Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

Translation:
The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta

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Ancient History

|Law and Order

Marine Held in Mexico Update

Andrew Tahmooressi

Yesterday, the Mexican judicial system held its third hearing in the case of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi. The federal prosecutor and Tahmooressi’s defense attorney, Fernando Benitez, presented selected clips of surveillance footage taken from 18 security cameras showing his entry into Mexico and arrest on March 31. The Marine reservist was not permitted to attend, nor were any reporters allowed in the courtroom during the eight-hour proceeding.

As Legal Insurrection has previously reported, Tahmooressi claims that he did not intend to drive into Mexico, but there was no exit accessible to him before arriving at the border patrol station in San Ysidro. He says that he then tried to alert the customs officials that he had legal firearms in his vehicle and wished to turn around to return to the US.

In an interview with Fox News, Benitez gave his perspective on the hearing: “We are happy with the results because we can conclusively state that our client told the truth all along.”

He added:

“You can clearly see that my client’s demeanor from the beginning is calm, he is cooperative,” Benitez told Fox Wednesday. “He is clearly motioning … that he wants to go back and motions that the guns are hidden in a certain place and he cooperates with his captors.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:

Mexican prosecutors have maintained silence, save for a “fact sheet” outlining the charges issued through the federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City in June. The statement stressed that “this is not a political or diplomatic issue. It is strictly a judicial issue that will be resolved by the Mexican federal courts.” Most accounts of the proceedings have come through Tahmooressi’s attorney, who has been granting interviews and posting information on Twitter.

Tuesday’s court proceeding was the third evidentiary hearing in the case, and likely not the last. Unlike the two previous hearings, Tahmooressi did not attend, and reportedly remained behind bars at El Hongo State Penitentiary outside Tecate. His mother, Jill Tahmooressi, arrived in a U.S. government vehicle, entering through a side door alongside Michael Veasy, consular chief at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana as well as the family’s adviser, Philip Dunn, of the nonprofit group Serving California.

Ultimately, there was no resolution to the case as a result of the evidence introduced. Benitez plans to file more motions, seeking to get the case dismissed on grounds such as an improper arrest procedure and the need for his client to get treatment for his PTSD acquired in his two tours of Afghanistan.

However, no new hearings have been scheduled.

In the meantime, a bill introduced in Congress, HR620 by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) has gained 61 cosponsors.

It concludes:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives
that–
(1) the Government of Mexico should immediately release
United States Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi and provide for
his swift return to the United States so Sgt. Tahmooressi can
receive the appropriate medical assistance for his medical
condition; and
(2) the President of the United States should utilize the
full powers and authorities of his office to immediately secure
the release of United States Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.

UPDATE: Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi’s defense attorney Fernando Benitez appeared on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren this evening and announced that he will be returning to court on the 29th to present video footage of the route that Tahmooressi took from the parking lot where he got into his car to the border station where he was arrested in San Ysidro.

[this post originally appeared at LegalInsurrection.com]

|America | Prudence Potpourri

The Sweet Story Behind the Marine Escort Photo

This charming photo of a handsome Marine escorting a young lady to a dance has been circulating around Twitter for a while with a tweet saying the girl had been bullied. But when the dashing Marine became her gallant escort to the Cinderella Ball, the evening was understandably bully-free.

Marine Escort to the Cinderella Ball

It turns out there’s much more behind the photo, however.

Every year since 2006, an organization called The House Inc Student Leadership Center has hosted “A Cinderella Ball” for military children living with disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. Not just one girl gets to walk through an archway formed by 40 crisply dressed Marines with their swords held high; all the kids get the fantasy treatment that evening.

MarineBall2

A press release describes the event as “a fairy-­tale prom experience” for the kids in grades 4 thru 12:

The Ball features entertainment, dancing, awards and banquet for children who otherwise may not experience this type of social engagement. A Cinderella Closet precedes the annual event, where each student guests receives his or her choice of prom apparel. They arrive on a red carpet, through a Marine ceremonial sword arch, to the Ball where Cinderella is waiting inside.

A Patch reporter’s description of the 2012 Cinderella Closet event makes it clear the mere act of selecting their ball attire (which is donated by people from around the the country and given to the children to keep) is almost as much giddy fun as the ball itself:

The students also experience the “Cinderella treatment” of being transformed into a prince or princess with volunteers ready to help each and every student find the perfect outfit and professional seamstresses ready to make alterations.

Once they pick out and try on the dress/tux they want, each student is escorted by one of The House’s volunteers—mostly students who are part of the center’s leadership programs—down a red carpet to the applause of the whole room. He or she is then taken to the accessory tables where girls are assisted in choosing from an array of jewelry, gloves, tiaras or headpieces, shoes and purses, and the boys have their pick of vests, ties, cufflinks, shoes, and pocket handkerchiefs.

At the shoes table, one of the volunteers was giving lessons to a girl on how to walk in high heels. “We have mastered the high heels,” she proclaimed triumphantly as they walked towards the girl’s family….

A blind boy felt his way through the tuxes and another girl using a cane practiced walking on high heels. Two other girls, hand-in-hand, were perusing the jewelry table, while a girl with Down Syndrome in a hot pink dress peered closely at herself in a full-length mirror.

Past years’ balls have featured entertainment from performers such as Mary Mary, Jordin Sparks and Rueben Stoddard.

As The House president Helen McCormick said, “Less than one percent of Americans dutifully serve in uniform today but bear 100 percent of the burden of defending our nation.” It’s lovely that this special population in the military community gets an evening devoted to them for all their families do.

The House, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions for A Cinderella Ball. The 2014 event will be held on June 8 at The Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, DC, with Rep. Tammy Duckworth serving as the honorary chairman.