I would have taken a picture of the preppiest gentleman arrested on March 3rd at the courthouse yesterday, but cameras and cell phones were not allowed. So I'll have to go with this photo from the Brooks Brothers website (which is not nearly as lovely as the shade of coral he was wearing).
The men and women who were arrested had their day in court yesterday - well, actually their first of a number of days. Today was an administrative date to meet with the judge and set the pending court dates for the defense attorneys to request dismissal of the case, the prosecution to respond, a motions date, and finally a trial date. I think I have that right. LOL!
I believe the official charge was trespassing at the Capitol. There were about 4-5 lawyers representing the 30 people arrested and lots of personalities giving lots of hints today as to how it may unfold. It is simultaneously exciting and unnerving, particularly if your only concern is that the Capitol steps be returned to the people of Virginia for (peaceful) assembly and freedom of speech.
The MOST IMPORTANT THING that came out of the courtroom today is the news that the men and women arrested are now able to again go on the grounds at the Capitol. The prosecution requested the judge remove this restriction set by the magistrate (there was confusion as to why this restriction was ever placed on them) and Judge Cheek removed the restriction, as long as each person agreed to uphold the laws of Virginia and every other state. I was a little confused as to why our national laws weren't thrown into the mix, but I figure that's probably just my CPA brain wanting all the details neatly tied up with a bow on top.
Watching a courtroom in action could definitely be a good sporting event if you like watching people. The body language, the ordering around, the stumping for air time. Fascinating. I have never spent time in a courtroom and have never really thought much about how much our judiciary branch and penal system is so deeply filled with dominating, male energy. Perhaps this is part of the reason we say "penal system" ;-) Sorry - I couldn't resist a good penal joke.
I'll write a little more about the power trip on display later, but for tonight just be thrilled along with me that all the citizens are once again allowed to walk on the capitol grounds!