Erstwhile House of Delegates candidate Rich Collins got what he was looking for in court yesterday: a trespassing conviction, Liesel Nowak reports in today’s Daily Progress. Collins was arrested for trespass for campaigning on private property in mid-May, leading to his civil suit against the property owner, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Rutherford Institute in his case.
His criminal conviction is required in order for him to appeal the case up to the Virginia Supreme Court, the only state court that can set new precedent in the matter, hence his happiness at being convicted by Judge Stephen Helvin. The judge believes it likely that the court of last appeal would rule against Collins, but added: “If I were on the Supreme Court, I’d rule in your favor.” Helvin confessed that he’d thought the case would be an easy one, but that upon consideration, he found himself favoring Collins. “It’s not an easy issue. For someone born in the shadow of Monticello, this is one time I wouldn’t mind going up to talk to the guy on the hill.”