Benny Marchesi

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The Honorable
Benny Marchesi
Tom McClintock 113th Congress.jpg
Official 2017 portrait
20th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe
Assumed office
March 1, 2012
Preceded by Thomas Tauscher
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe
In office
June 28, 2008 – March 1, 2012
Preceded by Lou Carbajal
Succeeded by Anthony Barham
Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Tahoe
In office
April 9, 2002 – June 28, 2008
Preceded by Susan Knowland
Succeeded by Lucille Royer
Personal details
Born (1956-12-16) December 16, 1956 (age 63)
Flag of Reno.svg Carson City, Reno
Political party Remove Kebab Party.svg Remove Kebab (2013–present)
DRPS 2017.svg Democratic-Republican (2002-2013, expelled)
Spouse(s) Karen Price (m. 1979)
Children 3
Alma mater University of Sierra, Bernheim (BA)
King Smith University School of Law (JD)
Religion Roman Catholic
Personal arms Coat of arms of Benny Marchesi.svg
Signature
Benny Marchesi.jpg This article is part of a series about
Benny Marchesi

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe
Electoral history · Political positions · Institute for Sierran Immigration Reform · Remove Kebab Party
Coat of arms of Benny Marchesi.svg

Benny Marchesi.svg
Flag of Tahoe.svg

Benjamin Benito "Benny" Marchesi (/mɑrˈkeɪzɪ/; born December 16, 1956) is a Sierran politician, author, and attorney who has served as the 20th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe since March 1, 2012. A member of the Remove Kebab Party, Marchesi joined after he was banned from the Democratic-Republican Party due to Marchesi's controversial statements towards Muslims and members of the LGBT community in 2013. He previously served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe and as a fellow judge of the Third Circuit of Tahoe.

Born in Carson City, Reno to a wealthy Italian Sierran family, Marchesi is a graduate of the King Smith University School of Law in Monterey, Kings and an alumni of the University of Sierra, Bernheim. He began his career as a staff counsel for Democratic-Republican MP Mark Gusber in Tahoe's 2nd parliamentary district. He worked as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Tahoe for four years after his time as staff counsel. Marchesi then served as an Assistant K.S. Attorney, with a specialty on immigration law, from 1989 to 1995, until he began practicing private law practice.

In 2000, Marchesi was appointed interim judge of the K.S. District Court for Central Styxie by Prime Minister Melinda Peters to fill a vacancy until the term expired. He was subsequently transferred to the Third Circuit Court of Tahoe in 2002 as a judge to fill another vacant seat. He was elected into the position in 2004 on a four-year term. In 2008, he sought election for the Supreme Court of Tahoe as an associate justice, to replace the seat of retiring Associate Justice Lou Carbajal. As an Associate Justice, he became well-known for his obstructionist policies, concurring with his conservative peers on numerous cases, including striking down a provincial law banning plastic bags. He nonetheless sided with his centrist peers on issues regarding fiscal matters and criminal justice, with a notable example with his opposition to the death penalty. His decisions and opinions in the court earned him the nickname, "Blocky Benny" (alternately stylized as 🅱locky 🅱enny).

In 2012, Marchesi was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Shasta, narrowly defeating his opponent Democratic-Republican Ryan Ivey by a margin of 2,101 votes. In 2013, the Democratic-Republican Party officially disavowed any affiliation with Marchesi by expelling him, following a number of videos surfacing that showed him directing slurs towards Muslims and LGBT members. His refusal to apologize led to calls pressing for his resignation and months-long protests outside the Tahoe Supreme Court. Marchesi joined the far-right Remove Kebab Party a month after his expulsion from the Democratic-Republicans and became the first Remove Kebab to hold a significant position in the Sierran judicial system.

Marchesi has been described as an advocate for Sierra's far-right politics. He has attracted significant controversy over statements and views that have been called racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, and Islamophobic. He has openly supported Christian dominionism, calling himself a "modern Crusader", in his capacity as a Remove Kebab Party spokesman. He also has previous connections with members of the Imperial Knights of Sierra and similar white nationalist organizations. He has also founded the Institute for Sierran Immigration Reform, which has been described as a hate group by the Pacific Civil Liberties Center.

Early life[edit]

Benjamin Benito "Benny" Marchesi was born in Carson City, Reno, the eldest son of Assunta (née Pierno) and Sergio "Secondo" Marchesi. His father was a neurosurgeon who worked at the Lyon Memorial Medical Center while his mother was a practicing pediatrician at a local health clinic. He has Italian ancestry, with his father's side hailing from Sicily and his mother's side from Basilicata. Both his parents were native-born Italian Sierrans, while his paternal and maternal grandparents both respectively arrived as immigrants from Italy. He was the oldest of four siblings, growing up with Danny, Nicoletta, and Johnny. When Marchesi was in fifth grade, his family moved to Roseville, Tahoe after his father found work at the University of Sierra, Davis Medical Center.

Raised with a Roman Catholic upbringing, Marchesi attended the Saint Xavier Junior High School, a parochial grade school. He later attended Augustus Sutter High School, a public school, in Citrus Heights. He participated in the school debate club, journalism club, and athletics program as a track-and-field athlete. He won two provincial championship honors and was a national finalist in 1973. Marchesi graduated as one of the salutatorians with high honors. After graduation, he attended the University of Sierra, Bernheim with full scholarship, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in economics. Marchesi then attended King Smith University Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.

Legal career[edit]

Early legal career[edit]

Marchesi in 1997

After graduation, Marchesi started work in private practice with a focus on personal injury and vehicle accident cases at the Sacramento-based Holstein & Cho law firm. He worked on researching case studies and preparing arguments for Holstein & Cho's defense team on a case defending blind people over the City of Roseville's attempt to replace standard intersections with shared spaces. After three years, he joined the staff counsel for Democratic-Republican MP Mark Gusber through network connections via the Barony of Roseville during the Ford Government. Due to his academic achievement, Marchesi was able to find work at the Supreme Court of Tahoe as a law clerk, working directly for Chief Justice Christian Myers between 1985 and 1989. He then worked as an Assistant K.S. Attorney for the Ministry of Justice's Immigration and Naturalization Division from 1989 to 1995 before resigning to continue private practice as a returning partner for Holstein & Cho.

He worked on a number of pro bono cases on behalf of Holstein & Cho, including a case where Marchesi represented Frank Mackey, a former police officer, who was convicted of negligence and involuntary manslaughter. Marchesi briefly served as an adjunct faculty member at the Sierra National University, Sacramento, and made contributions to its official library. He was able to argue four cases before the Supreme Court of Tahoe and one at the Supreme Court of Sierra, prevailing in all of them.

Interim District Judge[edit]

In 2000, Judge Carlos Vergas from the K.S. District Court for Central Styxie was involved in a serious accident, with a post-surgical recovery that prevented him from continuing work. In the midst of this vacancy, Marchesi appeared on an official list as one of the recommended candidates to fill in for Vergas' vacancy to Prime Minister Melinda Peters. Marchesi was ultimately nominated by Peters, who cited his previous work, personal recommendations, and legal achievements, as well as familiarity with the Central Styxie area as Peters' decision to choose him. After undergoing a background check and an evaluation test, his nomination was approved by the Senate 88–37. Marchesi would serve as a temporary interim judge, who would complete the remainder of Vergas' elected term. When the term expired, he did not seek election as he accepted an offer to transfer to the Third Circuit Court of Tahoe to fill in another vacancy.

Circuit Judge[edit]

Benny Marchesi attending the National Prayer and Faith Committee during his tenure as Circuit Judge.

Marchesi succeeded Susan Knowland as the Circuit Judge for the Third District of Tahoe on April 9, 2002. During his tenure, he attracted attention for his opening prayers, which he started at the start of every court session. Members of the jury and defense attorneys objected to his prayer, with one juror stating it made them "incredibly uncomfortable". During one case, Marchesi asked a juror, who was a priest, to pray on their behalf for guidance. Marchesi's courtroom was filled with religious language, frequently citing biblical passages and spiritual stories to explain his arguments and sentencing. Although he received warnings from the National Bureau of Court Administration for violating standard protocol, Marchesi successfully challenged the complaints, insisting he did not compel people within the courtroom to join him in prayer. On June 29, 2003, he began the session questioning what was so controversial about public prayer, stating, "What is so wrong about witnessing a man pray before his fellow citizens. Is prayer not the most powerful expression of religious liberty? Prayer calls for guidance, for blessings. I am merely seeking the right path that my Lord Jesus wants for me."

The Democratic-Republican Party of Tahoe continued to endorse Marchesi, despite objections to the judge's conduct, citing his judicial record and case studies. It also stated that Marchesi represented the social attitudes of Styxie's Democratic-Republican voters, who leaned much more conservative than their national counterparts. Marchesi himself stated that he was a loyal Democratic-Republican and insisted that "Christian values are compatible with the Democratic-Republican vision of economic fairness and justice". The Sierran Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Marchesi in 2004 for his courtroom prayers, stating that it was unconstitutional for a person in public office to promote or partake in religious activities while operating in an official capacity. The lawsuit attracted widespread media attention, with supporters and opponents rallying outside Marchesi's Circuit Court. Marchesi himself responded to SCLU's lawsuit, calling it "an attack against honest expression of faith in the public sphere", and was invited to speak at the National Prayer and Faith Committee in support of public prayer.

The Supreme Court of Tahoe took up on the SCLU's case against Marchesi and ruled in the judge's favor, arguing that the separation of church and state clause did not expressly forbid the mere presence or act of religious activities in the public sphere. It argued that politicians frequently included generalized statements asking for God's blessing or divine providence, which could not be construed as the Sierran government itself promoting any established religion. The Supreme Court further stated that because the prayer was a personal choice that neither added nor diminished the value or order of the court hearings, it could not be restricted on the grounds of religious freedom. The case's victory boosted Marchesi's individual approval ratings, and the judge was awarded the National Prayer Warrior of the Year Award in 2005.

When the National Bureau of Court Administration made changes explicitly forbidding prayers in court sessions within its protocol, Marchesi chose to defy the Bureau's new rule, and continued his standard prayer openings. Thousands of supporters rallied outside of his court and the administrative headquarters of the Bureau in Porciúncula to demand a reversal of the decision. As specified from the Bureau's ruling, the province of Tahoe incurred a $5,000 fine for every time Marchesi violated the ruling for failure to comply with the order. The Government of Tahoe came out in support of Marchesi in protest of the order, demanding a reconsideration by the Bureau over the matter. After four months, the Bureau invalidated the fines and removed the prayer ban rule from its protocol.

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Tahoe[edit]

In late 2007, the Sierran Family Values Association started a campaign action committee to nominate Marchesi as a candidate for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe. Associate Justice Lou Carbajal announced his resignation earlier that year. Carbajal was a moderate Democratic-Republican whose swing vote was considered crucial as the tie-breaker for most provincial court cases. Conservative Democratic-Republicans and Royalist Tahoeans wanted Marchesi to replace Carbajal to ensure the Court would lean slightly rightward. Marchesi himself expressed interest and announced his intention to run for the position on December 8, 2007 during a press conference in his courtroom. He vowed to "bring back Tahoe's values to God's plans" while "protecting the weak and serving the poor through principled, just decisions". He argued that the deterioration of Christian values correlated with the rise in crime, homelessness, drug abuse, and other social woes.

Although the Tahoe Democratic-Republicans fully endorsed Marchesi's candidacy, the Democratic-Republican National Committee distanced themselves from Marchesi's campaign by offering no official endorsements to any candidates, merely imploring voters to choose a candidate based on their political conscience. Twelve Democratic-Republican senators and MPs, alongside twenty Royalist lawmakers personally endorsed Marchesi however. Marchesi stated that his relationship with the national Democratic-Republicans as "complicated by contrasting worldviews" but respected them and insisted he did not seek to upset or displace their strength over Tahoe. However, he argued "Tahoe is a Styxie province and our mantra is simple: 'Our traditions will never die'. We embody the classical Democratic-Republican resilience and defense of such values." The Barony of Roseville, Marchesi's primary liege, similarly did not endorse Marchesi's candidacy although a number of associated baronets did.

Associate Justice Benny Marchesi, 2010

Due to an agreement between the conservative Democratic-Republicans and the Royalist Party in Tahoe, the Royalists did not run any candidates for the race and instead urged voters to support Marchesi. Marchesi's main opponent from within the Democratic-Republican Party was Chuck Norman, who ran on a more moderate platform, and received the backing of a number of mainstream Democratic-Republican politicians and organizations. Although early polls indicated Marchesi trailed behind Norman by four points, within a month of the primaries, Marchesi surpassed him by two points. Marchesi eventually defeated Norman with over 50% of the vote and then easily defeated independent contender Lisa Pang with over 70% of the vote. Upon being declared victor of the race, Marchesi stated, "Tahoe has made it loud and clear. God is at the center of our lives and we insist that good morals dictate the law of the land." He was formally invested on June 28, 2008, and heard his first arguments as an Associate Justice on June 30, 2008 on a session of Loyola v. Ochoa Securities Ltd.

Aside from his ongoing controversies, Marchesi kept a relatively low-profile on his court opinions. He showed a commitment to conservative values on social issues but was comparatively moderate on economic and political issues. In criminal cases, Marchesi was an advocate for defendants' rights, reasoning that "forgiveness and compassion are cornerstone to our nation's values". He also spoke out against the death penalty, contrary to most of his conservative peers, believing that "it isn't right to condemn people to death" as only God was able to judge them. The Porciúncula Law School Herald remarked that Marchesi was "remarkably centrist" when it came to most case opinions, and only sided as a "staunch conservative" on issues regarding faith and moral issues. However, it also noted that his case opinions suggested he was an obstructionist who pursued a "quasi-originalist philosophy". He earned the nickname, "Blocky Benny" from journalists and opponents, for his decisions, a nickname which he came to embrace while in office.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Tahoe[edit]

In 2011, Tahoe Chief Justice Thomas Tauscher announced his intention to step down and retire amid age-related health complications. This opening prompted the Sierran Family Values Association to begin developing a plan to get Marchesi elected as Chief Justice and secure another reliable conservative in Marchesi's place. Since Tahoe's terms for justices were limited to four years, Marchesi had the choice to either run again as an Associate Justice or Chief Justice, for which he opted Chief Justice, stressing, "We need to show the nation that voters here want someone who champions our God-given rights and fears the Lord."

Marchesi's main opponent was Ryan Ivey, a fellow Democratic-Republican, who had served as a District Judge himself from the Fifth District. Due to shifting attitudes, the Tahoe Democratic-Republicans no longer endorsed Marchesi's bid for Chief Justice, and instead openly supported Ivey, which Marchesi later remarked was "absolute betrayal". While Ivey was the establishment favorite and had more financial contributions to his campaign, Marchesi focused on his ties with a number of social conservative organizations and criminal justice reform groups to emphasize his principles and values. Marchesi had come under fire for his some of his statements regarding homosexuality, which he believed was a sin. Although he did not back down on his statements, he pointed out the hypocrisy of his fellow Democratic-Republicans who had once prominently came out in support of anti-same-sex marriage laws. He proposed the alternative choice of civil unions for same-sex couples and vowed to preserve traditional marriage if the case appeared before his court.

Since the election for Chief Justice of Tahoe was a jungle primary, both Marchesi and Ivey received the most votes in the race, leading them to face off in the general election, despite the two being from the same party. Although Ivey had a considerable lead over Marchesi early on (having placed first in the primaries), Marchesi made headway on the polls, following Ivey's statements regarding his willingness to dip the flag to the Queen, a highly controversial faux pas in the Styxie, and subsequent accusations that Ivey was a monarchist sympathizer. Marchesi capitalized on this blunder, emphasizing on his cultural republicanism and waved a flag of Tahoe stating "This flag bows to no earthly king or queen".

In one of the closest and most hotly contested elections in Sierran history, Marchesi defeated Ivey by a margin of only 2,387 votes, in an electorate size of nearly 750,000 voters. Ivey's electoral campaign demanded a recount, believing the call was made too early and that Springsteen County officials discarded a number of its absentee votes as they were postmarked dates later than the original deadline a week before. The recount, whose results were announced three days after the election, narrowed the margin even further to only 2,101 votes. The race was described as a significant political upset, and calls for Marchesi's resignation from the opposition began almost immediately after the results were conclusively announced.

Controversy and expulsion from Democratic-Republican Party[edit]

Logo of the Remove Kebab Party
Marchesi escorted out of a community event which was disrupted by protesters in 2015.

In early 2013, Marchesi made a series of controversial statements regarding members of the LGBT community and Muslims that were perceived as defamatory and offensive. In a speech directed towards his flagship Institute for Sierran Immigration Reform at a private event, Marchesi stated that open immigration was supported by the Sierran "leftist elite" because it allowed Muslim immigrants to "take over and impose Sharia law". He quipped that one of the few issues he could agree with "radical Islam" was "punishing the gays". Following this speech and a number of related statements thereafter, RBS received an anonymous source who recorded the event in secret, and published it a few days after the event. Marchesi's statements were widely panned and condemned by mainstream media sources and his fellow peers, including many from the Democratic-Republican Party. Within 24 hours of the video's release, the Democratic-Republican Party announced it was suspending Marchesi's membership with the party and were considering expelling him for his statements if he did not clarify and apologize for his statements.

Marchesi refused to recant his statements, saying that he "stood by them one hundred percent" in a press conference a day after the Democratic-Republicans issued their ultimatum. He was subsequently banned from the Democratic-Republican Party, becoming the most prolific ban since the Sierran Civil War when the Party expelled Isaiah Landon and his supporters. Within a few days, Marchesi received offers from a number of right-wing parties to join, with the notable exception of the Royalists. Although the Royalists were long considered a party most consistent with Marchesi's social values, Marchesi dismissed any move to join the Royalists, opting instead for the far-right, anti-immigration Remove Kebab Party (which began initially as a satirical party). He was quickly given an official role as a party spokesman under the discretion of party president Trevor XI.

Demands for his immediate resignation grew and daily protests were held outside the Tahoe Supreme Court Building for months. On multiple occasions, Marchesi and his fellow colleagues had to be escorted in and out of the building with high security details in order to work. On July 2013, the Governor of Tahoe officially ordered a perimeter around the Supreme Court Building and designated a permanent free speech zone about 200 feet away from the entrance, and created a controlled-access fenced line to allow authorized personnel and guests into the building for the safety of Marchesi and the other members of the Court. Marchesi refused to apologize for his statements, even as additional videos surfaced. Associate Justice Eliza Strauss resigned from her position out of protest of Marchesi, citing her increasing discomfort with his views and behavior, and implored him to leave the bench.

Personal life[edit]

Marriage and children[edit]

Marchesi met his future wife, Karen Price, when they shared the same English literature class at Augustus Sutter High School their sophomore year. The two became acquaintances and dated other peers before each other their senior year. Marchesi and Price both attended the University of Sierra, Bernheim together, with Marchesi studying economics and Price studying accounting. The two continued dating after Marchesi went to King Smith University and married in 1985 after Marchesi graduated with his Juris Doctor degree. Marchesi and Price were both aged 29 at the time and have three adult children together (Henry, Jessica, and Ryan). Before both of his parents died, Marchesi's mother and father lived with the family, which Marchesi remarked, "It just felt natural to keep close with family. Family is everything."

Religious views[edit]

Marchesi was born and raised as a Catholic. As a youth, he was active in church life, participating as an altar boy and a member of the choir. While Marchesi was in high school, he considered becoming a priest. He has attributed his faith as the primary reason he chose to enter politics and law, and believes Sierra is under the "sovereign dominion of God". He identifies himself as a Traditionalist Catholic, attending the Tridentine Mass in Latin every Sunday, and has criticized the post-Second Vatican Council practices of the Church, which he claimed were corrupted by liberalism and modernism. He praised Pope Ignatius whom he described as leading the Church "back into the right direction". Despite his Traditionalist views, he has expressed affinity with Evangelical Protestants, stating he was able to "overlook theological and dogmatic differences" with his Protestant peers, so long as they were "impassioned in upholding the law of God".

Marchesi states that he makes an effort to attend Mass almost daily. He said his experiences in politics has only "deepened [his] faith in God" and acknowledged that he was a "Christian warrior". His emphasis on faith has made him popular among evangelical voters while his support among Catholics is significantly weaker. Marchesi stated that his base support came from those who "took their faith seriously" rather than necessarily those from his denomination. He firmly values Judeo-Christian values over secular humanism, describing the latter as a "modern-day cancer" and has mixed feelings towards Sierran humanism, a synthesized form of Confucianism and Christianity which originated from the Sierran Cultural Revolution.

Political positions[edit]

Abortion and birth control[edit]

Marchesi believes that life begins at the moment of conception and is opposed to all forms of abortion, except in life-threatening situations, which he stated in 2009, "almost certainly is never ever the case". In the Waters v. Planned Starts Clinic, he formed the majority opinion that struck down partial-birth abortions, calling it a "grave moral hazard that denies life to unborn children". His decision was later upheld by the Supreme Court of Sierra when it was appealed in 2008. At a 2009 Sierran National Right to Life Organization gathering, he said, "As a pro-life judge, I am completely committed towards protecting all stages of human life." He has openly stated he believes the National Family Planning program should be abolished "outright", describing its foundation in 1986 as "one of Sierra's worst moral decisions ever made". He has received a consistent 0% from the National Reproductive Rights Advocacy Network and has received perfect 100% from the Sierran National Right to Life Organization based on his court decisions and legal work pertaining to the matter.

He opposes the promotion or sale of contraceptive products and other forms of birth control, insisting that the only acceptable forms to prevent births are natural birth control and abstinence. He has also alleged that compulsory sex education in Sierran public education has "led teenagers towards a life of bodily degradation, unrestrained recklessness, and hedonistic destruction".

Church and state[edit]

Marchesi stated that although he believed that the government should protect the freedom of religion, he did not agree with the idea that religion should be separated from the public, political sphere. He has urged Christians to involve their faith actively in politics and believed, "Sierra was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, principles which cannot be abandoned and must be defended at all costs." He has also stated, "The ultimate source of all laws must come from God, the true sovereign." He has defended staff-led prayer in public schools and has throughout his career as a judge, publicly started sessions within the courtroom, start with a personal prayer, including in the Supreme Court. His actions were of special controversy when he served as District Judge for the Third District of Tahoe. Marchesi does not believe such actions constitutes a violation of the separation of church and state principle but does believe that the government must and should acknowledge the sovereignty and existence of God, by virtue of its own references to a creator in the Constitution.

Civil rights[edit]

Marchesi has opposed expanding civil rights and anti-discrimination legislation, claiming that current, existing laws already provide sufficient protections for ethnic and religious minorities. He has stated he is an impassioned proponent for provincial rights, and has criticized the employment of federal civil rights legislations for overturning provincial-level voting laws and other practices. He stated in an interview with a conservative radio show host that he saw "nothing wrong with poll taxes and voter ID laws", and has stated that the NICs were simply not sufficient enough to prevent fraudulent voting.

He has deplored what he describes is a "leftward tendency" among civil rights advocates and proponents, and claimed that ethnic minorities' reliance on the government has caused such groups to become "infantilized and dependent". Marchesi stated although he believed although he agreed with "some of the aims" of the Civil Rights Movement from the Sierran Cultural Revolution, the overall movement "caused much harm to the political culture and order", and suggested that the "racial dynamic" was greatly compromised, citing the government's supposed preference of East Asians over Southern Europeans such as Marchesi's ethnicity, the Italians, during the peak of the Revolution.

Climate change and the environment[edit]

Marchesi disagrees with the scientific consensus on climate change. Although he recognizes climate change is real, he does not believe that humans have contributed significantly to it. He has criticized what he perceives is "global warming alarmism" and believes that regulations to combat climate changes should be met with "fierce skepticism and wariness", as he sees them as "government overstepping its boundaries" in the private sector. Nonetheless, Marchesi has supported conservation efforts, believing humans have been given "stewardship from God" and are expected to take care of the Earth. He also supports research and development of alternative fuels, though only for economic reasons, stating, "Sierra needs to let go of its dependence on foreign sources of energy. Oil reserves won't last forever and we need all the technology and new forms of energy we can get before the next energy crisis comes."

Education[edit]

Marchesi supports public education but has insisted that public education policy should be dictated by the provinces, rather than the federal government. He has voiced concerns over standardized testing and federal General Curriculum standards. He opposes school choice, specifically education vouchers for private schools, claiming that they negatively affect low-income students living in poor neighborhoods and rural communities. He supports early childhood education and believes that its value is important enough to make it universal and free to all children. Marchesi nonetheless recognizes the need for parents to instill their personal values to their children and supports homeschooling programs. Marchesi has also voiced his support in increasing funding for vocational and training programs, claiming that "too many students are entering college and leaving with nothing but debt and a useless paper, just to flip burgers". He has proposed an expansion of apprenticeships and called for businesses to hire more apprentices and interns to teach students "valuable and useful skills".

Evolution[edit]

Marchesi believes that Darwinism is "flawed and inaccurate" and denies macroevolution. He endorses the concept of intelligent design although emphasizes that he is an Old Earth creationist. He supports teaching intelligent design and creation science alongside the theory of evolution in public schools. He claims that the theory of evolution has encouraged more socially liberal mores and irreligion because it "teaches that humans are just animals and reduces everything to simply following their primal desires".

Foreign policy[edit]

Marchesi has criticized Sierra's foreign policy, decrying the country's participation in various international organizations, alliances, and conflicts as "needless entanglement". He has called for withdrawal from the Conference of American States as a hard Ameroskeptic and the League of Nations, which he calls is a "Luciferean organization". He stated he prefers to be called a "nationalist" rather than an isolationist, and believes Sierran politicians should focus on the issues relevant at home, before looking outwards. His views have been compared to those of paleoconservatives on the subject of foreign policy. He vehemently opposes foreign aid and arms deals, especially with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, because "foreign dictators use it to squander and attack their own people at the expense of Sierran taxpayers".

Free speech[edit]

Marchesi has called himself an "outspoken defender of free speech", believing it is essential for citizens to "speak their mind freely and openly, no matter how right, wrong, great, or stupid it is". He said his own experiences have made him "especially acute and aware of the importance of free speech". In 2016, he was given a A- by the National Coalition for Free and Protected Speech, based off of his case decisions and opinions. He has criticized political correctness, dismissing it as "the left resorting to totalitarian, Orwellian Newspeak to protect their worldview", and acknowledged that "many of the things I say are considered politically incorrect, but frankly, I don't care". On one occasion, he retorted, "Political correctness? That's a fancy way to say 'coward'".

Gun rights[edit]

Marchesi has had a mixed record with gun rights according to pro-gun control and anti-gun control activists. Although Marchesi has stated he is personally a "gun enthusiast", he supports limited gun control and believes that there should be background checks to screen individuals with mental health issues, past criminal activity, and other conditions. While he has "acknowledged that there are millions of law-abiding, respectful gun owners, what harm is filing out some paperwork the way you do to drive a car legally or obtain a NIC any much different from getting a gun?"

He has suggested gun sales should be prohibited to individuals part of the No-Fly List or deemed unsafe by intelligence communities, including certain groups. When asked who in a 2015 interview, Marchesi stated controversially, "We should keep an out on susceptible groups such as young black men and recently immigrated Muslims". Marchesi believes that reducing gun violence can be done by seizing firearms available in violence-prone communities or done through buyback programs. Marchesi has voiced his support to closing existing loopholes allowing guns to be sold without background checks or licenses through third-party, private sellers at gun shows and fairs. He supports concealed carry in public spaces but believes businesses, as well as public facilities such as schools, should have the right to deny patrons from entering their premises regardless of provincial laws on open carry or concealed carry. He has been given a D+ by the National Firearms Association (NFA) and a B- by the Sierrans for Gun Reform Association (SGRA).

Immigration[edit]

Marchesi strongly opposes illegal immigration and spent his formative years in politics and law as a federal assistant attorney specializing in immigration cases. He has called for increased border security along the Mexico–Sierra border and a zero tolerance policy for businesses that hire and employ illegal immigrants. As Chief Justice, he struck down sanctuary cities in Tahoe, claiming it "superfluously ignores federal law on matters of national security and integrity". Marchesi does not support amnesty and believes children born on K.S. soil to non-citizens entering illegally should be retroactively stripped of their citizenship. He has also been critical of birth tourism, and said that "it is imperative that Sierra abolish the outdated, damaging unconditional jus soli principle" for citizenship. He has also called for Sierra's withdrawal from the St. Louis Area, calling it "disastrous" for allowing Sierra's borders to the north and east to becoming "virtually non-existent". He has supported initiatives to construct barriers along the borders with Brazoria and Rainier should Sierra leave the common area policy.

LGBT rights[edit]

Marchesi is opposed to same-sex marriage, believing the government has a "moral duty to preserve traditional marriage between man and woman". In a 2011 Supreme Court case, he wrote, "Marriage is a fundamentally different institution by which we propagate our species and inculcate our young," and stressed that homosexuality goes against "the laws of nature". He further believed that changing societal perception of marriage did not justify legalizing same-sex marriage. He has stated, "It was Lincoln who said that if you call a tail a dog, how many legs has a dog? The answer is four. And calling a civil contract between consenting adults a marriage does not make it a marriage. When you marry, you need consent from God first and foremost." He has equated homosexuality to bestiality and is supportive of laws that would make homosexuality and homosexual acts illegal. He has openly supported gay conversion therapy, believing that the practice is humane and effective because "homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that can and should be changed".

Marijuana[edit]

Marchesi opposes the legalization and usage of marijuana, for both medicinal and recreational forms. He favors a zero-tolerance policy against the production and selling of marijuana but supports handing out rehabilitative sentences for marijuana users rather than the traditional minimum sentencing in prisons. He has called cannabis a "gateway drug" to harder drugs and said its use corresponds with "increased crime, increased dropouts, and decreased productivity". Marchesi believes that using marijuana and other drugs are not victimless crimes and says the term is misleading because "even if no one else is affected, the user is". However, he also insisted that the nation's marijuana policies should be "left to the provinces" and did not believe the federal government "should not actively target provinces which say it is legal".

National security[edit]

Marchesi favors collection of bulk metadata for purposes of national security and has called Islam the "single biggest threat" to Sierra's national security. He believes the religion is incompatible with Sierran values and has stated, "There is such a thing as radical Islam. It's simply Islam. It's redundant". Following the 2015 San Bernardino attack, Marchesi called for increased scrutiny and monitoring of suspected individuals, as well as cross-examinations and data sharing between Sierran intelligence agencies and private telecommunications companies. He believes that the government's first and foremost duty is to protect national security and has dismissed claims that mass surveillance amounted to a violation of privacy. Marchesi told a journalist in an interview with Newstar, "If you have nothing to hide, then don't worry about it. The government won't be snooping in on you." He has favored instituting a no fly list in order to prevent suspected terrorists from bypassing airport security and federal monitoring measures. He has also suggested that "we should wiretap the mosques", claiming that "radical imams are training jihadis right here at home", and further believed that congregations which have members that become radicalized "should be shut down".

Republicanism[edit]

Marchesi identifies himself as a cultural republican and has stated that the "republican lifestyle very strongly defines who I am today". Although he calls for everyone to respect the Queen and the Sierran Royal Family, he is critical of the "government's obsession with the glamour and glimmer of monarchism". He has also voiced his concern with the monarchy's history with supporting the Sierran Cultural Revolution and social progressivism. He named Lewis I of Sierra as his least favorite monarch and also criticized Smith I for "betraying" his original republican ideals. He called Isaiah Landon's efforts during the Sierran Civil War as "honorable and humbling" but stated he did not support the idea of reviving a republican style for Sierra "in the foreseeable future".

Trade[edit]

Marchesi favors protectionist trade policies and has called Sierra's involvement in the CAS Common Market Policy as a "grave mistake". He is critical of free trade agreements, and expressed his desire for Sierran politicians to reevaluate national trade policies with a number of countries. He has labeled China as a currency manipulator for artificially keeping its currency devalued and expressed doubt on Sierra's benefit from participating in the Trans-Pacific Allied Community. He has criticized globalization and feared that the continued trend towards open and free trade is harmful to Sierran workers and domestic interests. He believes it is essential to impose tariffs on foreign goods to give Sierran producers and firms a "home field advantage".

Views on anime[edit]

Marchesi has expressed his dismay with the modern Sierran anime industry, criticizing many shows to be "trite, crass, and morally bankrupt". He has published a number of reviews and lists of Sierran anime and cartoon series which he believed were "wholesome and compatible" for Christian viewers. He has praised Pope Ignatius' own views on anime, believing it could be an appropriate form of entertainment if it helped glorify God and promoted upstanding values. On the issue of shipping within Sierran youth culture, Marchesi has urged viewers to only support fictional relationships which embody the perfect, godly Christian relationship. He stressed that shipping should be limited to heterosexual ships and emphasized that any ships that included elements of yaoi, yuri, lolicon, and NTR are forms of "absolute degeneracy and depravity that should be shunned from believers".

Views on CAS[edit]

As a hard Ameroskeptic, Marchesi strongly opposes the Conference of American States and believes Sierra's membership and compliance with CAS rules have "compromised and jeopardized the independence and integrity of Sierran sovereignty". He has criticized the open border policy of the St. Louis Area and regulatory powers of the American Parliament, American Council, and American Secretariat. He has expressed strong support for a Sierrexit referendum. He has accused the Conference for being biased towards the Eastern Anglo-American states, particularly the United Commonwealth and the Northeast Union, and called many of its regulations as "failures". Following Prime Minister Nemesis Heartwell's announcement at the 2017 CAS Königsberg summit, Marchesi said, "Sierra should not be denied the opportunity to leave the abusive, one-sided relationship with the Conference, which is just a Continental puppet". He also described the proposed common currency, the Amero, the "penultimate step to implementing the mark of the beast".

Views on Islam[edit]

Marchesi has been labeled one of the most prolific Islamophobes in Sierra by the Sierran Muslim Council who has promoted "dangerous, hostile views about Islam". Marchesi has labeled Islam as Sierra's biggest threat to its national security and believes that it is incompatible with Sierra's values and beliefs. He has insisted that Allah is not the same god as the Judeo-Christian God and made controversial statements about the Islamic prophet Muhammad, including comments that the prophet was a "pedophile warlord". In a 2016 column he wrote in the Sierran conservative magazine The National Trooper, he asserted that Muslims could not be trusted as they are "only interested in subverting Western values for Sharia law as fundamentalists or secular liberalism as so-called moderates". Marchesi views moderate Muslims as "atheists in disguise", and uses the term interchangeably with cultural Muslims, to explain left-leaning tendencies among Sierra's Muslim youth.

He believes that Christian fundamentalism to Islamic fundamentalism is not comparable, stating, "No other religion has, both in the past and present, disproportionately caused its followers to incite violence against nonbelievers. Almost all domestic cases of terrorism in Sierra today come from Muslims, and the media doesn't think anything nefarious about Islam has anything to do with it, while they will gladly jump on Christians when an isolated attack pops up. Islam is no religion of peace". Marchesi has stated he sees no differences between Sunnis and Shi'ites, labeling both as "two sides of the same token", and said he favored neither Saudi Arabia or Iran, preferring instead Lebanon, as his ideal Middle Eastern country "as it's the only one which at least has many Christians". He has stated that he "could be fine" with certain Muslim denominations, specifically Sufis.

Views on Sierran Cultural Revolution[edit]

Marchesi has admitted he has a very "strained and difficult relationship" with the Sierran Cultural Revolution. Although he has praised the religious and social conservative aspects of the Revolution, he has expressed concern with what he calls a "disruption between racial relations and dynamics". He believes the Revolution has distorted Western culture in the movement's attempt to harmonize the distinct idiosyncrasies of the West and the East, and stated that "it does a disservice to both cultures" and has on one instance called modern Sierran culture "Frankenstein" and "manufactured". He states that he respects Confucianism and other Eastern philosophies, but believed "ideally, Christianity and its principles are the only compass we need to rely on".

Views on the Vatican[edit]

As a Traditionalist Catholic, Marchesi has expressed concern with some of the Church's policies and management in the post-Second Vatican Council era. He has condemned what he perceives is the encroachment of liberalism and modernism in the Church, and expressed his desire for the Church to return to its traditional, Tridentine-centered dogma. Marchesi is neither a Sedevacantist nor a conclavist, saying he has recognized the lineage of popes since Pope Pius XII as all legitimate, despite his disagreements with the Second Vatican Council. He has praised Pope Ignatius for his positions and agenda for the Church, and has said, "The current Pope is easily becoming one of my favorites".

Institute for Sierran Immigration Reform[edit]

Marchesi founded the nonprofit legal organization Institute for Sierran Immigration Reform (ISIR) in 2014. The mission of the organization is to "raise awareness on Sierra's broken immigration policies" and to "bring justice for the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens" and asserts that its views are in line with a "growing movement of concerned citizens who desire common sense reforms in immigration law". ISIR runs a monthly magazine, Guardian, which includes articles and reports on incidents and stories involving illegal immigrants. It has been accused of promoting racist and Islamophobic content, and openly hostile to multiculturalism. The organization has also made a number of contributions and endorsements to anti-immigration lawmakers and think tanks, and received support from the Remove Kebab Party and several far-right groups. The organization has been designated as a hate group by the Pacific Civil Liberties Center.

Electoral history[edit]

Flag of Tahoe.svg Chief of Justice of the Tahoe Supreme Court election, 2012 Coat of arms of Tahoe.png
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Benny Marchesi 182,341 49.91%
Democratic-Republican Ryan Ivey 180,240 49.34%
Independent Write-ins 2,728 0.75%
Total votes 365,308 100.00%
Flag of Tahoe.svg Associate Justice of the Tahoe Supreme Court election, 2008 Coat of arms of Tahoe.png
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Benny Marchesi 167,282 72.99%
Independent Lisa Pang 50,184 21.90%
Independent Write-ins 11,703 5.11%
Total votes 229,169 100.00%

See also[edit]

Legal offices

Preceded by
Thomas Tauscher


Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe Incumbent

Preceded by
Lou Carbajal


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Tahoe
2008–2012
Succeeded by
Anthony Barham