had done.

Judges sometimes need to be reminded of the limits of their power. DOJ should start drafting the mandamus petition for the 8th Circuit.

NEXT: Law Students: Interested in Helping With Proofreading on the Journal of Free Speech Law?

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  1. Asshat judge looking to grandstand over vaccinations. I have serious contempt judges that demonstrate this type of arrogance.

    1. Last name is actually Kornmann and is unfortunately is from SD. Needless to say was appointed by a Dem.

      1. And likely supported by Harry Reid…

        This judge needs to be impeached — even if not removed by the USS, we need to win a MAGA majority in the House next year and to start impeaching these A-hole Judges….

      2. And in addition to being a jerk, is a scientific ignoramus

        1: According to the latest numbers from the CDC you have a 1 in 40,000 chance of being hospitalized or killed by Covid if you’ve been vaccinated.

        So if you’ve been vaccinated, but are freaking out about the vaccination status of others, you are an innumerate science denying moron, a bully, and /or an all around jerk

        2: There’s only two logic paths here:
        A: The vaccine works. In which case you don’t care about other people’s vaccination status
        B: The vaccine doesn’t work. In which case there’s no legitimate reason to demand people get i

        Take your pick, but in either case, it’s none of your business what private medical choice other people make, so STFU about it

        1. Not being you, the judge is not worried solely about himself; he’s worried about all the other people in the courtroom.

    2. EVERY US Marshall should be vaccinated, they should not have any choice in the matter.

      These people handle federal prisoners, among other things. I don’t want them spreading coronavirus.

      1. That’s probably true. Although perhaps there should be some exemptions for Marshals with certain medical conditions, etc. Judges, prisoners, and other interested parties should lobby the elected branches to created requirements based on evidence and risk.

        Judges should not be unilaterally requiring medical procedures on pain of contempt.

        1. *create.

        2. You can accommodate the marshals and the prisoners by putting unvaccinated marshals in administrative positions (budget analysist, HR, etc.) that don’t require them to interact with prisoners.

          I have not read everything filed in this case, but my sense from the post is that contempt was for transporting the prisoner without confirming vaccination status.

          1. Good idea re accommodation.

          2. “You can accommodate the marshals and the prisoners by putting unvaccinated marshals in administrative positions (budget analysist, HR, etc.) that don’t require them to interact with prisoners.”

            You sure can. Not unilaterally if you’re a judge, though. Marshals are responsible for courtroom security, jointly with judges, and they get to do what is necessary to secure the courtroom.

            We wouldn’t want judges ordering Marshals to use (or not use) force on prisoners in situations that might be dangerous, for example.

      2. Why? What if she already had it and is naturally vaxd.

        1. 1
          Yes, I presume that if this Trump appointee decided on full transparency, and was able to submit documentation for each person, of (a) fully vaccinated, (b) unvaccinated and at risk, and (c) not vaccinated–or only partly vaccinated–but had Covid in the past . . . then both (a) and (c) could be put into the “permitted to be around prisoners and court staff” group.

          While I would generally agree with Josh’s common-sense point that those of us who are not idiotic enough to refuse vaccinations are perfectly happy to talk about our fully-vaccinated status; in this case, it might be that deputies’ boss(es) have ordered them to refuse to disclose whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.

          “…”When you move someone against their will, that’s kidnapping,” said Kornmann. “I don’t care who you are.” … “Nothing like this has ever been done in this country,”…”

          Well, no, not really. Kidnapping is moving someone against their will WHEN THERE IS NOT LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR DOING SO. Otherwise, every cop arresting someone would be guilty of kidnapping. Every gym teaching ordering his students to run laps against the kids’ will would be guilty. Keeping a kid inside during recess to do detention would be kidnapping. And so on. I get that the judge was (justifiably!!!) outraged at the horrific behavior of law enforcement in this situation, and was not focusing on giving an accurate summation of the elements of kidnapping at the time. But still . . . .

          1. Well, no, not really. Kidnapping is moving someone against their will WHEN THERE IS NOT LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR DOING SO. Otherwise, every cop arresting someone would be guilty of kidnapping.

            Well, I’ve heard it argued that capital punishment is simply state-sanctioned murder, so I think it would follow that arrest and imprisonment is simply state-sanctioned kidnapping.

          2. What legal authority did the Marshals have for removing the prisoners from the court when their job was to transport them there for a duly scheduled legal proceeding?

            1. US Marshals are required to remain with the prisoner at all times even if there is a security officer present in the court room. The judge could order the marshal to leave the court room but not to leave the prisoner without another marshal being present.

        2. What if she already had it and is naturally vaxd.

          I’m sick of this argument. Essentially a bunch of people who went out, acted like douchebags, ignored all the government precautions, and GOT the coronavirus- and could have transmitted it to other people and even killed someone- now want an exemption from getting the vaccine.

          No way. Get the damned shots. You don’t get to take advantage of being a sociopathic idiot once to be a sociopathic idiot a second time.

          1. “Essentially a bunch of people who went out, acted like douchebags, ignored all the government precautions, and GOT the coronavirus- and could have transmitted it to other people and even killed someone- now want an exemption from getting the vaccine.”

            Your comment exhibits amazing ignorance about contagion of the SARS-CoV-2. In any given case you have NO proof whatsoever that the person ignored all the government precautions.

            I am a strong proponent of covid vaccination even though my son has had serious ongoing resulting adverse effects. But arrogant comments like yours do noting to convince people to do the right thing.

            1. People are being douchebags right now on this issue. They refused to distance and now refused to vaccinate. As a prominent conservative likes to say, facts don’t care about your feelings.

              1. When you name a fact in reference to whether getting the disease confers immunity or not, then go ahead and share it. If not, get off your high horse, because you ought not be opining.

                1. There have been people who got it twice

                  But also, people who were a-holes about not taking precautions should not be rewarded with the right to be a-holes again about shots.

                  Especially since it’s a fricking shot. These people think they are so tough. “Don’t tread on me!” But they are such complete wimps that they are scared of a needle?

                  1. and there have also people who were vaccinated who got it,

              2. Dilan, your first sentence is correct, but not in the way you intended it.
                Second sentence is pure speculation, but may be true for some cases.
                Third sentence is true.

                I had Covid-19, was acting responsibly, and will now cautiously wait for this large-scale vaccination experiment to provide some conclusive data on the safety of the vaccine before I get the jab. I will rely on my natural immunity, which according to some research is as good or better than the vaccine.

                Also, I personally know two people (both in their late 60’s/early 70’s) that have had been hospitalized with heart issues after getting the vaccination. One was Moderna, the other one didn’t say which one she had.

                In summary, fuck off.

          2. On the other hand, who cares about rants from jerks like you about anything at all?

            Why should anyone go along with any perspective you have on anything? Because you’re so nice?

            1. “Why should anyone go along with any perspective you have on anything? Because you’re so nice?”

              No, it’s because he’s correct.

              Truth doesn’t matter anymore to the right, the only thing that matters is doing whatever the left doesn’t want you to do. It was so sad seeing the stories of conservatives on their deathbeds with coronavirus because they thought it was a hoax and / or stupidly ignored the precautions.

              The left really doesn’t want you to pick your nose in front of your boss, just so you know.

              1. No, he’s not right. He doesn’t know it confers immunity or not.

                1. It doesn’t matter. Get the shots. We know that they confer immunity.

                  1. The shot, no matter which, only generates exposure to a small subset of antigenic material present in the virus.

                    Meanwhile an active infection will provide exposure to every bit of the virus, while and in part.

                    The assertion that “we do not know” which offers better immune response would be laughable if it were mere igmorance. That it is not makes it more so quite sinister.

                    1. Whole, not while

                    2. We know that the people trying to avoid shots because they already got it are douchebags who don’t care about putting other people in danger. That’s reason enough to put the needle in their arm

                    3. 19-year-old Simone Scott was excited to get her second dose of Moderna’s Covid vaccine on May 1.

                      Now her mother Valerie Kraimer is arranging her funeral.

                      Simone, a first-year-student at Northwestern University, suffered a case of apparent myocarditis-induced heart failure on Sunday, May 16. Despite extraordinary measures to save her, including a heart transplant, she died Friday morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago.

                      Now her mother and father are struggling to understand what happened to their daughter – and why they had no idea that the Covid vaccines might be anything but safe.

                      “I lost my only daughter,” Kraimer said in an interview Sunday night. “I never thought I’d have to give up my daughter for the greater good of society.”

                      Unfortunately, doctors appear to have repeatedly missed signals as Simone’s condition slowly worsened in the two weeks following her second shot – before she abruptly crashed. In mid-May, Israel, which had vaccinated more of its population with mRNA vaccines than any other country, was reporting high rates of cases of vaccine-related myocarditis in young people.

                      But in the United States, vaccinations had just been opened for 12-15 year-olds, and the Centers for Disease Control was still playing down the myocarditis risk in young people. In a statement May 17, the day after Simone died, the CDC reported that it had found “relatively few reports of myocarditis to date,” that “most cases appear to be mild,” and that “rates of myocarditis reports [after vaccinations] have not differed from expected baseline rates.”

                      . . . With their daughter gone, Kraimer and Kevin Scott are now hoping that her story will – at the least – raise awareness of the potential risks of the Covid vaccines.

                      “I never knew that there was a risk for something as serious as this,” Kraimer said. “I would have wanted to know.”

                      In the meantime, they are left to mourn the loss of her only child.


                    4. CDC says vaccine link to heart inflammation is stronger than previously thought

                      The agency is investigating 226 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among young, vaccinated men.


            2. I am nice. I am also telling the truth about really stupid and cruel behavior in this instance.

              Getting two shots in your arm should not even be an issue.

              1. “Getting two shots in your arm should not even be an issue”..

                Uh huh…


                1. Disaffected, flailing, vanquished, embittered right-wing losers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                2. I don’t defend Black vaccine hesitance either. This ain’t Tuskegee.

                  1. “This ain’t Tuskegee.”

                    That’s what they told the Tuskegee volunteers. “Trust us, we’re the government. Would we lie?”

                    Why should they believe the government this time?

              2. You have really embraced the government hysteria. Your name calling and unscientific rants just turn people off.

                1. Because my fellow Americans acted like asswipes and killed 600,000 people.

                  1. No, the virus killed those people. And the majority died before vaccines were generally available. Stop making this political and follow the science.

                    1. ^
                      “Let’s all pretend like a cult of personality didn’t rise up and embrace science denialism among a broad range of topics, including basic sanitation to prevent the spread of diseases.”

          3. So you think a comment that is rude, arrogant and scientifically wrong is going to change anyone’s mind?

            It doesn’t matter how douchey they were, comments like yours make it worse, not better.

            1. I don’t expect to change the minds of the sort of people who say “hah hah hah, now I am immune”. I think the government should simply mandate the shots.

              1. So, what you’re saying is that in addition to being innumerate, a scientific ignoramus, and an a$$hole, you’re also a fascist.

                Thanks for making that clear

              2. Guess what: You’re probably not immune either. The vaccine is becoming worthless already.
                Headline: Hundreds of vaccinated doctors, medical workers catch COVID-19 in Indonesia; some have been hospitalized

              3. Hey guess what: The vaccine is proving to be obsolete already, so you’re not protected, the judge isn’t protected.
                Headline: Hundreds of vaccinated doctors, medical workers catch COVID-19 in Indonesia; some have been hospitalized

          4. Ah, the Team Blue religious beliefs about covid-19 clash with Team Red’s religious beliefs about Covid-19 conspiracies. You guys are entertaining.

            In this case it is your ignorance on display. If you had Covid-19 you are comparably immune to someone who has received the vaccine. And, of course, almost no one who got Covid-19 is a “sociopathic idiot” by any reasonable definition.

            1. People who got it because they refused masks and distancing are sociopaths, and they are the same people now making the “now I don’t have to get vaccinated” argument.

              1. People who think that masking and “social distancing” 6 feet will protect you from Covid are scientific ignoramuses, and, generally speaking, religious lunatics


                Viruses the size of Covid travel 60+ feet in the air. Essentially, if you’re inside and sharing air with someone who’s shedding Covid, you’re at the same risk whether you’re 1 foot, 6 feet, or 60 feet away.

                The fact that Dilan’s still pushing that discredited 6 foot BS tells us pretty much everything we need to know about him

              2. But, just so we’re clear here: Dilan you think that every single person who marched in a protest last summer at less than 6 foot distance from everyone else is a “sociopath”?

                Or, let me guess, “that’s different!”

          5. Wow, so Dilan claims that everyone who got Covid is a morally wretched “douchebag”.

            I’m curious, Dilan, what do you think about people who got Aids?

          6. “I’m sick of this argument.”
            Seriously you need to check yourself! Now you are judging people you don’t know – deputies were front line workers, maybe she did or didn’t get the virus and has natural immunity. …”killed someone”… seriously dude! This liberal mindset that we are going to tell everyone else what to do. No personal responsibility, it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s bull crap!
            First, take personal responsibility, if you get covid maybe you didn’t consistently wash your own hands, wear your own mask, contaminated your own mask, didn’t change it out with a fresh one often enough. You can’t blame someone else! This “do your part” is completely bull crap too. If your scared stay home, confine yourself, the rest of us are going to live our lives. Covid isn’t going away. There is no evidence that the vax will protect against new strains as the virus evolves. BUT there is evidence it is becoming less deadly with each new mutated strain.
            Second, ITS HER BODY, she and only she decides if or when to get the vax or not. It is also EXPERIMENTAL it doesn’t have full FDA approval, it has a waiver! So if government or business FORCES employees or people to get it, and later down the line we find it causes cancer, or mutations; then those organizations must be accountable to pay damages to those it inflicted damage to. ie: if later the vax has issues, companies and government should prepare to pay for those damages to individuals if they impose such requirements.
            Third, I am pretty damn sure this judge violated HIPPA rights by even asking the question out of the blue without any evidence of wrong doing. Did the judge get sick? Was there contract tracing involved? Judges (by separation of powers) can’t bring charges on their own. There was NO CONTEMPT and this judge should be thrown off the bench – retired for his senile temper tantrum.

      3. What if they have actually had covid? Vaccinating someone who is already immune is a waste of vaccine.

        1. Doesn’t the CDC recommend vaccinations for those who have already had COVID?

          1. Government officials do not have a good track record of policymaking related to COVID-19.

        2. Vaccinating someone who is already immune is a waste of vaccine.

          We have plenty of vaccines, and vaccinating someone who already had the virus is very much not a waste of vaccine anyway.

          1. Tell that to India, Brazil, Cambodia, etc.

            1. These vaccines are already in our fridges and have limited shelf life.

        3. No really a single dose has measurably beneficial effects

      4. Someone clearly doesn’t know what a vaccine *does* — it protects the individual from the virus. Hence if the vaccine has any merit at all, those who have been vaccinated are protected from those who are infected, not to mention everyone else.

        This schmuck of a judge needs to not only be impeached but sent to the psych ward. Imagine the outcry if he’d asked the Marshal if she were pregnant, or were a lesbian. (I at least like to think that there would be an outcry about that….)

        1. You’re going to have some prisoners who will not be vaccinated.

          ” Imagine the outcry if he’d asked the Marshal if she were pregnant, or were a lesbian.”

          You really are terrible at analogies.

          1. Why would it matter? The judge is vaccinated.

      5. Scratch a liberal, uncover a fascist.

        What happened to “my body, my choice?” Or does that only apply when a woman wants to kill her unborn baby or when a man wants to ejaculate into another man’s anus?

        1. Since you apparently want to stop women from getting abortions and men from having consensual sex with other men, perhaps we’ve uncovered yet another fascist.

        2. Like everything, it only applies when power can be advanced or there’s a chance for financial gain. You didn’t think they were actually interested in individuals having choices, did you?

        3. This is a public health emergency.

          1. This is a public health emergency.

            Lamest “emergency” I’ve seen in ages. According to Worldometers, California’s 7-day moving average of “new” cases (i.e., not previously reported, regardless of when they actually happened) is just over 900 — less than 2.5 per 100,000 population. That’s the lowest since April 2020, and that was when testing was just rolling out. Deaths are at well less than 1 per million — rapidly approaching the odds of dying in an auto accident.

            Just how long are you guys going to milk the hysteria?

            1. 600,000 Americans died. That’s an emergency.

              1. that *was* an emergency, and it is essentially over now.
                500,000 to 850,000 Americans died from the Spanish flu, but there the Spanish flu is not an emergency today.

      6. Perhaps. But only after the vaccine in question has been fully tested and approved by the FDA. At this point, no vaccine has that status. All vaccines in use are under an EMERGENCY approval, and NOT fully tested.

        1. BS. We know the vaccine is safe because nobody is dying. This is clearly safer than many approved drugs.

          Get the damned shots.

          1. Why would it matter? The judge is vaccinated.except for the ones who’ve actually died, that is.

            BTW – I got the shots. But fascistic little snots like yourself make me wish I hadn’t.

            1. Yep. This is not about any endpoint other than exerting control.

              Him or the judge.

      7. “I don’t want them spreading coronavirus”

        No one gives a shit what you want Karen.

        1. How does someone not infected with Coronavirus spread Coronavirus?

      8. Being vaccinated does not mean that you can’t get or spread Covid. Vaccines do not protect others. They protect you from getting a severe case.
        These facts are not hard to learn, if one wants to learn. But ideologues have no need for learning, since they already know all the answers.

        1. The vaccines do protect others quite substantially. Not 100% of course, but a lot. Way more than a loose cloth mask I would think.

          (A vaccinated person with covid will shed way less virus than if they weren’t vaccinated. And they’re much less likely to have it in the first place.)

      9. Agree on need for vaccination, but is the judge the one to require it?

        Half this blog the past year has been struggles over covid restrictions, and mandates of vaccinations more recently.

        But those regrets were insufficient. The marshals are dangerous–not the prisoners.

        Untrue. Even the judge said so. He said (stupidly) the marshalls were the most dangerous people there, juxtaposing them against dangerous criminals for rhetorical effect, not that fhe criminals weren’t dangerous.

        “When you move someone against their will, that’s kidnapping,” said Kornmann.

        But not against your will. The will of the prisoners does not enter into it when in custody. A better definition would be the unlawful taking of a person, the way murder is the unlawful taking of a life.

        Assuming you could divine their will, they might prefer to be taken away since they will get another exciting day later out of the pokey for a rerun.

      10. So Dilan,

        I know this is hard for you. But I want you to imagine the following. President Donald Trump comes up to you and says “you have to get two injections of this novel therapy to prevent coronavirus. We call it…chloroquine”

        And perhaps you’ve heard some stuff about chloroquine. Perhaps you’ve heard it’s not formally approved by the FDA for COVID. It’s a completely new therapy. There have been side effect…some really severe side effects with some people. You’re not really a scientific expert, so you don’t really know. But you’re uncomfortable…there have been a lot of mistruths coming out lately from Trump. Things that aren’t exactly true. And the US government has a history of “experimentation” on your ethnic group.

        How would you feel about taking chloroquine? Or might you hesitate? Now if you hesitate, how would you feel if you were then FORCED into it. Told you would lose your job, if you didn’t immediately inject it. Perhaps you would feel resentful? Angry? Distressed?

        One of the ways we, as a society, get around this, is by incentivizing things. Acting with positive reinforcement. But not negative reinforcement. Leaving the choice up the people. Telling them the right thing, but not forcing. Because forcing these types of things is something that authoritarians do.

        1. The vaccine is not hydroxychloroquine. It clearly works and the objections are anti-intellectual.

          1. You’re missing the point here. You really are.

            The point is not whether the vaccine works or not.
            The question is…
            1. How can you convince people?
            2. Should you force them if you can’t convince them?
            3. Is forcing them more likely or less likely to convince them?

            Consider it.

      11. “EVERY US Marshall should be vaccinated [sic], they should not have any choice in the matter.”

        Wrong! This isn’t the former Soviet Union. Shame on you.

        They should ABSOLUTELY have a choice in the matter. There are safe and highly effective treatments available that they can take. No American should be forced to receive an experimental, un-tested, irreversible gene therapy treatment.

        1. It is of course not untested; it’s been heavily tested. And it’s not gene therapy at all.

      12. No one gives a sh!t what you want, nor should they.

        “My body, my choice.”

        “Right to chose.”

        It is none of your business, or the Judge’s business, who has been vaccinated.

        If the vaccine is not garbage, then if you have been vaccinated, you’re covered, and don’t need to to care about anyone else’s status

        If the vaccine is garbage, then whether you’ve had it or not is irrelevant.

        In any case, it’s none of your business, so STFU about it

  2. Marshal. Not Marshall.

  3. Typo near the top, Kormann for Kornmann. He’s an 83 year old senior judge. Not much you can do to him. Somebody should suggest retirement. I don’t think impeachment will fly because enough American liberals will consider him a hero, or as close as you can get to being a hero without actually ripping the still-beating heart out of every unvaccinated American’s chest.

    1. Belligerently ignorant, lethally reckless, science-disdaining clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

      1. You mean the “science” that says that Africans and East Asians don’t have genetically different IQs? The “science” that says that a man can call himself a woman after cutting off his cock?

        1. I mean the science that dooms clingers to failure in America.

          1. The only thing that has “doomed” conservatives to failure has been the importation of 100 million low IQ non-whites.

            1. And the ones who already live here, like Artie.

              1. You embracing this explicitly racist message?

                Love it when Trump cultists drop their masks.

    2. Judges are guaranteed life tenure during their good behavior. Impeachment is for high crimes and misdemeanors, not for making rulings members of Congress disagree with.

      Whether his ruling was right or wrong, it was judicial. It concerned the management of a courtroom. Congress might be abke to impeach judges whenever they disagree with them just as they might be able to throw out and refuse to count electoral votes whenever they disagree with them, and just as the white members of the Supreme Court might have the raw power to declare the 13th Amendment unconstitutional, declare slavery fully in force, and sell Clarence Thomas at auction on the courthous steps.

      But doing so would violate their oaths of office.

      1. “But doing so would violate their oaths of office.”

        As I said below:

        “Bah, every political dispute now is a violation of an oath. Don’t think or vote or do something the way I want, you are not merely wrong but an oath breaker. This trend is bipartisan btw. ”

        Lack of proper temperment/abusive behavior would be a ground for removal, no oath breaking involved.

        1. Can’t be an oath breaker. Can’t be an Oath Keeper.

    3. “He’s an 83 year old senior judge. Not much you can do to him.”

      Question: Does “violation of civil rights under color of law” extend to judges?

      1. We need to do away with the concept of ‘senior’ judges. Keep paying them, get them out of the courtroom.

        1. At least the ones who take actions and make decisions with which “we” disagree.

      2. Go ahead and give that statute another read, champ.

      3. Generally, no, “violation of civil rights under color of law” does not apply to judges, and especially not to federal judges. In this case, in my opinion, the judge is having a temper tantrum and ordering meritless criminal charges to be brought. A prosecutor could do that too and would not face liability. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial on those charges. (In a summary contempt case, which this is not, the defendant is not entitled to a fair trial.) The legal system will ensure that in the end justice is done. At least, we like to think so.

    4. I kind of wonder is he asking all the defendants that come in his courtroom the same question? Do they have an obligation to answer? Do they have to go back to jail and wait until the judge feels comfortable holding a trial?

      How about the spectators?

      What if the defense attorney selected by the defendant has decided not to get vaccinated, is he allowed to defend his client?

      I’m kind of curious where the judge sees the limits of his power.

  4. I was and am very concerned about unvaccinated people, including deputy marshals, transporting prisoners in close proximity in a closed vehicle. These prisoners have the right to expect that the Court will protect them from unnecessary risks to their health and safety

    This is the heart of the problem. People somehow believe that in a country where 50% of the population has at least one vaccine shot, the remaining risk of COVID transmission is “unnecessary”.

    The fear mongers still haven’t outlined a realistic scenario where their risk meter related to casual social contact goes back to the green zone.

    1. “very concerned about unvax people”
      This isnt actually about Marshals, they just happen to be the people this judge can pick on and make examples of.

      1. They could refuse to transport prisoners to his court, forcing him to pay for someone else to do it…

        1. He would order the USMS to do it…

          Except the USMS does not work for the judiciary.

    2. “the remaining risk of COVID transmission is “unnecessary”.”

      It is. People should just get the shot, it’s no big deal.

      1. Thus, it is written.

      2. No they shouldnt. If they have no real risk profile (age/health) why do it? Why should someone that has already had Covid get vaxd? If you want to get the shot, do it and stop worrying about other peoples decisions.

        1. Other people’s decisions that can harm other people? Yeah, we should worry about those. These people work with prisoners, a population that has had high levels of COVID. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be vaccinated if they’re doing that.

          1. Then vaccinate the prisoners.

            1. That’s like saying he shouldn’t have to obey stop signs, just tell everyone else to wear their seatbelts.

              1. That makes the claim that an unvaccinated person bears substantive risk to a vaccinated person. Care to substantiate that claim?

                Note that zero risk is not the goal here.

                1. The claim is that it bears a risk to the unvaccinated. Some people can’t get vaccinated for good reasons, they should not have to live in threat from those who refuse for stupid reasons. The Marshals have an especial duty here to those in their custody.

                  It’s like a rule that your taxi driver has to wear their seat belt. They can’t just say ‘if the passengers are worried about that kind of thing let *them* wear theirs!”

                  1. Again, zero risk is not the goal.

                    Non-zero risk is something called life.

                    So…show me the substantive risk involved here.

                    1. Prisoners are high risk for transmission. The deputies work with prisoners. Vaccines combat transmission.

                      On the other side of the ledger is…what?

                    2. So the risk is to the unvaccinated Deputies who’ve made their bed?

                      They can lie in it. They’re adults.

                    3. The risk is to the prisoners and others the deputies are around.

                    4. Be more specific…to the vaccinated prisoners and the vaccinated deputies? Because that’s false. And if you really want to protect the prisoners, take their rights away and mandate that they be vaccinated.

                    5. I already answered this: The claim is that it bears a risk to the unvaccinated. Some people can’t get vaccinated for good reasons, they should not have to live in threat from those who refuse for stupid reasons.

                    6. So at least we’re getting somewhere. We’ve narrowed your fear parameter to the rare person who for specific medical reasons can’t get vaccinated.

                      And the risk of that person getting COVID given current vaccination rates is what exactly? Or approximately? Any ballpark figure not based on your ass will do.

                    7. “We’ve narrowed your fear parameter to the rare person who for specific medical reasons can’t get vaccinated.”

                      Not only, any prisoners who are not vaccinated for foolish reasons as well.

                      “And the risk of that person getting COVID given current vaccination rates is what exactly? Or approximately? ”

                      We’re talking prisoners, they obviously are a high risk group. And, again, there’s virtually nothing on the other side of the ledger here.

                    8. Obvious = Your Ass “Science”

                      If you can’t quantify risk. If you can only stick your finger in the wind and guess, why do you believe that you have enough information to believe in a particular policy?

                    9. It’s not a guess, we *know* about outbreaks in prisons/jails and other group quarters.

                    10. No, we don’t. We KNEW about outbreaks in a pre-vaccine world. We don’t know now. And we have no reason to believe that they would be substantive…as long as prisoners are allowed to be vaccinated.

                    11. The presence of the vaccine surely means there is less risk, but many millions have not been vaccinated, so it’s reasonable to assume the dynamics of transmission will be as they were for these groups. Prisoners were four to five times more likely to get COVID, if that has even been halved by vaccination (and we don’t know that) we’re still talking about a high risk group.

                      And again, there is virtually nothing on the other side of the ledger. The deputy could minimize risk for relatively no cost.

                  2. So you should be vaccinated even if you aren’t at risk of getting the disease?

                    Tell me, when was your last smallpox vaccine shot? How about pnuemoc? Tdap? Meningitis? HepA?

                    All of these are diseases that you might have and be transmitting to other people, yet probably are not vaccinated for. Some of these vaccines wear off, too, requiring regular boosters.

                    Are you going to claim that everyone must get all vaccines unless the are medically incapable of it, no matter what?

                    1. We are not experiencing a small pox pandemic.

                      “So you should be vaccinated even if you aren’t at risk of getting the disease?”

                      If you are working with unvaccinated persons, yes. It’s for others.

                      “Are you going to claim that everyone must get all vaccines unless the are medically incapable of it, no matter what?”

                      All that needs to be claimed here is that those working with the unvaccinated should.

              2. Be sensible. Last December, the Marshal could have transported prisoners while taking masking precautions.

                It is rather obvious that the judge can order masks and distancing and even gloves in his court room. That he can order unvaccinated people out or demand to know their vaccination status is quite another. is quite another

                1. I’m supposing that the Marshall was not masked, either. Otherwise it makes this whole thing really unnecessary.

        2. If they have no real risk profile (age/health) why do it?

          Because a person is a minimally decent human being and not a sociopathic, anti-intellectual bowl of puke who doesn’t care about anyone else’s welfare.

          1. Oh, up yours, you arrogant cur. My life is not in thrall to you.

          2. Im much more likely to kill you with my car.

      3. And a semen injection as well….

        1. Wow! the brain deterioration continues with you.

          1. Too many semen injections probly.

    3. What is the number for herd immunity?
      For all the talk of science, that number is banned from the discussion.

      1. The number is uncertain and has some dependence on the level of contagion of the disease

  5. Can someone try to make sense out of the kidnapping claim? Is he arguing that the prisoners were kidnapped because they were moved against their will?

    That’s not very persuasive…

    1. “because they were moved against their will”

      They wanted to come to court!

    2. Do you not understand that words are sometimes put in so-called scare quotes when not intended to be taken literally?

      Apparently, it’s beyond Blackman also.

      1. Pretty sure we all get that. And also get that it’s an egregious exaggeration.

        1. Doesn’t sound like everyone gets it to me.

      2. “so-called scare quotes ”

        He repeated it to the paper:

        “When you move someone against their will, that’s kidnapping,” said Kornmann.

        1. So, Judge Demented doesn’t know the law, either?

    3. Judge is a Clinton appointee. Leftists make up stuff and dramatize because reality isn’t emotionally satisfying enough for them. Hence “kidnapping” and calling possibly unvaccinated people dangerous.

      It makes “sense” when you understand the person who said it is sort-of a crank.

      1. Leftists make up stuff and dramatize because reality isn’t emotionally satisfying enough for them

        Have you heard of this Blackman fellow?

        1. Also needle-raped guy.

          1. Federal judge comparable to random internet comment hysteria.

            1. You didn’t post about the judge, you posted about ‘leftists.’

              You’re generalization is arbitrary – like you stopped precisely when it stopped confirming your partisanship.

        2. Have you heard about whataboutism?

          1. Hot take: Maybe your hot take on leftists isn’t really about leftists.

    4. Presumably, they would much rather have gone home. If they were being transported, it was for the operation of the judicial process — well, the judicial process wanted them to remain where they were. The Marshals moved them without any authority to do so.

  6. “contrary to their oaths of office”

    Bah, every political dispute now is a violation of an oath. Don’t think or vote or do something the way I want, you are not merely wrong but an oath breaker. This trend is bipartisan btw.

    Not the dumbest thing this clown said [“kidnapping”!] but the most annoying to me.

  7. Where to begin?
    1. The judge is an idiot more interested in virtue-signalling and petty power than actual justice.
    2. Refusing to answer the question about vaccination may be contempt of court but a) probably not and b) contempt for this particular judge seems appropriate.
    3. Removing the prisoner is not “kidnapping” but neither was it appropriate. They wasted a lot of other people’s time for no good reason.
    4. The Marshal Service rule that only one of their people can “protect the court” is self-serving protectionism. That’s a rule that just needs to go.

    1. As is the rule that the judge doesn’t answer to anyone but himself.

  8. We can call him Judge Kormannute.

  9. Covid gives unreasonable officious jerks a new opportunity to be unreasonable officious jerks.

    Someone in congress should write articles of impeachment for the judge and, at minimum, post them publicly.

    1. Sure; now that MTG has finished her trip to the Holocaust Museum and learned for the first time that wearing masks in public is not actually the mass murder of more than six million people, she has some free time. She should get to work.

      1. Your comment would be considered harassment of MTG if MTG was left of center. “MTG receives threats after being harassed by internet comments”, the stories might read.

        Too bad for MTG that double-standards don’t work in her favor.

        1. Completely hypothetical leftists are among the most hypocritical.

          1. I refer you to the Twitter outrage du jour for practically countless examples illustrating that well-founded stereotype. Today’s example is, apparently, outrage at an Puerto Rican actress (of a certain age, i.e. she has been around enough to see decades of Hollywood behavior) for defending the producer of a newly released movie over accusations that the movie under-represents darker-skinned Hispanic people at the expense of lighter-skinned Hispanic people.

            1. If you get you sense of where the left is based on some lefty twitter stuff even my terminally online self hasn’t heard of, maybe you’re not really seeking where the left is, but rather just looking for outrages?

              Is conservativism exemplified by Free Republic?

  10. This judge sounds mentally ill. Perhaps he should be impeached and removed.

  11. Judges enable an administration to obtain communications records of perceived political adversaries in elected office, in newsrooms, in government legal office (and staff, and family members), and none of the right-wing law professors at the Volokh Conspiracy can find his tongue.

    A judge objects — and acts — when a disaffected hayseed marshal won’t answer a question about vaccination, and Prof. Blackman launches an extended, lack-of-virtue signaling whine.

    Carry on, clingers. Your betters will let you know for how far and for how long.

    1. “Judges enable an administration to obtain communications records of perceived political adversaries in elected office, in newsrooms, in government legal office…”

      Is there any evidence that the communications were improperly obtained? I remember silence on the left when judges allowed an administration to spy on actual political adversaries.

      1. Have you read the Justice Department guidelines with respect to attempts to spy on reporters, clinger?

        1. So no evidence? Sounds typical.

        2. Judges are supposed to enforce Justice Department guidelines?

    2. Judges enable an administration to obtain communications records of perceived political adversaries in elected office, in newsrooms, in government legal office (and staff, and family members), and none of the right-wing law professors at the Volokh Conspiracy can find his tongue.

      Guilty, I suppose. But then again they were all tuckered out from four years of defending against unprecedented use of the state’s power of investigation turned against a political opponent.

      Or adding to the piling on of it.

  12. The judge also charged that the unvaccinated Marshals are the “most dangerous people” in the courtroom–not the prisoners.”

    No Josh. He didn’t say that.

    He said, “As it stands now, they could well be the most dangerous people in the courtroom in a given case.”

    That’s a far cry from your claim.

    And by the way, why can’t the asshole marshals just answer the fucking question? What is it with RWNJ’s and vaccination anyway?

    Talk about “virtue signalling.” I don’t know what these imbeciles are trying to signal – loyalty to the Mighty Trump, I guess – but it’s ridiculous.

    1. Sorry, but why exactly should they? To placate a scared old man?

      1. Get vaccinated to minimize the risk that they will harm the people they are responsible for transporting and protecting.

        1. There is no risk, moron…

          1. Docktor Ed: “There is no risk, moron.”
            As Docktor Ed wades out of the shallow end of the pool to call No Theory a ‘moron’, I think we’ve achieved PEAK surrealism.

      2. “but why exactly should they? ”

        So they don’t get sick from COVID and/or get others sick? On the other side is what, placating a crazy-brave and foolish younger man?

        1. Folks…follow the thread here…bernard was asking why they don’t just answer the fucking question, not why they don’t just get the fucking vaccine.

          1. I interpreted it the way you did (and bernard11 did).

            It is a legit question from bernard11. Why did the marshal refuse to answer the question? Seems to me this all could have been avoided had that officer exercised some command judgment.

            1. Should she also have described her menstrual cycle — or are there questions that ought not be asked.

              1. Let me answer you this way. My early salute to Father’s Day. My Dad taught me a critical life lesson by saying, “Sonny, you do not mess with a judge – ever.” My Dad was right. That is his courtroom, and it is his prerogative to ask the questions. And BTW, you answer the judge. There is no get out of courtroom free card if you refuse to answer a direct question from a judge. Now if you do not obey the instructions of the judge, the judge can hold you in contempt, and toss your ass into the clink. He’s got the authority.

                There is more to this story, I am sure. There has to be. Maybe the judge was an old crank…but I kind of doubt that Dr Ed 2. Old…yes. Crank…I do not think so. Old cranks do not go to this level of effort to make their point.

                Perhaps the judge felt the Marshal ‘dissed’ him and showed disrespect…I personally would find that more believable. Well, this Marshall really pissed off a judge and here we are. Tons of paperwork, hearings, and the array of ancillary activities, etc. My Dad was right. Too bad this Marshal never got that piece of life advice, “Sonny, you do not piss off a judge – ever.”

                1. So Judges are godlike creatures who must be worshipped or one shall face the wrath of the lord.
                  My goodness the sheeple is strong in you.

                  1. Ever been inside an American court?

        2. Why indulge the octogenarian kritarch’s kabuki sickness histrionics?

          1. Why indulge the Marshal’s ignorant vice signaling?

            1. Because the Judge has no right not to?

              1. You would think clingers would recognize by now that their understanding of rights is deficient.

            2. “Why indulge the Marshal’s ignorant vice signaling?”

              Great. Get the political branches to make a rule requiring Marshalls to get vaccinated before transporting prisoners.

        3. You guys are raising great points on vaccine policy, but nothing on separation of powers.

          There certainly should be rules about who comes in contact with prisoners, but why does the judge get to make them? He’s not a vaccination expert.

          1. Pretty simple: The USMS is an executive agency, not a judicial, and they are not subject to his rantings.

            1. Perhaps not, but they, like everyone else, are subject to his rulings. Do policies set by marshal service bureaucrats in Washington overrule a judge’s rulings in his own courtroom? That’s a separation of powers issue also.

        4. So you’re saying that double masking is not effective enough to handle prisoners?
          Or that it does not matter how long ago a person received hir shot?
          The judge was overreaching because he is “King of the Hill” and he expects to be obeyed.

      3. why exactly should they? To placate a scared old man?

        Well, to start with, if I could calm down a scared old man by telling him my vaccination status, I would. You’d have to be pretty much of a jerk not to.

        Second, you’re in the guy’s courtroom, in an official capacity. Isn’t it fairly normal, polite, whatever, to answer the judge’s questions.

        Third, the marshal may think the question is foolish, irrelevant, whatever, but guess what – the marshal is no more an epidemiologist than the judge is. So answer the fucking question.

        1. Entitlement commands it!

        2. There comes a time where a judge asks things that are unacceptable and you have the right and duty to say “that is outside your authority to ask”. For example, if he asked an attorney the color and style of her underpants.

          Personal medical information is on that line. Given that everyone who can be a courtroom can have received the vaccine on their own, I think that this is beyond the judge’s authority to ask. I would have refused to answer the judge’s question and plainly stated my reasoning.

          What gets to me is that this wasn’t done for truly deadly plagues like polio or smallpox. Even measles was deadlier than COVID. People really need to learn perspective.

          1. There comes a time where a judge asks things that are unacceptable and you have the right and duty to say “that is outside your authority to ask”

            Yes. But this wasn’t it.

          2. Who knows. I definitely don’t trust Josh to give us the full picture, and I don’t care enough to research it myself. But the answer to whether the judge’s question was appropriate depends on a lot of things… the Marshals’ policies, the Court’s policies, other state and local policy, probably informed by CDC guidelines, and even a fair bit of customary practice.

            But… I find the analogy to general “personal medical info” unconvincing. Immunization status can be required to be divulged for lots of reasons, like school, work, and travel. There’s a reason they give you a receipt when you get immunized: it’s intended to be produced on demand. I can think of no similar medical data other than like… being born. So in that sense, it’s probably a legit question, even without supporting policy. (Asking about the Marshal’s tetanus vaccine status would be legit for the same reason, if less relevant.)

            Reading through the posts here, it does seem like the only motivation for not being vaccinated is some sort of political statement intended to make liberals angry. That is about the stupidest thing I can think of. The right to piss off liberals is not, in itself, a good reason to avoid the judge’s question. Sorry guys.

            I do wonder what would’ve happened if the Marshal had just said no. It puts the judge in a trickier spot, because a follow-up question is likely to be out of bounds if it gets into medical concerns beyond just vaccination yes/no.

            (I don’t buy the analogy between mandatory immunization and sodomy laws for similar reasons. I mean I know we all like talking about sodomy, but immunizations serve a compelling need that preventing sodomy just doesn’t hold a candle to. Anyway, mandatory immunization doesn’t seem to be in play here — there can surely be accomodations for unvaccinated Marshals, as NToJ pointed out.)

        3. “So answer the f – – – – – – question.”

          Sure. And here’s how you answer it: “Your Honor, respectfully, such an inquiry concerning my personal medical history is outside your authority.”

          Seriously. How did we get to the point where a damnably arrogant judge (he’s just a judge!) in the United States of America thinks he has the authority to ask what injections I’ve received. Pathetic.

    2. “why can’t the asshole marshals just answer the fucking question? ”

      why can’t the asshole judge not ask the fucking question?

      1. Because someone has to look out for the well being of others in the courtroom, prisoners, etc.

        1. Not the US Marshal service? If the judge doesn’t look out for their well being, maybe the court reporter should be issuing orders?

          1. “Not the US Marshal service? ”

            It seems not.

          2. Judge Judy should do it.

        2. “Because someone has to look out for the well being of others in the courtroom, prisoners, etc.”

          The wisdom of tyrants.

          1. Or, you know, people looking out for other people.

            1. “I’m just looking out for the people” – said every tyrant, on every issue, in every country.

    3. Because a judge is not entitled to protected health information about any individual. Further, he is a drama queen, going on about a virus that even if someone were to acquire, would result in a 99.7 survival rate.

      I’m glad that the judge went to an ‘OPEN’ state for his vacay…but it is not at all relevant to any of the concerns he lists.

      1. protected health information

        This is gibberish.

        1. So a judge could demand to know your free testosterone level or sperm count, and you would be obliged to tell him, because he’s a judge?

          1. You may or may not be obligated to tell him, but it would have nothing whatsoever to do with the answer being “protected health information.”

    4. Talk about “virtue signalling.” I don’t know what these imbeciles are trying to signal

      They are signaling the reverse of a virtue. Refusing to disclose your vaccination status is basically saying that you don’t give a crap about your fellow inhabitants of this planet.

      And they are also signaling they are anti-science and anti-intellectual.

      1. They should care what you think because you’re such a nice reasonable individual.

  13. I agree with the Judge. US Marshals have no business being in Federal Detention facilities and not being vaccinated. A few could easily infect many people.

    1. How is negligently exposing a prisoner to the risk of infection without any reason whatsoever not cruel and usual?

  14. Do you know the way to South Texas?”

    Posts like this are one way to get there.

  15. Josh implicitly asks why the DOJ’s expressions of regret on behalf of the Marshals Service were insufficient. Assuming that an apology from the DOJ, rather than the Marshals Service itself should be deemed appropriate, the answer to Josh’s question still seems obvious. At least as reported above, there is no indication that the the Marshals Service is committing to assign only vaccinated the Marshals to Judge Kormann’s courtroom.

    Commentator Dilan Esper made a sound suggestion that there should be a general rule requiring all Marshals to be vaccinated to guard against the spread of the coronavirus amongst prisoners (and amongst the court employees and jurors working within the confined spaces of federal court houses). Whether such a rule exists, Judge Kormann’s authority is broad enough for him to insist that Marshals in his courtroom be vaccinated. The unwillingness of the Marshals Service to accommodate Judge Kormann’s request the the Marshals in his courtroom confirm that they are vaccinated is a direct challenge to the authority of the courts. Judge Kormann may be overacting to the challenge. But it needs to be addressed.

    The Marshals Service should affirm Judge Kormann’s power to demand vaccinated Marshals in courtroom and accede to it. Judge Kormann should drop the contempt sideshow over the “kidnapping” of prisoners. And everyone should go back to work.

    1. “Judge Kormann’s authority is broad enough for him to insist that Marshals in his courtroom be vaccinated.”

      Does he inquiry about their other vaccinations? Measles, chicken pox can kill too, chicken pox is dangerous to adult fertility.

      You basically apply no limits to his authority.

      1. Does he inquiry about their other vaccinations? Measles, chicken pox can kill too, chicken pox is dangerous to adult fertility.

        Whether he does or doesn’t inquire about other conditions has no bearing on whether he has the authority to do so.

        If there were a measles epidemic I am sure he would ask about that as well.

        Judges have lots of leeway in their courtrooms.

        1. “Judges have lots of leeway in their courtrooms.”

          All authority has limits.

        2. Why?

      2. The actual problem is that you apparently are willing to give absolute authority over a court’s schedule to some low-level US Marshal who was not even confirmed by the Senate.

        1. The Judge is the one messing up the schedule.
          The Marshalls are doing their job. The Judge is playing county health inspector, except with more power.

    2. Policies on judicial security are set by the Director of the US Marshall Services in consultation with the Judicial Conference of the United States. By federal law, “[t]he United States Marshals Service retains final authority regarding security requirements for the judicial branch of the Federal Government.”

      The judge can probably ask about the vaccination status of anyone who comes into his courtroom and order them to leave if they’re not fully vaccinated. He doesn’t have the authority to order a US Marshal to leave a prisoner in their custody without another US Marshall being present.

  16. Once upon a time, we eradicated smallpox, and polio, because when vaccines for them were developed we did not have half-wits yapping about how it’s a conspiracy, my-body-my-rights, liberal media hoax, fake news, and did I mention vaccines cause autism.

    No, back in those days, it was understood that science was science and politics was politics, and everybody on all sides of the political spectrum joined together to eradicate smallpox and polio by getting vaccinated. Because eradicating disease was considered more important than listening to half wits.

    I miss those days.

    1. You still consumed by covid hysteria and sickness kabuki theatre and the cases, the cases, and the cases?

      1. “You still consumed by covid hysteria ”

        Millions of people have died from it, if there’s going to be a hysteria about anything this rates.

        1. No, millions of people have NOT died from it.

          Skydiver’s parachute breaks; dies of covid-19.

          1. About 4 million according to WHO.

            1. WHO is to be regarded with credibility?

              1. Yes, I regard the credibility of WHO far above internet poster LibertyMike.

                1. Well, to be fair, I could be in bed with the Chi-coms too.

                  1. I don’t mean this pejoratively, but you’ve got nothing going for you here. I’ve no reason to think you know what you’re talking about and you could have political bias skewing your conclusions. There are, however, good reasons to think the professionals who work at WHO know more about this area.

                    1. You do know that the CDC has acknowledged that there is distinction between the number of deaths of caused by covid and the number of deaths of people with covid? Stated alternatively, there are people who died of covid, and people who died with covid.

                      In my own practice, over the last 15 months, there have been 3 cases where death certificates were inaccurately prepared because covid was cited as a cause of death when, in each case, that was flat out wrong.

                    2. I’m sure statistics aren’t perfect, but they never are, it’s a best estimate from those with training and experience. Even granting some mistakes the number is huge.

          2. Skydiver’s parachute breaks; dies of covid-19.

            Right. It’s all a conspiracy brother mike.

            What about the people who don’t die, but are hospitalized but recover. Those all fake too? Of course you’ll just claim they were all hospitalized for some other reason.

            A the conspiracy is a global one too. All those dead and suffering people in India are all lying. And the dead in Italy all a hoax.

            The whole world is lying…but thankfully dead-enders are here to speak the “real truth” and aren’t falling for the great reset or whatever you geniuses are calling it this week

            1. The end of the world! Horrors of horrors!

              But, no need to fear, we have lockdowns and masks and shuttering the economy and suspending civil liberties.

              1. Your civil liberty got suspended? How did that happen? Oh, you must be an illegal alien. Or trans… or Muslim? Got yourself on the no-fly list? Oh, a felon probably. Sex offender? Wait no — you’ve found yourself in a padded cell and you don’t remember how you got there. Well, trust me, it’s for your own good.

      2. Uninformed, science-disdaining, anti-social, belligerently ignorant conservatives are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        Open wider, clingers. Your betters are not done with you. Not nearly.

    2. Sorry, but we have not eradicated – thanks to fundamentalist votaries of mohammed. And smallpox is arguable, as long as the CDC and Russian labs contain samples humanity is not safe.

    3. We eradicated polio? Ha! Actually, due to a relatively minor vaccine production error, we made polio forever ineradicable.

      1. No cases of polio have originated in the U.S. since 1979, and no one has come to the U.S. while infected with polio since 1993. It is only endemic to 6 countries in the world at this time – India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, and Niger. What are you referring to?

    4. And then people like you started treating fellow Americans like enemies and everyone decided they have nothing to gain by ever going along with anything you might want.

      1. Sounds to me like your the one treating Americans as enemies.

    5. No, back in those days, it was understood that science was science and politics was politics, and everybody on all sides of the political spectrum joined together to eradicate smallpox and polio by getting vaccinated.

      In 1952, the year that Salk was testing his vaccine, 21,000 people in the U.S. suffered paralysis from polio. That was about .01% of the population. Compare that with almost 0.2% of the U.S. population dying from COVID-19 over the last year. About the same number that annually die from cancer. Yet people did respond with fear of polio that resulted in basically everyone eager to get the vaccine once it came out.

      In some ways, the fact that COVID-19 doesn’t kill many children* but has higher fatality rates among seniors, works against the public health policy. People that are skeptical are quick to point to this as if people in their 70’s, or 80’s are on death’s door anyway, so it’s no big deal. Polio, on the other hand, seemed to target children in particular.

      *From an abstract in a Dec 2020 journal:
      Our analysis finds a exponential relationship between age and IFR for COVID-19. The estimated age-specific IFR is very low for children and younger adults (e.g., 0.002% at age 10 and 0.01% at age 25) but increases progressively to 0.4% at age 55, 1.4% at age 65, 4.6% at age 75, and 15% at age 85.

      1. Children can’t take actions needed to avoid getting polio.

        Seniors can take actions needed to avoid getting Covid.

        Do you see the difference?

    6. Krychek, you just displayed a shocking display of ignorance. The anti-vax movement is as old as vaccines. Look up the phrase “Bovine Syphillis”, which was a supposed side effect of the original smallpox vaccine.

      Louis Pasteur even did the final test of his anthrax vaccine for livestock in front of reporters to get out in front of such claims, and they still demanded he re-randomize the sheep in front of him. It wasn’t until the success of the rabies vaccine that Pasteur managed to quell some of his detractors.

  17. Everyone should be able to just say “no” to being needle-raped.

    1. Needle raped, lol. Man up and take the shot for Pete’s sake.

      1. A smart guy like you falls for the puerile propaganda promulgated by profligate PHARMA and its plutocratic partners?

        1. I go by what the relevant experts in a given field are saying, and I got the shot, it’s no big deal.

          1. How do you determine who is a relevant expert?

            What is the given field in this case, for you?

            1. Fields that deal with disease.

          2. … it’s no big deal.

            Well sure except for when the 5G towers magnetize you and prevents you from moving while Bill Gates comes by and fellates you.

            1. On the plus side, though, I wouldn’t ever lose my keys again.

      2. “needle-raped”

        I suspect that many of these antivaxxers are just smol beans afraid of needles. Perhaps the CDC could head off this problem by offering them a free lollipop.

        1. That would be outrageously unfair. I didn’t get a lollipop.

    2. Everyone should be able to just say “no” to being needle-raped.

      I would bet a large sum of money that you have received numerous vaccines throughout your life to this point. Yet now it’s needle-rape.

      1. None as an adult.

        1. But your parents allowed you to be needle raped many times? What terrible folks.

          1. They had their good qualities.

        2. Well, when you get to that developmental stage, let us know.

    3. How do people such as Libertymike survive the outrages of stop signs, school vaccination requirements, red lights, crosswalks, ‘no parking’ signs, income tax filing requirements, child welfare standards, speed limits, public nudity prohibitions, and the like?

      Life must be tough for a disaffected clinger in modern America.


    4. You can say “no” to anything you like — but then you cannot take responsibility for the health of other people.

  18. This putz judge is not entitled to protected health information. PERIOD. Wearing a dress does not entitle him to special rights.

    1. Nope.

      There is no such thing as “protected health information.” HIPAA does not apply to federal courts or judges.

      1. Sure. People have an innate right of privacy.

        HIPPA carves out some exceptions. That judge is no more entitled to know if that Marshall was vaccinated than where she is in her menstrual cycle.

        If some self-important government employee wants to impose ad-hoc restrictions on his work place, he should publicize them instead of invading privacy of people who ultimately do NOT work for him – the US Marshals Service is an Executive Branch agency.

        1. A telltale sign of a legal expert is someone who uses the non-acronym HIPPA.

          The statute that you clearly know nothing about — not even its name — does not “carve out exceptions.” It applies to a very narrow group of entities. It does not apply to (among the vast majority of categories) employers, retail businesses, airlines, neighbors, schools, or judges.

          1. And of course one of the forms of disclosure that is authorized even for covered entities is one pursuant to a court order.

  19. If there is not a SWAT team present, the prisoner is not dangerous.

    Take a look at court security when Theodore Kaczynski or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were present in court; that is how the Marshall Service acts when they have a truly dangerous prisoner.

    The fact that the vast majority of federal prisoners are held in camps which do not even have locked doors is evidence that the vast majority of federal prisoners are not “dangerous.” Again, there are a few who are, however, they are not escorted by a single marshall.

    One BOP employee told me she felt far safer working around most federal inmates than he did working at a corporate office.

    1. For the most part and in this case, the US Marshals handle detainees, not convicted prisoners. The BOP handles the prisoners.

    2. This was a homicide case in which the prisoner had killed his own brother.

  20. Here’s an example from a different angle of why we don’t let judges make decisions like this unilaterally. A jury pool member was complaining of chest pains, and the judge told the court officer to wait until the session was over to seek medical attention. The court officer rightly ignored the judge, and sought attention anyway.

    1. What does that have to do with anything?

    2. The difference between judges and physicians is that physicians don’t pretend to be judges.

      1. Hahahahaha.
        Oh, wait, you are serious? Let me laugh harder. Hahahahahahahahaha.

  21. COVID has killed over 600,000 people in the United States.

    The total number of federal employees who have been killed in the last 100 years by federal inmates can be counted on your fingers.

    Basic logic tells you which one is the true threat to the safety and security of a courtroom.

    Yet there are those who will tell you some guy who sneezed at the post office, or immigrants, or even criminals are more of a threat than a virus that has killed over 600,000 people in this country in the last 18 months.

    1. No, the Wuhan flu has not killed that many people. Fraudulent number.

      1. No, the Wuhan flu has not killed that many people. Fraudulent number.

        They are as fraudulent as the election results.

        1. “fraudulent as the election results.”
          Wow, talk about refuting your own argument

      2. And no criminal has ever killed anyone. Any time someone is shot and killed it was by law enforcement.

        See, I can play that game to.,

        1. You do not play it well.

          Tell us, English is not your native language?

      3. You’re full of shit.

    2. Doubtful, since for the last 16 months anyone who died with covid was listed as a covid death.

      And ultimately, the virus has a 99.7% survival rate.

      1. Every word you write is a lie. Stick to making up stuff about “HIPPA.”

  22. The marshals are dangerous–not the prisoners.

    The prisoners must be presumed dangerous. Imagine the chaos if a marshal assumed that a prisoner was not dangerous, and the prisoner killed someone in court.

    1. And an individual who does not provide proof of vaccination must be PRESUMED to be a lethal threat to anyone in the same structure.

      1. You’re welcome to stay home and mask up if you venture out. The rest of us understand risk.

        1. You get to whine all day long, buckeup, but you will toe the line established by your betters.

          Thank you for your compliance, clinger.

        2. Was the prisoner welcome to stay home?
          If you want to exert authority over someone by detaining him, you have a complementary obligation to attempt to guarantee his safety.

      2. Wow. That is just stupid.

        Why don’t we demand proof of immunity to any number of other contagious diseases? Can you PROVE that you are not coughing XDR-TB in the courtroom? Are the accused, attorneys, judge, reporter, and most importantly, witnesses and jury all able prove they are not spreading polio, or AIDS, or EEE?

        Personally, being unable to prove vaccination status sounds like a hell of a way to avoid federal jury service, which in my limited experience was far more tedious and unpleasant than that in a State court.

        1. Have we recently had half a million people die from polio or TB in this nation?

          1. No, but we haven’t had a half-million people die from COVID, either. We had people die WITH covid. Not from it

            1. I like that the counter-arguments are this dumb. Keep it up! Way to discredit the anti-vax movement!

    2. So the judges opinion is that the Marshal is dangerous and the accused is not?

      I’ve seen some federal prisoners who might dispute that.

  23. Well, Mr. Blackman,

    If I were you, I would be very concerned about the idea of the Executive Branch ignoring orders from the Judicial Branch.

    Say, if the Supreme Court says the ACA is unconstitutional, and the Biden Administration says, “thanks for your opinion, but nope, you have no authority over us.”

  24. Say, if the Supreme Court says the ACA is unconstitutional, and the Biden Administration says, “thanks for your opinion, but nope, you have no authority over us.”

    IIRC, Obama refused to restart Gulf Drilling after Judges declared his ban violated the law. An appeal judge refused to overturn the judges order, and Obama still refused to allow oil rigs to start up.

    I guess democracy did not collapse. Maybe media ignoring the story is a type of immunization against the collapse of democracy

  25. If a medical practitioner cannot obtain sufficient medical (history) information to assure himself that administration of the flu shot is medically sound, he cannot lawfully administer the flu shot.
    What if no medical practitioner has the lawful authority to administer a flu shot (a/k/k an “ephemeral CoViD vaccine”) to a given individual? Does that somehow mean that the _individual_ has “wrongfully refused” the flu shot?

    GINA prohibits [employer] inquiry into family medical history and ADA prohibits [employer] inquiry into personal medical history; therefore, a medical practitioner working for or on behalf of an employer might be unable to administer a flu shot (and would be prohibited from disclosing both the non-administration and reason therefor to the employer). Extending this scenario to a Court (which presumably doesn’t employ its own medical personnel) presents a few different twists.

    I happen to be one of the millions allergic to an ingredient in at least one flu shot. I’d hate to think I couldn’t use or be employed by the federal court system due to my allergy.

    As a practical matter, how long will this flu shot fetish continue? At the moment, the lack of booster shot checking — the lack of recognition that a flu shot (unlike, say, smallpox or polio vaccination) is ephemeral — is rather amusing: the firstly jabbed are past booster time… yet proudly cling to their now-expired credentials. These ignorant firstly jabbed are rewarded solely ‘cuz we all be in this togeth’r.

    1. Not sure why you don’t know the difference between influenza and coronavirus.

  26. This happened in May, in South Dakota.

    I know in Iowa, you could find vaccine, on a walk in basis by early April.
    In this court room, I can assume all the vulnerable are vaccinated, if not they should not be there.
    Inmates were given priority in lots of states, I assume since the judge allowed the inmates in the court room, all the inmates had been vaccinated.
    All personnel under the Judges control must all be vaccinated. The Defense and Prosecuting lawyers must also be vaccinated. Or the judge would have booted them before the inmates were led in.

    Exactly who is at risk?

    Me thinks the Judge is trying to virtue signal. It sure has nothing to do with safety.

    1. I think that’s a fair analysis. If he was seriously policing the courtroom regarding vaccination he wouldn’t be doing it like this, asking a marshal in the courtroom if they’ve been vaccinated, AFTER they have already been in the courtroom and exposed to the prisoners, lawyers, et. al.

      Unless he was an idiot, of course.

    2. “I know in Iowa, you could find vaccine, on a walk in basis by early April.”

      If you’re a prisoner, it can be a bit harder to find things on a “walk-in basis”.

  27. I presume that Judge Snowflake’s orders are unreasonable, but of course it’s the U. S. Marshals’ job to enforce court orders, including I would presume some unreasonable ones (I mean, given the number of orders issued, odds are that *some* are wrong).

    I wonder if the marshals will simply exempt themselves from the general obligation to obey court orders. Or more plausibly, they’ll ask whatever appeals court presides over the area to stop the proceedings.

    Or will we have to watch a U. S. marshal arresting him/herself for contempt and dragging him/herself off to prison?

  28. Love all the concern about HIPPA.

    Just for the record, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is abbreviated HIPAA.

  29. Has anybody seen any source where a Federal Judge has authority to file criminal charges? Where’s the Art III case or controversy? Where would he get the authority to appoint a special prosecutor?

    1. Nobody — at least, nobody with a sensible, informed understanding of this circumstance — has mentioned criminal charges.

      The indicated issue is contempt of court. Civil contempt. Anyone with a Google-compatible device should be able to find plenty of sources of information and authority in that regard.

      Other than that, though — great comment!

      1. Actually, criminal contempt is also a thing, and well within a judge’s authority. And both can involve jail.

        Civil contempt means a curable penalty (ie pay $1000 a day until you comply, or sit in jail until you answer the question).

        Criminal contempt is a penalty for misconduct (i.e. you cussed at me, so pay $1000, or you raised your fists so spend the night in jail)

      2. “Nobody — at least, nobody with a sensible, informed understanding of this circumstance — has mentioned criminal charges.”

        That’s certainly true, but the judge has, if you bother to click on the ABA journal link:

        “U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann of the District of South Dakota announced criminal charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and contempt of court against the three marshals after they appeared at a hearing Monday on civil contempt charges, report the Aberdeen News, the Associated Press, Forum News Service and the Washington Post.

        Kornmann said he will appoint a prosecutor if the U.S. attorney declines to prosecute.”

        “Other than that, though — great comment!”

        Thank you!

        1. OK, based on my mad twitter and google skills it appears that Rule 42 purports to allow judges to appoint a prosecutor if the government declines to prosecute a criminal contempt charge.

          But in the future it would be helpful if the fancy pedigreed folks would try to keep up.

  30. Democrat. Check.
    Clinton Judge. Check.
    Unnecessary virtue signaling. Check.
    Unlawful use of power. Check.
    Seems to be all in order. System is working fine. What is the problem again?

    1. “What is the problem again?”

      You weren’t fitted with a muzzle.

  31. These right-wing rubes have been properly lathered by Prof. Blackman. It appears the cause of advancing disaffected, doomed movement conservatism at a White, male blog is positioned to survive the main generation of Volokh Conspirators.

    I hope the ankles of our liberal-libertarian mainstream can withstand all of that incessant nipping by the culture war’s casualties.

  32. So I’m clear, the new MAGA party line is that the executive branch should get to decide whether to follow orders from judges? Very… ummm… conservative. I guess.

    As for the why, I guess it’s up to our collective imagination, and presumably no more sophisticated than “COVID safety = bad” since there isn’t a word of argument in the post.

    1. Overreaching orders that have no basis in reality, exaggerating risks beyond anything reasonable in order to exert authority that does not exist and breaching deep into private matters that the court has no business delving into?

      Yes, it is very conservative to think this is crossing the line.

    2. “get to decide whether to follow orders from judges?”

      That judge asking the marshal in open court if she is vaccinated and then telling her to do something is no more a judges “order” than the ham sandwich he ordered for lunch.

      He has no business asking. If it is a requirement to be vaccinated to appear in his court in any capacity, then there should have been advanced notice, and a written policy and procedure. Would proof be required? Would it cover the entire building? Would it apply to anyone an everyone the marshal comes into contact with, including on the way to work and at home? Is it even legal for him to do so? Who knows?

      He’s a judge, not a king or a god.

  33. Wikipedia informs me that the Judge was born in 1937, which may have some bearing on the issue.

  34. Isn’t medical information privileged?

    1. No. Medical professionals have an ethical obligation not to share their patients private information (medical or not), that is what we call “privilege”. As far as I can gather from these accounts, nobody in that courtroom was a medical professional, so no issue of privilege was in play.

      1. “that is what we call ‘privilege'”

        That is NOT what we call “privilege”. Privilege means that a person cannot be required to divulge information, not that they have an obligation not to answer.
        It used to be, a plaintiff could go to court to try to learn the identity of a reporter’s sources, and journalistic ethics said that the reporter wasn’t supposed to reveal sources without permission from the source to do so. This meant that reporters could find themselves jailed for following their professional ethics. Many states passed “journalist shield” laws to prevent this from happening, because source identities are now privileged information. See the difference?

  35. Even outside a courtroom, in any social interaction, given that different people have different perceptions of and tolerance for risks, minimum standards of courtesy dictate that when someone asks you your vaccination status, you answer honestly, and when someone asks you to put on a mask, you do. Nobody is entitled to take risks with other people’s health, especially not when they are on the clock as these marshals were. Refusing to answer a judge is even more outrageous. Not being vaccinated isn’t a crime, so the marshals had no right to refuse to answer. I think we should just conclude that refusing to answer was itself contempt of court and stop the analysis there.

    1. So much for the right of privacy. I suppose when they ask for your medical records, you should just hand them over.

      1. Your privacy ends where my immune system begins.

  36. I don’t have an issue with a judge asking or requiring that anyone entering their court room be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and if they are not, requiring them to leave. However federal law expressly grants the US Marshall Services and not the judiciary the final authority on matters of security requirements for the judicial branch and their policy – which was created in consultation with the Judicial Conference of the United States – is that a US marshall must be present with a prisoner that they transport at all times. If a judge is going to require the marshal to leave their court then unless there is another marshal available, the prisoner they transported has to go with them.

  37. I don’t object to an owner of premises requiring vaccination OR alternate methods of protection. But the judge is not the owner of the courtroom.

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