Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers

Shortlink to this page: http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fD
Updated Jan 4 2017

This post is an overview of the “sovereign citizen” theory; at the bottom is a table of links to detailed blogs on certain theories and concepts that go along with or support it.

Note 1: This document is a work in progress, and as I see issues and have time I will edit to include new court rulings and development and perhaps new issues.

Note 2 – I found a really good site that covers a lot of the same ground, sometimes in more clear terms. Consider it a good supplement to these interconnected blogs, or this a good supplement to it.  My blog notably covers the legal cases in more depth.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Freeman_on_the_land

Background — Why This Blog?

I am a retired businessman not a lawyer. I have studied the law both formally (graduate level classes on law and international affairs) and independently.

I address here some commonly found myths that some unscrupulous people use to make money from honest but gullible people; and myths that people may act on to their great peril. Many YouTube videos from both fraudsters and innocent but gullible adherents  demonstrate this theory.

To demonstrate the peril, this  is a comment that I ran across on one such video:

“You can actually stop payment on your house payments or credit cards and beat the bank.”

Well if “beat the bank” means be homeless and lose your credit rating that’s true.

But if you mean you can stop paying your mortgage and bills and ‘keep your house and goods” that’s about as likely as the Pope dropping in for tea and cookies unannounced.

When you think about it that is absurd. We know better. But to someone who is struggling to keep their head above water and maybe approaching a default on their mortgage it can be a siren song. Who wants to pay out all that money anyway? It’s seductive and they offer arguments that appeal, even as they do not actually make sense.

One minute of thought will tell you… how likely is it that you will beat the bank and keep your house and your money — which after all you borrowed to buy the house?

Why should that even be possible? Much as you may hate the bank, or feel aggrieved you know this doesn’t work; it doesn’t make sense; and if it were so our system would fall apart. Who will lend money if you can just ignore the debt and not pay it back?

So I write to offer the facts and show how our government and legal systems actually work; they are based on long traditions, and those other ideas are not true, not accepted, and essentially made up; the work of people who have no grounding in law, no clue how to read a law nor a court decision.

I am not saying our legal and banking systems all work perfectly or are in every respect ideal. I know injustice exists, I know that laws can be unfair or the “dice loaded” against people. But it is after all a human system, and I promise you the alternative is also a human system and one that can’t ultimately work.

Sovereign Citizens and Similar Theories

First a bit of explanation about the general beliefs and phenomena then a detailed exploration and debunking of these theories. Feel free to skim or jump ahead if you think you have essentials. I cannot argue every point — they are endless and jump from point to point when you show they are wrong in one point or another; plus there are many variations of these beliefs and no single official point of reference.

It is not my objective to dispose of the claims, the fervent adherents treat this like a religion and logic has no effect on them. I merely try make obvious to the rational and educated person how specious they are and hopefully to discourage those who might be tempted to try using them because they sound good – they aren’t good for you though.

 “You can actually stop payment on your house payments or credit cards and beat the bank.” 

No of course you can’t, not without suffering the consequences.

One of the worst is the ‘Sovereign Citizen’ theory and a movement of sometimes very dangerous people, who claim that the law does not really apply to them due to convoluted and totally unrecognized theories about the nature of law and government.

  • Sovereign Citizens sometimes call themselves “Freemen” or similar terms.
  • This is not a club, so the rules are not well-defined but there are similar or common elements in that they basically reject the right of government to compel them to obey law.
  • Many argue that you can only be bound to a contract you make with the government and try to portray the government as a corporation (business) accordingly.
  • FBI calls them domestic terroristsTimothy McVeigh of the “blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City” persuasion was a sovereign citizen…
  • The Anti Defamation League has its say. It’s not a flattering view.

 There Is No Such Thing As A Sovereign Citizen In Any Legal Tradition.

No court anywhere in any nation, legal system, or culture, at any time, past or present in the history of the world and in all human existence has ever found or ruled such an idea to be valid.

They will claim it has always been the case or it came to be the case at the time of the American Revolution but in fact this idea came to exist around 1970, not 1790.

My main purpose in this blog is to show that the theories underpinning this ‘movement’ are not supported by tradition, court practices, political theory of the Revolutionary era, rulings of courts, nor even the sources they themselves cite.

They will reject the basic right of a court to even rule, saying the courts have no jurisdiction because they did no agree to be subject to the court, or because they have no contract with the state or court.

“Sovereign” and “citizen” are as mutually exclusive as “King” and “Commoner” or “rowboat” and “elephant.”

Being a citizen means owing allegiance, obedience, or being subject to, the sovereign.

You cannot be free of law and be a citizen. You cannot be sovereign and citizen. You cannot have the Rule of Law if people can simply exempt themselves from the laws or the enforcement of those laws. That is in fact the arbitrary rule of men. Many of its proponents are simply criminals who do not wish to be held responsible for their acts.

Indeed, in reading this you may think of this movement as closer to a religious belief than a legal theory; adherents are often so certain of their beliefs that they simply cannot entertain doubts. In encounters with them expect to be told you are a ‘sheep’ or told to choose ‘the red pill’ (or be told you’ve taken the blue one, references to The Matrix movie). They will tell you you are not in touch with reality.

But it is they who  live a fantasy, as the legal mechanisms of our society do not accept these ideas and do not act upon them. Indeed our society would simply collapse into chaos if these ideas were implemented. 

Let us quickly review a couple of real stories.

Kenneth Wayne Leaming was arrested for a variety of federal crimes. A court ruled on some of his claims…. (this particular order does a nice summary of some aspects of Sovereign citizens so I provide the full text)

Defendant evinces, like all sovereign citizens, a belief that the federal government is not real and that he does not have to follow the law.

The Court therefore feels some measure of responsibility to inform Defendant that all the fancy legal-sounding things he has read on the internet are make-believe. Defendant can call himself a “public minister” and “private attorney general,” he may file “mandatory judicial notices” citing all his favorite websites, he can even address mail to the “Washington Republic.” But at the end of the day, while sovereign citizens and Defendant cite things like “Universal Law Ordinances,” they are subject to both state and federal laws, just like everyone else.
Order, docket entry 102, 2/12/2013, United States v. Kenneth Wayne Leaming, DC WD Washington.

Result: On May 24, 2013, Leaming was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. Leaming is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, and is scheduled for release on February 13, 2019.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA
 United States of America v  Kenneth Wayne Leaming
No. 12-cr-5039-RBL  ORDER (Dkts. #97, 98, 99, 100, 101)
Defendant has filed yet another document entitled “Mandatory Judicial Notice.” (See Dkts. #99, 86, 66, 59, 58.) The “Mandatory Judicial Notice” notifies the Court that Defendant“relies in good faith on the public/commercial REGISTRY entries as published at http://www.peoplestrust1776.org, inclusive of Universal Law Ordinance, UCC #2012096074 . . . .”
For lack of a better term, this is gobbledygook. The Court is unsure of the document’s purpose,and given its undecipherable nature, no response is expected from the Government.Defendant is apparently a member of a group loosely styled “sovereign citizens.” The Court has deduced this from a number of Defendant’s peculiar habits.
First, like Mr. Leaming, sovereign citizens are fascinated by capitalization. They appear to believe that capitalizing names has some sort of legal effect. For example, Defendant writes that “the REGISTERED FACTS appearing in the above Paragraph evidence the uncontroverted and uncontrovertible FACTS that the SLAVERY SYSTEMS operated in the names UNITED STATES, United States, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and United States of America . . . are terminated nunc pro tunc by public policy, U.C.C. 1-103 . . . .” (Def.’sMandatory Jud. Not. at 2.) He appears to believe that by capitalizing “United States,” he is referring to a different entity than the federal government. For better or for worse, it’s the same country.
Second, sovereign citizens, like Mr. Leaming, love grandiose legalese. “COMES NOW, Kenneth Wayne, born free to the family Leaming, 20 December 1955, constituent to The People of the State of Washington constituted 1878 and admitted to the union 22 February 1889 by Act of Congress, a Man, “State of Body” competent to be a witness and having First  Hand Knowledge of The FACTS . . . .” (Def.’s Mandatory Jud. Not. at 1.)
Third, Defendant evinces, like all sovereign citizens, a belief that the federal government is not real and that he does not have to follow the law. Thus, Defendant argues that as a result of the “REGISTERED FACTS,” the “states of body, persons, actors and other parties perpetuating the above captioned transaction(s) [i.e., the Court and prosecutors]are engaged . . . in acts of TREASON, and if unknowingly as victims of TREASON and FRAUD . . . .” (Def.’s Mandatory
Jud. Not. at 2.)

The Court therefore feels some measure of responsibility to inform Defendant that all the fancy legal-sounding things he has read on the internet are make-believe. Defendant can call himself a “public minister” and “private attorney general,” he may file “mandatory judicial notices” citing all his favorite websites, he can even address mail to the “Washington Republic.”

But at the end of the day, while sovereign citizens and Defendant cite things like “Universal Law Ordinances,” they are subject to both state and federal laws, just like everyone else. (EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL)

Order, docket entry 102, 2/12/2013, United States v. Kenneth Wayne Leaming, DC WD Washington.

Another story is instructive:

“… [Andrew] Schneider wanted to present as his sole defense the contention that he is a free, sovereign citizen and as such not subject to the jurisdiction of the federal courts. … that defense has no conceivable validity in American law … If Schneider had made a timely request to be allowed to represent himself, the judge would have been obliged to grant it, but Schneider never asked to be permitted to defend himself.

“… in deciding to [sentence] the defendant [to] the statutory maximum the judge was influenced by the fact that Mr. Schneider considers himself to be above the laws of the United States, and a defiant attitude toward the legitimacy of the court system is a proper consideration in deciding how dangerous a convicted criminal is, how likely he is to repeat the crime if not punished severely, and the likelihood that his example will inspire others unless he is severely rebuked through the imposition of a heavy sentence … Persons who do not merely violate the law, but flout it, can expect to be punished more severely than persons who do not thus season their criminality with effrontery.”
US v. Schneider, 910 F. 2d 1569 – Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 1990

So clearly the courts do not accept this idea. And not believing the courts have no right to imprison or compel you does not mean they won’t do it. They don’t agree.

Again this isn’t written so much for adherents as for those who would like to be sure there isn’t truth in their claims. I will also address interestingly bizarre ideas they latch on to and debunk as much as possible…I have gone so far as to explore the weirdest assertions, such as that the US is a corporation, or that we are actually ruled by the Queen, etc.

It is as if a child told his parents “The tooth fairy is real,” and not even telling him where the money under the pillow comes from changes his mind. He believes and too bad if you think the tooth fairy doesn’t exist.

Tortured Language

Sovereigns commonly torture normal English so as to make their discourse unintelligible; they manipulate the meaning of words to warp the actual words of laws and Courts alike to their beliefs.

They speak an odd quasi-legal language and believe that by not capitalizing names and by writing in red and using certain catch phrases they can avoid any liability in our judicial system.
(A QUICK GUIDE TO SOVEREIGN CITIZENS (pdf)
School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Downloaded 7 Feb 2017)

Legalese

They create whole pages of mythical reinterpretations of words and claim that it is not their product but that of the government. Some label this “language” “Legalese.”  For example, if you ask a sovereign “Do you understand me?” he may refuse to answer because he interprets it to means “Do you stand under me” an acknowledgement of your authority. Yes really.And they will mine centuries old legal and regular dictionaries to find the selective meanings that they can pretend line up with their beliefs.

Since one may not drive without a license they use centuries old definitions of “drive” for example when it applied to teamsters employed to drive a team of horses. Form there they conclude that to drive is to be employed as a driver so they don’t need a license at all if not employed.

All that in time, first let us understand the underpinnings of our legal system.

What is Sovereignty?

There are a bewildering number of claims made by sovereign citizens; let me first do a little defining the term sovereignty and then show you some claims made and what the courts do when they encounter them.

  • Sovereignty is the power to make and enforce law and exercise control within a territory.It is a concept rooted in the factual, not the theoretical situation.
  • Sovereignty is an important concept in the law going back as far as Roman law, where a similar concept called “Imperium” existed. Imperium was in effect the power of the state which resided in its people and was given to officials and organs of the nation.
  • The King (Queen) is sovereign in British Law. No law can be enacted without his assent, the King cannot be sued unless he agrees to be because the sovereign is immune to the law. But he is sovereign not as an individual but as a King.

The dictionary defines sovereign:

1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler.
2. a person who has supreme power or authority.
3. a group or body of persons or a state having sovereign authority.

  • International Law defines sovereignty in practical terms: a sovereign is a government that exercises exclusive control over both a territory and its people.
     
  • The Supreme Court in one case (quoted below) says simply
    Sovereignty is the right to govern; a nation or State sovereign is the person or persons in whom that resides.
    Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

Note please: we are talking about governments, not an individual; to a freeman, freeman and government would be seen as antithetical terms. They don’t believe in governments nor that governments have the right to enforce laws against those who disagree. At best they consider governments like corporations where your obligations only exist so far as you have made a contract with them.

In the Declaration of Independence (which is a historical document with no legal effect under the Constitution and Laws of the US; and is only used to illuminate principles embodied in the American Revolution) the 13 colonies severed themselves from the King and in a joint act of defiance each declared themselves independent; and each State was then sovereign within its borders as it had practical control of its people and territory.

The Revolution was a struggle between Britain and the States for sovereignty and for actual as well as legal control. When it wished, Britain could seize and control some territory but not as much as even one full state. At the end of the Revolution Britain withdrew its forces and thereby yielded practical sovereignty; and later transferred legal sovereign status to the States by treaty.

Those States then united in a Confederation of States, under The Articles of Confederation, to deal with common issues like military defense and foreign affairs;  and later a stronger Union based on Federalism principles under our current Constitution. Under that compact each state has sovereignty in some areas and collectively vests sovereign powers in a Federal government in other areas. The United States under the Constitution is more than a Confederacy of States however.

A Fundamental Error In Understanding;
We the People, or I the Person?

As the Declaration of Independence speaks of governments deriving their “just powers from the consent of the governed” along with enunciating principles of “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” such as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and of course that “all men are created equal,” it forbears the term “We the People” who establish the Constitution in its famous Preamble.

I will not explore the long line of philosophers and students of human political systems to show the evolution of those concepts, but suffice it to say this was only novel or new in the sense that almost no nation had used these principles since Ancient Athens or perhaps the Roman Republic. It has since become the theory of sovereignty that is practiced by most of the world today.

Sovereign citizen adherents love to quote the Founders and many philosophers and even courts mentioning the import of individual liberty and rights, sure enough, or warnings about the need to restrain governmental power; but never sovereignty of the individual. They distort or appropriate these writings out of context to imply that their theory is time-honored. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But when sovereign citizens say that “The People are Sovereign” they mean each person is sovereign unless they agree to something else, personally.

Rather than “We The People” they actually mean “I the Person.”

But “person” is the singular form of “people” at least for this purpose.

When our nation settled on the then novel concept that the People are Sovereign, nothing was said of the individual person being sovereign. It would have been ridiculed had it been seriously proposed. That notion first arose in the 1970’s; you won’t find it anywhere at all in anything the Founders wrote.

The Supreme Court defined State sovereignty and the collective nature of We the People in one of its earliest decision, a mere four years after the Constitution was adopted:

Chief Justice John Jay:

From the Crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of their country passed to the people of it… and thirteen sovereignties were considered as emerged from the principles of the Revolution….the people nevertheless continued to consider themselves, in a national point of view, as one people; and they continued without interruption to manage their national concerns accordingly …and then the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution…Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner and the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves… Sovereignty is the right to govern; a nation or State sovereign is the person or persons in whom that resides” [emphasis added]
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

In fact the US Constitution (by its own terms) came into force with the consent of the Legislatures of nine states. No individual voted for or signed it as an individual, only as a Representative of their State and its people.

No individual consent was given nor was any contemplated.

The state legislatures were acting in a dual capacity: as representative of their Sovereign State and as representatives of the collective people of that state. There was no individual signing; and no individual ratification.

And the same is true of every new state; a representative body draws up a constitution, which the territorial body presents to Congress for approval and when approved a state is created. The Constitution provides that each new state has the same legal status as all the others.

States may indeed use a plebiscite to have everyone vote on statehood, but importantly, even those who vote “no” or don’t vote at all are still part of the state when it enters the Union…

Indeed, a significant chunk of people then living in the US would have preferred the King to remain sovereign and certainly did not take any positive step to ‘assent’ to the State or to the Federal government; yet there was no talk of individuals keeping sovereignty to themselves personally.

Further, unlike the earlier Confederation of States which governed only States the Constitution applies to individuals and states. So it contemplated governance of individuals whether or not they consented.

But since they feel they are sovereign, sovereign citizens say they only gain obligation to obey laws if they ‘contract’ with the US — many absurdly claim  the US is a corporation, not a sovereign state, in part to bolster this theory.

They often say they follow “Common Law” but don’t agree among themselves as to what common law means. What they often seem to mean is “Natural Law” but they themselves don’t know what they are referring to and will mix natural law and English common law freely and disastrously. Here they sometimes do get literally religious as they ascribe to God the sphere and definition of Natural Law. (This is discussed in detail in Sources of Law. )

To our Founders Common Law meant a method of clarifying the law in England, whereby judges in the course of applying the laws and interpreting them filled in a lot of gaps in the statutory laws and then used those decision as a precedent for that point of law. They were case by case rulings about what the laws meant, and were used as precedents for other cases. This is “Case law” as compared to Statute Law or Constitutional Law.

Common law was simply the systematic collection of how judges had understood and applied the law.  Common Law is explicitly subordinate to Acts of Parliament and to the sovereign King. It can be changed by statute.And the same is true in the U.S. wherever common law is in effect:

“No doubt a statute may take away a common law right…”
Meister v. Moore 96 U.S. 76 (1877)

In the US today it is called “case law” because it is made by judges as they interpret the laws in the course of a particular case; it is subordinate to Federal Constitution and laws, and (if a State Court) to State Constitution and statutes as well.

Again from the same case:

Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner and the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

The sovereignty of the people is the underpinning of the state constitution and the Federal Constitution as well.

However, to sovereign citizens Common Law (perhaps) means a “Natural Law on the Rights of Man” which emphasizes the rights of the individual (principles our Constitution does respect). Being a ‘natural law’ it isn’t written down, so of course it gets very hard to show what the law actually says. One thinks it is obvious what it means until it works against one’s interest; then, like all law we must go to court to find out what the judges say it means.

Except Sovereign Citizens don’t.

They point to this Natural or Common Law theory as the source of their sovereign claims.

But the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land and recognizes no law above it, not common law, natural law, nor any other, even God’s law.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.       Article VI US Constitution

And while it acknowledges the people collectively as the source of sovereignty it does not in any way extend the powers and immunity of  sovereignty to the individual.

What’s Wrong With Individual Sovereignty?

In our society,it’s criminals who are the people who most fervently don’t want to be bound by law; who wish to do what they want and escape the consequences; and many of this movement are exactly that. White supremacists, survivalists, religious extremists, social misfits are attracted to the idea for obvious reasons.

Many others are well meaning, but seduced by the ideas of being exempt from taxes, licenses, and restrictions needed to make a modern society run. Stop paying your bills? Pretty seductive idea, isn’t it?

It would result in a society you would not like.

What’s bad about individual sovereignty is that it means no one is within the law unless they choose to be (though they often claim that we unaware sheep/ people have been tricked into submitting when we don’t need to, thus demonstrating the evil of government).

 Individual Sovereignty is portrayed as the ultimate freedom, but in fact it is exactly the opposite in practice. If laws do not apply, the Founders knew that the result is not utopia but dystopia by anarchy.

 For what can ‘every man is self-governing’ mean, if not ‘every man for himself’?

If you are only subject to the laws you choose to recognize you can do whatever you want. And whoever is the most powerful guy on the block makes the laws for everyone else. He is your new King and Sovereign and you don’t get a vote!

Some challenge that, saying they would band together with their neighbors to put that guy in his place.

It is ironic, for that is in fact creating a government. Small. local, limited perhaps, but government to which all submit for the common good.

And there is no example in all of history of a non-governmental state existing other than in anarchy and other than briefly. Somalia seems to be the sort of result. Warlords, no limited government and no freedom. No appeal to courts or legislatures elected by the people.

In fact, whenever they can, people always form governments because individual freedom does not exist long if there is no higher power to protect it by force if necessary.

What do courts say?

Sovereign citizens don’t care, they hate courts. Along with the derogation of laws, goes derogation of courts to enforce and interpret them. This is covered in the sections below linked under the appropriate topic.

In order to say the laws don’t apply, of course they have to reject the arbiter of the laws, the judiciary. They find courts wrong, corrupt, or deprived of power on a bewildering variety of bases.

But here is how courts see it; it’s not hard to understand

“A person found within the United States cannot somehow exempt himself or immunize himself from the application of state or federal law by declaring himself a non-citizen…”
Casimir v. State (D. New Jersey.·Civil Action No. 09-4004. Aug 31, 2009)

The several States of the Union … except as restrained and limited by [the Constitution]  …. possess and exercise the authority of independent States, and the principles of public law to which we have referred are applicable to them… One of these principles is that every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory.
Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878)

Here is a succinct summary by the Utah Supreme Court in a challenge to driver license laws:

Consent to laws is not a prerequisite to their enforceability against individuals. We take issue with Mr. Wisden’s assertion that “this type of legislation attempts to lead one to the conclusion that all are subject to the law, and amounts to nothing more than legal debauchery.” In order for our scheme of ordered liberties to succeed, we must all obey valid laws, even those with which we do not agree; a man cannot exempt himself from the operation of a law simply by declaring that he does not consent to have it apply to him.
City of Salina v. Wisden, 737 P. 2d 981

True believers argue the courts have no power to rule on this issue –as they have done — and the legislatures no authority to make laws that apply to them — as they do.  And if you show them court decisions, they claim those decisions are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced –as they are.  (Yet strangely, they often quote court decisions they think support their viewpoints…)

They have not had any success at getting any court to agree and the courts do enforce the laws.

If these sovereigns cannot agree to the righteousness of the laws, they also seem to be blithely unwilling to acknowledge, or don’t care, that the courts de facto exercise the power…and that, unless that changes, their theories are impotent.

Might may not make right, but it makes dispositions that others must live with.

They think if you hire a lawyer you are putting yourself ‘under contract’ as to the law or ceding the court the right to judge you…and say that lawyers don’t work for you, they work for the courts or the Bar Association. Some think if they enter the non-public area of the courtroom (passing the barrier or bar) they are agreeing to come under the court’s jurisdiction…  Deep fantasies as far as the courts are concerned. In one unfortunate case a man ended up with a death sentence in part because he relied on these theories and refused to have a lawyer represent him at trial or on appeal. The court he claimed had no jurisdiction so he need not and in fact MUST not make a legal appeal.

I maintain that their theories are wrong, but even if they are not, as long as courts exist and have the actual power to enforce their decrees and decisions they are in fact, real courts and you must be ready to endure the consequences if you don’t agree and obey their laws…


Legal Precedents Decisively Reject Sovereign Citizen Theories

Chief Justice John Jay:
“…
and then the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution… Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner and the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves…. Sovereignty is the right to govern; a nation or State sovereign is the person or persons in whom that resides”
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

Justice Wilson:
“…Is it congruous that, with regard to such purposes, any man or body of men, any person natural or artificial, should be permitted to claim successfully an entire exemption from the jurisdiction of the national government? Would not such claims, crowned with success, be repugnant to our very existence as a nation?”
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

Greenstreet argues that he is of “Freeman Character” and “of the White Preamble Citizenship and not one of the 14th Amendment legislated enfranchised De Facto colored races.” He further claims that he is a “white Preamble natural sovereign Common Law De Jure Citizen of the Republic/State of Texas.” As a result, he concludes that he is a sovereign, not subject to the jurisdiction of this Court.

Greenstreet’s argument is entirely frivolous. no support for his position exists. Greenstreet provides no acceptable authority or cogent analysis to support his contention that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him.. This Court also rejects Greenstreet’s attempt to defeat the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment based on rulings or orders from the mythical common law court he feels is superior to this Court.
United States v Greenstreet, 912F. Supp. 224, 229 (N.D. Tex. 1996)

The following case deals also with the ‘fringed flag‘ and ‘national bankruptcy‘ arguments addressed in other blogs as well:

… Masat’s brief states he is a “non-citizen” and a “non-resident.” More specifically, Masat claims the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over him because he is a “freeman.” …[He] has offered this court no support for his lack-of-personal-jurisdiction contention, we find his argument frivolous. See Anders v. State of California, 386 U.S. 738, 747, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 1400, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967) (frivolous appeal is one without arguable merit); United States v. Schmitt, 784 F.2d 880, 882 (8th Cir. 1986), habeas corpus proceeding, 752 F. Supp. 306 (D.Minn. 1990), aff’d, 938 F.2d 189 (8th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 112 S.Ct. 592, 116 L.Ed.2d 616 (1991) (appellants’ argument that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over them because they were “natural freemen” is entirely frivolous)   
United States v. Masat, 948 F.2d 923, 934 (5th Cir. 1991)

The appellants also argue that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over them because they are “Natural Freemen” and not a “juristic identity.” This argument is entirely frivolous.
United States v. Schmitt, 748 F.2d 880, 882 (8th Cir. 1986)

“A person found within the United States cannot somehow exempt himself or immunize himself from the application of state or federal law by declaring himself a non-citizen or a diplomat.”
Casimir v. State (D. New Jersey.·Civil Action No. 09-4004. Aug 31, 2009)

Last, a link to a very comprehensive Canadian decision about the Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (OPCA) which is the global term used in the courts there for these concepts; the decision utterly debunks all of this as applied to Canada under Canadian Law. 

Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII)

It is not always on point for us of course, but it shows the same arguments are used there and decisively rejected. Much of the logic and even some law transfers to the US due to shared legal traditions. Debunking of many aspects is the same.

The partial table of contents (section titles) for the decision show the same (bogus) arguments.

Meads v Meads
Section Titles:

Inherent Jurisdiction vs. OPCA Strategies and Concepts
Obligation Requires Agreement
Defeating Legislation
Everything is a Contract
Consent is Required
Double/Split Persons
Unshackling the Strawman
Dividing Oneself
Unilateral Agreements
The Legal Effect of a Foisted Agreement
Common Uses of Unilateral Agreements
Foisted Duties, Agency, or Fiduciary Status
Copyright and Trade-mark
Fee Schedules
Disproportionate and Unlawful Penalties
The Targets and Intended Effect of Fee Schedules
Money for Nothing Schemes
Accept for Value / A4V
Bill Consumer Purchases
Miscellaneous Money for Nothing Schemes

=                                             More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                              =

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fD
Do You Need a License to Drive ?
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-mI

=                                                          The Law                                                          =

Sources Of Law and Authority
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fF

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-Od

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-TB

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

The United States Is A Corporation
(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant
)
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fK
The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &
Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fO

The United States is still a British Colony
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-kz

There are Three United States!
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fX

Do You Need a License to Drive ?
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-mI

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

http://wp.me/p3nYC8-kI

All US Courts are Courts of Admiralty
and hear only Admiralty Cases

http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fV

US Courts are not Admiralty after all,
but instead Equity Courts

http://wp.me/p3nYC8-l2

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-fR

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH
http://wp.me/p3nYC8-l2

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