I’d love to file something like this with my local federal district court …if I can get enough people interested in the idea:
Andrew Horning, Plaintiff
The Government of the United States of America, Defendant
PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCE
This petition is brought pursuant to the Constitution for the United States of America, and in consideration of FLAST v. COHEN, 392 U.S. 83 (1968), and BAKER v. CARR, 369 U.S. 186 (1962), in which it was decided, “Since the complaint plainly sets forth a case arising under the Constitution, the subject matter is within the federal judicial power defined in Art. III, 2, and so within the power of Congress to assign to the jurisdiction of the District Courts. Congress has exercised that power…An unbroken line of our precedents sustains the federal courts’ jurisdiction of the subject matter of federal constitutional claims of this nature…”
The gravamen of the complaint is that the government of the United States of America has broken the Law of the Land; and this state of ungoverned power has caused loss of employment, opportunity, liberty, justice and of the general welfare.
1. Whether the United States of America operates under the Rule of Law.
2. Whether the Constitution for the United States of America, as written and amended, is the supreme Law of the Land.
3. Whether Legislative, Executive or Judicial actions or rulings can contravene or supercede the Constitution for the United States of America.
4. Whether the government empowered and restrained by the Constitution for the United States of America may alter its meaning without the proper amendment process.
5. Whether the meaning of the words in the Constitution for the United States of America may be understood and obeyed by their plain sense and well-documented intent.
6. Whether the government of the United States of America must conform to the law or alter it by amendment or constitutional convention
7. Whether the government of the United States of America has exceeded its authority under the Constitution for the United States of America.
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
Our nations’ founders believed that it is the nature of human governments to, over time, become unrestrained and oppressive. They therefore devised a limited, federal form of government with divided powers opposed by checks and balances. They wrote down the laws in plain speech to be read, commonly understood and obeyed without exception or ambiguity. It is easily proven that the resulting constitution worked better than any civil contract before or since.
As predicted by the founders, there were challenges to this design from the beginning. There are also precedents for peacefully reasserting the U.S. Constitution and Rule of Law.
In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the legislatures of Kentucky and Virginia passed resolutions in 1799 demanding that government keep the terms of the U.S. Constitution.
From the Virginia Resolution: “…this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”
From the “plain sense” of the Constitution these men insisted that “…the Liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by any authority of the United States.”
This is quite opposed to, for a recent example, the 2005 ruling by District Court Judge David Hamilton in Hinrichs, et al. v. Bosma that prayer and speech in the Indiana General Assembly must be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by an authority of the United States.
The signers of the Kentucky resolution declared that “…if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact,” that it would be their duty to nullify the union.
The Indiana Senate chose a far less radical, but nonetheless insistent response to Hinrichs, et al. v. Bosma in their January 11, 2006 Senate Resolution no. 3.
The Petitioner wishes to convey more of the 1799 resolutions’ sentiments because much harm has been done in the time since 1803 and Marbury v. Madison.
In that ruling, The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Marshall decreed that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”
Those words have been taken to mean that the Supreme Court is empowered to change the meaning of the Constitution; and that is not what the founders intended, or what Marshall meant.
For he also said in that same ruling that “…the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.”
The civil law of the constitution was exhaustively explained in the Federalist and Antifederalist Papers, Madison‘s Diaries, letters and books written by the men that wrote the Constitution itself. No interpretation is necessary or legal. We can change it or obey it; nothing else is legal under the Rule of Law.
STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PUBLIC PETITION
What follows is the full text of the petition as signed by _____ USA citizens on http://www.thefreedomfarm.com:
A civilization thrives when its government is restrained. A civilization falls when its government breaks its bonds of law.
I, <petitioner’s name>, a Citizen of the United States of America (hereafter the USA) assert that the government of the USA has broken the Supreme Law of the Land (Article VI of the US Constitution). This abuse of law and power has materially and significantly damaged me individually, and USA citizens collectively. I both present my grievances and invoke my right to demand redress with the following:
The Intent of Laws
1. The Constitution of the USA is a plainly-worded civil law contract whose meaning was well-documented by its writers in letters, texts, articles and diaries; there is no excuse for misinterpretation. It is short, simple, and meant to be known and obeyed without exception.
2. All federal powers granted are clearly written into the constitution (Article I, Section 8; Article II, Sections 2-4; Article III); all other powers are prohibited from the federal government, and are the property of the states and the people (Amendment X).
3. A federal government is a specific form of limited government. Just as it creates and empowers a central government stronger than a confederacy, our constitution forbids a unitary or all-powerful central government.
4. The legislative branch has all legislative power, and no executive or judicial power (Article I). The Executive branch has all executive power, and no legislative or judicial power (Article II). The judicial branch has all judicial power, and no legislative or executive power (Article III). Just as states have no federal power (Article I, section 10, and Article IV), the federal government has no state powers (Article I, Section 8, and amendments 9 and 10).
5. Our founders understood that free markets and maximum possible personal liberty serve citizen and national interests better than authoritarian socialism. Subsequent history has proven them correct. The U.S. Constitution was written to “secure the blessings of liberty.” The “welfare” clauses of the Preamble and Article I, Section 8:1 did not refer to “welfare” programs that would not exist for another 150 years; and instead mean that general welfare is a blessing of liberty. The “commerce clause” of Article I, Section 8:3 was understood to mean the regulation and arbitration of commerce disputes between the states; not government manipulation of all trade within each state.
Examples of Usurpations
1. Breach of federal authority
a. The federal government only briefly had legal power to regulate the manufacture, sale or transportation of a commercial product (Amendment XVIII), and that power was repealed in 1933 (Amendment XXI). Yet the central government has over time exercised unconstitutional powers to regulate production, sale, transportation and even consumption of every description (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, medicine, services); even by private citizens within each state.
b. The federal U.S. Congress may not make law respecting any of the five freedoms enumerated in the first amendment. And there can be no federal execution or judgment of laws that cannot legally exist. Hence there is a total ban on federal authority in the freedoms of (and not from) religion, speech, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances. Yet innumerable federal laws have been written (and judgments passed) respecting, for example, establishments of religion and the free exercise thereof. This amendment has been misconstrued to the effect that religious expressions have been banned from public places in clear violation of the letter, intent and exhaustive explanation (by its writers at the time it was written) of the law.
c. The federal government was never legally granted powers over health, education or income redistribution; therefore these powers are prohibited by law. Yet the greatest percentage of government taxation, spending and regulation is in these unauthorized domains.
2. Breach of separation of powers
a. Through “executive orders” and other means, the executive branch has repeatedly exercised illegal legislative power both in lawmaking, creation of agencies, taxation/ funding, waging war and in making rules concerning captures. Yet the executive branch has failed to use its authority to check and balance the judicial and legislative branches.
b. The judicial branch has repeatedly usurped both executive and legislative authority to abrogate states’ rights (e.g, Roe v. Wade and Gonzales v. Raich) and citizen rights (e.g., Orff v. United States and Kelo v. New London), as well as to diminish citizen rights by granting them to corporations (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company). And yet the judiciary has failed to use its authority to check and balance the executive and legislative branches.
c. The legislative branch of our central government has repeatedly passed laws that breach virtually every limit on federal authority, denying both state and citizen rights and taking property and money without legal justification; yet has failed to use its authority to check and balance the executive and judicial branches.
3. Confiscation of property, destruction of Commerce and Welfare
a. Intentional misinterpretation of laws have gradually twisted “commerce” and “welfare” clauses to the effect that the USA government has forced industries overseas where less regulation (or almost no labor regulation, as in China) overseas means more opportunity, productivity and innovation overseas. This has in effect robbed U.S.A citizens of liberty, opportunity, employment, and of course, welfare and commerce.
b. The implementation and enforcement of federal payroll and income taxes are illegal. The collection of these taxes and their secondary punishments abrogate Article III, section 2, and Amendments I, IV, V, IX and X. These taxes harm every level of commerce, production, property ownership and even healthcare delivery (e.g., creation and maintenance of third-party payer system opposing free market care), and are a medium of widespread political corruption on all levels of government (e.g., local, state and federal political favors and punishments).
c. The 14th amendment and commerce clause of Article I, section 8 have been misconstrued to give human rights to corporations and deny human rights to citizens (e.g., Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railway, 1886). This has led to the destruction of free markets and cooperative social organizations, and a culture of corruption, political reward and punishment among all levels of civil government.
d. Property ownership is guaranteed by the constitution; and this guarantee is a keystone to both liberty and healthy economics. In Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court ruled that property takings in violation of Articles III and IV and the 5th and 14th amendments are permissible. The ruling itself abrogated Article III, section 2, and the separation of powers.
e. Prior to the Kelo ruling, governments at every level (federal, state and local) have taken property for non-payment of taxes. Particularly since these taxes are routinely used for constitutionally forbidden purposes such as sports arenas, and since many taxes (e.g., income taxes) are themselves illegal, this property confiscation is illegal use of eminent domain. A proper use of the 5th and 14th amendments would be to prohibit such takings.
Sample of Injuries
1. The USA, “The Land of the Free,” has the world’s highest percentage of citizens in prison. Up to 97 percent of felonies are settled by coerced plea. Most prisoners have been convicted of statutory offenses with no human victim.
2. After generations of income redistribution, counterproductive programs and unsustainable government spending, Americans now work longer hours (over 20% since 1979), take fewer vacations (2 weeks since 1979) and spend less time with their children.
3. One-third of American citizen-owned investable assets are in overseas financial centers, and innumerable enterprises have gone out of business, relocated overseas or sold-out to foreign ownership to avoid illegal and destructive taxation.
4. Income/payroll taxes consume a half-trillion dollars in compliance costs, and drive business and personal decision-making to the detriment of the general welfare. The embedded costs of the tax on production put the USA on a competitive disadvantage on the global market.
5. We’ve clearly lost the rights of religious expression and speech. Tax laws restrict free speech within churches, and recent rulings such as Marsh v. Chambers or Hinrichs, et al. v. Bosma trespass on states’ rights and deny citizen rights to speech and religious free exercise. This makes it uncertain what rights we do possess, and what limits, if any, govern our government.
Whereas the government of the USA exists by the will of the People and only by Rule of Law under the Constitution of the USA; and whereas that government has broken the terms of that compact and therefore operates as an ungoverned power; I demand that our leaders desist illegal operations and conform to the law of federal government, or legally alter the compact by constitutional convention and ratification by the states to legitimize the current unitary, non-federal central government.
In short I demand that our government obey the law, or legally change it.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
The petitioner demands only that the government of the United States of America restrict itself to the powers granted by the Constitution for the United States of America, and that it remit legal costs resulting from this petition.
AFFIRMATION OF PLAINTIFF
I, the chief plaintiff in the aforementioned cause, do affirm that I have read all the statements contained in this petition and believe them to be, to the best of my personal knowledge, true and correct.
Signed this _____day of _____, 2006
Signature of Plaintiff