Lariat letter: Student Court’s actions, ruling are unconstitutional

Student government has been quite “popular” recently with the case of McCahill, Hardy v. Kinghorn. I’ll be the first to admit there were mistakes in the interpretation of the governing documents from the Senate Executive Council, but how can the court in good conscience issue such a verdict when their entire operation is in conflict?

The court ruled that the defendant, Miss Lawren Kinghorn, was guilty on one count of violating the Constitution, three counts of violating the Student Senate bylaws, and one count of violating her oath of office — one of which was performing duties necessary for the Senate’s operation, based on precedence, that she was not constitutionally granted. As you can see, the court was very quick to dissect the governing documents (as they should) but they made a blatant disregard for them as well. The court that labeled the internal vice president’s actions unconstitutional was unconstitutional in itself.

This violation of the court is found in Article IV, Section 3, Par. 9 of the Student Body Constitution, which refers to the oath of a witness. The importance of the first three words “the court clerk” cannot be stressed enough. It should be known that the court clerk is actually studying abroad and has not been present for any of the proceedings in the case. Instead, the assistant court clerk has been administering the oath to each witness. The Constitution does not state that in the absence of the court clerk, the assistant court clerk assumes that role.

One member of the court claims that this is acting on assumption, but I see this a bit of hypocrisy. Essentially this means that any oath given to a witness is illegitimate, any testimony given by a witness is illegitimate, and the court itself is illegitimate. Am I wrong to expect that the court who is responsible for defending the Constitution be subject to the rules and guidelines the document sets out for them? Or are they above heeding to the same document that they are so quick to use in order to crucify another?

The court cannot receive admissible testimony from a witness on an oath that is fraud. All testimony must be discounted because the oath fails to be binding. This alone is enough for the vice president of student life to overturn the court’s decision and I encourage the defendant to pursue this route. If the decision is not overturned, I urge the Senate, Miss Kinghorn and the student body to file suit against Student Court itself on the grounds of the unconstitutional operation of the body.

If justice is to truly be served, the court is subject to the same disciplinary actions as the internal vice president. Under these circumstances, Chief Justice Cody Coll and his court are GUILTY on two counts of violating the Baylor University Student Body Constitution and one count of violating their oath of office.

For there to be rightful justice, the court must 1) come in front of the Senate for oral reprimand, and 2) write a written apology to both the defendant and the plaintiffs, and apologize to the court in its entirety and 3) the court cannot see any case that requires witness testimony.

— Old River-Winfree freshman Joel Polvado
Political science major