- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 2, 2001

Noble: The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, for rightly refusing to free the master of demagoguery, the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Mr. Sharpton has been behind bars for nearly a week, following his May Day arrest, along with three politicians from the Bronx, for trespassing on the U.S. Navy bombing range on the island of Vieques. Possibly because of Mr. Sharpton´s dozen or so arrests and three jailings, or maybe merely because of his obnoxious persona and manner, Jude Jose Antonio Fuste sentenced Mr. Sharpton to 40 to 90 days in jail.

Perhaps recognizing that he had neither the merit nor the talent to produce "A Letter From A Bronx Jail," Mr. Sharpton instead wrote an appeal from his Bronx jail. In a decision of rather poetic justice, the court turned him down.

Given the nature of the causes pursued by Mr. Sharpton, the court astonishingly decided the case on its merits. It claimed that Mr. Sharpton and his partners in crime had not demonstrated that their appeal would result in a reversal or a new trial, and suggested that there was a possibility he would flee if released on bail. Unfortunately, (maybe because the court is in Boston), it scheduled an expedited hearing on the appeal.

In the meantime, Mr. Sharpton continues to languish behind bars. He claims to have been on a hunger strike since early Tuesday, although no one has yet claimed to have noticed a change in his waistline. The latter might have something to do with the fact that one of Mr. Sharpton´s most recent sit-down crusades was at a bar in Florida.

Judging by the current state of the process, the court would do well to continue to consider the merits of Mr. Sharpton´s case, hopefully for another 80 or so days.

Knave: Former Michigan Republican State Senator David Jaye, for his astonishing attempt to procure unemployment benefits.

There is no doubt that Mr. Jaye needs a job only last week, the Michigan Senate tossed him out of his $77,400 state senator´s salary for accumulating a rap sheet that only individuals like Rev. Sharpton could envy.

The resolution that led to Mr. Jaye´s inadvertent unemployment listed his numerous offenses, including: Three misdemeanor drunken driving convictions, an arrest for battery (read, "beating up") of his fiancee, another "public physical altercation with his fiancee," an arrest for violating the driving conditions of his already restricted license and storing "sexually explicit material on his Senate-owned laptop to which Senate staff members were exposed in the performance of their official duties."

Given his remarkable record of lawbreaking, it is astonishing that Mr. Jaye found time to make any laws whatsoever, a worry that ended after his expulsion last week.

Undaunted, Mr. Jaye has vowed to fight on, just as soon as he can arrange $300 in weekly unemployment. That may take a while, since, demonstrating the same quality of judgment as the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Michigan officials have denied Mr. Jaye´s claims.

Perhaps Mr. Jaye should have Mr. Sharpton write his next appeal.

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