Aha, a fellow thinker.

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Supreme Law Firm Discussion Forum ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Man of Reason on August 11, 1998 at 10:08:43:

In Reply to: Re: Think for yourselves! posted by Tom on August 11, 1998 at 09:05:04:

: :
: : : As for studying the USC I am working on it, that is a study that may take a year or more doing it full time. But my question would be does the USC even apply to State Citizen.

: : : A labor in the work,
: : : Shane Hanson

: :
: : Shane,

: : You will spend a great deal longer than a year studying to understand. The issue of State Citizenship vs. Federal Citizenship is a red herring. If you live in one of the 50 States of the Union, you are both at once (presuming you aren't an alien). It is my opinion that the person calling himself Paul Andrew Mitchell is in error on this point, but he is allowed his opinion as well, whether I think it right or not.

: : If you wish to learn more on this subject, go to the findlaw website and start reading and understanding Supreme Court cases. Where one case refers to earlier cases, read those too. Always strive to understand the whys of the final opinion: why did the court rule that way, what are the principles behind that decision, how do those principles relate to what the Constitution says? In this fashion you will develop a better understanding of just how you relate to the federal government.

: : The Constitution itself defines the powers of the federal government, as well as the limitations on those powers. The powers so granted are in effect everywhere in this country, for all people.

: : "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;…shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby"
: : Article VI Clause 2

: : Think on this point, if the judges in every State are bound by the Constitution, how does Mr. Mitchell's claim that the federal government only have jurisdiction in his 'Federal Zone' (if I may borrow that term without fear of legal retribution…sheesh!) hold water? If the State judges are bound by the Constitution and the laws made pursuant thereto, wouldn't that imply the State Citizens are also so bound? Wouldn't that mean the decisions of a State Judge (and therefore the federal Constitution and laws) can be enforced by the State's legal authority? Even outside Mr. Mitchell's 'Federal Zone'?

: : The key to understanding is to realize that, within the federal powers granted by the Constitution, (i.e. within the Constitutional subject matter jurisdiction) the federal government has (by definition) territorial jurisdiction everywhere in the country. Once those powers are granted, the only limits to them must also derive from the Constitution (or laws made pursuant thereto), not from claims on somebody's website.

: : The Constitution gives the federal government the 'power to lay and collect taxes' (Article I Section 8 Clause 1). The same document restricts that power in several ways: no taxes on exports from any State (AI, S9, C5), direct taxes apportioned (AI, S2, C3 and AI, S9, C4), indirect taxes must be uniform (AI, S8, C1), taxes must be collected for 'the common defense and general welfare of the United States' (AI, S8, C1). These are the only permanent restrictions on the taxing power. Congress may self-impose other restrictions if it desires, but it may also remove any restrictions it has previously self-imposed.

: : Now you must think a bit. No one argues we have a right to free speech. Can Congress' power to tax reach that right?? Many say no. The Supreme Court thinks differently:

: : "It is settled that speech can be effectively limited by the exercise of the taxing power."
: : SPEISER v. RANDALL, 357 U.S. 513 (1958) at 518

: : They can't take away your right to speak, but they can tax it so much that you don't want to talk. The choice is still yours to make though, if you are willing to pay the price, you can exercise your right. If you choose not to exercise your right, the tax is not imposed.

: : What does that say for all those out there claiming that their right to work protects them from taxation?? Hmmmmm, think on that one for a while. Is anyone forcing you to work? Are they stopping you from working? If you choose to work at a job for minimum wage, your taxes will be very low, if not zero. If you wish to make more money, you can strive toward a job which pays better, even if the taxes due are higher. The choice is still yours, and your right to exercise it is not diminished. The incentive system (i.e. taxes) might influence your choice, but don't extinguish it.

: : One of the early Legal Tender Cases {Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis} 79 US 457 (1870) has an extensive discussion on the derivation of federal powers from the Constitution, including powers derived from those specifically enumerated. It is a long and confusing read. You will read and re-read it many times before you understand it, and it is only one of many you will cover on your trip to understanding. Try the findlaw Supreme Court search engine looking for words like 'power', 'constitutional', 'enumerated', and the like. Read the cases that show up, and follow some of the cases referenced on points that interest you.

: : You will learn a great deal more that way than by reading works like Mr. Mitchell's 'Federal Zone'.

: :
: : Findlaw Supreme Court Page

: A great summation! However, I wish to interject several other points. If you are a Citizen of one of the 50 States you are both a State and "National" Citizen. Federal citizenship came about with the formation of the District of Columbia (a federal area) in 1801. National citizenship was created by the adoption of the Constitution by the States with Article 4, S2. The rules governing each are different because of Congress' authority of exclusive jurisdiction over federal areas and the citizens residing therein.

: For a clearer understanding read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. The issue of the difference between national and federal powers was central to the debate as it still is today. What most people don't understand is that the founders of this nation compromised and created a government with both powers. It's national powers give it the ability to act on the people directly, it's federal powers do not. For a summation read Federalists paper #39, Madison.
: In a nutshell our nation is a Federal Republic with limited National powers. It is very important that one understands it implications and the power and authority derived from each.

: Another important point to remember is that our founders were avid constitutionalist. Just as every State had a constitution it was only natural for them to implement one for the D of C. seat of the United States government. They did just that by adopting the Constitution of the United States of America word for word as the constitution for the United States (the government and federal areas) and the Courts have consistently been ruling as to how it applies to the federal areas starting with Marbery v. Madison.(this is the case the Courts have been citing as giving it power to interpret the Constititution even though this ruling was made in relation to the District of Columbia Organic Act and had nothing to do with the Republic).
: Both constitutions are found in the USC under organic laws as follows: The Constitution of the United States of America 1787, Analytical Analysis of the Constitution of the United States, respectively. The laws of both are found within the USC officially as Laws and Statutes of the United States of America, (positive law) and Laws and Statutes of the United States, (prima facie law).

: As for limitaions on the power of taxation, the US Supreme Court found in 1838 that the rule of apportionment and uniformity are nothing more than "mere regulations" meaning that the enforcement of taxation are limited to one of those two principles. Congress can tax a view of the moon if they wish but its enforement is limited as it must be in compliance with one of the two regulations. Note that the 16th Amendment contains no new regulations and the Feds are limited in their ability to collect in a constitutionally authorized manner. In other words if Congress passes a tax law not consistent with the rules its payment is voluntary.
: Federal regulations govern federal taxation.

: Footnote: The Sixteenth Amendment was passed by Statute and by joint resolution of Congress as "private law". See US Statutes at Large.

Point well taken.

I assume by 'federal' citizen you mean one who lives within Mr. Mitchell's "federal zone", comprising DC or a federal possession or territory, whereas your National Citizen might also live within a State of the Union. (I believe a federal citizen would also be a national citizen, wouldn't he/she?) If those definitions hold, then there were federal citizens before 1801 in the territories and possessions. The 'federal' government derived its power from the Constitution (AI, S8, C17 and AIV, S3, C2) long before the 14th Amendment showed up. I sort of view this situation in this manner. The federal government fulfills two roles, a 'national' government over all the people, and a 'federal' government (to use your terms) which substitutes for a State government in DC and the territories/possessions. In its role as a 'federal' government, it cannot reach State Citizens outside its territorial jurisdiction, in its 'national' role, it reaches all Citizens, everywhere in the United States.

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Supreme Law Firm Discussion Forum ] [ FAQ ]