Capitol Ideas is reporting that Governor Rendell is getting a letter demanding he restore the Constitution from a fringe group, or be removed from power. Restoring the Lost Constitution is the title of a pretty good book, and a subject I’m generally very much sympathetic to. But a look at this issue by Salon, and a visit to the group’s page by me has convinced me this is the kind of kookery America would be a very dull place without. I mean, all you have to do it go down to the copyright section in the footer:
Private non-negotiable freeholding, Guardians of the Free Republics.Â Private web site under non-corporate venue.Â This seal conveys immunity from public scrutiny, discretion, regulation or trespass.Â Trespassers beware.Â Co-claimant fee applies to impairment. By using this site agree to the Terms of this site.
That’s 100% pure Grade A crazy there folks. Go take a look at their youtube video. This sounds a lot like the admiralty court fun from tax protesters. The FBI is investigating, but I doubt they have much to worry about. This kind of thing has been around a long time, and these groups are mostly interested in drawing attention to their kookery, in hopes of finding fellow travelers, than they are about actual action.
Much of their language about “Federal Corporation of the United States” seems to hinge on this definition in the Judicial Procedure Code, which is in the chapter on collecting debts owed to United States. For purposes of debt collection, “United States”, which usually refers to the Federal Government in other contexts, is redefined to include Federal Corporations. They take this to mean that the United States is a corporation, acting unlawfully as the Federal Government. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s utter nonsense. An example of a federal corporation is Amtrak, and this section defines how Amtrak, as well as the Federal Government, may collect its debts.
Reading statutory language is a bit of a skill. It’s difficult for people with no legal training to figure out. I can’t say I understand it 100% of the time, but knowing computer languages is a pretty good basis for understanding law. In fact, that makes for a pretty good analogy. It would be kind of like if you handed someone who’s barely literate in computers some technical specifications, some 6502 assembly code, and told them they had to debug all this code because their lives depend on it. Some folks may actually be able to figure it out, and fix things. Others will never really understand it, but they will keep trying and stay in the game. Others are just going to get angry at the whole thing and proclaim the program and specs are rigged, and it’s only through “du jure”Â specifications and new assembly that we can make everything the way God intended it to be. I think a lot of this phenomena is exactly that kind of thing. These folks know the law has an important impact on their lives, so they try to understand it. Failing, they become angry and blame the system.