Sgt. Stein Discharge Case:  USMC in Contempt of Court?
By Jeff Schwilk  
       
          On March 27, 2012, a civilian attorney for Marine Sgt. Gary Stein sent a request to the Stein’s Commanding Officer, Col. Christopher Dowling at MCRD San Diego to withdraw his Administrative Separation Proceedings.  Stein's legal counsel uncovered a 1997 case (Rigdon v. Perry) regarding freedom of speech by military chaplains in which a permanent injunction was issued by a district judge in Washington, DC.    According to a letter written by J. Mark Brewer Stein's attorney; the basis of his request comes from an excerpt of the Rigdon v. Perry injunction issued by District Judge Stanley Sporkin.



“ORDERED that the defendants [Secretaries of Defense, United States Air Force, United States Army, and United States Navy], the defendants’ officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with the defendants who receive actual notice of this order are hereby ENJOINED from interpreting DoD Directive 1344.10, or any similar law or regulation, in a manner that prohibits the plaintiffs from exercising their free speech and free exercise rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution [ ]”  

          Sgt. Stein, started the Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page in 2010 and landed himself in hot water over a comment he made online last month saying he would not follow unlawful orders from his Commander-in-Chief.  Stein has been exercising what he believes are his free speech rights, on his off-duty time to criticize President Obama’s liberal and unconstitutional political policies.  The Marine Corps has accused Stein of violating orders and regulations, instead of charging him with violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the Marine Corps has opted to discharge him without allowing him a judicial hearing.

          Stein's attorney has not yet received a response from the Marine Corps to his letter.

 

Here is the actual letter:

In re: Sgt. Gary Stein, USMC, 0101/6842
AO: Col. C. S. Dowling, USMC
Commanding Officer, Weapons and Field Training Battalion
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
San Diego, CA 92140
Lt. Col. Sean M. Sullivan, USMCR
Staff Judge Advocate, MCRD
3700 Chosin Ave, Building 12
San Diego Ca 92140
Capt. John W. Torresala, USMCR
Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, MCRD
3700 Chosin Ave, Building 12
San Diego Ca 92140
DATE: 27 March 2012
Re: Request to withdraw, or in the alternative, continue the Administrative Separation
Proceedings initiated 21 March 2012 relating to Sgt. Gary Stein, USMC, 0101/6842
On behalf of Sgt. Gary Stein, I respectfully request that you withdraw the subject 21 March 2012
notification of administrative separation proceedings to Sgt. Stein in compliance with the
permanent injunction issued by the Honorable Stanley Sporkin, United States District Judge for
the District of Columbia (7 April 1997) (see attached), to wit:
“ORDERED that the defendants [Secretaries of Defense, United States Air Force,
United States Army, and United States Navy], the defendants’ officers, agents,
servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or
participation with the defendants who receive actual notice of this order are
hereby ENJOINED from interpreting DoD Directive 1344.10, or any similar law
or regulation, in a manner that prohibits the plaintiffs from exercising their free
speech and free exercise rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution [ ]”
I respectfully submit that the pending proceedings against Sgt. Stein are not in compliance with
this permanent injunction and, if allowed to continue, I am concerned that the Commanding
Officer, the Board, and the Recorder would be deemed to be in contempt of the court’s order.
In the alternative to my request for withdrawal of the 21 March 2012 notification, I respectfully
request that you delay these proceedings until at least 14 days following the issuance of an ethics
advisory opinion in response to the attached request.
Respectfully submitted,
J. Mark Brewer
Civilian Counsel to Sgt. Gary Stein
Ph: (713) 209-2910
brewer@bplaw.com

Comments

  1. This guy is an total zero. The things he’s pulling go against everything the Corps stands for. He ought to be marched to the gate and kicked out on the coast highway.

  2. Discharge of Sgt Stein by USMC. Efforts by DA to stop chaplains from reading letter from Bishop (now Cardinal) Dolan. Plans to gut DoD budget. Proposal to reduce/retirement benefits for servicemembers. Coincidence…I think not. November is coming. Do what you know is right.

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