The Legal Project on behalf of 'Zombie Mohammed' calls for Judge Mark Martin to be removed from Bench for his Violation of First Amendment Protections
by Sam Nunberg • Sep 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm
PHILADELPHIA, September 10, 2012 – The Legal Project (LP), an activity of the Middle East Forum, today filed a formal request with the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board for an investigation into the judicial misconduct of Cumberland County Magisterial District Judge Mark W. Martin. The LP filed in the matter of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Talaag Elbayomy on behalf of Ernest Perce V, the victim of Talaag Elbayomy's harassment during a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg on October 11, 2011 where Mr. Perce was dressed in a 'Zombie Mohammed' costume.
On December 6, 2011 Judge Martin dismissed the harassment charges against Talaag Elbayomy. Judge Martin's ruling received national attention when the trial transcript showed Martin called Mr. Perce a "doofus" and incorrectly described first amendment jurisprudence as not protecting Mr. Perce's free speech because, as he said, "our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to p—off other people and cultures—which is what you did." He also put a special emphasis on Talaag Elbayomy's Islamic faith and anti-blasphemy Sharia laws as a rationale for Elbayomy's physical assault on Mr. Perce. In a March 4, 2012 interview Judge Martin even admitted to using his bench to "educate the victim to try to help him understand a little bit about Islam." However, the arresting officer Police Sgt. Brian Curtis disagreed, and continues to disagree with Judge Martin, standing by his arrest of Talaag Elbayomy on harassment charges, stating "I believe that I brought a case that showed proof beyond reasonable doubt, and the case was dismissed, and I was disappointed."
While the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board (Board) has privately rebuked Judge Martin for his ruling, The Legal Project's filing with the Board is the only complaint filed on behalf of the victim Mr. Perce. The Legal Project also has called for the Board to re-examine this matter and remove Judge Martin from the bench.
"Judge Martin's ruling was an egregious assault on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. He used his bench as a bully pulpit to enforce Islamic anti-blasphemy laws, show special deference to a defendant because he is Muslim, and allow a crime to be perpetrated because he didn't agree with the victim's Constitutionally protected speech," said Sam Nunberg, Director of The Legal Project. "The Board should not allow Judge Martin to complete his term, which lasts until 2018."
Nunberg added, "Judge Martin's judicial misconduct is part of a larger and unfortunate trend to bring Sharia law into our American court system. However it has never been enforced so clearly by ignoring the First Amendment. It is imperative that a judge who makes these unconstitutional rulings be removed."
The Legal Project, as an activity of the Middle East Forum, works to protect the universal right in the West to freely discuss Islam, radical Islam, terrorism, and terrorist funding. Our international client list includes journalists, bloggers, authors and politicians.
The Legal Project's submission may be found here:
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