Douglas Vogt filed something with the US District Court in Seattle, and asked that it be assigned a case number. Judge Robart issued an order to show cause why the case shouldn’t be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Yesterday, in an answer to the Judge’s order, Vogt claims that what he filed isn’t a case after all.
Well, we all knew that. Even though not invoking the jurisdiction of the court, somehow Vogt thinks that the Court is “bound” by something—he mentions the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which talk about rights retained by the states and the people, and don’t mention courts. Specifically, Vogt demands a statement from the Court that he is discharged from any obligation to report his bogus felony and treason charges, and he demands that the Court convene a grand jury to investigate those charges. As birther plaintiffs have done in the past, Vogt invokes a duty, but never shows how any law imposes it.
Judge Robart in his order to show cause made it abundantly clear that the law does not allow private citizens to compel a criminal prosecution, a point lost on Vogt (and his ghost-writing legal helper reported to be Montgomery Blair Sibley).
As for discharging Vogt of his imagined legal obligation to report a felony, the court papers he filed are ample evidence that he reported what he reported. The Court is under no obligation, nor I think does it have jurisdiction to make such a declaration as to the innocence of Vogt in some hypothetical future prosecution. It reminds me of the lawsuit where Steven Lee Craig wanted the court to declare him a natural born citizen. In that case the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Craig v. United States on jurisdictional grounds. Just as Craig had no legally cognizable right to be declared a natural born citizen, Vogt has no cognizable right to be declared discharged from his obligations under the Misprision statutes, nor to have a grand jury convened as the result of his filing with the Court.
Vogt cites the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 6(a) that requires a grand jury to be summoned in the public interest, but it is the Court that decides what is in the public interest, and not Douglas Vogt. Vogt makes a whiny rant about how important his claims are, and how the deck is stacked in favor of the government in the age of an emasculated grand jury system and how the Court is the last hope to save America from the usurper.
Vogt’s Answer extends the claim that the Court has an obligation to refer the matter to a grand jury to say that the Court is also obligated to appoint an independent counsel to guide the grand jury. While there is authority under US law for the appointment of an independent counsel by the judiciary, such as mentioned in 28 USC § 592-3, application for an independent counsel is made by the Attorney General, not a private citizen. And here we get back to a central defect of Vogt’s action—he is a private citizen, not a prosecutor.
So with this Answer filed, we may await the court’s scholarly refutation, which will probably not use the term “whiny” as I did. The duty of the federal courts in this case, as stated in Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3), is: “If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
The opinions expressed in this article should not be considered legal advice. I am not a lawyer.
The case was dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on November 14.