The Elite Idolaters: A Real Michigan FOIA Case
David E. Bloch
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (5/11)
David E. Bloch asks the question, “Does a person who is accused of suspected child abuse by a public school official in a Child Protective Services Referral Report, that they send to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) for investigation, have a legal right to know the information in that report?”
“The Elite Idolaters” is Bloch’s first person account of how his request for such information was denied by Davison Community School officials; he filed a lawsuit in the 7th Circuit Court of Genesee County and acted as his own attorney, “In Pro Per,” throughout the litigation. He presents the case facts, analyzes the legal proceedings, including the court transcripts. The book is made up of court documents, quotations, and Bloch’s opinions and conclusions.
After the denial by the 7th Circuit Court, he files an appeal with the State Court of Appeals. He includes his complete court of appeals brief which is based on logic, statue law, and case law. This is an impressive, comprehensive brief including arguments, index of authorities, with applicable statues, and sources. He also includes discussion regarding document disclosure issues. The complexities of the case revolve around the terminology and wording used within the statutes. Bloch presents his case based on the F.O.I.A Flow Chart Approach. The chart provided within the context of the narrative helps the reader visualize the sequence of the process.
I was impressed with the way Block wove quotations relating the law into the body of his material with applicable quotations from Goethe, Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Emerson, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others. He compares reason, science, and conviction in relation to the law. His case is well presented; the documented material is comprehensive and convincing.
In the final chapters I was left confused. In his conclusions and analysis Block exposes a vindictive spirit as he examines the psychology motivating the judges and school officials. However, that said, “The Elite Idolaters” is a clarion call to alert the reader of the importance of understanding the F.O.I.A. laws and the misuse through misinterpretation, omission, and bias in judgments being handed down by the courts, and the danger to freedom that this represents.
“The Elite Idolaters” may have limited readership because of the nature of the detailed legal information included. Bloch calls on the Michigan voter to recognize their civic duty to examine the facts presented and to decide if these public officials acted with integrity; or if they acted dishonestly and betrayed that public trust.