Tag Archives: Pappas

GOP nominee warns of ‘judicial dictatorship,’ forced sterilization

By Delia Batdorff

Madison, TN

Anthony Pappas is in his natural environment: in front of a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker in his right hand, his name and title written behind him. Pappas, an economics professor at St. John’s College in Queens, New York, doesn’t allow a valuable second to slip by: He immediately begins his presentation by saying, “We are living under a judicial dictatorship and you’re not aware of it.”

He doesn’t stay on this topic very long or try to explain himself. Instead, he jumps into a hypothetical situation. He tells us a story of people walking through a door and being sterilized; carefully, he goes into detail about sterilization and writes “fallopian tubes” and “testicles” on the board. He continues his speech, as if he is lecturing to his college students. Before long, he ties his situation into his argument as he explains a case where a teenage girl was forcefully sterilized. The judge was never punished for this. The woman carried around a blanket for the rest of her life to represent the baby she would never have, he said. He walks towards his bag and pulls out a pale pink towel before saying, “I don’t have a blanket, I have a towel.” Gently, he holds the towel in his arms like a mother would hold a baby, as his eyes start to glisten.

Next, he brings up Mary Kennedy, the ex-wife of Robert Kennedy Jr. After a difficult divorce in which she lost custody of her children, she committed suicide. Pappas argues that if even five immigrant mothers killed themselves, it would be a national story, yet women like Mary Kennedy are committing suicide and the judicial system doesn’t care. Pappas hands out an article about Mary Kennedy with his handwriting in the margins. It reads: “Suicides of mothers and fathers going through divorce are not investigated. Why? Judges are the only officials who have immunity.”  It’s part of a pattern, Pappas said. “The parent first despairs and commits suicide.”

Despite his focus on mental health, he fails to mention anything other than suicide, mostly in regard to custody cases. Nor does he explain how he plans to prove that the judges influenced the suicides, or how, as he claims, this would fall under the category of murder or manslaughter. When asked what actions he has taken to prevent suicide, he said, “I have no power to do anything in my power. I’m just a professor.”

Next, the economic professor begins detailing his own divorce case. He offers a copy of one of the court documents to the journalists; he has annotated it himself. In the margins in careful handwriting, he has written “nonsense” and “did not happen” regarding his wife’s loss of income due to time spent in court and her allegations of domestic abuse. The judge presiding over him was “like a dictator” and the domestic abuse claims of his wife were “a total hallucination and it’s totally irrational,” he said. When a journalist asks him another question regarding the abuse, he replies, “You go to the police and tell them to arrest me.”

Pappas said he is unable to access any donations or funds for his campaign because they have been “frozen because of the divorce. People donate, but I can’t access them,” he said. In November, voters from the 14th district of New York will decide whether to send him to Congress. His opponent, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is heavily favored to win.

GOP’s Pappas warns that judges see themselves as ‘gods’

By Fatima Rivera Gomez

McFarland, CA

When Anthony Pappas, the Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s 14th congressional district, appeared at a press conference at Fordham University on Wednesday, journalists initially spoke over him because they did not realize he was the candidate they were waiting for.

Pappas is running against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is expected to win the election this November in the heavily Democratic district, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens. Wearing an untucked, button-front short-sleeve shirt and tattered khaki pants, Pappas—an economics professor at St. John’s University—began the press conference by asking the reporters how they would have felt if they had been sterilized. He then wrote a few words on the whiteboard including: “tubal ligation,” “fallopian tubes,” and “testicles.”

In the midst of some confusion in the room, Pappas explained Stump v. Sparkman, a 1978 case in which a woman sued the judge who ordered her to undergo a non-consensual tubal ligation when she was 15 years old. On the verge of tears, he pulled a towel from his bag in reference to a book about the case, The Blanket She Carried. The towel symbolized the baby the woman could not have, he said.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which set an important precedent by ruling that judges are immune from being sued. In a packet handed out during the press conference, Pappas wrote “OVERTURN STUMP V. SPARKMAN, the worst decision in the 20th century by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Pappas’ congressional platform centers on criminal and justice reform and an end to judges being immune from prosecution. “Judges are above the law. They can make decisions that are retaliatory, against the law, against the facts, deliberately false and they cannot be sued,” Pappas said.

He also believes that he is a victim of the court system himself, after a divorce in which his wife accused him of domestic abuse—an accusation he denies. A court decision Pappas distributed showed he had spent more than $592,000 on his divorce.

At one point, Pappas described himself as a Theodore Roosevelt figure for Republicans. When asked about his opponent, Pappas said that Ocasio-Cortez is an energetic and sincere person, adding that he expects that she will win the election.

Pappas blasts judicial system in first press conference

By Annie Phun

Los Angeles, CA

Anthony Pappas, a candidate for Congress, began a press conference on Wednesday with a hypothetical. All the journalists in the room, he said, had been sterilized the second they walked through the door. As he explained sterilization, he wrote a few key terms on the whiteboard behind him: “tubal ligation,” “fallopian tubes,” and “testicles.”

It only got stranger from there.

Pappas is a Republican running against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th Congressional District. Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist who advocates for free college and other socialist ideas, gained massive attention when she beat out 10-term Representative Joe Crowley in July’s Democratic primary. Her chances of winning are high, with the ratio of the 14th district being six-to-one Democrats to Republicans.

Meanwhile, her opponent, a 70-year-old economics professor at St. John’s University, is basically unknown. Local newspapers such as the New York Post have attempted to question the Republican party on Pappas’ campaign, but the GOP has refused to issue a comment.

Pappas, dressed in a button up, sneakers, and khaki pants with holes in them, didn’t focus on Ocasio-Cortez during his press conference, which lasted more than an hour. Instead he discussed the controversial Supreme Court case of Stump v. Sparkman, which expanded the principle of judicial immunity.

“We are being ruled by a judicial dictatorship,” Pappas said.

He spoke at length about the Supreme Court case, which centered on a district judge’s role in approving an involuntary sterilization for a minor. Growing emotional, he described the woman’s inability to have a child and pulled a pink towel from his bag to mourn the loss of the woman’s metaphorical baby.

The candidate said that he too had been a “victim of the judicial court system.” During his divorce proceedings, his ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse, which he said resulted in the freezing of his accounts. When asked about the alleged domestic abuse, he grew defensive, stating that the judge “hallucinated that [he] committed a major crime.” He claimed that there is a trend of judges “taking advantage of their power,” ruling in favor of the wrong party simply because they can.

“When politicians tell you no one is above the law, they are lying. Information is being suppressed,” Pappas said. “There are good people in each profession, and there are bad people. We should have a system to hold the bad people accountable.”

Pappas also answered questions about policy and his opponent, but he was most eager to discuss his divorce and his proposed reforms to the judiciary.

At one point, Pappas was asked how many press conferences he had done before this one.

“None,” he said.