Article 15 – Judges

1. The purpose of this article is to implement a mechanism through which violations and concerns of the people are addressed and to prevent the corruption of the complaints process.

2. A distributed TAU Court System will be implemented on the TAU network. Judges will be appointed in cities, counties, states and on the federal level.

3. There will be no formal court rooms or formal hearings. Judges will consider cases filed online and they will rule according to the evidence contained in the petition. The only cases that will be adjudicated by TAU-Judges will be cases that assert that elected officials violated their oaths of office, the principles of The American Universe, the U.S. Constitution, or local laws and constitutions.

4. In the case where a citizen wishes to have a complaint or petition heard, the citizen should file the petition online where it will be heard (read) by a judge of similar jurisdiction than the office where the alleged violation occurred. The filing will be made to TAU online courts and the local judge will consider the petition within a reasonable time, publishing the ruling online as an answer to the petition. The petitioner will have the right to appeal to a higher TAU court. Judges may ask for more information before making a ruling, give the defendant an opportunity to submit a response, or make a ruling outright.

5. Cases for appeal may work their way up the hierarchy until the TAU federal court gives a final verdict.

6. Rulings of TAU judges will not be legally binding. It is up to TAU citizens to consider a ruling and base their followup actions on their conscience and the ruling. The people must assume the responsibility of their actions for their country and future.

A typical case:
An elected official votes for a bill that appears to violate his/her oath of office, the U.S. Constitution, a local law or constitution, or the TAU-Constitution. A petitioner lodges a complaint against the official with the local TAU-Court, providing supporting detail, such as video, audio, and / or documentation of the alleged violation. The judge may elect to give the defendant-official an opportunity to comment on the petition.

The local TAU-Judge considers the case and finds that the official either was or was not in violation of these principles. If the petitioner feels the ruling of the TAU-Judge was unjust, an appeal can be lodged with the next higher court, which cannot refuse to consider the case.

A court must be at the same or higher level as the office in which the violation occurred. For instance, a city court judge cannot be the final ruler of a violation that occurred at the office of a county official. Complaints may be filed directly at the same level that the alleged offense occurred, so a complaint by a state elected official may be filed directly to the state-level TAU-Court.

If the court determines that the official was in violation of the principles, it will be sufficient evidence that the offending official has compromised his/her oath of office and the offending official can be recalled — within the confines of the U.S. statutes that govern recalls — or suffer defeat in a future election. The citizens of TAU will take such a violation of the incumbent into consideration when voting.

Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the voters may choose to institute impeachment proceedings to remove the official from office. It will be incumbent upon the judge in the case to assess the seriousness of the offense and state whether it is an impeachable offense or not, which determination is subject to appeal to a higher TAU court.

Officials that are not citizens of The American Universe will not have standing to provide argument in a case or petition in the TAU courts unless invited by the presiding judge to provide input in a particular case. Submissions by officials, whether they are TAU citizens or not, who are defendants in cases will ordinarily not be denied by a judge.

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