Do You Need a License to Drive?

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The Lawyers’ “Secret Oath”

If you are just starting out, you should probably look at my introductory document which summarizes the sovereign citizen ideas and links to many of its favorite theories,

Shortlink to this blog post:

Claimed: All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH’

Here’s the TL;DR: Because, they say,
(1) the US declared bankruptcy (during the Depression when we went off the gold standard) and
(2) thus if it ever was a nation it is no longer; and therefore
(3) all court proceedings are really commercial in nature and about getting money to pay the bankruptcy off (or the King, it depends on your theory) and because no lawyer ever acknowledges the truth of this proposition
(4) therefore all lawyers have taken a secret oath not to say anything about it.

Yes, a secret held by all 1 million plus lawyers in the US.

Or you cold just start with “no lawyer ever acknowledges “the truth” because it isnt the truth.

And the author of this explanation says he has “no known source” for the assertion. Really.

OK well we:
(1) did not declare bankruptcy.
None of the documents cited do that, they just take us off the gold standard;
(2) even if we had, being bankrupt does not change the sovereign status of a nation;
(3) I cannot even begin to address the assertion because the premises are false and it makes no sense at all that criminal and civil lawsuits would become financial transactions somehow;
(4) Really? No source and an oath that is kept secret perfectly by more than a million people in the US alone?

Where’s my magic wand we need An Unbreakable Vow to get to that…!!

Many of the theories used tend to involve a wide range of interlocking — and down right weird — ideas. They don’t really stand up to logical analysis, but they do tend to interlock to support each other, So where to start with any one of them is difficult because it will eventually rely on some other, rather equally loony idea….and then the problem is compounded because there is no single “authority” you can look to to see what the”official story” is…in order to pursue the philosophies and contentions eventually I simply resorted to looking a number of sites and trying to pick one or two sites and ideas that seemed to be referred to often, and the site came to be a touchstone as it collected more than half a dozen of these ‘ideas’. I am sure there are many and many many many different explanations for each contention, but let us go with this one.

The Lawyer’s Secret Oath

(title is an active link)

The sovereigns really don’t like lawyers and judges. Really really. Now this kind of claim, a secret oath, cannot really be disproven; and its not something regarding which there will ever be a court case. If there is no Oath no one can file a real complaint that won’t be dismissed out of hand; and if there is an Oath, of course the cabal will suppress any inquiry into it…but logic and reason and some facts will help us discern the reality. This wandering web site covers a lot of theory they promote far beyond ‘secret oaths’….and the ‘bar’ is integral to that, but they just don’t want to acknowledge their ‘facts’ about the bar are wrong.   So let’s start with this one, copied in red from the site and big letters too:

“BAR” stands for “British Accreditation Research”

Gosh, no it doesn’t. I’m so sorry. No such organization exists nor can any address for it be unearthed. It is made up of whole cloth. No British Accredited Registry either. And for later reference there is no “Lawyers Guild of Great Britain” either despite one fool having sued it! These oft-cited organizations on which a whole scaffold of conspiracies are founded simply do not exist.

In the U.S. Lawyers belong to their State Bar Association, a corporation set up by law in most states, or by a rule promoted by their supreme court or a state created judicial panel of some sort… the Bar Association in any state is not owned by any other Bar Association anywhere. 

The American Bar Association is a trade association or professional group for lawyers who are not obliged to join; about 1/3 of U.S. lawyers join.Therefore, 2/3 do not join it.

The International Bar Association is headquartered in London and was founded in 1947. So it’s hard to see why or how our lawyers, who don’t have to join the IBA in any event,  are somehow beholden to the Queen. The IBA doesn’t own any  Bar Associations.

But let’s start with BAR, or as we properly say it, bar:

“The origin of the term bar is from the barring furniture dividing a medieval European courtroom, similarly as the origin of the term bank for the location of financial transactions in medieval Europe. In the USA, Europe and many other countries referring to the law traditions of Europe, the area in front of the barrage is restricted to participants in the trial: the judge or judges, other court officials, the jury (if any), the lawyers for each party, the parties to the case, and witnesses giving testimony. The area behind the bar is open to the public.
(Garner, Bryan, ed. (2004). Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing. pp. 157–8. ISBN 0-314-15199-0.)

This restriction is enforced in nearly all courts. In most courts, the bar is represented by a physical partition: a railing or barrier that serves as a bar. (Walker, David (1980). Oxford Companion to Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 112, 123. ISBN 0-19-866110-X.)

Admission to the Bar  – The procedure that governs the authorization of attorneys to practice law before the state and federal courts.
The Free Dictionary; downloaded 5/23/2017 from  

Admission to the Bar Law Legal Definition. Admission to the Bar means the permission given to a lawyer to practice law under a particular court system. The permission is given by a court that functions under the court system in which a lawyer intents to practice. downloaded 5/23/2017

The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been “called to the bar” or to have received a “call to the bar”. “The bar” is now used as collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.
Wikipedia downloaded 5/13/2017

Admission to the Bar is the term for being admitted to membership of the Bar Association, allowing one so admitted to practice law, symbolically to enter the barrage as an attorney representing a party or parties to a case.

“The word “barrister” shows us much more clearly the etymology of this phrase, as barrister … is derived from the old French barre or Latin barra, meaning “bar” … a reference to the wooden bar or barrier that commonly stood near the front of the courtroom at the ancient Inns of Court in London, used by the English and Welsh legal profession to admit newcomers into their ranks. A barrier, or bar,  separated “benchers”  from the main hall; students who had attained a certain level of expertise and standing were then “called to the bar” to participate in the Inn’s moot court exercises.

“By the early 1600s, however, “bar” referred mainly to the bar in courthouses that separated the officers of the law (judges, counsel, bailiffs, etc.) from those not admitted into the legal profession or otherwise a party. Besides having a symbolic function, this might also have had a practical benefit as it separated the (sometimes raucous) spectators from those conducting and participating in the business of the court.  To disbar, then, was to remove someone from the ability to come to the bar (or within the bar, … Bar eventually became synonymous with the place where cases were argued in court, and eventually with the court itself and those admitted to practice. Its modern meaning typically references formal admission to the profession of law, popularly known as “passing” or being “admitted” to the bar. The “bar” today, as used in the United States, does not reference the physical separation in courtrooms (which typically still exists in some form) but rather is used as a collective noun to refer to all the members of the legal profession in a specific jurisdiction (e.g., “the Massachusetts bar”).
The Origins of “Passing the Bar”  Posted July 17, 2014 by Ian C. Pilarczyk


Well… on with the Conspiracy Anyway…

To start, instead of talking about the Secret Lawyers Oath, the author takes us into a lengthy explanation of how the courts have been allegedly transformed, but I think we’ll start with the Oath part. I am sure this will make perfect sense, and if it doesn’t it will be quite useful in measuring the power of his argument anyway.

[Note: these are my own comments] , the plain as well as the bold portion is from the APFN site. ( )

It has been reported (source unknown to the writer) that every lawyer in existence and every lawyer coming up has to take a SECRET OATH to support the bankruptcy.This seems to make sense after read[ing] about Mr. Sweet’s CASE FILE DISAPPEARANCE 

[Note: I have not read and will not do that reading…there is no factual support offered]
[Note: “The alleged bankruptcy” is addressed in another blog.]

….There is more to it. Not only do they promise to support the bankruptcy, but the lawyers and judges also promise never to reveal who the true creditor party is in the bankruptcy proceedings

[Note: In this particular fiction it is the contention that every court case is somehow about “The Bankruptcy.” In another fiction all property and taxes are for the attention and don’t get confused! I have no idea how the King benefits from court cases in the US but it must be true because they say it is…right?

In court, there is never identification and appearance of the true character and principal of the proceedings. This is where you can get them for not making an appearance in court. If there is no appearance of the true party to the action, than [sic] there is no way the defendant is able to know the true NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACTION. You are never told the true NATURE AND THE CAUSE OF WHY YOU ARE IN FRONT OF THEIR COURT. The court is forbidden to tell you that information. That’s why, if you question the true nature and cause, the judge will say, “It’s not my job to tell you. You are not retaining me as an attorney and I can’t give you legal advice from the bench. I suggest you hire a lawyer.”

Yep he really said that, and — with no source he is aware of — wants you to believe it.

Now I happen have a couple relatives who are lawyers, and of course they out and out lied to me, as did my best friend of 48 years who is also a lawyer; and they said the idea that everyone takes some secret oath is um, politely speaking,  product of the male bovine intestinal tract.

They, like every other lawyer, keeps this a secret, which make me want to ask how the author’s unknown source knows it, but hey he heard it from somewhere he just doesn’t know where. Of course they are trying to imply that his source is a lawyer, the only one of millions to have leaked the story.

As of April 2011, there were 1,225,452 licensed attorneys in the United States.
( “ABA Market Research Department”. Market Research Department, as reported at, 
American Bar Association. 2011-04-xx. Retrieved 2012-10-04.

And every single one of them is keeping this secret, it has never leaked out, no TV or Internet Wikileak event, nothing. But yah, a million lawyers are gonna all keep that secret with no leaks. Which has no known source. But why would the author need a source when he has an important fact like that… it all the lawyers have this secret oath, no? Because there is this bankruptcy; and all court actions are to pay for that, so obviously since it is never ever said in court, it must be because there is a secret oath not to say it.


Or perhaps the easy explanation for why the bankruptcy is never mentioned is because there is no bankruptcy, the court’s cases are not all about bankruptcy, and there is no secret oath...

Related blog:

Claimed: The US Became Bankrupt (Usually in 1933) &
Claimed: US Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency  

Erie R.R. v. Thompkins Changed Everything

The APFN site also offers us a new view of the courts, based upon some audio tape the author listened to, and what he tells us seems to be 

“altered and enhanced significantly” from that tape, itself made “by a private non-resident, non-domestic, non-person, non-individual, pursuant to any real or imaginary statutory regulations.”

Whatever that means. 

Then he says:

Let’s get right to the point. The courts only recognize two classes of people in the United States today. DEBTORS AND CREDITORS. The concept and status of DEBTORS AND CREDITORS is very important for you to understand. Every legal action where you are brought before the court: e.g. traffic ticket, property dispute or permits, income tax, credit cards, bank loans or anything else they might dream up to charge you where you find yourself in front of a court – IT IS AN EQUITY COURT, administering commercial law having a debtor/creditor law as the controlling law. Today, we have an equity court but not an equity court as referred to in the Constitution of the U.S. or any of the legal documents before 1938. All the courts of this once great land have been changed starting with the Supreme Court decision of 1938 in Erie RR. v Thompkins.

Permit me to pause and scratch my head, since I am now told  all courts are Equity courts, whereas I was told by sovereigns that they are all Admiralty courts  and of course they insist that our courts they are all non-judicial and administrative courts  (which means they can be neither Equity courts nor courts of Admiralty.)


I also don’t get how there are only debtors and creditors either …but it seems obvious that a writer who can find, based on no known source this vast legal society conspiracy can equally readily find the courts are transformed for no apparent reason. The nation being bankrupt–  even if it were — just wouldn’t change the nature of the courts but hey…this really isn’t about logic, it’s about claims.

Enough — So what does that court decision say that transforms everything?

“Plaintiff was severely injured in Pennsylvania. While walking on defendant’s right of way along a much-used path at the end of the crossties of its main track, he came into collision with an open door swinging from the side of a car in a train going in the opposite direction. Having been warned by whistle and headlight, he saw the locomotive approaching and had time and space enough to step aside and so avoid danger. To justify his failure to get out of the way, he says that, upon many other occasions he had safely walked there while trains passed.

“Invoking jurisdiction on the ground of diversity of citizenship, plaintiff, a citizen and resident of Pennsylvania, brought this suit to recover damages against defendant, a New York corporation, in the federal court for the southern district of that State [New York]. The issues were whether negligence of defendant was a proximate cause of his injuries and whether negligence of plaintiff contributed. He claimed that, by hauling the car with the open door, defendant violated a duty to him. The defendant insisted that it violated no duty and that plaintiff’s injuries were caused by his own negligence. The jury gave him a verdict on which the trial court entered judgment; the circuit court of appeals affirmed.”

[So the railroad claimed that under Pennsylvania law he was trespassing and they weren’t liable; the federal judge decided under ‘common law principles’ that a long established footpath made him a non-trespasser and that the federal court wasn’t bound to apply Pennsylvania law. The Supreme Court disagreed and said state law did apply.]

Except in matters governed by the Federal Constitution or by Acts of Congress, the law to be applied in any case is the law of the State…There is no federal general common law. Congress has no power to declare substantive rules of common law applicable in a State, whether they be local in their nature or “general,” be they commercial law, or a part of the law of torts. And no clause in the Constitution purports to confer such a power upon the federal courts…. the[Supreme] Court does not hold unconstitutional § 34 of the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 or any other Act of Congress. It merely declares that, by applying the doctrine of…[the] case [Swift v.Tyson], rights which are reserved by the Constitution to the several States have been invaded. P. 304 U. S. 79.
Erie R.R. v. Thompkins, 304 U.S 64 (1938)

Okay. Our site sovereign explains what HE thinks that means:

What was the effect and the significance of the Erie RR. v. Thompkins case decision of 1938?
The significance is that since the Erie decision, no cases are allowed to be cited that are prior to 1939. There can be no mixing of the old law with the new law. The lawyers (who were members of the American Bar Association, were and are currently under and controlled by the Lawyer’s Guild of Great Britain) created, formed and implemented the new bankruptcy law. The American Bar Association is a franchise of the Lawyer’s Guild of Great Britain. Since the Erie RR. v. Thompkins case was decided; the practice of law in this country was never again to be the same.

Of course that decision says nothing of the sort.

For the moment ignore the claims about the nature of the bar association. It actually says that Federal courts, when ruling on state issues, must follow state law. Period.

Nothing about not citing cases before 1939 — except one case, Swift v. Tyson, could no longer be applied, it is overruled.You can still cite it as ong as you point out it’s been overruled.

This did lead to the development of a “Uniform Commercial Code” in the late 1940’s so that businesses would know the rules in every state — they would be essentially the same if every state adopted the UCC. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, the UCC is not a Federal law and it is not a law in every jurisdiction; and the states that did adopt it sometimes changed it, so it’s not uniform everywhere. And it just applies to commercial and business transactions anyway. It does not MAKE court cases commercial or business transactions.

To the sovereign crackpot, this is how a government becomes a corporation…I know, it makes little sense no matter how hard you try.

There’s a chain of assumptions that start with misconceptions and heap assumptions and misinterpretation and untruth onto them until you have no idea what they are saying…somehow this case which resulted eventually in a fairly uniform set of rules for business disputes across the country, is the end of our civilization …and now ALL law is Uniform Commercial Code, instead of Constitution and statute. If you pile enough official sounding words in your made up explanation that makes it real.

He goes on to say:

In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt came into power as President of the United States. Roosevelt’s job was to put into place and administer the bankruptcy that had been declared two years earlier. The corporate government needed a key Supreme Court decision. The corporate United States government had to have a legal case on the books to set the stage for recognizing, implementing and supporting the bankruptcy. Now, this doesn’t mean the bankruptcy wasn’t implemented before 1938 with the Erie RR v. Thompkins decision. The bankruptcy started in 1930-1931. The bankruptcy definitely started when Roosevelt came into office. He was sworn in during the month of January, 1933. He started right away in the bankruptcy with what is known as the “The Banking Holiday,” and proceeded in pulling in gold coin out of circulation. That was the beginning of the United States Public Policy for bankruptcy.

….Since the United States Corporation, having established it[s] headquarters within the District of Columbia, [Note: probably a reference to the Act of 1871] declared itself to be in the state of bankruptcy, it automatically declared bankruptcy for all its subsidiaries who were effectively connected corporate members (who happened to be the corporate state governments of the Union). The corporate state governments didn’t have to vote on the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy automatically became effective by reason of Compact/Agreement between each of the corporate state governments and THE MOTHER CORPORATION. (Note: The writer has taken the liberty of using the term “Mother Corporation” to communicate the interconnected power of the corporate Federal government relative to her associated corporate States. It is my understanding that the States created the Federal Government, however, for all practical purposes, the Federal Government has taken control of her “Creators,” the States.)

What we see here is the intersection of several nonsense theories.

The U.S. did not declare bankruptcy and it’s not a corporation; nor are the states as shown at the same link; he seems to be asserting issues around the ‘Act of 1871‘ debunked as well.

However, Declaring bankruptcy would not change us from a sovereign to a corporation, so he contends the U.S. already is a corporation …but going off the gold standard is not declaring bankruptcy. The US has not declared bankruptcy and if it did this wild theory wouldn’t be the result anyway.

That ruling was significant to lawyers and judges and to business especially, because it meant they could not control what law would apply to them if they ended up in court. They would have to research the law in each of the now fifty states to see what might apply depending on where their customers were. That was a problem.

But for the life of me I cannot see how it can be claimed to have overturned the role of the courts or changed their basic character. It is literally made up.

However, this claim goes on to say that because the US is bankrupt and oh, the Chamber of Commerce  recommended the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to be adopted in the states, commerce now rules the nation and its courts.

And apparently the states are no longer sovereign because they adopted a uniform business law. Imagine what would happen if they adopted uniform animal care laws!! We’d all be cats!

We are all commercial entities as is our government. Palpably absurd…and it does not follow logically from any of the premises; and you can’t find words anywhere in the decision to make it mean what they say.


=                                       More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                            =

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers

=                                                          The Law                                                          =
Sources Of Law and Authority

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

Do You Need a License to Drive ?

The United States Is A Corporation

(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant )

The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &

Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

Does The “Real” 13th Amendment Eliminate the Courts?

All US Courts hear only Admiralty Cases

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH

Posted in Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories | 2 Comments

Does The “Real” 13th Amendment Eliminate the Courts?

Shortlnk to this blog:

I am a private individual, a retired businessman, and I am not an attorney. Just an educated and interested party who doesn’t want to see people  losing their money, property or freedom due to misinformation. I provide links to full court decisions and the actual laws involved so you can read for yourself. 

TL;DR: [if you don’t want to read the details here’s what it says]
The claim is a ‘lost’ amendment to the constitution makes anyone who accepts a title from a foreign power lose citizenship; therefore anyone who becomes a lawyer lose their citizenship and becomes ineligible to hold any official office by reason of having the ‘title’ of Esquire; and therefore no judge may sit in any court and the courts are all illegal.

(1) the amendment was never ratified; and
(2) if it had been it would not have done so since “Esquire” is not a “title of nobility and honor”;
(3) There is no actual ‘granting’ of the appellation Esquire by any law; it is merely tradition;
(4) it is surely not being granted by a foreign power.

There is a an outstanding and detailed review of this at: The “Missing Thirteenth Amendment”: Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility”

If you are just starting out, you should probably look at my introductory document which summarizes the sovereign citizen ideas and links to many of its favorite theories, at

I note that many of the theories used tend to involve a wide range of interlocking — and down right weird — ideas. They don’t really stand up to logical analysis, but they do tend to interlock to support each other. So where to start with any one of them is difficult because it will eventually rely on some other, rather equally loony idea …and then the problem is compounded because there is no single “authority” you can look to to see what the”official story” is …

I simply resorted to looking a number of sites and trying to pick one or two sites and ideas that seemed to be referred to often, and the site  American Patriot Friends Network  came to be a touchstone as it collected more than half a dozen of these ‘ideas’. In this blog I link to another site where it is covered — Barefoot’s World. I am sure there are many and many many many different explanations for each contention, and many sites that promote this spurious legend, but let us go with these.

The claim: There is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that disqualifies every lawyer in the country from being a citizen, and thereby from serving as a judge.

It should not come as a surprise that sovereign citizens do not like lawyers and judges. Not a bit. So there has arisen a complex mythology for depriving them of their ‘status’ and more importantly their power, especially as judges, to make rulings and enforce the laws the sovereigns so sincerely do not accept.Oh and by the way many claim that the Constitution you know is actually not the real one, which was supplanted or repealed or something by Congress. But that’s a different question and they don’t necessarily separate those thoughts.  See The US is a Corporation…or an Elephant. for more on that point. I will simply say at least for this theory they ignore the question of whether this is the same Constitution adopted in 1789.

This is serious stuff as some proponents have suggested that this Amendment implies or authorizes the murder or arrest of police and public officials.  Yes really.And one person was sentenced to death in part because he relied on it.

I will cover the basics from the APFN and Barefoot sites, but if you want an authoritative and detailed source, there’s a great article whose footnotes are longer than this entire analysis:
The “Missing Thirteenth Amendment”: Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility

Meet “The Thirteenthers”

Original 13th Amendment

These are Barefoot World’s site’s claims:

Amendment Article XIII

“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”

“The Real Thirteenth Amendment, shown above, was ratified March 12, 1819 with the vote of the Virginia General Assembly to publish the Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia with this article of amendment included in the Constitution of the United States, and thus it became an integral part of the Constitution for the United States of America”

But if the Amendment Has been Ratified … So What?

Below I will give some detailed analysis to the claims that this Amendment was ratified and will show you that the courts and government say it never was; I will show clearly that it was not.

But rather than start with a detailed and complicated rebuttal of their arguments, let’s start by assuming it was ratified, and examine its effect.

The claim is it means all members of the bar lose their citizenship and no court has a judge because the title Esquire makes them non-citizens and ineligible to hold office.

Problem 1 Esquire is Neither a Title of Honor Nor of Nobility.

Under the Constitution when a term is not defined, English Law of the era is used to determine meaning, as that was the framework for law in the Colonies at the time of Independence, the law practiced by the founders.

Under English Law a title of “nobility and honor” may only be conferred by the Monarch. No Monarch, no title.  Esquire would not qualify as a title of nobility and honor even for an English lawyer in England. It is  not awarded by the Monarch.

Problem 2  It does not come from a foreign power
— actually it does not come from anywhere and it does not legally exist!

Just put plain nonsense to the idea that US Lawyers work for the Queen as some of these folks contend. They don’t.

  • The BAR association is not an international association to which every lawyer belongs though there is an International Bar Association headquartered in London, founded in 1947. It is a voluntary association as is the American Bar Association.
  • The Bar association to which lawyers must belong is a State association, whose legal status is given by a specific law in each state or by the rules of the State’s Supreme Court or court system.
  • Further ‘Esquire” is not often used these days by attorneys, but at the most it is a title applied by attorneys to themselves, to officers of the court, to members of the bar.
  • No one in the United States is entitled to it by law, and therefore, it confers, no distinction in law. It does not legally exist.
  • You will not find any law that confers the title in any of the 50 states. It is therefore not a “title of nobility or honor;” it is not a title at all. Legally it does not exist.
  • Even if it were conferred by the Bar Association (or for that matter by state or federal law) that surely is notfrom any emperor, king, prince or foreign power.” The Bar Association (of which there are more than 50, one for each state and territory) is not a foreign king, prince or power. Nor is the State Legislature of any state.
  • If somehow it were a title of honor or nobility issued by a state under state law, the state law would be unconstitutional under Art I Sec 10. So such a title would not exist legally, the person would not be able to receive the title and would not lose citizenship for a title not received when conveyed by an unconstitutional law. The same is true of Congress under Art 1 Sec 9. Only a foreign nation can convey such a title by law and none does to lawyers in the U.S.

So, lawyers are safe even had the amendment been adopted. It has no effect or relevance to them.

In Fact It Was Never Ratified

“amendments, … shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states”

Constitution Article V

The Barefoot site as well as the AFPN claim the Amendment became effective March 12, 1819 being ratified by 13 states, the last of them Virginia.

Problem 3: Not Enough States Ratified

In 1819 there were 22 states, and 17 states would be required to reach 3/4 of the States. The number of states required increases as the total number of states increases. It must be ratified by 3/4 of the existing states at the time it is adopted, not at the time it is proposed. (Otherwise an amendment introduced in the early days could be ratified with the consent of less than 25% of states.)

13 is not 17.

So even by the terms of the argument, the amendment is not ratified. And as will be noted below Virginia did not actually ratify.

At the APFN site there is a table showing the “states” that ratified the amendment according to them, and when they published the amendment. In and of itself that is not evidence of ratification but even if it were the argument leaks mightily.

“The following states and/or territories have published the Titles of Nobility 13th Amendment in their official publications as a ratified amendment to the Constitution of the United States in the following years:

Colorado 1861, 1862, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1967[sic], 1868
Virginia 1819 (ratification by 13th State)
Wyoming 1869, 1876

Problem 4  Publication is not ratification.

Simply publishing a copy of the amendment, or the Constitution including the amendment, or even a statement that the amendment was ratified is not an act of ratification. A legislature must hold a specific vote and transmit it to the proper authorities in the National Capitol to ratify an amendment. Ratification, says the Supreme Court is not legislation in the ordinary sense. (But even for an ordinary law this would not be valid.)

But in fact just because a document is printed that does not mean it is sufficient, legal, or binding. If challenged in court for example, the state in prosecuting you for violating a law may be required to provide an official copy of the act as signed by the governor and heads of the legislative branch.
It usually isn’t done because attorneys know that it will be proven easily and they have to have a good-faith reason to believe what is printed in the law books is not correct. Usually the published law books are sufficient but when the question is raised the original documents must be available for inspection. 

 Indeed publication of the amendment in a pamphlet or copy of the Constitution has no legal effect whatever. Consider Virginia. By publishing it they surely believe it was ratified by sufficient states, but by publishing it they are not saying there was an act of ratification By Virginia. There is no record of any such act, nor is publishing it the same as saying “we ratified this” it is at most “this was ratified by enough states.”

If that table is accurate all it shows is that a lot of people thought this amendment was adopted over the years. And the amendment isn’t shown any longer because the research showed it had not been adopted. We are better at documenting these things today.

There is a process a state must follow in ratifying an amendment, set out in law, and the documents’ custodian these days is the Archivist of the United States (in earlier days it was the Secretary of State) who declares when an amendment has been ratified. The Archivist has not published a certification that this amendment has been adopted. Because it has not. And it turns out even that doesn’t ammetr, ratification by publication didn’t happen enough even if it were to be accepted.

Here is the full list showing “ratification by publication” from the AFPN article:

The following states and/or territories have published the Titles of Nobility 13th Amendment in their official publications as a ratified amendment to the Constitution of the United States in the following years:

Colorado ——- 1861, 1862, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1967, 1868
Connecticut — 1821, 1824, 1835, 1839
Dakota ———- 1862, 1863, 1867
Florida ———- 1823, 1825, 1838
Georgia ——— 1819, 1822, 1837, 1846
Illinois ———— 1823, 1825, 1827, 1833, 1839, dis. 1845
Indiana ———– 1824, 1831, 1838
Iowa ————— 1839, 1842, 1843
Kansas ———– 1855, 1861, 1862, 1868
Kentucky ——– 1822
Louisiana ——– 1825, 1838/1838 [two separate publications]
Maine ————- 1825, 1831
Massachusetts -1823
Michigan ——– 1827, 1833
Mississippi —— 1823, 1824, 1839
Missouri ———- 1825, 1835, 1840, 1841, 1845*
Nebraska ——— 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1873
North Carolina – 1819, 1828
Northwestern Territories — 1833
Ohio ————— 1819, 1824, 1831, 1833, 1835, 1848
Pennsylvania — 1818, 1824, 1831
Rhode Island —- 1822
Virginia ———- 1819 (ratification by 13th State)
Wyoming ——– 1869, 1876

Totals: 24 States in 78 separate official government publications.
[Note: no explanation for the * on Missouri is offered]

Problem 5: A few issues with the APFN list.

If this is evidence of “ratification by publication” they are saying states can ratify before they actually become states; or even if they never become states; even if they don’t exist as states.
Which if anything shows you that publication is not ratification.

  • “Northwest Territories” is not a state, it was a territory that became all or part of 6 different states;
  • Nor is “Dakota” (which became two states);
  • The following states could not have ‘ratified’ per the table and its dates:
    • Colorado became a state in 1876 but they claim  1861, 1862, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1967[sic], 1868, yet never after statehood.
    • Michigan was not a state until 1837 but they show 1827 and 1833
    • Wyoming was not a state until 1890. They show 1869 and 1876.
    • Iowa was not a state until 1846. The last date shown is 1843
  • These states are shown with some dates before statehood:
    • Kansas became a state in 1861. They show 1855 as the first date.
    • Nebraska was admitted 1867. Of nine dates shown only one is at or after 1867.

Again if the 13th ratification was indeed Virginia in 1819, then it is not ratified, as there were 22 states, requiring 17 ratifications not the 13 shown.  In 1869 it would have required 28 states; which it has never reached. The table at most would document 18 ratifications once non-states and pre-admitted states are left off.

Problem  6: Virginia did  not ratify before or after 1814

Even the Governor of Virginia was unsure; in a letter to the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates on January 25, 1814, James Barbour wrote that:

I have received a letter from the Secretary of State, [James Monroe] requesting to be advised whether the Legislature of Virginia had agreed to, or rejected an amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States, which had for its object the prevention of any citizen accepting any title of nobility, present, pension, or office, from any foreign prince or power. Upon reference to the archives of this Department, no official document can be found which justifies a reply affirmatively or negatively. I submit to the Legislature the propriety of adopting some mode by which the difficulty may be obviated.  (Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia 145 (Richmond, Samuel Pleasants, 1813 [1814] {Jol A. Silversmith (April 1999), “The “Missing Thirteenth Amendment”: Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility”, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 8: 577} )

There was never a document found, and Virginia has no record of taking a vote before or after this letter was sent. But if there is “no official document” there is simply no ratification. You cannot assume a ratification happened and an amendment has been passed. You have to have proof.

Indeed it appears in 1817 Congress itself printed a copy of the Constitution with the Amendment shown; but Congress cannot ratify nor promulgate an unratified amendment; it was simply a mistake.

Finally if all the ‘ratifications’, 24 the table says while counting two that never were states and 4 that weren’t yet states are counted as of the last date in table, 1876, there were 37 states thus 28 states must ratify.  Indeed in counting Wyoming in 1876 as a first time, it doesn’t achieve the required number.

Now there are 50 states requiring 38 states to ratify any amendment.

The Courts Have Ruled On This

Problem 7: You probably won’t be surprised that the Courts have already considered and rejected these arguments.

The Plaintiff has made the following allegations: 1) Defendant Schwartz is “in violation of the United States Constitution for using the [t]itle of . . . [e]squire”….None of the above allegations state a legally recognized cause of action.
Wright v. Leasecomm Corp., 817 F.Supp. 106, 108 (M.D. Fla. 1993)

Campion, a tax protester raised it in his defenses against a charge of tax evasion. The court replied that it would

“…correct any misunderstanding Plaintiff has concerning the text of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution…In his Complaint, Plaintiff includes a certified copy of the Thirteenth Amendment from the Colorado State Archives which was published in 1861. As included in that compilation, the Thirteenth Amendment would strip an individual of United States citizenship if they accept any title of nobility or honor. However, this is not the Thirteenth Amendment. The correct Thirteenth Amendment prohibits slavery. Although some people claim that state publication of the erroneous Thirteenth Amendment makes it valid, Article V of the Constitution does not so provide.
Campion v. Towns, No.CV-04-1516PHX-ROS, *2 n.1 (D. Ariz. 2005),

What about the BAR??

A Federal appellate court took note of documents produced by the defendant, a convicted murderer who submitted documents in support of his appeal claiming that it rendered his conviction invalid:

These documents allege in great detail a complex conspiracy by an illegal monopoly, the American Bar Association, which resulted in a take-over of the judicial systems of this country, both federal and state, by the ABA and its related entities, including the Alabama State Bar Association and Alabama’s Unified Court System. It is then alleged that the ABA-controlled system is illegal and in violation of what is referred to as the “missing Thirteenth Amendment,” to the United States Constitution, which stated that any person who accepts a title of nobility forfeits his United States citizenship and which Amendment was ratified but subsequently hidden or excised from the law.

Since lawyers and judges accept the titles “Esquire”/”The Honorable,” it is argued, they are not citizens and are barred from holding office...The documents then explain that these are reasons that Sibley and his wife refused appointed counsel on appeal and refused to pursue matters any further in the court system and that only Congress can give them relief.
Sibley v. Culliver, 243 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 1283 (M.D. Ala. 2003), aff’d 377 F.3d 1196 (11th Cir. 2004)

What happened? The Sibley court dismissed the appeal, concluding in part that the defendant was simply not seeking relief through the courts since his contention, if accepted, meant that they could not hear his appeal, and obviously if the Sibley’s are correct then literally they should be asking Congress to set aside the verdict.

So this case shows that using these theories the man and his wife deprived themselves of representation in court; and on appeal; and he did not ever appeal a death sentence. 

These bogus theories can cost lives!

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Posted in Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories | 7 Comments

Is The U.S. Is Still a British Colony?

Shortlink to this Blog:

If you are just starting learning about sovereign citizens and their ideas, you should probably look at my introductory blog which summarizes the sovereign citizen ideas and links to many of its favorite theories, at

Many of the theories used in the sovereign citizen movement tend to involve a wide range of interlocking — and down right weird — ideas. I feel they don’t stand up to logical analysis, but they do tend to interlock to support each other, so where to start with analyzing any one of them is difficult because it will eventually rely on some other absurd idea…and the problem is compounded because there is no single “authority” you can look to to see what the”official story” is.

In order to pursue the philosophies and contentions eventually I resorted to looking a number of sites and trying to pick one or two sites and ideas that seemed to be referred to often.

The site (American Patriot Friends Organization) came to be a touchstone as it collected and promulgated more than half a dozen of these ‘big ideas’. I am sure there are many and many many many different explanations for each contention, but let us go with this one.
So you may be surprised to find out

The United States is a British Colony

The TL;DR:

(1) Author starts by explaining that we actually lost the Revolution and the Treaty shows it; and
(2) whatever we gained in the Treaty we later gave up; then
(3) explains the War of 1812 as a British attempt to stop the “13th Amendment” from being ratified (thus two theories interlock )  and
(4) moves on to show the Civil War was all about property and because the South lost we don’t own anything, and all our taxes go to the King.

His factual basis is completely wrong on (1) and (2) and (3).  And I don’t think (4) is worthy of consideration.

This author (who is never identified) misreads documents; doesn’t realize when they are not referring to places in the U.S.; fails to recognize that the alleged amendment was never ratified; and if ratified would not do what he claims; and generally is among the most clueless of propositions you will ever encounter.

If you want to stop right here I won’t blame you…

Why are we a British Colony?

This is the Worst Document Ever in terms of outright baboonish errors; utterly clueless!

I refer to the author of this as our “ficto-historian” since he pretends to back things up with historical fact but in fact he is simply weaving tales of misunderstanding and misinformation.

1. We Lost The Revolution, Just Look at The Treaty of Paris to See That!

His Proposition: The Treaty of Paris between King George and the United States was in fact a treaty to give the King continuing and greater power because we had not won the Revolution.

Evidence: The King calls himself “Prince of the United States of America” in the introduction.

“I want you to notice in the first paragraph that the king refers to himself as prince of the Holy Roman Empire and of the United States.  You know from this that the United States did not negotiate this Treaty of peace in a position of strength and victory, but it is obvious that Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams negotiated a Treaty of further granted privileges from the king of England.”


Author can’t read the simple words of the introduction of the two parties to the Treaty!

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the Hearts of

  • [First party:] the most Serene and most Potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, Arch- Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc

– and [the heart] of-

  • [Second Party:] the United States of America,

to forget all past Misunderstandings and Differences that have unhappily interrupted the good Correspondence and Friendship which they mutually wish to restore; and to establish…

Observe that“hearts” is plural and “they” refers to two entities: the King and the United States; but the author’s interpretation allows only one person in that whole paragraph, the King. If so, who the hell is “they”?


Evidence: Benjamin Franklin held an office, rank or honor granted by the King and was a subject of the King during the negotiations; so did the other negotiators. This means they were negotiating for the King, not for America.

“You also need to understand the players of those that negotiated this Treaty. For the Americans it was Benjamin Franklin Esqr., a great patriot and standard bearer of freedom. Or was he? His title includes Esquire.”

“An Esquire in the above usage was a granted rank and Title of nobility by the king, which is below Knight and above a yeoman, common man….Benjamin Franklin was the main negotiator for the terms of the Treaty, he spent most of the War traveling between England and France. The use of Esquire declared his and the others British subjection and loyalty to the crown.”

Error: “…he spent most of the War traveling between England and France.”

No. Franklin was American Ambassador to France during the War and would have been arrested and hanged on conviction for Treason if he entered Britain. He did not go to Britain during the war. Just complete untruth.

ErrorFranklin is addressed as Esquire, that is the truth in the paragraph, every other word is completely wrong. Esquire used with his name is not a rank, nor title, nor is it a title of nobility, nor is it from the King. Indeed it was not granted by anyone.

The use of that term was purely a courtesy; he was never made Esquire by the King; nor was he an attorney who might be called Esquire by admission to the Bar though that too would not matter since the British practice of law was unconnected at that time to the American practice of law.

Franklin was addressed by the title of “Esquire” by virtue of his holding Rank as an Ambassador or head of mission in negotiating the Treaty. It was not an official title, it was simply an honorific used with men in important positions. In England the corresponding use would have been “His Excellency” for an Ambassador.

Error:   Importantly, for both this and other arguments, the meaning of Esquire is misstated. In all U.S. usages Esquire is not a title, nor rank, but merely an honorific used to denote one worthy of respect, similar to “The Honorable” appellation for members of Congress.

It is not conveyed by ANY law, nor was it ever conveyed under any British law to Franklin. Traditionally attorneys assumed “Esquire” to indicate their membership in the bar, but there is no law anywhere in the US granting it, it’s just a practice, not commonly done at all now.  America never had a feudal society and the colonies did not grant titles on their own or on behalf of the King. Not even the Royal Colonies. I am unaware of a single colonial granted a knighthood, made Esquire, or given a title, in the colonies. Likely some subjects in the colonies did gain honors from the King but it was done in Britain not in America. 

And it was never an index of nobility anywhere, including Britain. Nobility is heritable (until the late 20th Century); if your kids couldn’t inherit it, it was not nobility. Esquire is not a title you could pass to your child. Nor was it granted by the King, even in feudal days. Knights chose their squires.

There was and is no law or precedent in America for granting any titles and a different usage developed in what became the United States.

The usage of Esquire in America is and was purely nominal and honorary; in 1783 Franklin was not a subject of the King and did not and could not hold an honor from the King. Franklin later was called Esquire in the US and he may have been given that honorific for several reasons.

  • Franklin later was President of the State of Pennsylvania (an office analogous to Governor) for three years from 1785, and could have been styled “Esquire” as result of this service.
  • Franklin is later referred to as Benjamin Franklin, Esq., in his capacity as Post Master General of the United States

So Esquire is not a title, not a title of nobility, was never legally conveyed to Franklin by anyone much less the King. It is simply a term of respect to a person holding a responsible public position.


“In the first article of the Treaty most of the king’s claims to America are relinquished, except for his claim to continue receiving gold, silver and copper as gain for his business venture.” 


Well that actually does not contradict anything; it is correct. But he goes on to claim the money is in fact tribute to him as King. In any event the King also renounces any proprietary interest in the colonies as well:

Article 1st:
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself his Heirs & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every Part thereof… [emphasis added]


[Treaty] “Article 3 gives Americans the right to fish the waters around the United States and its rivers.”

Error: Let’s see:

Article 3d:
It is agreed that the People of the United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every kind on the Grand Bank and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and at all other Places in the Sea, where the Inhabitants of both Countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that the Inhabitants of the United States shall have Liberty to take Fish of every Kind on such Part of the Coast of Newfoundland as British Fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on that Island) And also on the Coasts, Bays & Creeks of all other of his Brittanic Majesty’s Dominions in America; and that the American Fishermen shall have Liberty to dry and cure Fish in any of the unsettled Bays, Harbors, and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled, but so soon as the same or either of them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish at such Settlement without a previous Agreement for that purpose with the Inhabitants, Proprietors, or Possessors of the Ground.
The Treaty of Paris

Error:   No place specifically named is in US waters. But even if it did…how does letting Americans fish in American waters renounce our independence please?

The claim is made that this is because they are granting rights to the King. It doesn’t actually make sense since that would instead give the British those rights. But it doesn’t give the King any rights it gives his subjects certain rights. Not the same thing at all.

But fictionalist doesn’t really understand what the Treaty actually does say.

The Treaty gives Americans fishing rights in areas which are not part of the United States but are in the King’s remaining dominion of Canada; or gives equal rights to fishermen of both countries in areas they have traditionally fished. And yes that allows them to fish in American waters not specified. 

So the U.S. also grants fishing rights to British in the areas previously fished by them. This is a perfectly reasonable negotiated accommodation over fishing rights, both George and the U.S. got something. Fishermen could fish in either country’s waters regardless of their nationality. This is an international negotiation, not an unequal exchange. It certainly does not indicate that George ruled over the U.S.

That’s enough and really entirely too much on the Treaty of Paris. Without in depth examination of his other assertions some will perhaps be persuaded, but at this point I will not further pursue the lengthy and errant claims put forth by someone so clueless as to not be able to read the names of the parties to the treaty accurately.

However, the first Article of the Treaty is clear and unmistakable:

The King cedes ALL sovereign, territorial, and proprietary claims and rights.

2. “We  Just Look at The Treaty of 1794 to Prove We Are Still Under The King”

Next our erstwhile ficto-historian shows that the Treaty of 1794 makes, kept, or reflects us to be, under British Dominion.  He claims this is all because we really were not independent.

In fact, it was not a great deal for the U.S., as this explanation from the State Department web site shows; but it basically reflects the fact that our nation was small and weak and was squeezed between Britain and France as result of the Franco-British wars of the late 1790’s that later became the Napoleonic Wars…we made a not-so-great deal with Britain in order to keep out of a conflict with her.

As the Official explanation states:

“The resulting treaty addressed few U.S. interests, and ultimately granted Britain additional rights. The only concessions Jay obtained was a surrender of the northwestern posts (already agreed to in 1783) and a commercial treaty with Great Britain that granted the United States “most favored nation” status, but seriously restricted U.S. commercial access to the British West Indies. All other outstanding issues…were to be resolved by arbitration. Jay even conceded that the British could seize U.S. goods bound for France if they paid for them and could confiscate without payment French goods on American ships.”

Jay’s Treaty was immensely unpopular with the American public, but it squeaked through the Senate on a 20 to 10 vote on June 24, 1795. President Washington implemented the treaty in the face of popular disapproval, realizing that it was the price of peace with Great Britain and that it gave the United States valuable time to consolidate and rearm in the event of future conflict.

On the other hand this treaty certainly did not put us under British rule.

3. The War of 1812 and the 13th Amendment

Ficto-Historian next explains that the big problem after this was that the “13th Amendment” to the Constitution threatened the King’s reign because it would disqualify all of his henchmen (lawyers) from running the government and thus make America truly free.

Claimed Without Evidence:

 “The War of 1812 served several purposes. It delayed the passage of the 13th Amendment by Virginia, allowed the British to destroy the evidence of the first 12 states ratification of this Amendment, and it increased the national debt, which would coerce the Congress to reestablish the Bank Charter in 1816 after the Treaty of Ghent was ratified by the Senate in 1815.”

Error:  The Real 13th Amendment  passed in 1865 and ended slavery.

Error:  The “13th Amendment” referred to is:

“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”

It is not an Amendment at all; it is a proposed amendment that was never ratified, and discussed in detail at  

Error: If you read the blog at the link, you will see that not only was it never ratified, it would not have the effect the sovereigns claim: that is, to close down the courts and make all lawyers and judges lose citizenship and the right to hold office. It just wouldn’t do that.

The sovereigns assert that by becoming a lawyer and joining the bar one receives the title “Esquire” and that is a title that disqualifies and would remove citizenship under the proposed amendment. As noted above, Esquire is not a title of nobility though it might be an honor. But becoming a lawyer or a judge in the U.S. conveys no  “title of nobility or honor” under any law. And certainly no such honor would be from “any [foreign] Emperor, King, etc.” You don’t become an Esquire when you become a lawyer, no one gives you the right or the title or anything of the sort. It’s just a tradition, falling into disuse these days. Go ahead, show me a law that grants the title anywhere in the US.

(Did I mention Sovereign Citizens hate judges and lawyers? They REALLY hate judges and lawyers.I suppose it’s because their belief systems are usually demolished in courtrooms.)

Error: As noted in the link provided, the Amendment was not ratified at any time before during or after the war of 1812. The idea that the British burned Washington to hide something that didn’t happen and that they wouldn’t care about, is laughable. They didn’t even while winning the war think the US was or would become a colony. They couldn’t hold on to twenty five years earlier and Britain was in a long and deadly war with Napoleon and the U.S. was making that struggle awkward by insisting it had the right to do business with France and deliver goods there.

Also the citizenship of some sailors on US ships was ambiguous: British law did not allow anyone to lose their British nationality and so Brits who were naturalized as Americans were considered subjects of the King and the King needed more sailors. When they stopped US ships they removed and put into their Navy anyone who wasn’t an American in 1787 as covered by the Treaty of Paris.

The British didn’t want to fight us and divert resources; but in the end they did.

And yes, we basically lost the War of 1812 which still does not make us a British Colony.

4. All Property and Taxes belong to the King Because We Lost the Civil War

You are surprised to learn the United States LOST the Civil War, no? The United States was the North and they defeated the South. Well that’s my opinion.

The Fictionalist explains…

Claimed Without Evidence: The Civil War was not about slavery (nor presumably States’ Rights) but was about the right to own land or any property at all, free of the government’s ability to tax; and that, if the government can tax land or other property, you don’t really own it. Also all taxes are for the King.

The southern States were not fighting so much for the slave issue, but for the right to own property, any property. These property rights were granted by the king in the Treaty of 1783, knowing they would soon be forfeited by the American people through ignorance. Do you think you own your house? If you were to stop paying taxes, federal or state, you would soon find out that you were just being allowed to live and pay rent for this house. The rent being the taxes to the king, who supplied the benefit of commerce. A free man not under a monarch, democracy, dictatorship or socialist government, but is under a republican form of government would not and could not have his property taken (emphasis added). Why! The king’s tax would not and could not be levied. If the Americans had been paying attention the first 70 years to the subterfuge and corruption of the Constitution and government representatives, instead of chasing the money supplied by the king, the Conquest of this country during the Civil War could have been avoided.

Error: That is just a silly argument; a diversion from history.  The Southern States themselves said Northern efforts to end slavery and the preservation of the institution of slavery was at the core of their secession.

South Carolina:

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slave holding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes;and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection….

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

…. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state…


….Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove….


….We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

Error: The government can enFORCE laws, and seize property in doing so, subject to due process of law. And a fundamental power of every sovereign government is the ability to tax. If government has no money it cannot operate and so an attribute of sovereign government is the power to tax.

We can indeed live in a republic and in addition pay taxes of various sorts, including property tax.  (Interestingly,  US Federal Government does not have the power to tax private property in any State; that power is limited to the state governments.)

Conclusion: We are a British Colony??

And that pretty well sums up the concept; all government is actually the King’s and all taxes are for the King, even though money today doesn’t go to the King nor to Great Britain in any particular way, so when you pay property tax for the school district that’s because we are a British possession. And in fact the King basically owns your house.
Not so much….

And the Civil War was really about declaring tax independence from Britain despite the fact that the South tried to get the British to sign on as allies, and that we elect the people who determine our taxes as well as what they are used for. Your state could eliminate property taxes entirely if it wanted to. Well it could eliminate them not saying it would.

If indeed we are a British Colony, how is all that actually taking place?

How much money do we send to the Queen each year and how? How does the Queen rule us?

Actually sovereigns have one, most laughable example of the Queen allegedly ordering changes to Social Security.

It is as hilarious as the inability to read the first paragraph of the Treaty of Paris, because it is based first, on not recognizing that Britain has a program called “Social Security” ( ) which is what the ‘Queen” (The Parliament) is referring to in the document they proffer; and second, he doesn’t know that we have an agreement with Britain that people who earn money and contribute to retirement systems in both countries can coordinate those contributions to get a single pension from one or the other (

And there I think we shall let the matter rest, this is way too much analysis than his propositions deserve already…


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Sources Of Law and Authority

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

Do You Need a License to Drive ?

The United States Is A Corporation

(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant )

The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &

Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

All US Courts hear only Admiralty Cases

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH


Posted in Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories | 4 Comments

Sources Of Law

Shortlink to this blog:
Shortlink to discussion of Statutory Law

Claimed: “Common Law” is the Supreme Law of the Land

Claimed: “Rules, Regulations, Statutes are Not Legal
or Only Govern the Government not People

Note: The “claim(s)” shown are those attributed to many adherents to a variety of theories, especially those who call themselves sovereign citizens. This blog is one of several used to address specific claims in detail, and the background and organization of my response to the movement begins at this link:

Sources of Law

Where does law come from in the first place? 

Who made, or makes, or gets to make laws?

What is Law?

Let us first and briefly look into the question of “What is Law and why do we have it” to better understand the significance of the various sources of Law.

Law, noun
1.the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.
2.any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution.
Compare bylaw, statute law.

4. a system or collection of such rules
7. an act of the supreme legislative body of a state or nation, as distinguished from the constitution.

law noun (rule)  [Cambridge Dictionary]

a rule made by a government that states how people may and may not behave in society and in business, and that often orders particular punishments if they do not obey, or a system of such rules


So a law is a rule that is binding, enforceable, and one can be punished for not obeying.


The Rule of Law — More Than Just a Rule

We speak of The Rule of Law as being fundamental to our society.

The Rule of Law is the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.  (First Result from googling “What is the Rule of Law”)

Rule of Law Definition:  That individuals, persons and government shall submit to, obey and be regulated by law, and not arbitrary action by an individual or a group of individuals.
Duhaime’s Law Dictionary

Without laws we have no effective freedoms. This is a corollary of the Rule of Law. We base the orderly functioning and fundamental justice of our entire society upon the  “Rule of Law”

Laws shield us from others and even from government itself.  Lack of laws is anarchy; which means whoever can force others to his will gets his way.

My position throughout my blogs is that Law is made by humans, has always been made by humans, and there is a long history of legal principles and thought which can be found in writing.

Law evolves as societies evolve. Law changes to fit the character of the society.

Humans when gathered in any significant number will ALWAYS create governments, and those strike the balance between societal needs and individual needs in different ways according to the values of those societies.

Indeed the essential tension of every human society is how to balance the freedom of the individual with the needs of the greater society; no perfect balance can ever exist, but each society must and will strike some balance. Too much for the individual and the society fails, too collective and the people are not served and will ultimately bring it down. Neither extreme works for long. Both are scary; terms for them might be anarchy on the one hand and fascism on the other. The best results are somewhere in the middle.

The ideal characteristics of a systemic rule of law (not to be achieved perfectly by fallible humans) are:

  • The government and its officials and agents as well as all individuals and private entities are accountable under the law. No one is exempt from the laws.
  • The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.
  • The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
  • Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

In OUR legal tradition there is a government to which every person (human being) is subject; and the people collectively exercise power over that government. That is collective sovereignty.

We have a written constitution and it is the supreme law of the land.

The legislative function of our governments is the part which has the power to make law; the judicial has the power to interpret the law, to say what it means, and to apply it to specific cases; and the executive function executes the law, enforces it. Separation of powers limits the power of government to help protect the individual.

Law is subject to the collective consent of the governed, but no society could exist and no government function if it required the unanimous consent of every person. Because no law would every receive such unanimous consent. No law passed by a legislature will have unanimous agreement of all humans; and thus no true law can exist by that measure. And if a law does not apply to all it is not a law. By definition it is not law if people can exempt themselves from it.

This is one reason you won’t find a single court decisions that ever said personal  individual assent to the law is required; just the opposite in fact. You won’t find any legislative enactment (law or otherwise) that says that. Our whole society is based on laws to which all must submit.

It is the mandatory nature of law that allows us to use it to restrict the arbitrary use of power against us.

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 (Utah 1987) 737 P2d 981

So, we now turn to the question of where do laws come from?  In the process we will also clarify how one kind of law is superior to another.

Source: The Constitution — Constitutional Law

In our nation we start with the U. S. Constitution. It sets up a legal framework and a government for the Union of the States and it is a source of law for us; it is the Supreme Law of our land, though some sovereigns disagree and assign that aspect to what they call “Common Law.”

The term Constitutional Law refers to Law derived from the Constitution directly.

I must caution that some simply claim the Constitution was from its start a corporate charter for those who wished to join in a venture and has no applicability to them. Philosophically I cannot respond; legally you can be assured that under all traditions and the actual practice of law the Constitution is binding law, and the government created by it exercises sovereign power. 

Sovereignty is found by transfer of power by treaty with the King in the Treaty of Paris (or arguably at the time we declared independence); by current international law which recognizes the U.S. as a sovereign government by reason of its exclusive control of its territory and people; and by the Constitutional claim that the people created this government as an exercise of their own sovereignty.

The last is I suppose the one thing most disputed by them. Under international law sovereign nations decide by law who is their citizen, and that is not a matter of choice by the citizen.

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

Supreme means supreme, therefore no law, case law, natural law, common law, statutory law, is higher.

(Note: State Law is supreme in the matters that are the sole purview of the States, i.e., where the Constitution does not apply, State Constitution and statutes are supreme.)

Constitutional Law: Many provisions of the Constitution are about how government is organized; the three branches and their powers, and those are in fact law; and some of the Constitution makes other types of law, for example the prohibition against a “Bill of Attainder” restricts the power of the Congress (a legislature) a fine example of the Rule of Law at work to prevent arbitrary exercise of power; all of this is “Constitutional Law.”

(This is not to be confused with the study of the Constitution, which may be called Constitutional Law. And please note that both of those are different from the determination that some law conforms to or violates the constitution, which we call “a constitutional law” in the first case and “an unconstitutional law” in the latter.)

The terms of the Constitution are Law; the Supreme Law of the Land. 

The Authority of the Constitution rests on the Sovereignty of the People.

“…the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution..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 Chisolm decision, rendered just four years after the creation of the Constitution, shows that “We the People” is a collective term; the process of adoption of the Constitution did not make any provision for the individual sovereign theory (which did not exist at the time, it came about in 1970) and therefore our legal tradition is that we are governed by the Constitution and our consent is implicit in our failure to change that document or form a different government. We exercise our consent (at least in one aspect) when we vote. When we exercise free speech. When we campaign for political ideas and laws. And if we choose to not vote we are again exercising consent.

Source: State Constitutions

Each state is likewise a sovereignty. As explained before a sovereign is an entity which controls a territory and its people and actually exercises sovereign powers. While the states have designated areas of their sovereign powers that they delegate to the national government, the remaining powers by the tenth amendment are reserved to the state. The people of each state empower their state government to exercise those residual powers in certain ways, via a state constitution. Again the Supreme Court clarified that only four years after the First Congress convened, the same case that showed the U.S. Federal Government represented a sovereignty:

“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 RevolutionEvery State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner…
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

Source: Statutory Law (Statutes, Ordinances, Codes)

The next source of law we have is called statutory law, which is a fancy way of saying laws passed by a legislature., called statutes. Sometimes this is called “black letter law” because it is literally printed in black ink on white paper; fixed in type so to speak; and is not changed except by another statute. It can be pinned down precisely which is not always the case for laws when examined in the context of a case or controversy.

 A Legal Code is simply a compilation of laws, statutes, or ordinances typically limited to a particular topic or topics and arranged in a logical fashion for convenience.

For some reason the idea exists among sovereigns and fellow travelers that codes are not laws but in fact in any legal code you will find every provision was passed by the legislature, though the organization and numbering might or might not be part of that law. I suppose technically one could argue that the code is not THE law; yet every provision in it IS a law.

Historically laws in the form of codes have been the way of governing an entire nation. For example the Code of Hammurabi, the Napoleonic code, the Mosaic Code. More mundane versions might be the Vehicle Code or the Penal Code in some states. But they are simply compilations of law.

Ordinance is the term usually applied to local government laws, also passed by a legislative body such as a county board or town council. They are laws subordinate to federal and state law and constitutions. But they are in fact statutory or black letter law. They may be passed pursuant to a county or city charter or other founding document, or a state statute that designates how it is done.

The power of local governments in the U.S. is delegated by the State and local jurisdictions (cities, towns, counties) are creations of the sovereign State.

Some claim that statutes are not laws; but every dictionary (legal and ordinary) and every precedent and practice and court ruling back to the 13th century in our system says that they are…when the legislative authority of a sovereign nation (including in our case the individual States, which are sovereign) follows its defined processes to enact a statute, that is a legally binding law. There is an entire blog on this topic for your information.

If anyone claims statutes are not laws they should be asked to cite the document that says so. (No response is ever forthcoming to that request…unless they refer you to a blog of some kind. Blogs, including this one, are not authorities.)

Otherwise such claims are actually a challenge to the sovereign character of government, and the authority of its legislature to enact laws. The states are sovereign as noted in the Chisolm decision quoted above; they are not, as some claim, corporations.

The claim that statutes are not law is absurd and without any foundation in our legal tradition. As you will see every single legal and regular dictionary say that “statute” means “law”. No court case finds otherwise. No constitutional provision to the contrary exists.

Federal and State Laws (Statutes)

In the US, Congress is the national legislature, and each state has its own legislature.

In the case of Congress it is manifestly clear that it has the power to and it does pass LAWS Here is what our Constitution says:

“Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, … it shall become a law …If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
Article I Section 7 U.S. Constitution

Legislative enactments by Congress are laws.  The Constitution says so. Congress can only pass laws that it is specifically given the power to pass by the Constitution (“enumerated powers”), though there are some “implied powers” identified by various court cases.

In every state there is a legislature, and the legislative branch by definition (the root word is lex, plural leges, meaning “law(s)” in Latin) make law. The legislative power is the power to make law.  One need only read the California Constitution to find an explicit statement about what a statute is:

“The Legislature may make no law except by statute and may enact no statute except by bill.”
California Constitution Article IV Section 8 (b) (1) 

Even going back to the original California Constitution of 1849 (California’s current constitution was ratified on May 7, 1879 and has been amended over 480 times). We see clarity on this point; The Legislature makes laws:

Sec. 1. The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in a Senate and Assembly, which shall be designated the Legislature of the State of California;  and the enacting clause of every law shall be as follows:  “The people of the State of California, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows.”

Sec. 17. Every bill which may have passed the Legislature, shall, **before it becomes a law,** be presented to the Governor.  If he approve it, he shall sign it;  …If, after such reconsideration, it again pass both Houses, by yeas and nays, by a majority of two thirds of the members of each House present, **it shall become a law,** … If any bill shall not be returned within ten days after it shall have been presented to him, (Sunday excepted,) **the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it,** unless the Legislature, by adjournment, prevent such return.

And States have the powers to pass laws in areas traditionally exercised by sovereign entities, except as limited by the U.S. or State Constitution, but also as empowered by the Tenth Amendment.

States have their own constitutions of course and state laws may not violate either the state’s constitution nor the U. S. Constitution by reason of the Supremacy Clause. In this scheme, the Constitution is supreme and federal laws are superior to state constitutions and laws unless they are found by the courts to be  unconstitutional.

And statutory law can overrule any common law provision.

No doubt a statute may take away a common law right…
Meister v. Moore 96 U.S. 76 (1877)[U.S. Supreme Court]

Source: Case Law (AKA Common Law)

“Case law,” is the American version of the term “common law” and it is broadly speaking, principles and understandings of law developed by the courts in the course of interpreting and applying the laws.

Courts often have to examine how a law works in a particular situation to resolve the questions that arise; what does the law mean? Does it apply here? How? In the real world the Legislature just cannot imagine every situation that may lead a party to court.

The Courts over centuries developed ways of analyzing laws, and principles of law applied in their interpretation; and that collected wisdom is ‘common law’. It is used to achieve a common answer in applying laws from case to case, to gain consistent results and make the law predictable. Thus if the same issue comes up later in another case, the answer is accepted and applied for consistency.

In the US a particular Federal appellate court that controls courts from a number of states calls its case law “circuit law” and any court dealing with an issue determines the “law of the (specific) case” because that is where it applies.

Note that courts and judges don’t make laws, that’s for the legislature, so case law can be changed by, and is subject to, statutes. Far from being supreme it is several ladder rungs below the Constitution and below Statute Law.

“No doubt a statute may take away a common law right, but there is always a presumption that the legislature has no such intention unless it be plainly expressed.”
Meister v. Moore 96 U.S. 76 (1877)[U.S. Supreme Court]

If the Congress doesn’t like how judges interpret a federal law, for example, it can change the law to make it clear what Congress intends. Likewise a state legislature can repeal or modify a law if it feels the judges got it wrong.

However when the Supreme Court rules on what The Constitution means, Congress has no power to define or redefine The Constitution…so that ruling cannot be changed unless the Constitution is amended, or the Court later decides the case law on that issue was incorrect or no longer applies.

Sovereign Citizens often cite “Common Law” as the authority for their beliefs. What do they mean? They seem to primarily mean “Natural Law,” discussed below.

What they do NOT seem to mean is what much of the legal world calls “common law” or in the U. S., “case law” which is a source of law.

Not a Source: Natural Law

Sovereign Citizens may make the claim that common law is supreme, by which they must meaneven though they often refer to Common Law in so doing — Natural Law”.

Natural law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally recognized by virtue of human reason or human nature. It is often tied to religious beliefs, such as that god gives us our rights as humans. Some use natural law synonymous with natural rights.

Natural law implies that there are binding rules of moral behavior that are obvious to everyone. While natural law principles absolutely underpin the Constitution and notably the Declaration of Independence, it in fact is not a set or settled form of law and is simply a set of principles that courts or legislatures use in framing law and the Constitution itself. While there is general agreement about what those principles are, there is no binding written document specifying them.

Many say it comes from God, and you know how many people claim to speak for him and say contradictory things. So we don’t rely on an unwritten set of beliefs, we write down what we believe in this sense incorporating it into the laws we create. We prefer a written form of law in our system.

And in any event we will always end up with issues of interpretation which our tradition leaves to the courts. And under our system the Constitution is the Supreme Law.

(Ironically English Common law is also used to understand the Constitution since that was the form of law used by the Framers and it is to English law we sometimes look to understand their intent. For example “natural born citizen” was a term well understood in English Common Law so the Constitution does not define it. “Treason” was also well understood, but the framers specifically did not want that definition so they redefined it in the Constitution.)

The idea that Congress is limited by “natural law” was more recently rejected. In dismissing a suit for the refund of all federal income tax, social security, and Medicare contributions withheld from the plaintiff’s wages between 1993 and 1994, Judge Kimba Wood wrote:

Plaintiff thus appears to argue that this Court should look to principles of natural law, or more accurately, his preferred principles of natural law, as opposed to the positive law by which it is bound. That, however, is not this province of this Court.”

Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386, 398-99 (1798) (opinion dissenting in part):

If, on the other hand, the Legislature of the Union, or the Legislature of any member of the Union, shall pass a law, within the general scope of their constitutional power, the Court cannot pronounce it to be void, merely because it is, in their judgment, contrary to the principles of natural justice.

The ideas of natural justice are regulated by no fixed standard: the ablest and the purest men have differed upon the subject; and all that the Court could properly say, in such an event, would be, that the Legislature (possessed of an equal right of opinion) had passed an act which, in the opinion of the judges, was inconsistent with the abstract principles of natural justice.”

Under this principle of constitutional law, the courts cannot refuse to enforce the federal income tax merely because one or more judges believe that the tax is contrary to their concepts of “natural law” or “natural rights.”

Not a Source of Law: Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations are not laws but properly adopted and applied they can have the force of law within their area of authority. To have the force of law they must be made pursuant to some law which actually authorizes them.

I often see this case misquoted for the proposition:

The common law is the real law, the supreme Law of the land, the code, rules, regulations, policy and statutes are “not the law”
Self v. Rhay
61 Wn.2d 261 (1963)377 P.2d 885

Well that seems clear enough; this quote also is offered to support the idea that statutes are not laws. The problem is that Self v. Rhay says no such thing. The quote is fraudulent. Those words are not there. Nothing like that is in the decision. 

But as said above the Constitution and Laws and Treaties made under it are the Supreme law of the land.

However, here are the important words that are in that decision, a place one gets to when one carries the idea of individual sovereignty to its extreme:

It follows that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied, the stay of execution is dissolved, and respondent is directed to produce petitioner in the Superior Court for King County for setting the time of his execution in the manner provided by law.”

Anyone wishing to rely on these theories should consider seriously taking a more traditional approach to the law. The defendant didn’t use lawyers or present defenses because “the court ‘has no jurisdiction’ and is only able to hear ‘commercial cases'”. Perhaps he’d have gotten a death sentence anyway, but… this is not the sentence for a commercial infraction. It’s not about money. “The King or International Banker or the BAR” will not get richer for it.

Frequently quoted in this context:

All codes, rules, and regulations are for government authorities only, not human/Creators in accordance with God’s laws. All codes, rules,and regulations are unconstitutional and lacking due process…”
Rodrigues v. Ray Donavan (U.S. Department of Labor) 769 F. 2d 1344, 1348 (1985).

This is a wonderfully supportive quote but once again it is simply made up; those words are not in the opinion; nor does the case conclude anything remotely like that.

That case is also cited as proof that courts are purely administrative, not judicial, but that is a complete misreading of the case, which revolved around a matter that was the subject of an administrative hearing. That case itself is an Equal Protection and Due Process claim under the Constitution filed in federal courts as a lawsuit, not an administrative hearing nor a ‘direct’ appeal from a hearing under statutory authority.

One of the most famous Supreme Court decisions ever made is quoted in support of the proposition:

All laws, rules and practices which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”
Marbury v Madison, 5th US (2Cranch)137, 174, 176 (1803)

 Indeed the Marbury decision is the famous defining opinion of the Judicial Branch’s role in declaring laws unconstitutional and it does stand for that proposition. However,to say this is an absolute ban on rules or regulations is to misunderstand the grammatical meaning of it; to misconstrue the meaning of the key phrase: “which are repugnant to the Constitution”

If you think “which” modifies “rules and practices” you might conclude that it says rules and practices are repugnant to the Constitution. But if that were the case you can leave ‘which’ out of the quote to get the same result:

All laws, rules and practices are repugnant to the Constitution [and] are null and void”

Of course that also means NO laws re effective.

But every word in a legal document must be given meaning if it can, so instead, “which” modifies “repugnant to the Constitution” so that the proper understanding of this statement says would be:

Those laws, rules and practices which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void;
but those laws rules and practices which are not repugnant to the Constitution are not null and void.

The following words are not part of Marbury but are often found with the quote above, mostly because they have cut and pasted from someone who did the same and probably down a long chain of repeats:

Legislators simply don’t have the authority to rule make”

That is someone’s total mis-interpretation of the case. Of course, in most cases Legislatures don’t rule make (except for themselves); they create or empower executive bodies to do that, regulations can be complex, require much expert input, and change often. These are not tasks legislatures are good at. 

The Internal Revenue Code is one example of a fairly complete and detailed set of rules in the form of a law. And a code that is a law as well. But that’s unusual.

The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and Automotive Safety Act and many others create bodies such as the EPA and authorize them to adopt rules to achieve the ends the law seeks, to implement and execute the law, and those regulations when properly adopted have in fact the force of law.

Indeed at this writing British Petroleum (BP) is in court on many legal cases seeking to hold it liable for breaking rules regarding pollution of the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The regulations and underlying laws hold them responsible to those injured and also allow the agencies and courts to impose fines for the violations of rules and regulations. Those regulations dictate, for example, how much drilling ‘mud’ (fluid) and of what density must be used in certain situations to prevent wells from blowing out.

These are things no Legislature would have the time or knowledge to specify and which they could not quickly change if they got it wrong.

So the statutory goals and consequences are laid out in law and the agencies are given the power to regulate by rules, subordinate to the statute. And there is a defined process for adopting rules which must be followed. But then they DO have the force of law.

Also often cited is the famous Miranda case:

Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them”
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491

And that is correct. But it does not say, nor does it mean that ALL rule making or legislation is forbidden, rather it applies to only those rules and laws which actually abrogate rights secured by the Constitution.

Pretty basic grammar.

In fact, many rules and regulations and court decisions limit rights, but do not abrogate them. Indeed as we have discussed above, limits also play a role in protecting particular rights.

The sovereign citizen often relies on the notion that rights are absolute and cannot be restrained, infringed, or balanced, but if rights collide and no restraint is available, then might makes right, not law. Whoever is strongest will get unabridged rights and tough for the other guy and his rights.

The Rule of Law is the antidote.

Courts decide whether a rule or law abrogates a right secured by the Constitution (Marbury v Madison, ironically!); and Courts routinely hold that rights must be balanced against each other, so sometimes a right is restrained or restricted in order to give proper deference to a conflicting right. Indeed a massive share of decisions by the Supreme Court are focused exactly on how to balance one right versus another.

=                                 More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                    =

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers
Do You Need a License to Drive ?
=                                                          The Law                                                          =
Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

The United States Is A Corporation
(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant

The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &
Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

All US Courts hear only Admiralty Cases

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

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH

Posted in Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories | Leave a comment

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers

Shortlink to this page:
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.

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)

 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, 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.’s Mandatory 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 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.

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.
School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Downloaded 7 Feb 2017)

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 mean “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
Do You Need a License to Drive ?

=                                                          The Law                                                          =

Sources Of Law and Authority

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

The United States Is A Corporation
(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant
The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &
Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States!

Do You Need a License to Drive ?

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

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

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

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH

Posted in Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories | Leave a comment

Are U.S. Courts All Under Admiralty and does the Gold Fringed Flag Prove It?

Note: The “claim(s)” shown are those attributed to many adherents to a variety of theories, especially those who call themselves sovereign citizens. This blog is one of several used to address specific claims in detail, and the background and organization of my response to the movement begins at this link:

Shortlink to this blog

Claimed: ALL US Courts Are Admiralty Courts

Hold your hats folks! I have found three FOUR arguments made to prove/explain that the Courts of the U.S. operate only under Admiralty Law. I’m going to spend most of my time on the first one and the last, but I promise to hit the second others one over the head as well.

SPOILER: The Courts find these arguments ‘totally frivolous, preposterous, unintelligible, having no arguable basis in law or fact, and wholly without merit.’

What IS Admiralty Law?

….Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction comprises two types of cases: (1) those involving acts committed on the high seas or other navigable waters, and (2) those involving contracts and transactions connected with shipping employed on the seas or navigable waters.

Admiralty law or maritime law is a distinct body of law that governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities that operate vessels on the oceans. It deals with matters including marine commerce, marine navigation, marine salvaging, shipping, sailors, and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea. Admiralty law also covers many commercial activities, although land based or occurring wholly on land, that are maritime in character.  Admiralty law is distinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters and international law governing relationships between nations.

Wikipedia: on 28 Sep 2014

And you may well ask, “So what?” 

So what?  Admiralty Court cannot hear a criminal case not covered under Admiralty Law, such as failure to pay taxes (hint hint) or robbing the 7-11 on the corner.

In my view that alone makes a shambles of the contention, if they were Admiralty Courts they would not hear the cases, simple, done. But they do. So they are not.
(What the purveyors would say is “aha! That’s why the rulings they produce are unlawful!!…)

Our courts use normal rules of civil and criminal procedure and hear all sorts of cases. Much of the question of what courts do and how they do it does evolve from English Statute Law and Common Law as that was the law of the nation before Independence and was familiar to the framers of the Constitution. Sovereign citizens maintain many theories about what cases they can hear and arguing they don’t have jurisdiction for various reasons, including that they are admiralty courts only able to hear commercial cases.

Well the Constitution disagrees (Article III):

Sec 1 The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish…

Sec 2 The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;–to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;–to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;–to controversies to which the United States shall be a party…

The jurisdiction extends to “all cases in law and equitywhich means any case based upon statutory law, constitutional law, common law, case law, admiralty law, treaties and other types of cases as long as they are under Federal law, treaty, constitution.

Indeed, admiralty law cases can  be heard by the Federal Courts but nothing there makes those courts admiralty courts for any other purpose or makes them unable to hear the other kinds of cases.When they are actually hearing an admiralty case they are admiralty courts. But not at any other time.

I guess the thinking is “Admiralty – Admiral – Navy – Military – Military Court” but it just is not true. Admiralty courts are not military courts, they simply hear a limited sort of cases that grow out of sea-going issues.  But the basics of this delusion is that if they are Admiralty Courts they don’t hear criminal matters or anything but commerce issues and therefore all legal issues are commercial matters because, well, they are. Because we don’t use silver or gold in our coins. Because the King owns us. The Bankers own us. The Country is a Corporation.    -_-

On to the Claims made:

Claimed:The Admiralty Courts Exist Because The
U.S. is Under Martial Law

(because: this lunatic site says so)
[The site is full of information such as that the U.S. is a corporation under British Law and control. Won’t bother with that now]

In essence this is the argument: 

(1) The U.S. is in a state of emergency, (True) therefore
(2) martial law is in effect, (False) therefore
(3) the courts are suspended, (False) therefore
(4) any court that sits is an Admiralty court (False)
And perhaps therefore or not,
(5) any court that displays a gold fringed flag is showing that it is, or
alternatively by showing such a flag is creating, an admiralty or perhaps
some other jurisdiction (False)
(6) Admiralty Law is banking law, so we are all
owned by banks and courts are all about banks. (False)

Though the U.S. is legally in several states of emergency, each and every step beyond that in the chain of logic is completely wrong and unsupported and most are also complete non-sequitors

And Admiralty Law simply is not “Banking Law” in any sense whatever. Where did that come from? Admiralty has to do with cases involving events related to commerce and other matters on navigable waters. Banks are not navigable bodies of water!

Too, as noted above, Admiralty law has nothing to do with the military nor does it cover anywhere near all the subject matter that federal and state law covers.

Let’s look at how the myth is justified.

Courts are admiralty courts because the US is under Martial Law, The courts have been supplanted or restricted to Admiralty powers because the U.S. Is operating under martial law for which the following is offered as proof:

Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially-proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the national emergency declared by President Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Truman on December 16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Nixon on March 23, 1970, and August 15, 1971.
(The link is not valid, and redirects to a menu page mostly linking to health care sites.)

Indeed it is true that the U.S. is operating under a number of declarations of emergency (those by Nixon and Roosevelt have long since been lifted, however). At least four or five different states of emergency, notably related to the events of 9/11 and the ensuing “Wars on Terror” currently exist. But note well: “State of Emergency” is not “Declaration of Martial Law.”

And again we have to go back to the basics of Admiralty law and ask
“What does this have to do with the high seas and navigable waters?” Nothing

And just for your infotainment here is more of what that site says that I do not explore at the moment:

Thus Constitutional Rights only count when you get up into the Supreme Court, for there is a tendency to continue to use the Constitutional law in the Supreme Court because they do not want the people to know that the Constitution has been superseded by Admiralty Law. This Awareness indicates that therefore, the Supreme Court will often rule if there is a constitutional discrepancy, so that the lower laws are supposed to follow the Constitution, and yet, entering into a court of law, arguing with the Constitution, seldom is beneficial to an entity because they will say the entity is in the wrong jurisdiction in this court.

They do not recognize your Constitutional Law in the jurisdiction of an Admiralty setting or court, and therefore, they will rule against you, This is the purpose of lawyers. They are clearly aware of their role in the Admiralty court, because you are not in the right jurisdiction for such.

It is meaningless to say “the Constitution has been superseded by Admiralty Law,” for even in an Admiralty Court the Constitution applies; it applies to ALL US Courts; it is SUPREME law, superior to Admiralty Law. There is no exemption from the Constitution, how could there be? It is the Supreme Law of the Land and supplants ALL other law. The power of the courts to hear admiralty cases is give BY the Constitution!

U.S. Is NOT Under Martial Law and the Courts are Not Suspended,
Nor Acting in any Admiralty or Military Capacity

The assumption that a state of emergency is the same as a declaration of martial law, so we are under martial law. But it is not at all, we are not, and even if we were, it would matter as it does not do what they claim. That may be seen as somehow allowing all or many rights of the courts and trial to be suspended, but in fact it allows oThat may be seen as somehow allowing all or many rights of the courts and trial to be suspended, but in fact it allows only one right to be suspended and not in martial law but in ‘cases of rebellion or invasion’ only, not in martial law.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
Article I Sec 9

In a true case of martial law, military courts may indeed try people, and I’m not clear on all the limits to that, but there is no general authorization in the Constitution for it. There is no martial law unless there is a Declaration of Martial Law, which has occurred nationally only once, under President Lincoln during the rebellion known as the Civil War. That is not the same thing as a state of emergency.

In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval.
(downloaded 27 Sep 2014)

But all that doesn’t matter unless martial law has actually been declared. It has not. States of emergency do not count.

Martial Law Does Not Suspend the Courts

As it turns out even under Martial Law, if the Courts can operate they operate as regular judicial courts under the Constitution. The distinction must be made as clear as that between martial law and military justice: deployment of troops does not necessarily mean that the civil courts cannot function, and that is one of the keys, as the Supreme Court noted, to martial law…

…Another act-that of March 3d, 1863,  2 ‘relating to habeas corpus, and regulating judicial proceedings in certain cases’-an act passed in the midst of the Rebellion-makes various provisions in regard to the subject of it…. By proclamation,  3 dated the 15th September following [71 U.S. 2, 6]   the President reciting this statute suspended the privilege of the writ in the cases where, by his authority, military, naval, and civil officers of the United States ‘hold persons in their custody either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders and abettors of the enemy…’”
Ex Parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866) 71 U.S. 2 (Wall.) December Term, 1866

Well that limited the jurisdiction of the military to hold people for only those offenses to start with. If you are charged with other offenses such as tax evasion, this would not apply anyway.

But it doesn‘t apply. The Supreme Court held that Lincoln’s imposition of martial law (by way of suspension of habeas corpus) was unconstitutional. It held that as long as the Federal District and Circuit Courts were available they had the right to try civilian offenses, and in the Milligan case, even military or war matters alleged to have been committed by a civilian. And even in the case of a state of emergency the President is still bound by the Constitution. (As are the Courts, of course…)

The Supreme Court established, in 1952, that presidents may not act contrary to Acts of Congress during an emergency. On December 16, 1950, during the Korean War, President Truman issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2914 declaring a state of national emergency.

2. The Executive Order was not authorized by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and it cannot stand. Pp. 343 U. S. 585-589….
(c) Authority of the President to issue such an order in the circumstances of this case cannot be implied from the aggregate of his powers under Article II of the Constitution. Pp. 343 U. S. 587-589.
(d) The Order cannot properly be sustained as an exercise of the President’s military power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. P. 343 U. S. 587.
(e) Nor can the Order be sustained because of the several provisions of Article II which grant executive power to the President. Pp. 343 U. S. 587-589….
(g) Even if it be true that other Presidents have taken possession of private business enterprises without congressional authority in order to settle labor disputes, Congress has not thereby lost its exclusive constitutional authority to make the laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers vested by the Constitution “in the Government of the United States, or any Department or Officer thereof.” Pp. 343 U. S. 588-589.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer 343 U.S. 579 (1952)

So we cannot find any authority which suspends the Courts, or makes the courts into military or admiralty courts nor any court decisions that recognize that they are; and surely martial law is not in effect; nor if it were does it have the effect of changing the jurisdiction of U.S. Courts.

And finally there is simply no support offered to show that Admiralty Law is all about banking. They simply are not. If you have an “authoritative” source I’d like to see it.
(For more on Martial Law see )

And yet again we look back to the basics of Admiralty law and say “What does this have to do with the high seas and navigable waters?” Nothing.

Not one point in the chain of logic asserted after the first turns out to hold water.

(1) The U.S. is in a state of emergency, <== True so
(2) martial law is in effect <== False,  so
(3) the courts are suspended, <== False,  so
(4) any court that sits is an Admiralty court <== False, and
(5) any court that displays a gold fringed lag is showing that
it is an admiralty court in some way <== False,  so
(6) Admiralty Courts are all about banking.<== False

I will address point (5) after all the other arguments offered for Admiralty Law to apply.

Does The Jones Act Put Us Under Maritime/
Admiralty Law By Our Birth Certificate?
Why Is Your Name Spelled In CAPITALS?

Found this at Maritime Law: The Jones Act 

This author never actually answers his question nor does he tell us what the Jones Act is, nor what provision applies Admiralty Law; Wikipedia explains:

Jones Act  The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261), also known as the Jones Act, is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

This law is mostly about establishing a Merchant Marine, a vessel of fleets and sailors under U.S. Control, not much about Admiralty Law though I have not read the whole law. 

I will answer the Question…”Does the Jones Act Put Us Under …Law”
as a big fat NO unless someone reads all of it and points to a provision that does that exactly.

The Proposition here goes like this (I’m not kidding, honestly):

(1) you had a birth (berth) and
(2) a Doc (dock) signed your “berth” certificate which named you in CAPITAL LETTERS and
(3) therefore you are a Maritime product because of your mother’s water
(4) You have a social security card with numbers in red and that makes  you
(5) a stock market commodity and so
(6) Admiralty courts.

See how simple that is?
See how ridiculous that is?

Well our sovereign continues:

There are two different kinds of law on the planet. The first is known as COMMON LAW, which is law of the land. The other is maritime admiralty, which is also known as the law of water, it can also be referred to as banking law.

There is simply no source that makes Admiralty Law in any sense about banking. And common law is not the “law of the land” in the U.S. nor many other places.

It can also be referred to as banking law,” is just as persuasive as It can also be referred to as elephants.”

But let us continue with this remarkable explanation:

Maritime admiralty law considers you a maritime admiralty product, simply because you were birthed out of your mother’s water. A ship sits in its birth until the captain gives a certificate of manifest to the port authorities.

[So birth = berth? REALLY?? Do you ever get DRY after you are born? Just wondering.]

The reason you are required to have a Birth Certificate is because at the time of your birth there is an exchange of money to cover hospital costs. The dock signs your birth certificate simply because that is what the ship is tied to, you will need a dock to sign your birth certificate.

The dock = the Doc?? You cannot be serious!
[What if you weren’t born in a hospital? Just wondering.]


“It still does not make sense, more clarification please?”
[bold in original]

“Let’s go over this again, when you came down your mother’s birth canal you came out of her water, making YOU a maritime admiralty PRODUCT. That is right you became a PRODUCT of commerce at the time of your birth. Your mother also needs to sign your birth certificate. If you notice on your birth certificate where your mother signed, she is not listed as parent, nor is she listed as mother. Where your mother signed your birth certificate she is known as informant!
(many similar claims at Jordan Maxwell’s blog and he also makes very boring YouTube Videos.)

Actually on my birth certificate my name is not in all capital letters.It is hand written in as Proper Nouns. Just so you know. But if it were as described, this is, I hope, obvious rubbish to any reasonable person.  “It still does not make sense” – I agree!!   I offer elsewhere a discussion of the ridiculous notion that CAPITAL LETTERS mean something else.

It all comes down to this; YOU ARE A MARITIME ADMIRALITY [sic] PRODUCT! YOUR BODY IS OWNED BY THE BANKS! If you look at your social security card, you will see numbers in red on the back of the card. The front of the card will be printed in either blue or black, but the numbers on the back will be in RED.[bold in original]

These numbers which appear in red on the back of your social security card represent your body. Your body is bought and sold on stock markets. The numbers In red on the back of the card is the serial number of your stock. Poor people are considered common stock and the wealthy is known as preferred stock.

I still do not believe it. Why wasn’t this taught in school?  [bold in original]

I know it sounds insane but please be patient.

Yes, it does sound insane because it is quite literally nonsense in every way. The asserted chain of “logic” that purports to explain it is not only almost entirely false, even if it were true it would make no sense!  

Are we done with this idea? No?

Admiralty Law requires at a minimum a navigable waterway. A navigable waterway would have to be able to carry a boat at least. No matter how eager your mother is, she can’t take that many sailors for a ride at once! 

(But the response to that was “if you realize ejaculate is seamen you will see that you are wrong.  Yes really!! The lunacy never ends with these people. Does her canal literally have a BOATLOAD of semen?)

U.S. original social security cards have the numbers on the FRONT and yes they were red in 1964. I don’t know about today. And now I think we are done with this site and its suggestions.  Except, by the way, he touches on how we all work for the Queen and of course is big on CAPITALIZATION COUNTS. But in fact none of that counts or even makes the least bit of sense, as this case demonstrates:

Plaintiff Brandon Shane Gravatt, a federal prisoner appearing pro se, alleges that through a convoluted series of events, the United States was made the trustee of an account created for his benefit and is now required to disburse to him the funds in that account. In support of his claims, plaintiff submits a vast array documents, including Uniform Commercial Code… and his birth certificate. The court finds that summary adjudication is appropriate in this matter and dismisses plaintiff’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The court further finds plaintiff’s complaint to be frivolous. 

“Neither Birth Certificates nor social security numbers recognize or impose contractual rights, obligations, or duties.”

Brandon Shane Gravatt v The United States (pdf only) United States Court of Federal Claims No. 11-592C (Filed: September 27, 2011)  also reported in the press

But you must go to the other blogs to further explore those exciting ideas!
You can read up on the Uniform Commercial Code.

The Currency Proposition

Claimed: The US No Longer circulates Gold and Silver Based Currency and/or Coin,
Therefore We Are Governed by The Law Of The Sea?

This idea makes no sense whatever to me, but none of the others do either.
The nub of the argument is this:

“We” still had Law of the Land after the gold was sucked out of the system, because we still had silver in general circulation.  However, after they assassinated Kennedy, they sucked the silver out of circulation, as well, which change Kennedy adamantly opposed.  It was either 1965 or 1969 when the silver was finally sucked out of the  system, but at that instant, the fundamental “choice of law” changed from Law of the Land to Law of the Sea.  To take 1965 as the year of transition, America went to bed 31 December 1964 under a Law of the Land system, and  woke up 1 January 1965 on the deck of a barge anchored in the middle of the Rhine River in Germany, i.e., under a  Law of the Sea system.

Credit where credit is due, there is a certain clarity to this one that other justifications may lack. You don’t get berthed by your doc at least…

However, what is missing is any citation to anything that actually changed the “applicable Law” or any authority to show that the Law of the Sea CAN be made to apply to when nothing relevant to sea is involved. And of course the Law of the Sea part is nonsense.

In other words, there’s an assertion but no connection between “no silver in the coins” and “Law of the Sea” beyond the bare assertion. Oh and if you look back at the section on What Is Admiralty Law? you find it isdistinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters and international law governing relationships between nations.”

The law that made the change, PL 89-81The Coinage Act of 1965 took silver out of the coins but doesn’t say a word about change of law, law of the sea, or anything even remotely related. We are to believe the the coinage is so intricately interwoven with applicable law that it didn’t need to be noted. 

And of course there is not one case that shows any Courts agree; and many to show that they don’t. So it flunks the utility test — you can claim it but the Court won’t let you win with it, and to me that’s useless theory not Law.

I found that quote on a page related to the right of the States to require Driver licenses, I’ve edited out the specifics to that issue in the rest that follows. This is the explanation of why all relations with government are corporate, commercial and/or governed by the Uniform Code of Commerce. All because we didn’t keep any silver in the dimes, understand? How obvious? The currency changes have no such effect and why would they?

And now we come to this masterful paragraph:

Once the Law of the Sea system started, ALL commerce became “fair game” for regulation…Under a Law of the Land system, we can argue “law.” This is where the vast, vast, vast majority of the patriot community is still stuck, namely arguing “law.” That fails in the Law of the Sea system, because the Law of the Sea system operates “federally,” as in “by private obligation.”

[I have no idea what this means or how the author makes those connections…Law of the Sea does not apply to “All commerce” under any scenario. If the Law of the Sea and the Law of the Land are parallel structures in some way then you can talk about law and argue law n matter which is involved. ANd how is it tha the Law of the sea operates “federally? And how on earth is federally” mean or apply “as in” “by private obligation”?

That is utter non sequitor and evidence of nonsense, drivel. They do not square with any other description of the Law of the Sea I’ve found but hey, when you’re making things up they may as well agree with you…]

So, what you see in my materials isn’t argument on “legal” points, but rather argument on “commercial nexus” points. To argue the “law” is basically to confess the existence of the agreement, which is about all that matters. It’s NOT all that matters, but it’s about 90% of it. So, where my materials and approaches are different, it’s in the focus on getting to the bottom line on the basis for that obligation. Either there’s an agreement to be enforced or there isn’t. Since I have no license, there is already no agreement, and STATE’s burden to prove a commercial nexus is impossible… And, commercial activity is all that any STATE may regulate… All that any STATE may regulate is “commerce.” Thus, for there to be basis for any STATE participation / regulation, there must first be an agreement for STATE to enforce…. There being no commercial activity at issue, there is no authority for STATE to regulate anything.

Well there you have it, we took the silver out of the dimes and lost our governments and now all we have is commercial law. No driver license requirement for private drivers. No state power to try criminals, collect taxes, or treat citizens without a contract to do so.

Of course, the states have nothing whatever to do with the currency, they are actually prohibited from doing that, so we are given no clue why this would affect state authority. It might make some kind of sense if you were talking Federal authority because in the Constitution the Federal government is given the power to regulate currency, and it did so — but not the States.

So the argument is lacking in persuasion, logic, or evidence to back it up. No court rulings are offered to show the state is no longer a sovereign entity, or that the Law of the Sea applies, nor is it consistent with the actual law of the sea, nor any statute or other enactment to make it so…just words. What relationship exists and where it sources, which is fundamental to coinage metals and the Law of the Sea is simply inexplicable. You can say all the words but they are so much air.

The Flag Fringe Proposition

Claimed: The Gold Fringe on the Flag Shows
That The Court is An Admiralty/Military Court

The third last rationale is the claim that the ceremonial gold fringe found on flags in courtrooms is evidence that they are in an admiralty court –or actually makes the court into an Admiralty court– and only admiralty law applies.

A 1925 Attorney General’s Opinion (34 Op. Atty. Gen 483) states:

“The fringe does not appear to be regarded as an integral part of the flag, and its presence cannot be said to constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statute. An external fringe is to be distinguished from letters, words, or emblematic designs printed or superimposed upon the body of the flag itself. Under the law, such additions might be open to objection as unauthorized; but the same is not necessarily true of the fringe.”

It is customary to place gold fringe on silken (rayon-silk-nylon) National flags that are carried in parades, used in official ceremonies, and displayed in offices, merely to enhance the beauty of the flag. The use of fringe is not restricted to the Federal Government. Such flags are used and displayed by our Armed Forces, veterans, civic and civilian organizations, and private individuals. However, it is the custom not to use fringe on flags displayed from stationary flagpoles and, traditionally, fringe has not been used on internment flags.



If the previous sections showed no authority to turn the courts into admiralty or military courts then just putting up the flag apparently is enough. 

I suppose this would make my classrooms in elementary school Admiralty Courts. Or only Maritime Subjects may be taught…who knew?

 In fact the proposition is just that silly. It is utterly dismissed and  rejected by the Courts.

Defendant Greenstreet’s response…identifies this Court as an “Admiralty Court” without further discussing his allegation…Others have attempted to persuade the judiciary that fringe on an American flag denotes a court of admiralty.To think that a fringed flag adorning the courtroom somehow limits this Court’s jurisdiction is frivolous…Unfortunately for Defendant Greenstreet, decor is not a determinant for jurisdiction
United States v. Greenstreet, 912 F. Supp. 224, 229 (N.D.Tex. 1996)

“Mr. McCann feels that the fringed flag in some way restricted the state court’s jurisdiction to hold a custody hearing that disadvantaged him. He stakes his suit against these Defendants upon such a claim, because this is his sole argument against dismissal… Nor are the fringe or the eagle of any legal significance. Even were Mr. McCann to prove that yellow fringe or a flagpole eagle converted the state court’s United States flag to a maritime flag of war, the Court cannot fathom how the display of a maritime war flag could limit the state court’s jurisdictionJurisdiction is a matter of law, statute, and constitution, not a child’s game wherein one’s power is magnified or diminished by the display of some magic talisman….In flag manufacture a fringe is not considered to be a part of the flag and it is without heraldic significance.... Furthermore, Mr. McCann is hereby warned that the Court will reward future frivolous arguments with monetary sanctions. 
McCann  v. Greenway

The remaining claims that Petitioner has asserted by way of motion to dismiss, e.g. Court lacking jurisdiction because the Court’s flag has yellow fringes on it, were denied and the Court considers them to have not only been without merit but also to have been totally frivolous. Petitioner’s claims have no arguable basis in law or fact and the appeal is not taken in good faith.
Vella v. McCammon (SD Tex 1987) 671 F.Supp 1128.

Appellant argues that the gold fringe adorning the American flag displayed in the district justice’s courtroom conferred Admiralty/Maritime jurisdictionthis is a preposterous claim...
Commonwealth v. Appel 438 Pa. Super. 214 (1994) 652 A.2d 341

“I find and conclude that any complaint predicated in whole or in part upon the allegation that jurisdiction is based upon the ‘American Free Flag of Peace, title 4 USC 1’…or a similar allegation is frivolous, malicious and intended to harass. The plaintiff or anyone else who has filed…such a ‘flag’ suit is notified that any such suit filed after this date will be dismissed sua sponte without notice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”
Slangal v. Cassel (D Neb 1997) 962 F.Supp 1214.

any claims or defenses based upon the alleged preeminence of the American flag of peace over any other flag are frivolous and sanctionable.
Schneider v. Schlaefer, 975 F. Supp. 1160 – Dist. Court, ED Wisconsin 1997



Petitioner has asserted by way of motion to dismiss, e.g. Court lacking jurisdiction because the Court’s flag has yellow fringes on it, were denied and the Court considers them to have not only been without merit but also…totally frivolous. Petitioner’s claims have no arguable basis in law or fact and the appeal is not taken in good faith.
Vella v. McCammon, 671 F. Supp. 1128, 1129 (S.D.Tex. 1987)

Asserts both flag and capitalization defenses:

Apparently the plaintiff believes that when a court flies a yellow-fringed flag, it has created a new “foreign state/power” within the “sanctuary” or “territory of the bar” within the courtroom…For reasons discussed at length…it is obvious that the mere display of a yellow fringed flag does not have the conversionary effect the plaintiff for the core proposition asserted in the complaint that yellow fringe on the flag somehow converted the jurisdiction of the state court into a “foreign state/power” thus denying the Plaintiff his contracted rights to due process under the United States Constitution…the District Court for the Western District of Missouri has recently and thoroughly examined this theory and found it wholly without merit.
Sadlier V. Payne 974 F. Supp. 1411 (D. Utah 1997)

Other Courts have considered [the “fringed flag” argument]. Those courts have labeled the position as “frivolous” [United States v. Greenstreet, 912 F.Supp. 224, 229 (N.D.Tex.1996)], “totally frivolous” [Vella v. McCammon, 671 F.Supp. 1128, 1129 (S.D.Tex.1987)], “preposterous” [Commonwealth v. Appel, 438 Pa.Super. 214, 218, 652 A.2d 341, 343 (1994)], and “a. . . really unintelligible assertion” [Leverenz v. Torluemlu, 1996 WL 272538 (N.D.Ill.1996) (not reported in F.Supp.)]. This Court agrees.

McCann v. Greenway 952 F.Supp. 647, 650 (W.D.Mo.1997)

…Defendant’s claims challenging the flag in the courtroom are without merit… Around the country, courts have dealt with disgruntled litigants who have argued that their respective proceedings were illegal or unconstitutional because the court displayed a flag with yellow or gold fringe in the courtroom …All the courts addressing arguments that yellow or gold fringe on a courtroom-displayed flag affects a court’s jurisdiction have explicitly rejected those arguments. These cases have gone so far as to label such arguments as “frivolous,” “totally frivolous,” “preposterous,” and “indisputably meritless.” …The fringe is not regarded as an integral part of the flag and its presence does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statute. The placing of a fringe on the flag is neither required nor prohibited by law. From a historical and legal standpoint, the use of the fringe on the flag has no inherent or established symbolism. It has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the court. It is purely a decorative addition to enhance the appearance of the flag. …Even if the military does display United States flags surrounded by yellow fringe, the presence of yellow fringe does not necessarily turn every such flag into a flag of war. Far from it. In flag manufacture a fringe is not considered to be part of the flag, and it is without heraldic or legal significance …. Jurisdiction is a matter of law, statute, and constitution, not a child’s game wherein one’s power is magnified or diminished by the display of some magic talisman. The flag displayed in the courtroom did not affect the validity or legality of Defendant’s plea and/or sentence.
State Of Delaware V. Saunders

So what is missing in this argument? Well any sort of rationale and any sort of support.

WHY does a fringe mean this is a Court of Admiralty??

What historic usage of the flag leads to that idea?

What law makes it so?

What legal tradition?

What treaty?

What is lacking in support is any rational explanation and any support in law. NO court has ruled that it is true or ever was.

There you have it: ‘having no arguable basis in law or fact; totally frivolous, preposterous, unintelligible, and wholly without merit.’ What more can I say about the validity of the arguments?



Here is a nonsense video that explains all that stuff…Maritime Admiralty Law – your red pill  –how you are a slave, don’t have to follow the law,  your birth certificate is an warehouse receipt giving your value to the US which is bankrupt… of course none of it is factual or correct. It for example misdefines Admiralty law as a private law between corporations to start with.

Some of the information on a Birth Certificate is the same information as a warehouse receipt, like the date and a description. Of course any document you deal with is likely to have similar information. It brings up the fake “Capital Letters” and corporate/artificial person/strawman arguments too. It says entering the bar is entering the bridge and of course the judge is the “Captain or banker” of the ship…just as on any ship where a banker is the senior officer in charge …errr…..

Of course you cannot be imprisoned if the case is only about contracts and money. That alone is proof enough of the absurdity.


=                                  More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                       =

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers

=                                                          The Law                                                          =
Sources Of Law and Authority

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

Do You Need a License to Drive ?

The United States Is A Corporation

(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant )

The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &

Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

All US Courts hear only Admiralty Cases

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH

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