Midshipman First Class Chase Standage Defense Fund

Campaign Created by: Kevin Standage
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Midshipman First Class Chase Standage First Amendment Defense Fund.

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Goal : $150,000

Raised : $49,235

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My wife and I are careeer law enforcemnt officers.  We are trying to raise money solely for the legal defense of our son, United States Naval Academy Midshipman First Class Chase Standage, who is facing separation from the Academy for violation of his First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights while trying to defend law enforcement and the President of the United States.  Due to his defense of law enforcement and the ideals of law and order, he has been branded a racist by USNA and the Capital Gazette.  One fact that is convienetly left out by USNA and the Capital Gazette, when being labeled a racist, is Chase's best friend and USNA roomate for 3 years is black.

If donations received, exceed those needed for legal expenses, the remaining balance will be donated to The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation and Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Midshipman First Class Chase Standage, is a person of exceptional character and dedication.  He is an Aerospace Engineering major, with a cumulative 3.8 GPA, and has been accepted into graduate school through the prestigious Volunteer Graduate Education Program following the completion of his undergraduate studies in December.  He is an accomplished Commercial Pilot, who flew an airplane solo at 16, before driving a car solo, earned his Private Pilot License at 17, Instrument rating at 18, and Commercial Pilot certificate at 21.  His life long goal has always been to  become a Navy Fighter Pilot.  

And yet MIDN Standage now faces having his exemplary achievements and his future as a Navy pilot canceled for making the mistake of responding to heated exchanges on social media concerning issues of national concern, as well as positions taken both by a female black conservative and pronouncements by the President and Commander-in-Chief, positions with which he agrees and, as an American citizen, with which he has the right to agree.  These exchanges took place over a frightening one-week period in June 2020, during which MIDN Standage sat in the home of his parents, both career Los Angeles Police Department officers; in the midst of the Los Angeles riots, fearing for his parents safety, to tens of thousands of protestors, many of whom were deemed by the President, the U.S. Attorney General, and a resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate, to be domestic terrorists.

The subject matter of these exchanges included a black conservative woman’s views as to the roots of economic disparities among various demographics; whether the U.S. military should be employed to combat the domestic terrorists destroying Los Angeles and other U.S. cities; the police shooting of a black woman; and the Navy Football Team.  

In the first stage of the conduct adjudication process, the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen, Captain (CAPT) Robert Mathewson, made clear to MIDN Standage that there existed only one correct and acceptable position (some of which included implicit criticisms of the President) with respect to each of these issues.  The Deputy Commandant further made clear that MIDN Standage’s deviation from that position rendered his social media posts racist, unprofessional, and a threat to good order and discipline.  Ignoring the law governing the conduct offenses with which MIDN Standage was charged, COMDMIDNNOTE 5720 and UCMJ Article 133, the Deputy Commandant trampled MIDN Standage’s First Amendment rights, found him guilty of both offenses, and forwarded him for separation. 

Commandant of Midshipmen, CAPT Thomas Buchanan, has made clear to the Brigade of Midshipmen must embrace the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Anti-Racist movements’ core principal – that passivity in the face of “racism” is unacceptable, or as the activists like to say, “silence is violence.”  His daughter Anita’s social media biography includes “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) and the abolishment of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.  Among other things, in her tweets and retweets she endorses allegiance to ANTIFA. 

The Superintendent, VADM Buck, has made clear through repeated public pronouncements that he unconditionally embraces the structural and institutional racism tenets of the BLM and Anti-Racist movements and that those tenets will be drilled into the minds of every member of the Brigade of Midshipmen through mandatory training, irrespective of the fact that the President of the United States has ordered that no such training take place at any federal agency.  He has also made clear that he intends to root out and separate any midshipman who fails to get “on board” with these policies.  During his interview of MIDN Standage – the final step in the conduct adjudication process – the Superintendent made good on that threat, evidencing a contempt for law enforcement and leaving no doubt that he viewed threats against MIDN Standage’s parents and other police officers as overblown and no excuse for committing indiscriminate acts of violence against “innocent” civilians.

Meanwhile, numerous current and former midshipmen have, for many months, aggressively engaged in the weaponization of social media in a manner that can only be described as disgraceful, pernicious, racist, nihilistic, and seditious.  Among other things, the posts call for the removal of all white politicians; compare the President to Hitler and Saddam Hussein; advocate shooting a white couple who defended their property with a gun; applaud the mockery, desecration, and destruction of federal and state statues and monuments; endorse rioting, looting, and a countrywide revolution; and call for violence against, and even the death of, MIDN Standage.  Despite the fact that dozens of such posts, by other midshipmen, were called to the attention of the Academy’s senior leadership, MIDN Standage – and only MIDN Standage – faces separation.

The conduct and statements of the Superintendent, the Commandant, and the Deputy Commandant amount to blatant and unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination against MIDN Standage. At issue is the Academy’s monolithic adoption of, and insistence upon, unilateral positions with respect to vitally important issues of public concern and the extent to which any or all of those issues evoke the specter of racism, as framed and defined by movements such as BLM and Anti-Racism.  These movements demand recognition as the sole arbiters of what does or does not constitute “racial insensitivity” or “racism” in this Country, and insist that any position contrary to their pronouncements – even passive silence – is inherently racist and must be condemned.  Those tenets have been embraced by the Naval Academy’s senior leadership and have made their pernicious assault on the First Amendment manifest through the disposition of MIDN Standage’s conduct case and the Superintendent’s separation recommendation.

Pleae help us fund Midn Standage's legal fight to defend his and other Midshipmans constituitional rights.  

The entire case file can be seen here:

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/lhk20abuvxzhg/MIDN_Court_Case_0?fbclid=IwAR1IHnJyeGoitGj4YeogmptCOXu1VA-HTJr3Xj_Dx6XRNvrIbvVBH-f_2Js

Redstate Contributor Stu Cvrk provided an in depth article of the Cancel Culture running rampant at the United States Naval Academy.

https://www.redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2020/10/05/us-naval-academy’s-cancel-culture-targeted-the-son-of-two-la-police-dept-officers-for-expulsion/

https://www.redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2020/09/15/the-adverse-effects-of-obama’s-eo-13583-and-fogo-purge-are-now-obvious/

 

UPDATES

Settlement!!!!!
February 28, 2021
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As written from Chase's attorney Jeff McFadden:

Subject Line: Standage v. Braithwaite; A Great Day for Chase Standage and His Family
“Dear Friends and Supporters of Chase Standage,
Please see the attached.  I cannot discuss the details, but the subject line should say it all.
Let me say again how unendingly grateful I am to each of you for your tireless and passionate support and generosity.  You backed the right horse.
All the best, and God Bless,
 Jeff
CHASE STANDAGE *
Plaintiff
*
Civil Action No. ELH-20-2830
*
KENNETH BRAITHWAITE, et al
Defendants *
******
SETTLEMENT ORDER
(LOCAL RULE 111)
This Court has been advised by the parties that the above action has been settled, including all counterclaims, cross-claimsand third-party claims, if any. Accordingly, pursuant to Local Rule 111 it is ORDERED that:
This action is hereby dismissed and each party is to bear its own costs unless otherwise agreed, in which event the costs shall be adjusted between the parties in accordance with their agreement. The entry of this Order is without prejudice to the right of a party to move for good cause within 30 days to reopen this action if settlement is not consummated. If no party moves toreopen, the dismissal shall be with prejudice.
Date: February 24, 2021 __________/s/__________
Ellen L. Hollander
 

Update #3
February 23, 2021
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On February 19th, Judge Hollander issued the below listed Memorandum. Ultimately, she denied the preliminary injunction, but did grant a stay pending appeal, which means Chase is allowed to stay at USNA. Chase is also currently enrolled at University of Maryland completing his graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Of note, she stated the Chase has a “substantial likelihood” that he will prevail on the challenge brought under the Administrative Procedures Act.

As a family, we thank everyone for their continued support, and giving us the ability to allow Chase to follow his dreams.

Hollander Memorandum:

For the reasons to be stated in a Memorandum Opinion to follow, it is this 19th day of February, 2020, by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, ORDERED:
1) Plaintiff has demonstrated a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on the merits of his challenge brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), as invoked in each count of the Third Amended Complaint. See ECF 84, ¶¶ 103, 112, 119, 125. In particular, plaintiff has demonstrated that his APA challenge is likely to prevail for at least three reasons.
First, the issuance by Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite of his Memorandum of January 15, 2021, violated the Navy’s established procedures, by which authority under 10 U.S.C. § 8462 was delegated to the Assistant Secretary (Manpower & Reserve Affairs).
Second, defendants’ determination to separate and disenroll Standage from the Naval Academy, without an opportunity for remediation, was arbitrary and capricious. Defendants have failed meaningfully to explain why remediation would unlikely be successful and why it is not warranted, despite plaintiff’s otherwise exemplary record at the Naval Academy and the prominent institutional emphasis on remediation. In doing so, defendants failed to address an important aspect of this case: the proportionality of the sanction and plaintiff’s capacity for self-improvement, with proper guidance and instruction.
c. Third, defendants deprived plaintiff of his right to appear before an agency with counsel, as established in 5 U.S.C. § 555(b).
2) At this juncture, I cannot conclude that plaintiff is likely to prevail on the merits of his constitutional claims. To be sure, that does not foreclose the possibility that plaintiff might ultimately so prevail. And, evidence pertinent to those claims might surface in discovery. But, on the basis of the evidence and arguments submitted thus far, I cannot conclude that plaintiff has satisfied his burden to show likelihood of success on the merits of the constitutional claims.
3) In light of my conclusion as to plaintiff’s constitutional claims, there is no risk that plaintiff will suffer constitutional injury absent preliminary injunction. Although defendants have represented that plaintiff will be ejected from the Naval Academy in the absence of an injunction, the authorities cited by the parties indicate that separation at this stage will not cause irreparable harm. If plaintiff ultimately prevails, he would be reinstated. And, he has not shown irreparable stigmatic injury, apart from what he himself “tweeted.”
4) Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order (ECF 79), construed as a motion for a preliminary injunction, is DENIED.

January 23, 2021 Update
January 24, 2021
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It has been awhile since I have provided an update on the status of Chase's case.  There was a lengthy period of time where we were waiting on a court ruling for a preliminary injunction.  During this period of time, Chase finished all his Aerospace Engineering Degree requirements at USNA in early December, finishing with a 3.8 GPA.  Additionally he was accempted into the Graduate Program at the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering Deptartment.

My family can not thank everyone enough for all the love and support you have shown us during these trying times.

Below is a Chronological update as provided by Chase's attorney.

23 January 2021

Dear Friends and Supporters of Chase Standage,
I hope this finds you well. I wanted to provide an update on Chase's current status and on the litigation before Judge Hollander in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Chase remains at the Academy; he has started his Practicum in Aviation, the only course requirement remaining for him at USNA. The fact that he was able to register for the practicum illustrates the high regard in which the aviation community at the Academy continues to hold Chase. This coming Monday, Chase will begin his graduate studies in a prestigious and highly-selective masters program in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.
As for the litigation, what follows is a chronology of events since late last December. The indented portion of the chronology is taken directly from the Third Amended Complaint which, for reasons that will quickly become clear, I filed two days ago. I attach a copy of the Third Amended Complaint and commend it to your review. It contains not only the following chain of events, but some new additional facts as well, including that two of the Navy football players who were all over Chase about his Tweet concerning the football team's priorities have now themselves declared for the NFL draft and will seek to avoid their service obligations.
On December 22, 2020, after substantial briefing and oral argument on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, this Court issued a Memorandum Opinion ECF 62) and Order (ECF 63) holding that the Second Amended Complaint should be dismissed because 1) final agency action had not been taken and 2) the matter was thus not ripe for review. The Court dismissed the case without prejudice to MIDN Standage’s ability to refile the lawsuit after the Assistant Secretary made his decision. [Side note: I attach a copy of the Memorandum Opinion. Note particularly footnote 25.]
Notably, the Memorandum Opinion contained a long footnote that set forth a number of factors the Assistant Secretary might consider in determining whether the Superintendent’s Memorandum Report was reasonable and well-founded and whether separation was the appropriate sanction. Those considerations included whether the Superintendent had sufficiently made a case for separation versus remediation; whether there existed any evidence that MIDN Standage had identified himself as a midshipman or a member of the military in any of his Tweets; whether there existed a clear, legally cognizable standard of conduct to support the charges of which MIDN Standage had been found guilty; and whether the real motivation for the separation recommendation was a concern for adverse media attention or the fact that the Tweets at issue were on the wrong side of a particular political movement and were thus viewed as unpopular, insensitive, or offensive, particularly if the standard of conduct was not well-defined.
On December 30, 2020, counsel for the Assistant Secretary telephoned undersigned counsel and advised him that the Assistant Secretary had determined that MIDN Standage should be retained, that MIDN Standage’s separation was not in the best interests of the Naval Academy, Navy, that MIDN Standage should become a Navy pilot, and that an order to that effect would be forthcoming.
On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, protestors stormed the United States Capitol and rioted, wreaking havoc throughout the building. Many media outlets promptly laid the blame for the riots at the feet of the President and called for the President’s removal from office.
Sunday, January 10, 2021, the Capital Gazette newspaper published an editorial written by John Schofield, a former communications director for the Naval Academy. A copy of this editorial is attached as Exhibit R. The editorial was a “hit piece,” an ad hominem attack that implicitly and falsely likened the Tweets posted by MIDN Standage at issue in this lawsuit to the President’s widely-alleged “incitement of a riot” at the Nation’s Capitol. Distilled to its essence, the piece argued that, because the President is a liar, anyone who supports the President or any of the President’s views must be muzzled, punished, and gotten rid of. That is precisely the flawed, unconstitutional logic that drove the Superintendent and his staff to punish MIDN Standage and recommend his separation in the first instance. Indeed, the timing and content of the Schofield editorial raise the obvious inference that he somehow was aware of the imminent ruling that would allow MIDN Standage to graduate from the Academy and continue to serve his country. Plaintiff believes discovery will show that someone the Naval Academy who knew the Assistant Secretary was planning to retain MIDN Standage leaked that information to Schofield, and conspired with Schofield and the publishers of the Capital Gazette to pressure the Assistant Secretary (or the Secretary) to abruptly reverse course.
[Side note: On January 13, 2021, the same lawyer who had called me on 30 December called to give me the "bad news" that Chase was going to be separated. When I asked whether this stunning reversal of course was because of the events the Capitol of 6 January, the lawyer dissembled and claimed he wasn't "privvy" to the discussions leading to the reversal]
And reverse course is precisely what the Assistant Secretary (and Defendant the Secretary of the Navy) did. Contrary to the earlier representation of the Assistant Secretary’s
counsel, on January 15, the Secretary ordered that MIDN Standage be separated, that he reimburse the Navy in the amount of $174,753.00 for the cost of his education, and that he
be given an Honorable characterization of service. MIDN Standage and undersigned counsel received copies of the Secretary’s Order on January 21, 2021, the date of this Third
Amended Complaint.
When Chase was presented with the Secretary's decision around 9 a.m. on the morning of the 21st, he was advised by his battalion officer and the Commandant's legal advisor that they knew I would be re-filing the case and seeking a TRO, and that if we were successful in doing so, Chase would simply continue with his practicum class and would start grad school on Monday. They assured him that no action would be taken to out-process him until the following Monday.
filed the Third Amended Complaint and TRO motion later that morning (1/21). Judge Hollander promptly scheduled a telephonic conference for 4 p.m. that afternoon. The same AUSA who had been representing the Superintendent and the Secretary of the Navy in the earlier proceeding appeared on their behalf.
Yesterday morning (1/22), Chase's company officer went and got Chase and told him that he was immediately to pick up his out-processing where it had ended on September 30, 2020 and that the company officer (the Marine captain who wore a Malcolm X T-shirt to noon meal formation last November) wanted Chase physically out-processed and gone from the Academy by the end of the day. Because this directly contradicted what Chase had been told the morning before, I call the AUSA, who agreed with my understanding that Chase would be left alone until next Monday, called the Academy, and told them to stand down.
Over the course of the day yesterday, Judge Hollander 1) reopened the case, 2) accepted the Third Amendment Complaint for filing, 3) issued a Letter Order setting forth a briefing schedule for our Motion for Preliminary injunction (copy attached), and 4) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (copy attached).
The events above only serve to underscore -- yet again -- that this case has everything to do with politics, political ideology, political expediency, viewpoint discrimination, and gross due process violations and nothing to do with the rule of law. One of the causes of action I added to the Third Amended Complaint is a substantive due process claim. In the Fourth Circuit, such a claim must allege conduct that "shocks the conscience." In an administrative setting involving the actions of a federal agency, such conduct "shocks the conscience" if it is "fatally arbitrary." As we argue in the legal memorandum supporting our TRO and PI motions, it is difficult if not impossible to imagine anything more "fatally arbitrary" than the Secretary's change in position from 30 December to 13 January.
Now more than ever, as a new tsunami of cancellation and censorship rolls across the Country, the courage of Chase Standage to stand up to it is all the more commendable, and the principles for which he and his case stand are all the more important. I don't think I am overstating when I say that the case represents a bellwether for our Country's and our military's future.
I cannot begin to express my appreciation to each and every one of you for the invaluable support, insights, and resources you have provided to Chase, to his parents, and to me. It only adds to the honor and privilege of being able to represent Chase, and I humbly ask you to continue to assist in any way you can as we move forward with this new round of litigation. Please feel free to forward this to the broader support networks you have had the kindness with which to communicate on Chase's behalf.
I have said it before and I will say it again: every day Chase Standage remains at the Naval Academy is a victory.
God bless you all.
Jeff

 

October 30th
November 1, 2020
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First off, Chase, Amy and I are eternally grateful for the support that we have received during these trying times.  Just as important as the financial support from the smallest to largest donation, is the emotional and moral support everyone one has shown for Chase.  This has allowed us to continue this fight, not only for Chase, but all future Midshipman

We would like to provide an update at where we are now.  Chase was forwarded for separation from the USNA by the Superintendent on September 23, during 6 week exams.  Even after being forwarded for separation, and undoubtly the worst day of his life, Chase was able to maintain all A's on his 6 week exams, all upper division engineering courses. This is a testament to his character and leadership. An hour from being removed from the USNA, Baltimore Federal Court issued an Emergency Injunction against the USNA, and allowed Chase to continue at the USNA and continue his education pending further court hearings.

On October 30, The US Attorney and Chase's Attorney, Jeff McFadden, met before Honorable Judge Hollander, Baltimore Federal District Judge.  This hearing was to see if the Emergency Injunction met the criteria for a Preliminary Injunction.  Judge Hollander ruled that it would be 6 weeks prior to her making her final ruling, but that Chase IS to remain at USNA.  I have attached an AP article with quotes from the court.  Chase will have completed all degree requirements for his BS in Aerospace Engineering at the conclusion of this semester, Dec 12.  He was to start his masters in aerospace engineering, VGEP (Voluntary Graduate Education Program) at University of Maryland in January.

https://redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2020/11/02/usna-cancel-culture-status-report-maryland-district-court-judge-deals-body-blows-to-government-lawyers-n273685

https://news.yahoo.com/midshipman-asks-judge-block-removal-221227300.html

Again, from the bottom of our hearts, Thank You

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