A nation of sovereigns

Unaware of their rights, most Americans are defenseless against misuses of the law.

Hadley Gustin

âÄúWhen asked to grade themselves on their knowledge of the American Revolution and its ongoing legacy, 89 percent of adults polled believed they could pass a basic test on the American Revolution. However, 83 percent failed the test that covered the underlying beliefs, freedoms and liberties established during the Revolution,âÄù reported Penn Schoen Berland, a global research-based consultancy, in a survey done last summer. Regardless of this unfortunate trend, it is now absolutely imperative that every U.S. citizen learns his or her rights and how to utilize them when necessary. As I stated in my previous column, âÄúAmerica under martial law,âÄù âÄúWhen chaos finally does ensue in this country [due to a nationwide revolution], the government and multinational bankers are counting on the fact that people will be begging them to restore order. Nevertheless, this is an urge we must resist at all costs in order to avoid the onslaught of martial law.âÄù Being constituents of the United States, it is the duty of every person to understand the law so that they can use it knowledgeably for their own defense. A Republican state cannot properly exist without the active participation of its citizens, and this includes learning and utilizing judicial proceedings for the purpose of maintaining their integrity. The task of internalizing the law may seem daunting and not worth the time, but it is actually straightforward and will serve every American well. The most critical concept that everyone should know in order to dispute abuses of judgment is something called common law. By definition, common law is âÄúthe law derived from judicial decisions, including judicial decisions dating back to ancient English times.âÄù According to common law expert Dale Pond, âÄúCommon law is most represented within our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights. The common law recognizes the power of government lies in the common people and not in an elite group of power brokers. The equity, maritime or admiralty laws (laws of contract) steal this power from the people and centralize it in the hands of a few power oriented men.âÄù In other words, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are what Americans need to recognize. All other legislation is in fact meaningless in the republic of the United States because it falls under the category of statutory law. As opposed to common law, statutory law consists of âÄúinvoluntary liens such as tax liens, judgment liens, mechanic liens, etc. [Alternatively put, this kind of edict can be] passed by local, state, or federal legislators to regulate the conduct of individuals, businesses, etc,âÄù in the words of GoogleâÄôs dictionary. In accordance with Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, âÄúCongress shall have power to exercise executive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten square miles) as may, be cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.âÄù Therefore, all statutory laws enacted by Congress only apply to Washington, D.C., particular military bases that have been ceded by their respective states, and American territories like Puerto Rico and Guam. Nevertheless, on April 10, the police and commonwealthâÄôs attorney of Rockingham County, Va., violated several Constitutional laws when they coerced the editor of the student newspaper at James Madison University to relinquish photos taken of law enforcement committing acts of violence against local citizens. Thomas DiLorenzo, a professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland, stated that âÄúthe cops used tear gas and other means of force and coercion to end what they call a âÄòriot.âÄô Some of the [600] pictures might have incriminated the police for the kind of brutality that occurred not too long ago at the University of Maryland where a student celebrating a basketball victory by skipping down a sidewalk was beaten senseless by heavily armed cops on horseback.âÄù Because of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution, the Harrisonburg Police had no right to infringe upon the inalienable freedoms of the press and of privacy. The editorial board of the Washington Post wrote on April 22, âÄúKatie Thisdell, the editor [of the JMU Breeze], had a better sense of the law in this instance than Marsha Garst, whoâÄôs been chief prosecutor since 2000. [Garst], Rockingham County CommonwealthâÄôs Attorney, threatened to seize the BreezeâÄôs computers, cameras, even cell phones, thereby halting publication, unless the paper turned over hundreds of unpublished photos of the riot.âÄù The reason Garst overlooked the Bill of Rights, a representation of common law, was that she does not operate in a system governed by natural law; instead, like the rest of the American public, she adheres to statute law. If 83 percent of adults, including attorneys, in the United States could pass the Constitution test and claim responsibility for their rights, then this country would be on its way to achieving a government controlled by the citizenry, the ultimate intention of the Founding Fathers. By learning how to work around statute law and act in compliance with common law, constituents will remain in honorable standing under the Constitution, the only document that should truly govern them, and help to return the status of the nation back to that of a true republic. Hadley Gustin welcomes comments at [email protected]