In 2008, the people of Arcata and Eureka got the signatures and the votes to pass Ballot Measures F and J, the Youth Protection Act. In December, the Federal Government challenged it.
YOUTH PROTECTION ACT
AN ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT THE MILITARY RECRUITMENT OF ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN
... the Federal government filed a lawsuit to negate Measures F and J, passed by the people of Eureka and Arcata, in order to continue recruitment of minors into the military despite our opposition.
Bring yourself, your kids, your friends to the Oakland Federal Court to make a strong presence for the judge.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. CITIES OF EUREKA & ARCATA
Tuesday June 9
Oakland Federal Courthouse
for carpooling and future organizing, call (707)442-7465 or (707) 442-8733
No matter what happens, continue fighting to keep military recruiters from preying on our friends and loved ones.
This is the gist of the Youth Protection Act:
"No person who is employed by or an agent of the United States government shall, within the City of Arcata, in the execution of his or her job duties, recruit, initiate contact with for the purpose of recruiting, or promote the future enlistment of any person under the age of eighteen into any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority guaranteed to the people of Arcata by the California Constitution (Article 2, Section1) and the U.S. Constitution (Amendments IX and X) which guarantee political power to the people and recognize the right to exercise that power through initiative and referendum (California Constitution Article 4, Section I)."
See the entire ordinance (identical in both cities) HERE.
Here's more about what is going on in Court in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. CITIES OF EUREKA AND ARCATA, CA:
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS TRYING TO INVALIDATE THE ARCATA AND EUREKA YOUTH PROTECTION ACTS; EUREKA AND ARCATA HAVE MADE COUNTERCLAIMS
On Tuesday, June 9 at 1pm, in Courtroom 3 at the Oakland Federal Courthouse, Federal Judge Saundra Armstrong is scheduled to hear oral arguments regarding the Arcata and Eureka Youth Protection Acts. These ordinances prohibit military recruiters from initiating contact with minors for the purpose of recruiting them into any branch of the military. They were approved as ballot initiative Measures F and J, on November 4, 2008 by margins of 73% in Arcata and 57% in Eureka.
Judge Armstrong is scheduled to hear oral arguments on two motions by the US Dept. of Justice.
One motion is the United States' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings: The US is arguing that, as a matter of law, Measures F and J are both invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. Such a motion can only be granted if the Court believes that all of the Cities’ arguments in defense of the measures lack any substance worthy of a hearing. A ruling in favor of the Federal Government on this motion would effectively invalidate the ordinances without further opportunity to defend them, subject to possible appeal by the Cities.
The 2nd motion is the US's Motion for Dismissal of the Cities' Counterclaims: The Cities' Counterclaims assert that US recruiting practices are themselves invalid because they are in conflict with International Treaty obligations that prohibit the military recruiting of minors. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, as ratified by the US Senate, has the standing of the Supreme Law of the Land, on equal footing with the US Constitution and any federal laws regulating military recruiting. The U.S. argues that the Cities do not have standing to bring the counterclaims, based on a "lack of harm" to the Cities themselves.
Ironically, the U.S. argues this in the face of the recent ruling by Judge Armstrong that the proponents of the initiatives passed by the voters do not have the right to intervene in the case. She based her ruling on the assertion that the Cities are able to present a full defense of the measures without the participation of the proponents in the case. If neither the Cities nor the proponents have standing to defend the measures, then how will the people who voted for them be represented in defending their right to protect youth from the excesses of recruiters?
The Cities have argued that, under the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, people have a right to privacy and to protect their children from uninvited or inappropriate advances by anyone, including military recruiters. Further, under the Tenth Amendment, they have the right to enact and enforce ballot initiative ordinances.
The City of Arcata is represented by Brad Yamauchi of the San Francisco firm of Minami and Tamaki, LLP, and by the Law Offices of Michael Sorgen, and City Attorney, Nancy Diamond.
The City of Eureka is represented by their City Attorney, Sheryl Schaffner, and by San Francisco attorney, Dennis Cunningham. All non-city attorneys are offering their services pro-bono.
Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing, the people of Arcata and Eureka continue to demand that the United States of America “Stop Recruiting Kids!” in their communities.
If you have had first-hand experience with military recruiters initiating contact with minors, please write up a detailed account of your experience, and send it to:
These first-person accounts may be very important to arguments in defense of the ordinances.