TO:       Mr. Alfred T. Goodwin

          c/o Cathy A. Catterson, Clerk of Court

          U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

          P.O. Box 193939

          San Francisco 94119-3939



FROM:     Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.

          Plaintiff/Appellant and Private Attorney General

          Mitchell v. AOL Time Warner, Inc. et al. #02-15269


DATE:     December 20, 2002 A.D.


SUBJECT:  “So help me God.”  28 U.S.C. 453


Mr. Alfred T. Goodwin:


Perhaps without fully realizing the implications of what you have now done, your opinion in the matter of the Pledge of Allegiance has had the same effect as a self‑inflicted shotgun blast to both of your bare feet.


Under the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution, the federal statute at 28 U.S.C. 453 has been elevated to the status of supreme Law of the Land.  This statute very clearly requires that federal judges shall take an oath of office which ends in the following climax:  “So help me God.”


Now, Mr. Goodwin, if the Pledge of Allegiance can not refer to God, then neither does your oath of office.  The obvious consequence, therefore, is that your oath of office has been rendered null and void solely by virtue of your erroneous opinion in this matter.


All legislative power is vested in the Congress of the United States, and none is vested in any federal judges.  There is nothing you can do to legislate changes in any federal laws that are consistent with the U.S. Constitution, as lawfully amended.  For this one reason alone, you cannot remove God from your oath of office.


On a more fundamental level, you will please read and understand the major thesis of the Declaration of Independence.  Several years ago, I was inspired to read that Declaration out loud ‑‑ by changing the grammar slightly from third person to first person.  Here is how it reads with this one minor change:


We hold these truths to be self-evident:  that all of Us are created equal;  that We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  To secure these rights, governments are institute among Us, deriving their just powers from Our consent.


And that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is Our right to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to Us shall seem most likely to effect Our safety and Our happiness.  And, to these ends We dedicate Our lives, Our fortunes and Our sacred honor.


Now, when I first uttered this special version of the Declaration of Independence out loud, a strong surge of energy went coursing down my spine, somewhat like a lightning bolt right out of the clear blue sky.  The feeling was an exhilarating one, to say the least.


Mr. Goodwin, if you do not also have the same experience when you utter these same words, then I must assume that there is something wrong with you, something terribly wrong with you and all others like you.


You see, when the Declaration of Independence says that we are endowed by our Creator, this is not vain political rhetoric;  it is the truth.  Each of us is made in the image and likeness of our Creator, and His unique sovereignty as the Most High is a gift He has elected to share with each of us, if we will but humbly accept this magnificent and free bounty of His.


By accepting His Sovereignty and striving to mirror that Sovereignty in our own lives, we make a solemn commitment to oppose any efforts to interpose any other power or authority between us and our Creator.


Now, whenever any form of government attempts to interpose itself between us and our Creator or, which is much worse, whenever our federal government attempts to remove the Creator from our lives and substitute some civil government in His place, we who are pledged to defend the principles so beautifully expressed in the Declaration of Independence are promptly rallied to their defense.


We are not simply defending patterns of ink blotted on pieces of paper or parchment.  When the Constitution for the United States of America refers to the blessings of liberty, or due process of law, those written words from the English language correspond directly and dramatically to prime principles that guide the flow of mighty rivers in America, just as surely as they guide the flow of oxygen through our bloodstreams, our hearts and our brains.


The overriding principle here is that our fundamental Rights as endowed by God are unalienable and totally beyond the reach of amendment, repeal or alteration by any actions of government, no matter what form that government might assume.


We cannot emphasize too much the full meaning and implications of the term “fundamental” here.  The all important difference between fundamental Rights and civil rights is fully discussed in Chapter 10 of “The Federal Zone,” the book I do believe you still have not read.


So, if and when you should attempt to remove God from our pledges and our oaths, perhaps without even realizing it, you are vainly attempting to shatter the very foundations of America, foundations that were built with blood shed in pain and suffering at Valley Forge, and in the sands of Iwo Jima where my father took a bullet in the face, so that facism would die there with 6,000 other American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, so freedom would prevail in our land and in our time.


Mr. Goodwin, it causes me no small amount of pain to inform you that, as long as you sincerely hold that God does not belong in our laws, you are thereby permanently recused from ever presiding ever again on the appeal in Mitchell v. AOL Time Warner, Inc. et al.


Your act therein per force negates the oath you are required by law to execute in good faith and without mental reservations or other limiting conditions.


May God have mercy on your soul.



Sincerely yours,


/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell


Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.

Private Attorney General and Plaintiff/Appellant


Copies:  Alex Kozinski, Ninth Circuit (supervising)

         Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court (supervising)

         Ferdinand F. Fernandez, Ninth Circuit

         Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit

         Stephen S. Trott, Ninth Circuit

         Procter Hug, Ninth Circuit

         Proper Parties (see PROOF OF SERVICE)

         John Ashcroft, Attorney General

         The Internet