Barstow, FL — Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook was arrested late yesterday by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd for failing to comply with a court order to “unlock” Apple iPhones for the government. Mr. Cook was visiting family in Florida and did not know that there was a warrant issued for his arrest.
“You cannot create a business model to say, ‘We’re not paying attention to the federal judge or the state judge. You see, we’re above the law,'” Judd said. “The CEO of Apple needs to know he’s not above the law, and neither is anybody else in the United States.”
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, the controversial Sheriff discussed a recent murder case in which the suspects took photos on their iPhones, but later than supplied the passwords to the police. He said the arrest was justified under an obscure 18th century United States statute called the All Writs Act which was a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The act states that everyone is subject to court orders when “[t]he absence of alternative remediesâ€”the act is only applicable when other judicial tools are not available.” In this case, the government is arguing that no other judicial tools are available to crack to phone, therefore Apple is in contempt of court.
“It’s really important that we follow the Constitution,” continued Sheriff Judd. “And Tim Cook believes that he is above it.”
Not everyone is convinced that Apple should capitulate to the demand of the government.
“The FBI is attempting to explore and establish the limits of its legal powers to combat terrorism, as well as more mundane domestic crimes. Because under existing laws, in the absence of action by Congress and the White House, it’s up to the courts, which is not good,” said Constitutional History Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago. “This is one of those cases where the Congress needs to do its job and not defer to the Courts.”
When asked about the broader implications of usurping due process in favor of an arguably unconstitutional statute, the Sheriff was unapologetic.
“Look, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” continued Judd as he bristled at the implication that he was violating Mr. Cook’s civil rights. “Look, it’s clear that Tim Cook was aiding and abetting criminal activity in the San Bernardino tragedy. And more than likely future ones. It’s time for elites to understand that they don’t run the county. We are a country of laws, not of men.”