STATEMENT CONCERNING ORAL ARGUMENT
As I possess absolutely no formal legal training whatsoever, I cannot see how involving myself in oral argument could possibly serve any useful end.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Statement of Oral Argument i
Table of Contents ii
Table of Authorities iii
Jurisdictional Statement iv
Statement of Issues v
Statement of the Case 1
Statement of Facts 2
Summary of the Argument 3
Certificate of Service 29
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
I’m afraid I don’t understand what this means. I possess absolutely no expertise in this area.
Not being an attorney, having no legal training whatsoever, and having been denied the legal representation of a court-appointed attorney, I am in no manner qualified to speak to the issue of jurisdiction.
Accordingly, I shall state here for the record that the court to whom this brief is addressed is the court to which my case was referred by the powers that be when, within the legally required time frame, I filed my Notice of Appeal with the office of P.L. Brune, the clerk of the United States District Court for the Western Division of the Western District of Missouri, where the original complaint had been filed against me by U.S. Attorney’s office in the spring of 2000.
STATEMENT OF ISSUES
Did the District Court err in overlooking the underlying intent of those lawmakers who originally framed the student loan program in question, thereby thwarting framers’ original intent?
Did the District Court err in disregarding the causal relationship between the seminary’s defrauding the defendant and his consequent inability to pay off his student loan?
Did the District Court err in disregarding the uniquely protected (“sacred cow”) status of religious institutions in American society, thereby laying inappropriate expectations upon the defendant with regard to his actions and/or inaction toward the seminary in question?
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Defendant, forced to represent himself pro se, is in no wise qualified to offer a “statement of the case” adequate to the occasion. Having perused a number of “sample” briefs, I must confess to near total befuddlement as to what the Court’s expectation here might be. I therefore respectfully refer the reader to the available court documents filed in the instant case - in particular my initial August 24, 2000 Answer to the plaintiff’s counsel’s April 25, 2000 Complaint against me.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The following is a statement of the non-disputed facts in this case as quoted verbatim from the “background” section of Hon. Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr.’s September 7, 2001 order granting petitioner’s Motion for Summary Judgment in this case.
On August 15, 1983, the defendant, Galen Green executed and delivered a Guaranteed Student Loan promissory note to Anchor Savings Association for $5,000. This loan was guaranteed by United Student Aid Funds, Inc. and was also reinsured by the Department of Education under loan guaranty programs authorized under Title IV-B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended 20 U.S.C. : 1071 et seq. (34 C.F.R. Part 682). Defendant defaulted on the loan on April 12, 1985 and the holder filed a claim on the guarantee. The guaranty agency then paid a claim in the amount of $5,311.70 to the holder. The guarantor was then reimbursed for that claim payment by the Department of Education under its reinsurance agreement. The guarantor attempted to collect the debt from the borrower but was unsuccessful. On October 21, 1991, the guarantor assigned its right and title to the loan to the Department of Education. The instant suit was filed by the United States on April 25, 2000.
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
The District Court erred in overlooking the underlying intent of those lawmakers who originally framed the student loan program in question, thereby thwarting framers’ original intent.
The District Court erred when it applied the Olavarrieta decision (1987) to the substantively different circumstances in the Green case, disregarding the causal relationship that has existed here between the seminary’s defrauding the defendant and his consequent inability to pay off his student loan (such causality being totally absent from Olavarrieta’s situation).
The District Court erred in disregarding the uniquely protected (“sacred cow”) status of religious institutions in American society, thereby laying inappropriate expectations upon the defendant with regard to his actions and/or inaction toward the seminary in question.
This case is, as much as anything, about safeguarding the future of the plaintiff (i.e. the U.S. Dept. of Education) by safeguarding the rights of future student loan recipients, those talented, hard-working students whose economic disadvantage not only makes it necessary for them to borrow money from the government to struggle toward some small measure of upward social mobility but also leaves them vulnerable to the very type of victimization by corrupt, negligent or intellectually lazy parties to whom, in 1984, the defendant in this case haplessly fell prey. (See Defense Exhibits A thru Q, with particular attention to Exhibits Q and R, Defendant’s Sworn Statements, Parts 1 & 2.)
The District Court erred in overlooking the underlying intent of those lawmakers who originally framed the student loan program in question, thereby thwarting the framers’ original intent.
Counsel for the plaintiff has argued (and the lower court has agreed) that this case is about an unpaid debt, plain and simple. But it is not. It is verifiably not. Instead, it is about (among other things) one of the overlooked details in an imperfect system of educational aid for poor students, framed as part of LBJ’s vision for a Great Society in the mid-1960’s, entitled the HEA (Higher Education Act). The clear intention behind this act was to provide talented, hard-working but economically deprived students such as Mr. Green with the opportunity for a least some measure of upward social mobility. One of several factors it did not incorporate into its language was the unspoken understanding that students defrauded in the way Mr. Green was in 1984 not to be made to suffer downward economic and social mobility as a result of the actions of others.
Counsel for the plaintiff has also argued (and the lower court has agreed) that Mr. Green had some sort of legal obligation to take up the issue of his unpaid student loan with the seminary itself. Such a contention rings hollow and relies on the wrong paradigm. The seminary’s relationship with the government is, instead, analogous to a hospital’s relationship with the government when it receives Medicare reimbursement payments for patient care. Let us think of two equilateral triangles, side-by-side. The one represents opposing counsel’s mistaken premise that the government (the plaintiff, the U.S.D.E.) has no dog in the fight between Mr. Green and the seminary. The other triangle represents the defendant’s more accurate premise that the government does, indeed, have a dog in the fight between Mr. Green and the seminary, because the second triangle has at its 3 equal angles: the government, Mr. Green and the seminary. Its 3 equal sides illustrate the flow of money. As in the case of a hospital which is the ultimate recipient (and, therefore, beneficiary) of government money, so the seminary was the ultimate recipient and beneficiary of the government money which merely flowed through Mr. Green’s bank account, briefly and insubstantially, to arrive in the seminary’s coffers, which is to say the coffers of the United Methodist Church. In a very real, substantive, palpable sense, Mr. Green merely served as a hapless conduit for the siphoning of government money into the church’s corrupt coffers. (Just as a hospital patient merely serves as the conduit for government money in the form of Medicare reimbursement payments received by a modern hospital corporation and, thereby, ultimately benefiting that hospital corporation and not the patient.)
When a hospital commits Medicare fraud by failing to provide the patient care contracted for, the government very much sees itself as having a dog in that fight. Analogously, when a seminary commits consumer fraud by failing to provide the due process contracted for, the government very much has a dog in the fight which ensues - whether the government has been aware of that dog (or even that fight) in the past or not.
If a seminary or other institution involved in the U.S.D.E.’s Guaranteed Student Loan program can terminate a highly competent student’s academic career by labeling his or her competence as incompetence, what’s to stop them from giving D’s to an A student or A’s to a D student? Nothing! And what’s to protect a competent candidate for the Methodist ministry, for instance, from becoming the hapless victim of the whims, lazy-mindedness and/or unabashed favoritism of a less than competent seminary faculty? Nothing! And if no legal remedy is available to prevent these abuses - these bait & switch consumer frauds against students (as paying customers) often unable to aggressively pursue their causes of action against the offending vendors (as was unfortunately the case in my case), then how can the U.S.D.E.’s laudable Guaranteed Student Loan program, with its inspiring potential for strengthening and enriching America’s democratic fiber, have much of a future at all? In other words, if the last, best hope of a poor boy to raise himself out of the degradation of the poverty into which he’s been born (or rather adopted) can be savagely dashed by the whims of a corrupt college faculty, thus grinding him down into an even more hopeless, degrading poverty, then of what democratizing use is the Guaranteed Student Loan program? This question lies at the heart of this case.
Independent of the issue of whether or not the District Court’s 9/7/01 decision in U.S. v. Green thwarted the intent of the framers of the U.S.D.E.’s GSL program is the issue of the applicability of the decision in the 1987 case of U.S. v. Olavarrieta.
In his 9/7/01 Summary Judgment Order, Judge Gaitan stated the following:
“The Government also notes that defendant argues that his contract with the St. Paul School of Theology creates a cause of action for consumer fraud which defendant argues provides him with a defense to repayment of his loan. The Government however argues that whatever misconduct the St. Paul School of Theology may have engaged in had no bearing on defendant’s contractual obligation to the Department of Education to repay his student loan. The Government cites to United States v. Olavarrieta, 812 F 2d 640, 643 (11th Cir.) cert. denied, 484 U.S. 851 (1987) as support for this proposition in which the court stated:
Olavarrieta’s third party claim alleging breach of contract or fraud on account of the University of Florida’s failure to award him a J.D. degree as promised is a separate and independent action from the government’s action against him. Whether Olavarrieta is entitled to any relief on his claim is wholly independent of his liability to the government for defaulting on his student loans. Therefore, Olavarrieta has failed to state any appropriate grounds for maintaining a third party complaint against the Board of Regents.
Id. At 643.”
Defendant (Green) contends that the District Court’s attempting to apply the decision in the Olavarrieta case to the circumstances in the Green case is
“apples and oranges,” because:
a. Olavarrieta did not argue, as Green did/does that the educational institution in question had caused his loan default, and
b. The circumstances which led Olavarrieta to complain about not being awarded a “promised” (sic) J.D. degree would of logical necessity, prima facie, be lightyears away from the circumstance which have led Green to complain that the seminary’s denying him due process constituted consumer fraud born of a willful negligence.
Defendant therefore argues that the District Court erred when it applied the Olavarrieta decision (1987) to the substantively different circumstances in the Green case, disregarding the causal relationship that has existed here between the seminary’s defrauding the defendant and his consequent inability to pay off his student loan (such causality being totally absent from Olavarrieta’s situation).
The District Court erred in disregarding the uniquely protected (“sacred cow”) status of religious institutions in American society, thereby laying inappropriate expectations upon the defendant with regard to his actions and/or inaction toward the seminary in question.
The current pederastic priest scandals in the Catholic Church, the cover-ups that followed the original abuses and the public outcry for accountability on the part of those who hide behind the sanctimonious smog of organized religion (i.e. tax-free recreational bigotry) for their livelihood, all provide a glimpse of just a few of the many ways in which religion in America - particularly “respectable” mainstream high-dollar organized religions such as the Roman Catholic Church or the United Methodist Church - has abused its uniquely protected (i.e. special, unassailable, “Teflon-coated”, sanctimonious, “sacred cow”, privileged) status in American society today.
Had the type of willfully negligent denial of due process which the defendant received from the St. Paul School of Theology occurred at either of the other colleges he attended (i.e. Wichita State University or the University of Utah), then pursuing criminal and/or civil avenues for redress would have been a wholly different matter from the prospect of taking criminal and/or civil action against the (perhaps unwarrantedly) highly respected leadership of his family’s church.
And yet, just such socially suicidal litigious folly is what the District Court (in applying the Olavarrieta decision and the MacDonald decision) insists the defendant should have committed in order to avoid the instant Government suit against him. (Significantly, the defendant addressed this very issue on page 9 of his Second Sworn Statement to the District Court, dated July 18, 2001.)
As a litmus test of the validity of this point, please take a moment to reflect candidly upon what the probable consequences would be if any one of you reading this brief were to be possessed by the temerity (or the socially suicidal litigious fervor) to bring criminal and/or civil action against the leadership of the church to which you and your family have devoutly belonged and have attended ”religiously” all your lives (i.e. your aging parents, your wife and her children, most of your closest friends and their spouses, and your wife’s aging father who happens to eke out his meager living as an ordained pastor of the very denomination you are so valiantly attacking). To say that, as one of the more immediate, concrete consequences of such action you would be treated as a pariah by those most near and dear to you would seem a roaring understatement. More like a turd in the punch bowl. Right?
And such was the fate of the defendant in 1984 and ever since, even unto this moment. And that was merely for “getting crosswise” with his family’s church. Imagine how much worse it would have been for him, had he committed the socially suicidal litigious folly Judge Gaitan insisted he should have committed in order to avoid the instant Government suit against him. (Assuming that he had had any funds with which to pursue that self-defeating course of action, which he most assuredly did not…and still does not.)
Clearly, the instant case is fraught with First Amendment separation issues because it illustrates one of the ways in which religious institutions in America today exploit and abuse their uniquely protected status, their privileged niche within America’s current legal framework, by means of intimidating, bullying and the outright slandering of any and all who dare to assert their right to freely speak and think the truth about how these religious institutions exploit and abuse their sacred cow status to accumulate even more political, societal and economic power.
It was just such an abuse and exploitation of the United Methodist Church’s protected status that occurred when its wholly-owned subsidiary St. Paul School of Theology recklessly (and without fear of either civil or criminal consequences) defrauded the defendant in this case in 1984 by denying him contractually guaranteed due process and thereby crippling him both economically and socially, thus rendering him impotent either to take legal action against the seminary or to get on with his life careerwise.
It is a universally accepted (though perhaps seldom spoken) principle of law that no one can be expected to take any legal action (either civil or criminal) which will, in all probability, result in their being further injured. Assuming that he’d have possessed the resources to do so within the statute of limitations, the defendant’s yielding to some self-defeating impulse and taking the action toward the seminary which the lower court has insisted he should have taken in its (arguably erroneous) application of Olavarrieta and MacDonald to the instant case, the defendant in this case clearly would have been violating this universally accepted principle of law.
To offer just one historical illustration of how it is that no one can be expected to take any legal action which will, in all probability, result in their being further injured, let us think back for a moment on the plight of newly-freed slaves in the Deep South during Reconstruction (particularly the 1870’s) for whom exercising their right (and some would say their obligation) to vote was not a viable option because of the abusive consequences they would have faced, had they, in fact, exercised that right. Freedman who did vote were frequently lynched, shot down in the street, burned out of their homes or otherwise victimized, abused, terrorized, intimidated, etc. The defendant in the instant case argues that his exercising his right (and some would say obligation) to take legal action against seminary officials (i.e. church leaders) would have incurred a similar aversive set of consequences and so would have constituted his acting against his own best interest, indeed, to his own hurt.
According to my $16.95 Law Dictionary, a “Reasonable Man/Person” is a hypothetical person who exercises “those qualities of attention, knowledge, intelligence and judgment which society requires of its members for the protection of their own interest and the interests of others.” It tells me that similar phrases include: “reasonably prudent person and ordinarily prudent man.” I hope we can agree that the defendant in the instant case can safely be considered a reasonably prudent man. As such, he could not have been reasonably expected to take legal action which would, in all probability (and with considerable historical verifiability), have resulted in his being further injured. (Even though the lower court insists that he should have.) The lower court erred when it based it’s ruling against the defendant, in part, upon the false premise of this misinformed insistence.
At the poverty-wage job I’ve worked at for the past 6 years as a hospital security guard (and it is, significantly, the closest thing to a good job I’ve had since leaving college 28 years ago), we operate within the guidelines of a book of policies and procedures. But when some circumstance presents itself that isn’t covered in those published policies and procedures we are forced to employ sufficient ingenuity to base our decisions on the underlying intent of those policy and procedure wonks who originally framed those policies and procedures. Analogously, (or so I was taught many years ago in high school) when some new circumstance presents itself, which isn’t specifically covered by a piece of Congressional legislation, the federal judiciary takes it upon itself to employ the ingenuity to fine-tune that legislation. Whether I’m using the right language here or not, it is my understanding that the courts routinely fine-tune acts of Congress. If I could afford a computer and could afford to surf the Internet or could afford a legal research assistant, I’m sure I’d be able to offer you here dozens - if not hundreds - of solid examples of this being the case.
The judiciary routinely fine-tunes laws passed by the legislative. Correct?
As has already been established, the framers of the laws which have been cited and applied in the instant case did not write - because they humanly could not have written - those laws to cover an infinity of contingencies. Such is the nature of law. Such is the nature of the world. Guided by an underlying intent, they forged the details of the laws in question with the universally accepted understand that the federal judiciary routinely fine-tunes such legislation by way of its interpretation of the framers’ intent.
The District Court appears to have chosen to interpret the laws in question inappropriately narrowly because of some bad sociology. That is to say that a distinct aroma of cultural bias (and perhaps even a hint of classism) pervades the interstices of the lower court’s Summary Judgment Order of 9/7/01. I am tempted to ask such questions as: “What part of ‘economically crippled’ did Judge Gaitan not understand?”
I cannot help but believe that his weighing of the circumstances in this case were more than a little bit tainted by some pretty harmful misinformation concerning the nature of poverty as well as of the everyday nuts and bolts and optionlessness and impotence of the lives of the tens of millions of talented, hard working Americans who are “the working poor.”
Sometimes “can’t” is not merely an excuse. Sometimes “can’t” really does mean “can’t”. Not “I don’t feel like doing it” or “I’m not going to put forth that extra effort to see to it that it gets done.” And sometimes “I can’t afford it” really means just that. Not “I’m not willing to work hard enough to be able to afford it,” but rather, “No matter how hard I work, I’m still not going to be able to afford it.” The widespread but wholly misinformed denial of this basic (and quite verifiable) fact of life for the working poor (such as the defendant) is at the core of one of the most malignant cancerous slanders eating away at the very fabric of American democracy today. And it appears to be at the core of the bad sociology which has, in part, misled Judge Gaitan to confuse impotence with negligence on the part of the defendant.
Comfortable, prosperous (albeit talented and hard-working) folks like Judge Gaitan would benefit immeasurably from reading the noted sociologist Barbara Ehrenrich’s recent book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America (Metropolitan Books, 2001; 256 pp., $23.00). The middle class tend to believe many malignant lies about the working poor. Ehrenrich’s book sheds important new light on how it has come to be that this aggregation of misinformation, this slanderous system of myths, in the minds of America’s comfortable, prosperous middle class does hellish hurt to the working poor and is, in fact, much of the cause of the poor staying poor. It is a verifiable sociological fact that, here in America today, if you’re poor, it is assumed (especially by the comfortable, prosperous middle class) that there’s something wrong with you, that you possess some kind of character flaw. This big lie, this slanderous myth, has been particularly prevalent since The Age of Reagan (1981-1989). (And it must be remembered at all times while one is weighing the circumstances surrounding this case that it was during The Age Of Reagan that the critical events which spawned the instant case took place.)
I don’t wish to sound as though I’m calling Judge Gaitan personally a classist or that I’m accusing him of classism, class prejudice or cultural bias. I am not. And I acknowledge that for me to do so would be both ungentlemanly and extremely bad form.
However, one of Ehrenrich’s most compelling points in Nickel and Dimed is that a natural antipathy has build up between the American middle class and America’s working poor - natural because it merely reflects the natural drive on the part of all human beings to act out of their own self-interest and the interest of their economic class, to be drawn to systems of belief (true or otherwise) which support those interests, and to find themselves in opposition to persons and ideas which oppose those interests. In principle, the readers of this brief, as well as Judge Gaitan himself, are most likely in agreement with Ehrenrich and me (the defendant). In principle, in the abstract. Where some of you may tend to differ with Ehrenrich and myself is in the dimension of how Judge Gaitan and other members of the relatively comfortable, prosperous American middle class tend to regard the tens of millions of us who make up America’s working poor - and how the interests of the middle class are very much at odds with the interests of the working poor such as myself.
And while I’ll grant you that some of this class conflict can be attributed to bad (i.e. misinformed, ill-informed, myth-based) sociology, its most relevant product, for the sake of the present discussion, is, unfortunately, for the defendant and tens of millions of American’s in the same boat he’s in, an aggregation of misinformation about the most basic facts of our lives, our struggles and circumstances, our credibility and strength of character and - of the utmost relevance to the focus of this brief - our value as human beings and as some of the most productive contributors to our democratic society and the future health and well-being of our American way of life on this planet.
Therefore, in the event that The United States Court of Appeals does (Heavens forefend!) decide to remand the case of U.S. v. Green back to the lower court for trial, rather that to overturn the lower court’s order of 9/7/01 and allow the loan in question to be forgiven on the above-stated grounds or for the case to simply be dismissed or thrown out altogether, I am specifically requesting here, in advance, that the case be tried, not by Judge Gaitan or any other person or persons with a similarly comfortable, prosperous middle-class background, but rather by a jury of my peers. Based up on the sad, frustrating and mythoklastic experiences of the past two years (since the U.S. Dept. of Justice decided to go forward with its suit against me), I have tumbled to the sad conclusion that only tree-hugging, pro-choice, secular humanist, bleeding-heart liberal Democrats with at least 4 years of college education in the liberal arts but living all their lives below the poverty line and having had their lives ruined, in some manner or other, by the malicious slander of people whom society told them they could trust, have adequate basis for even beginning to understand what has happened to me with regard to the circumstances of the instant case - and, therefore, to be qualified to provide me with anything resembling a fair hearing (due process, if you will). Twelve solid American citizens with such a background would, in all fairness, make up a jury of my peers.
However, as this brief so painfully illustrates, I have no idea what I’m doing. It is only a cruel illusion that even the most articulate, clear-headed and well-intentioned person could ever hope to represent themselves “pro se” in any court of law, especially in federal court. I certainly never claimed to be up to the task. As a matter of record, I have pled everything from “diminished capacity” to outright incompetence from the outset of this affair. And I wish to go on record here once again as pleading both “diminished capacity” and outright incompetence. I am, therefore, specifically hereby requesting that, in the unfortunate event that his case does get remanded, I be given a court-appointed attorney, one with adequate experience in this area of law. (I mean, just how many ways does an innocent victim have to say “I have lacked the resources all along to receive justice here,” before somebody in authority hears their cry and offers them some measure of relief?)
As for the instant case, it seems to me that another way of stating the core of my defense is that neither the law, nor the courts, nor society in general ever provided me with any feasible mode of redress, relief or plain old justice. I would hate to think that justice in America today exists only for those who can afford it. But that is, indeed, a warranted inference any attentive observer of the instant case is compelled to come away with. And let me emphasize that at the core of the core of my defense is the word “feasible.”
“What else could I have done?” When I asked this question of counsel for the plaintiff a year or so ago, his answer was tainted with an implicit paradigm of make-believe. If we pretend that defendant possessed the resources to seek redress through available avenues, then, etc. But defendant did not; so then what? Or if we pretend that a theological seminary is just another type of trade school, like a barber college or a state-run university, then, etc. But it is verifiably not; so then what? Or if we pretend that defendant’s life was not ruined and his career hopes not irreparably damaged by the willful negligence of a Teflon-coated religious institution with which American courts have shown an historically verifiable timidity about “getting crosswise with,” then, etc. But defendant was, verifiably, pushed from a very high wire by a very powerful monster cloaked in the sanctimonious smog of organized religion (i.e. tax-free recreational bigotry), with no safety net to buffer his splat. Was this what the framers of the plaintiff’s student loan programs had in mind when they set the wheels of this tragic irony in motion as part of President Johnson’s noble vision for a Great Society? You know the answer to that question as well as I do.
The silver lining within the ironic tragedy which is the instant case of U.S. v. Green is this. That what's good for the plaintiff is also what's good for the defendant. And that is for the debt in question to be forgiven and for us all to get on with our lives.
The outcome of U.S. v. Green is going to be either Win-Win or Lose-Lose. If this particular debt, with its tangle of extenuating circumstances, is forgiven, then the plaintiff's student loan programs can be allowed to flourish and to continue to benefit talented, hard-working-but-indigent student borrowers of future generations, into perpetuity. A textbook Win-Win outcome.
If, on the other hand, this Court were to deliver to the defendant what would amount to the last twist of the knife, the death blow, as it were, then what would follow would prove to be, in the fullness of time, a textbook Lose-Lose scenario. And I'm going to tell you the reason why.
The seminary's officials knew full well that their lazy-minded fraud would cause Galen Green to default on his student loan because they were keenly aware of the minutest details of my personal life and personal finances. That's the way it works at a theological seminary. Was then; still is today. They knew my and my family's financial situation, which was one of grim poverty -- said poverty, in point of fact, actually being an issue with them. It made them nervous. (Do we really want to let a guy with so few material resources undergirding his ministerial candidacy into our little club. His lack of bourgeois accouterment might prove an embarrassment to us when we send him out to milk the geeks. [Because, after all, that's what those people are really about. Theology, love and virtue be damned; it's what you and your family own that counts. This, too, is a verifiable fact.])
Moreover, by the spring of 1984, seminary officials were fully aware of my poor wife's frame of mind, she having endured their calumnies along with me, all through that winter. Even if they'd all been in the deepest stages of denial or on drugs (neither of which circumstance is the least bit implausible), they knew that their denying me due process would, in essence, finish me off financially, thereby crippling me for decades to come. They knew I had no safety net, so the splat that followed must have filled them glee. And relief -- that I'd be powerless to bring down any legal consequences upon their heads. (As I, of course, was.) Another way of putting this is that seminary officials in 1984 did what they did to me for the same reason that the right-wing majority on the (Age of Reagan) U.S. Supreme Court did what it did to Al Gore in 2001 -- i.e. they did what they did because they knew they could get away with it.
The reason why, then, that the United States Court of Appeals deciding against me in the instant case would, in the fullness of time, prove to produce a Lose-Lose scenario, essentially making this Court a party to the murder of the defendant while inviting a devastating impact upon the plaintiff's loan programs, is because of the message it would send -- both to potential future student borrowers and to potential corrupt academic officials, tribunals, etc. The message which a ruling by this Court against Mr. Green would send to those talented, hard-working-but-indigent potential students who see that borrowing money from the government in years to come is their one hope of achieving some small measure of upward socioeconomic mobility is this: “Forget it! If corrupt elements within the academic establishment you become contractually involved with choose to scapegoat you for their own careerist ends, you're screwed. The government which you had inferred with much warrant was smilingly eager to be your advocate, as loudly and clearly implied by the egalitarian rhetoric surrounding their student loan programs, will, de facto, abet any consumer fraud to which you might haplessly fall victim as a result. They talk a good game; but look what happened to Galen Green. Nothin' left but the squeal."
Accountability. That's what's at the center of the message that a USCA decision against Mr. Green will send, loudly and clearly, to the corrupt careerists within America's seminaries and barber colleges who are lurking in the shadows to prey upon unsuspecting students such as the defendant, in years to come. Accountability -- or a lack thereof, a freedom therefrom. In other words, a decision "for" the plaintiff in the instant case would not only negatively impact the plaintiff in the ways I have just explained, but will also send a message to the most corrupt elements within America's academic spheres that it's open season on indigent students. At the seminary in question, these corrupt elements did what they did to me because they could get away with it. No great mystery; some people are just that way. I'm not; you're not. But we're neither of us so naive as to deny that the world of organized religion is crawling with them. "Raped By Religion"
has tragically become a dominant theme in our national opera. This, too, is a verifiable fact.
In other words, a decision by this Court "for" the plaintiff would most assuredly and most tragically, turn out to be, in the fullness of time, very much a decision against the plaintiff. For, as I stated at the outset of this brief, this case is, as much as anything, about safeguarding the future of the plaintiff (i.e. the U.S. Dept. of Education). And the most effective, immediate, concrete way that this Court can do that is to safeguard the rights of future student loan recipients, whose economic disadvantage leaves them vulnerable to the very type of victimization by corrupt, negligent or intellectually lazy parties to whom, in 1984, the defendant in this case haplessly fell prey.
As has already been argued, the Government very much has an interest in the harm done to indigent students because of the profound negative impact such harm -- of the kind discussed at length throughout this brief, as well as throughout Defense Exhibits R, Q, and A -- will inevitably have upon the credibility and integrity of the Government's programs. (In other words, upon the health and well-being of the plaintiff.)
Whether or not the Government was aware heretofore that it had a dog in the fight in question, it has been made aware of it now. And whether or not the Government was aware heretofore that we're all in this thing together, it has been made aware of it now. And therein do we find our silver lining, our Win-Win formula.
What's bad for the defendant is also bad for the plaintiff. Thus, a "loss" for the plaintiff turns out, in reality, to be a win for the plaintiff. For surely, as has just been explained, a win for the defendant here will, in reality, turn out to be a win for the plaintiff as well.
Certificate of Service
The undersigned certifies that two true and correct copies of the foregoing, and one electronic copy on a 3 ½ inch computer diskette, were hand delivered on this ________day of June 2002, to:
David Detar Newbert
Assistant United States Attorney
400 E. 9th Street, Room 5510
Kansas City, MO 64106
Galen Green, Pro Se
Certificate of Virus-Free Diskettes
In accordance with Rule 28A(d) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure for the Eighth Circuit, the undersigned certifies that the computer diskettes that have been served upon counsel for all parties and filed with the court have been scanned for viruses, and are virus free. Each computer diskette is labeled with the case name and docket number.
Galen Green, Pro Se
Certificate of Compliance Pursuant to F.R.A.P. 32(a)(7)(C)
In accordance with F.R.A.P. 32(a)(7)(C) and Rule 28A(c) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure for the Eighth Circuit, the undersigned certifies that the foregoing brief contains 6,300 words and 723 lines of text, including headings, footnotes and quotations. The word processing system used to prepare the brief was Microsoft Word 2000 with Times New Roman Font Face in Font Size 14.
Galen Green, Pro Se