Saturday, October 15, 2005

Citizenship and Jurisdiction: Why Americans Get Screwed in Court

If you want to see some case law that will make you want to rush out and lynch some federal judges, go to and download and read the book The Federal Zone. In it author and attorney Paul Mitchel shows how the constitution provides for three basic meanings for the phrase "United States" and at least two meanings for "citizen." He demonstrates how the resulting confusion puts Americans in dire legal jeopardy, and how it makes judges and prosecutors complicit in stripping Americans of their rights, liberty, and property.

The impact of this confusion upon Americans is enormous. Let's analyze the issue a bit. First, let's address the meaning of United States.
1. Union - United States can mean the collection of states united by and under the Constitution. A better term would be the "Union of States". I shall refer to it herein as "Union" or "Union US"
2. Corporate - United States can also mean the corporate United states that includes federal enclaves, Washington D.C., territories and possessions (like Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands). I shall refer to it herein as "Corporate" or "Corporate US".
3. USA - the collection of 1 and 2 above, including geography and jurisdiction, a nation in the collection of nations throughout the world.

Why is this confusing? You cannot be sure from context in any discussion or legal dispute what "United States" means. If its meaning is not specifically declared by the communicants, one can be referring to Union US, and the other can be referring to the Corporate US.

Why is this a problem? It is a problem because supreme law over the Corporate US is different from that over the Union US. The constitution is the supreme law of the land over the Union US, but it allows Congressional acts and resolutions to be the supreme law over the Corporate US. Note here that Congress is not a republic. It is a majority-rule democracy, and that means people under the jurisdiction of congressional resolutions are protected only by those resolution, and not by the Constitution.

It is also a problem because of the nature of your citizenship. If you claim to be a United States Citizen or a citizen of the United States, to which United States are you referring? And how do your rights as a citizen of the corporate or union US differ? Some provisions of law apply to Corporate US citizens without the requirement of conformance Constitution's powers and restrictions, some apply to to Union US citizens, some apply to both, and some apply to to people who are neither. It should be obvious, but often it is not clear who or what is the subject of the law.

This confusion is over citizenship and associated rights is compounded by other facts about law, jurisdiction, juries, judges, and courts. I shall go into them in a little detail here so as to enable you to build a mental picture of elements and relationships.
1. The Constitution empowers the various branches of government, and it is a social contract between people, the states of which they are citizens, and the federal government. It specifically restricts the federal government to hold only the powers specifically defined within it, and it reserves to the states or the people, respectively all other powers.
2. The Statutes-at-Large (SAL) are the actual annotated statutes passed by Congress through acts and resolutions They are maintained by the National Archives after Congress passes them.
3. The United States Code (USC) is a body of 50 titles of the codified statutes in which Congressional attorneys actually implement the intent of the Statutes at Large. Since these are not actually the statutes, in order for them to have full force and effect, they must be passed into positive law by Congress. In reality about 12 of the 50 have not been passed into positive law (including Title 26, the Internal Revenue code, and Title 31, the Banking Code). In spite of this, all federal judges consider USC to be prima facie evidence that corresponding law exists in the SAL.
4. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a body of law that should mirror the United States Code, but often does not. These are the regulations under which the Executive Branch governs America. A regulation is placed into the CFR by way of entry in the Federal Register. The CFR is in numerous places more restrictive or empowering than USC, but the courts have ruled that in order for a law to be binding, it must be in both the USC and the CFR.
5. The Uniform Commercial Code, adopted by all states, is a codification of equity law relating to contractual relationships. Even in criminal cases, this law can apply, particularly if you have, by your signature, agreed to perform to some contractual obligation. Any time you sign a government form, you are entering into a contract, and woe unto you if you do not properly reserve your common law rights to personal sovereignty in the process. For instance, when you sign a W-4 form to signify you are entitled to income tax exemptions, you are by implication attesting that you are a taxpayer for revenue purposes, and that subjects you to all the associated laws - it is an abrogation of your rights.
6. The "Common Law" of America is based on English Common Law and includes "case law" which makes it profoundly arduous and difficult to know what the law says in any given instance. Judges hate to overturn ruling of previous judges, even in cases two hundred years old when our society was completely different. So those old rulings become "precedents". In other words, regardless of what the words of the constitution, SAL, USC, or CFR say, an interpretation of one or more of those by a federal judge in an unrelated case many years ago actually becomes binding on all Americans today, even if the judge were drunk and derelict. This is one of the things that frightens so many citizens and legislators about Bush's nomination of Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court. Nobody know her judicial tendencies because she has never been a judge. She might be one who will scoff at precedents, throwing massive confusion into our courts by opening the door to have every previous ruling challenged and overruled. Or she might be mindlessly subservient to precedent, no matter how illogical or inapplicable. She might see the constitution as supreme law, or some precedential ruling about it as supreme law. Nobody knows. It's scary. Worse than that, it's dangerous. In my opinion, precedent is highly over-rated, and too many judges use it as a convenient escape from freshly evaluating the constitution, statutes, and evidence to determine and render justice fairly.
7. In trials by juries, to which all Americans are entitled, the juries are supposed to be "peers" of similar background and social standing as the accused, and who know or are somewhat familiar with the accused personally. Otherwise, the juror is not a peer. Furthermore, juries are the last bastion of defense against high-handed usurpation of power and iniquitous rulings by judges, or collusions between prosecutors and judges who are paid by the same employer. They are entitled to evaluate and decide on matters of fact (whether various evidences are factual) and on matters of law (whether the law is understandable, the law is in accord with the constitution, the law is applicable in the case at hand, the judge and prosecutor are in collusion, or the defendant is innocent). The jury can overrule the judge. Unfortunately, most jurors are ignorant of this fact, and all prosecutors normally ask the judge to command the jury to consider only matters of fact (the judge tells the jurors what the law is and what it means, as though he is the only authority, an egregious usurpation of power). When defense counselors attempt to inform jurors that they have the right to throw the whole case out because it is unfair, the court is biased, the law does not apply, or the law is confusing, bad, or unconstitutional, judges clear out the jury and cite the defense counselor for contempt of court. Judges thereby effectively prevent justice from being done, and many innocent Americans are fined or sent to jail as a result.
8. The jurisdiction of a federal court can change based on the type of law over which it has the authority to rule, and that can change the entire nature of a case. In America there are courts of law, courts of equity, and admiralty courts. Courts of law and equity have been merged, to add to the confusion. The rules for these jurisdictions are different. Admiralty courts are supposed to govern maritime issues because they deal with interactions with foreign powers at sea, but they have jurisdiction only over international contracts. If you are "foreign" in citizenship status to the corporate United States, then jurisdiction switches from the rules of equity and law to the rules of admiralty. Quite often, you can be put into a situation of not knowing what kind of court you are in or which rules apply, and attorneys are often unaware of the issues too.
9. One's citizenship and residency status is unclear to most Americans. To the United States federal government, a State of the Union is "foreign." If you reside in the Corporate US (federal enclave, territory, or possession), you are a "resident." If you reside outside the Corporate US (in Texas, for example), you are a "non-resident." If you were born in the geographical area of a federal enclave, territory, or possession, such as Puerto Rico, you are a Corporate US citizen, but not a Union US citizen, and you are considered by the federal government of the United States of America to be a non-alien. If you were born in Germany and are a naturalized citizen, you are a federal non-alien because you are a Corporate US citizen. If you are a Union US citizen (by virtue of having been born in one of the states united under and by the Constitution), but you are not a Corporate US citizen, then you are an "alien" to the corporate United States. Note that a "state" is not necessarily one of the states of the union of states. 26 USC (and case law) indicates that a "state" can be one of the territories or possessions of the corporate US; the rules for them are different from the rules for states of the Union US. If you are both a natural-born citizen of a state of the Union US (Texas, for example), and you reside in a state of the Union US (Florida, for example), you are a Union US citizen, but not of the Corporate US, and from the Corporate US perspective, you are thereby a "non-resident alien." Most Americans are astonished by this revelation, about the same as they would be if they suddenly learned that they were adopted as infants. All of us Union US citizens tend to feel protected by the enormous and fatherly government of the USA, when in reality, that government of the USA is to us an "evil foreign empire," particularly when it comes to efforts to steal money from us through iniquitous tax laws like 26 USC.

What a nightmare this is if you get hauled into court and have to defend yourself, particularly if you are being prosecuted by a US Attorney on behalf of the IRS or some other agent of some department of the Executive Branch. Here's why:
1. You cannot trust the federal government, run by sometimes corrupt, bought-and-paid-for political officials elected by an increasingly ignorant and irresponsible constituency, to enact statutes that are in accord with the Constitution, nor can you trust attorneys working for non-elected officials appointed by a political president to encode the provisions of the acts into the CFR properly.
2. You cannot trust federal judges appointed by the president to explain the above realities to the defendant, nor to yield his authority to the jury.
3. You cannot trust a prosecutor to be more interested in justice than in seeing you in jail.
4. You cannot trust judges and prosecutors who are employees of the same corporate entity not to collude by secret or institutionalized unwritten agreement to deprive you of your rights.
5. You cannot expect a defense counselor, who is an officer of and by necessity to some degree in collusion with the court to give you a proper defense, or even to understand the subtle nuances of the above issues. A good defense counselor in federal court needs to study the Constitution, the statutes at large (a daunting task), the USC, the CFR, common law (including Uniform Commercial Code), case law, and the previous rulings of the judge before he is going to argue your case. I do not believe most attorneys are up to the task.
Clearly, the deck is intentionally stacked against your receiving justice in America's federal courts.

Let me give you just one example of the creeping injustice that is gradually enslaving all Americans. The Patriot Act imposes the requirement that banks get proper identification from patrons before allowing them to open accounts, and it requires that all foreigners show some kind of number similar to a social security number. However, it does not require that American citizens provide any such number to identify themselves. Attorneys for the various departments of the executive branch tore into the CFR to modify it so as to implement the Patriot Act. Many titles were changed. One was the title related to banking regulations. The CFR now requires Americans to have social security numbers to open accounts. Even though the SAL does not require the SSN, every bank will demand it or risk prosecution by US Attorneys at the behest of the Treasury Department of the Executive Branch of the United States government.

Maybe this doesn't bother you. It should. No law requires you to have a social security number. However, your life is made pure hell by such creeping encroachment on your rights if you don't have one. Your signature on a social security card application can be used as prima facie evidence that you are a Corporate US citizen, and therefore not protected by the Constitution as you otherwise would be if you were a Union US citizen.

Now, here's another example. When you sign a W-4 form to get income tax exemptions from your employee, you never indicate you are a non-resident alien and check the box that says "exempt." That is because you believe you are a resident non-alien, and you are an American citizen. Of course, the IRS officials advertise like crazy, sending tax forms to all Americans as though they owe direct income taxes in violation of the constitution's requirement that direct taxes must be apportioned among states. IRS officials and Treasury Department attorneys who advised congressional attorneys who drafted US code know that most people will think they ought to pay direct income taxes. So, no forms every clearly state that you aren't even subject or liable for to income tax as a non-resident alien of the Corporate US. But once you sign the binding W-4 contract without indicating you are a non-resident alien and therefore exempt from the income tax according to law, you have just confessed that you are a Corporate US citizen, and the IRS will take you at your word. Your employer, being utterly ignorant of these realities will happily take money from your check and hand it to the IRS.

When you go to court to dispute this, or for failing to file a 1040, or for failure to pay any tax owed, the US Attorney for the IRS will show the W-4 you signed, and the judge will accept it as evidence that are a Corporate US citizen, and therefore not protected by the Constitution's requirement that direct taxes be apportioned among states rather than taken directly from your pocket or paycheck. When your defense counselor ignorantly raises the issue about the apparent unconstitutionality of the law, the judge will tell him to shut up and threaten to cite him for contempt if he mentions the Constitution one more time. Why? Because the Constitution does not apply to or protect Corporate US citizens.

By this example you can see the reason 26USC has never been passed into positive law. It is a nightmare for hell for the typically ignorant Union US citizen and his ignorant attorney who barely studied these issues in law school.

I encourage all Union US citizens to clarify the nature of their citizenship on all government forms, and properly to reserve rights by signing "All rights reserved. Without prejudice. UCC 1-308" (note: it used to be UCC 1-207 but the text is the same). And if you get hauled into federal court you should say "no" when you are asked if you understand the charges against you, and never answer "yes." If you want more information on this, review Howard Freeman's comments at The Two United States and the Law, Free Yourself from Legal Tyranny, and The Zip Code Issue . And by all means, read The Federal Zone and its appendices (particularly Appendix A), the case law, and Paul Mitchell's and others' legal briefs and court filings at You are in for a revelation almost on a par with The Urantia Book.

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