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FILED

Case 2:16-cv-00313-TMP Document 1 Filed 02/24/16 Page 1 of 17

2016 Feb-24 AM 09:42


U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA

AUSTIN BURDICK,

Civil Action File No.


____________________
JURY TRIAL REQUESTED

Plaintiff,
v.
JUSTICE ANTHONY M.
KENNEDY, an individual, JUSTICE
STEPHEN G. BREYER, an
individual, JUSTICE RUTH BADER
GINSBURG, an individual,
JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, an
individual, JUSTICE ELENA
KAGAN, an individual,

Defendants.
____________________________________________________________________
COMPLAINT

COMES NOW Plaintiff, Austin Burdick (Plaintiff or Burdick), and hereby


files this Complaint suing the above-named defendants (Defendants) for breach of
contract, breach of fiduciary duty, declaratory relief, compensatory damages, punitive
damages, mental anguish damages, violations of the Fifth Amendment, attorneys fees
and costs pursuant to applicable Federal and State statutes and the common law.
Plaintiff alleges as follows:
JURISDICTION AND PARTIES
1.

Plaintiff alleges violations of the Defendants oaths of office, the 14th

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Amendment, 5th Amendment; and the common law and seeks declaratory relief,
compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys fees and costs pursuant
thereto.
2.

This Court is vested with original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C 1331

and 1343.
3.

There is also complete diversity of the parties as shown below in that

Plaintiff is a domiciled resident of the State of Alabama and all Defendants are
domiciled residents of Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland. Plaintiff is a
domiciled resident within the bounds of the Northern District of Alabama.
4.

The damages and harm suffered by Plaintiff are suffered in the Northern

District of Alabama.
5.

Plaintiff seeks recovery of damages exceeding $6,000,000.00.

6.

This Court has original diversity jurisdiction of this matter pursuant to

28 U.S.C. 1332.
7.

Venue is proper in this Court, the Southern Division of the Northern

District of Alabama pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b) and Local Rules of the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
8.

Plaintiff, Austin Burdick, is a resident of the State of Alabama.

9.

Defendant Anthony M. Kennedy (Kennedy) is an individual and U.S.

Supreme Court Justice who regularly conducts business intended to affect, and in fact
affecting, residents within the state of Alabama. Kennedys principal place of
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business is Washington, D.C. Upon information and belief Kennedy resides in


Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland.
10.

Defendant Stephen G. Breyer (Breyer) is an individual and U.S.

Supreme Court Justice who regularly conducts business intended to affect, and in fact
affecting, residents within the state of Alabama. Breyers principal place of business
is Washington, D.C. Upon information and belief Breyer resides in Washington D.C.,
Virginia or Maryland.
11.

Defendant Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Ginsburg) is an individual and U.S.

Supreme Court Justice who regularly conducts business intended to affect, and in fact
affecting, residents within the state of Alabama. Ginsburgs principal place of
business is Washington, D.C. Upon information and belief Ginsburg resides in
Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland.
12.

Defendant Sonia Sotomayor (Sotomayor) is an individual and U.S.

Supreme Court Justice who regularly conducts business intended to affect, and in fact
affecting, residents within the state of Alabama. Sotomayors principal place of
business is Washington, D.C. Upon information and belief Sotomayor resides in
Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland.
13.

Defendant Elana Kagan (Kagan) is an individual and U.S. Supreme

Court Justice who regularly conducts business intended to affect, and in fact affecting,
residents within the state of Alabama. Kagans principal place of business is

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Washington, D.C. Upon information and belief Kagan resides in Washington D.C.,
Virginia or Maryland.
14.

Most of the events giving rise to this lawsuit occurred to effect the

Plaintiff in the Southern Division of the Northern District of Alabama. The Northern
District of Alabama is the appropriate venue for this matter.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
15.

Plaintiff is an attorney practicing law primarily in the Northern District

of Alabama. Defendants are United States Supreme Court Justices who have issued
opinions in violation of their oath of office and to the detriment of Plaintiff.
16.

Plaintiffs practice of law is primarily focused on the protection of basic

constitutional rights of United States citizens. Plaintiff, on behalf of his clients argues
that the people of the United States are a free people and that the Constitution
functions to protect them from government interference in those rights.
17.

On or about June 26, 2015, the Defendants issued an opinion that

renders the Constitution a nullity. For centuries the Constitution has been the
instrument of protection for the rights of citizens against government intrusion. And
specifically, since the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868, interpreted the plain
language of the Constitution and that amendment to be a guarantee of freedom from
government interference in individual liberty.
18.

The opinion rendered June 26, 2015, styled Obergefell v. Hodges,

abandoned the long standing tradition of interpreting the 14th Amendment in a manner
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which gave words their plain meaning. The phrase: No state shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United
States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the
laws has been rewritten by the Defendants. The opinion now reads the 14th
Amendment as an expansion of government authority not a guarantee of liberty. This
interpretation is no interpretation at all. It is a tyrannical usurpation of authority to
rewrite the Constitution.
19.

There is great room for interpretation in the face of ambiguity, but to

interpret yes to mean no or up to mean down is neither clever nor ingenious,


but rather simply dishonest.
20.

The opinion in fact rewrites the 14th Amendment to read: Every state

must make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of
citizens of the United States; further, each state shall deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law under the guise of extending tax
benefits or some other license; and any person within its jurisdiction may be
deprived of the equal protection of the laws when it is fashionable to do so.
21.

This is not a simple matter of a difference of opinion or perspective. The

disagreement is not over what the Constitution means; the disagreement is over
whether the Constitution should have any meaning at all. The recent decision of the

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Defendants goes beyond a manipulation, twist, strain, or unique perspective on the


text and crosses over in to an abandonment of the Constitution.
22.

The actions of Defendants not only exceed the authority of their office,

but conflict with their oath of office; a sacred promise that they voluntarily entered
into. Defendants promised:
"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all
enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the
duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
5 U. S. C. 3331.
23.

Interpreting no to mean yes, or restraints on the power of the

government to be a grant of power to the government does not bear true faith and
allegiance to the Constitution.
24.

Defendants were not satisfied with merely trampling the Constitution.

They casually redefined marriage to satisfy a perceived growing popularity. The


redefinition of marriage was a mere trifle in comparison to the Defendants brazen
attack on the very principles of freedom and liberty. They have assumed to
themselves the authority to redefine freedom and liberty as government issued
benefits or licenses. However, freedom never was, nor ever can be, something that
you stand in line to receive from a government office.
25.

Because the Defendants actions have rendered the Constitution a nullity,

plaintiff has been deprived of a property right interest in his law license. Plaintiff
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cannot fulfill his obligation and oath to defend the Constitution if the Constitution is
discarded. Plaintiffs livelihood is dependent on his ability to protect his clients
constitutional rights. If the Constitution is no longer a charter of liberty that
guarantees the rights of U.S. citizens then Plaintiff has lost all income that he would
have received had the Constitution not been destroyed. Without the Constitution
Plaintiffs law license is greatly diminished in value if not ruined entirely.
26.

This nation is a nation of laws and not of men. No one is above the law.

The only authority that the Defendants enjoy is that which has been granted them by
the Constitution. Their authority is inferior to that of the Constitution. They have no
authority to alter the Constitution. The power to alter the Constitution is restricted to
the amendment process set forth therein.
27.

Defendants cannot shield themselves from liability by claiming

immunity. Absolute judicial immunity is unconstitutional. Because no one is above


the law Defendants must be accountable for their own actions.
28.

The doctrine of absolute judicial immunity is directly in conflict with

the Constitutions plain language. The doctrine of judicial immunity is not a creature
of statute or the Constitution. The Constitution speaks to immunity for the legislature
but not for judges or justices. U.S. Const. art. I 6. As the concept of immunity was
clearly understood by the drafters of the Constitution it must be assumed that the
failure to include judicial immunity within the text was no oversight. Further, the
doctrine of absolute immunity for judges is in conflict with language which was
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included in the Constitution. Absolute judicial immunity has become so broad that a
noble class of judges has been created. Absolute judicial immunity is so broad that
judges are thereby immune from knowingly violating the Constitution as well as
malicious acts. Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 566-357 (1978)(This immunity
applies even when a judges acts are in error, malicious, or were in excess of his or
her jurisdiction). This creation of a class of persons above the law is contrary to U.S.
Const. art. I 9 cl. 8 which states No title of nobility shall be granted by the United
States. This clause clearly precludes the creation of a class of persons that are above
the law.1
29.

The founders of the nation thought it sufficiently important to the

preservation of our republic to include this clause. America was founded on the
principles of an equal and just society. Thomas Paine decried titles of nobility as they
had the effect of forbidding inquiry into the character of the possessor, much as
absolute judicial immunity would preclude inquiry into acts of malice and

1 It cannot be argued that absolute judicial immunity does not create a class which
holds itself superior to all others. As noted in the dissent in Stump, judicial immunity
springs from "an aura of deism which surrounds the bench . . . essential to the
maintenance of respect for the judicial institution." Though th[is] rhetoric may be
overblown, even the dissent does not quarrel with it. Stump v. Sparkman, 435 US
349, 369 (1978). However, any aura of deism that once accompanied the bench has
now been dispelled as evidenced by the increasing number of citizens who appear for
jury duty wearing sweatpants and flip flops. If the dignity of the court is crucial to the
operation of the court, then the Court must claim dignity by conduct which is above
reproach not by concealing and protecting bad behavior. Judicial immunity in the
absolute to the citizen appears not as a robe of honor but as a cloak for hypocrisy.
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corruption.2 The Court on which the Defendants sit has clearly stated that no one
ought to be above the law:
No man in this country is so high that he is above the law. No officer of
the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All officers of the
government, from the highest to the least, are creatures of the law, and
are bound to obey it.
Butz v. Economou, 438 U.S. 478, 506 (1978); citing United States v. Lee, 106 U.S.
196 (1882).
30.

Whether you call it nobility, royal sovereignty, or judicial immunity, it

is all the same. They all stand for one and the same principle: a nation ruled by men
and not laws. The patriots threw tea into Boston Harbor as a token of their rejection of
royal sovereignty. Thomas Jefferson penned and others signed the Declaration of
Independence pledging their lives and sacred honor against the tyranny of a
government of men. And later the Constitution was drafted to perfect our union and,
of primary importance, establish justice under law and not men. U.S. Const.
Preamble. The drafters of the Constitution were well aware of the dangers of royal
sovereignty and a privileged class that operated above the law; they faced it, fought it,
and rejected it. Had they embraced the common law doctrine of royal sovereignty and
its appendage, judicial immunity, they surely would have included it in the
Constitution.
31.

The doctrine of absolute judicial immunity is far too broad. The

2 The Life and Works of Thomas Paine. Edited by William M. Van der Weyde.
Patriots' Edition. 10 vols. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Thomas Paine National Historical
Association, 1925.
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executive and legislative branches of government have a measure of immunity, but


their immunity is humble in comparison to judicial immunity. Neither the executive
nor the legislative is immune for acts of corruption and malice.3 The justification for
the breadth of judicial immunity previously offered by its proponents is not
adequate.4
32.

The Court has stated that the justification for absolute judicial immunity

lies in the need for a judge to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of
personal consequences. Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 363-364 (1978).
However, the personal convictions of the Defendants are directly at odds with the
Constitution. Defendants must not be allowed to act on personal convictions that
place the Constitution in jeopardy. The oath of office entered into by Defendants acts
as a limit on personal convictions. Defendants are not permitted to rule on the basis of
3 E.g. Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976); OConnor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S.
563 (1975); Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308 (1975); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S.
349 (1974); Butz v. Economou, 438 U.S. 478, 506 (1978). No court has ever explained
why judicial immunity must be absolute while executive and legislative immunity
remain qualified and tempered. The courts have easily grasped their role in limiting
executive and legislative authority but have yet to contemplate the need for restrained
judicial authority.
4 Absolute judicial immunity was more tolerable when other means of relief existed
in law. Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. 335 (1872). However, Plaintiff has no other means
of remedy, therefore judicial immunity cannot be justified. Additionally, Bradley
reasoned that the court needs a vigorous and independent mind thus immunity is
necessary. However, absolute immunity serves to protect the judiciary even in those
cases when the mind is neither vigorous nor independent. Holding judges accountable
for knowingly depriving citizens of their constitutional rights does not undermine
judicial impartiality. Holding judges accountable for unreasonable or knowingly
unconstitutional acts would only serve to encourage judges to pay careful attention to
the merits of a dispute. This would improve not hinder judicial function.
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personal convictions that are contrary to the plain language of the Constitution.
COUNT I - VIOLATIONS OF 5th AMENDMENT
33.

The previous paragraphs are adopted by reference as though restated

within this cause of action.


34.

The 5th Amendment states in pertinent part:

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due


process of law
35.

Defendants actions have deprived Plaintiff of his liberty and property

interest (law license to protect constitutional rights of clients) as set forth above in
violation of the 5th Amendment.
36.

Defendants acted under color of law as federal officials as set forth

37.

Plaintiff has a cause of action and right to seek relief in this matter for

above.

violations of constitutionally protected rights pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown


Named Agents of Federal bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971); Davis v.
Passman, 442 U.S. 228 (1979); and other applicable case law.
38.

There are no special factors that suggest that the Court should decline to

hear this matter and award an appropriate remedy.


39.

As set forth above, no theory of immunity may appropriately be applied

in this case.
40.

The actions of Defendants, having rendered the Constitution a nullity,

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have deprived Plaintiff of income that he would have received had he been allowed to
practice law under the Constitution.
41.

Plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the actions of Defendants.

WHEREFORE, PREMESIS CONSIDERED, Plaintiff prays this Honorable


Court will (1) enter judgment for Plaintiff, (2) award Plaintiff damages in an amount
of at least $6,000.000.00 or some other amount sufficiently large to fully compensate
him for all the harm occasioned by Defendants conduct, (3) award attorney fees to
Plaintiff, (4) award punitive damages in a sum large enough to punish Defendants for
their conduct and to deter Defendants and others similarly situated from repeating this
conduct, (5) award mental anguish damages, and (6) award any other and further
relief deemed just and proper.

COUNT II BREACH OF CONTRACT OR OATH


42.

The previous paragraphs are adopted by reference as though restated

within this cause of action.


43.

As set forth above, Defendants entered into an oath or contract to

support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign
and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
44.

They have failed (breached) in that duty, oath and contractual

obligation.
45.

Plaintiff is among the intended beneficiaries of said oath or contract.


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46.

Plaintiff has been harmed by, and suffered damages as a result of

Defendants breach of duty.


47.

Plaintiff has suffered actual and consequential damages as a result of the

aforementioned breach. He has been deprived of the ability to advocate for


constitutionally protected rights by Defendants. Plaintiff is also entitled to punitive
damages as a result of his suffered damages.
WHEREFORE, WHEREFORE, PREMESIS CONSIDERED, Plaintiff
prays this Honorable Court will (1) enter judgment for Plaintiff, (2) award Plaintiff
damages in an amount of at least $6,000.000.00 or some other amount sufficiently
large to fully compensate him for all the harm occasioned by Defendants conduct, (3)
award attorney fees to Plaintiff, (4) award punitive damages in a sum large enough to
punish Defendants for their conduct and to deter Defendants and others similarly
situated from repeating this conduct, (5) award mental anguish damages, and (6)
award any other and further relief deemed just and proper.
COUNT III BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
48.

The previous paragraphs are adopted by reference as though restated

within this cause of action.


49.

As justices on the Supreme Court, Defendants occupy a position of trust

owing a duty as set forth in the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the
United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and
allegiance to the same.
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50.

Defendants are made aware of their fiduciary duty be the plain language

of the Constitution which demands good behaviour. U.S. Const. Art. 3 1.


51.

They have failed (breached) in that duty, oath and fiduciary obligation.

52.

Plaintiff is among the intended beneficiaries of said oath or fiduciary

relationship.
53.

Plaintiff has been harmed by, and suffered damages as a result of

Defendants breach of duty.


54.

Plaintiff has suffered actual and consequential damages as a result of the

aforementioned breach. He has been deprived of the ability to advocate for


constitutionally protected rights by Defendants. Plaintiff is also entitled to punitive
damages as a result of his suffered damages.
WHEREFORE, WHEREFORE, PREMESIS CONSIDERED, Plaintiff
prays this Honorable court will (1) enter judgment for Plaintiff, (2) award Plaintiff
damages in an amount of at least $6,000.000.00 or some other amount sufficiently
large to fully compensate him for all the harm occasioned by Defendants conduct, (3)
award attorney fees to Plaintiff, (4) award punitive damages in a sum large enough to
punish Defendants for their conduct and to deter Defendants and others similarly
situated from repeating this conduct, (5) award mental anguish damages, and (6)
award any other and further relief deemed just and proper.

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COUNT IV DECLARATORY RELIEF


CONSTITUTION CANNOT BE INTERPRETED IN A MANNER SO AS TO
MAKE IT A NULLITY
55.

The preceding paragraphs of this Complaint are deemed to be repeated

and incorporated by reference in this Count.


56.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2201(a) Plaintiff seeks a declaration of rights

and responsibilities of the parties, to wit:


a. The Constitution cannot be altered or ignored by Defendants in any of
its rulings;
b. The Constitutions 14th Amendment is a guarantee of protection of
rights of U.S. citizens not an expansion of government authority;
c. Defendants actions interpreting the Constitution in such a manner as
to render it a nullity violates both the oath of office for Supreme Court
Justices and violates the duty of good behaviour set out in the
Constitution;
d. The Constitution itself is the supreme law of the land and no
interpretation of the same may render the same to be of no force or
effect;
e. Absolute judicial immunity is contrary to the plain language of the
constitution;
57.

Declaration of the aforementioned will clarify the relationship of the

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parties and serve to resolve the controversy between the parties.


WHEREFORE,

PREMISES

CONSIDERED,

Declaration

of

the

aforementioned is necessary to a resolution of the controversy between the parties and


the preservation of the republic.

***PLAINTIFF DEMANDS TRIAL BY STRUCK JURY***

Dated this the 23rd day of February 2016.


Respectfully submitted,

s/Austin Burdick
Austin Burdick
Attorney for Plaintiff
Burdick Law Firm
1020 Ninth Ave. SW
Bessemer, Alabama 35022
205.565.8909
(f) 205.481.2100
austin.burdick@gmail.com

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CLERK OF COURT PLEASE SERVE THE DEFENDANTS AT THE


FOLLOWING ADDRESSES BY CERTIFIED MAIL:
Anthony M. Kennedy
1 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

Sonia Sotomayor
1 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

Stephen G. Breyer
1 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

Elana Kagan
1 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


1 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

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