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Last Updated, August 29, 1999

Idiot Legal Arguments: A Casebook for Dealing with Extremist Legal Arguments

Part Nine

By Bernard J. Sussman, JD, MLS, CP

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   "revoking" signature: Nagy v. CIR (1/24/96) TC Memo 1996-24; Fox v. CIR (2/1/93) TC Memo 1993-37 summ.judg. granted (2/26/96) TC Memo 1996-79; US v. Taylor (6th Cir unpub 3/29/93); Secora v. US (D Neb unpub 4/18/97) 79 AFTR2d 2686;   D.R. Andrews v. CIR (9/2/98) TC Memo 1998-316;  Valldejull v. Social Security Admin (ND Fla unpub 12/20/94) 75 AFTR2d 607, CCH Unempl.Ins.Rep. para 14368B;  US v. Schiefen (D SD 1995) 926 F.Supp 877 aff’d 81 F3d 166 mand.denied 522 US 1074; US v. Kaun (ED Wis 1986) 633 F.Supp 406 aff'd 827 F2d 1144 (IRS got injunction against this perp selling literature that made "numerous misleading, if not simply fraudulent, representations ... [including] that wages are not income, that filing a federal tax return is purely voluntary, that individuals can lawfully revoke their Social Security Numbers...and that individuals may claim complete exemption from income taxation on the ground that withholding is voluntary."); US v. Van Skiver (D Kan unpub 12/13/90) 71A AFTR2d 4063, 91 USTC para 50017 aff'd US v. Kettler [& Van Skiver](10th Cir unpub 6/3/91) 934 F2d 326(t); Biermann v.  Cook (Fla.App 1993) 619 So.2d 1029;  Kish v. CIR (1/13/98) TC Memo 1998-16 (claims to have "rescinded" his own Soc.Sec. number); US v. Taylor (6th Cir unpub 3/29/93); ditto Hersshey v. Commonwealth (Commonw.Ct of Penn 1996) 669 A2d 517 app.denied (Penn Supm unpub 6/4/96) 544 Pa 664, 676 A2d 1202; ditto Damron v. Yellow Freight System Inc. (ED Tenn 1998) 18 F.Supp.2d 812 (claimed that Soc.Sec numbers "are for use only by foreign aliens and not" US citizens; "Damron has gotten the law exactly backwards ....  Damron has not cited and the court through independent research has not found any competent legal authority which allow Damron to unilaterally rescind and revoke his Soc.Sec number ... Moreover the Supreme Court has recognized that individual participation in the Soc.Sec system is mandatory rather than voluntary. [citing US v. Lee, 1982, 455 US 252]"); Graber v. US (SD Iowa 1997) 993 F.Supp 685 ("just plain goofy, and any person except one purposely self-deluding himself or herself would know that"); (tax resister worked up a revocation formula that imitated Kol Nidre) Erwin v.  CIR (10/17/95) TC Memo 1995-498; (crank who tried to "rescind his signature" to all drivers license papers that included assent to the state's statutory consent to breathalyzer tests discovered this had the effect of cancelling his drivers license and he was charged with unlicensed driving) Maxfield v. Corwin (WD Mich unpub 3/17/87);  (county recorders instructed not to accept this document for filing) Texas Atty-Gen Letter Op. 98-16 (3/13/98); M.J. Olson v. US (Fed Claims unpub 8/26/98)  82 AFTR2d 6174; US v. Clark (5th Cir 1998) 139 F3d 485 cert.den _US_, 119 S.Ct 227 (part of the Pilot Society’s "untaxing" package); Pabon v. CIR (9/29/94) TC Memo 1994-476; LaRue v. US (7th Cir unpub 9/8/97) 124 F3d 204(t), 97 USTC para 50703, 80 AFTR2d 6275 cert.den 523 US 1096; (evading criminal law by "revoking" govt authority) State v. Matzke (1985) 236 Kan 833, 696 P2d 396; ditto this was a ploy used in April 1992 by Terry L. Nichols, later identified as an Oklahoma City bombing conspirator (Nichols's 1992 letter and a 1994 affidvit to the same effect are found on the internet),  US v.  Nichols (WD Okl 1995) 897 F.Supp 542; (refused to divulge his Soc.Sec. number to his employer on purported religious grounds) Hover v. Fla. Power & Light Co. (SD Fla unpub 11/14/94) 67 FEPC 34 aff’d 101 F3d 708 cert.den 520 US 1277; -- although the courts have allowed a few persons to refrain from obtaining or using Soc.Sec. numbers on religious grounds, they have been very sparing in the allowance and quick to reject reasons that did not appear to be bona fide religious scruples, cf. essay, Free exercise of religion as applied to objection to obtaining or disclosing Soc. Sec. number, 87 ALR-Fed 908 (1988);  {Note: Although there is considerable militia-type and tax scofflaw propaganda encouraging people to "revoke" their SSNs, there does not appear to be any legal provision that permits a person who has an SSN to cancel it and continue life without any SSN at all; certainly not unilaterally, cf  Damron v. Yellow Freight System Inc. (ED Tenn 1998) 18 F.Supp.2d 812.  There is a Social Security Admin regulation that permits a person to request, and the Soc.Sec. Admin. to decide whether to grant, a change of SSN, for example if some sort of fraud perpetrated by another person had made the old number disadvantageous, but it is clearly the intent of the law that everyone have an SSN.  Several years ago even small children were, essentially, required to have SSNs when the IRS required that their parents provide the kids' SSNs when claiming them as dependents. The IRS is authorized to allow something other than the SSN to be used as a Taxpayer Identifying Number (TIN), 26 USC sec. 6109(d), but this is fairly rare; it sometimes co-exists with an SSN; Wolfrum v. CIR (8/7/91) TC Memo 1991-370; and in some situations this number will be accepted in lieu of the SSN (e.g. drivers license application)  Devon Inc. v. State Bureau (Ohio App 1986) 31 Ohio App.3d 130, 508 NE2d 984.  A potential employer may legally refuse to hire someone who refuses to have or reveal his SSN, as the law requires the employer to report his employee's SSNs for tax and other purposes, and the employer could be penalized for not doing so, notwithstanding it is the employee's decision and regardless of the employee's reasons; Weber v. Leaseway Dedicated Logistics Inc. (D.Kan 1998) 5 F.Supp.2d 1219 aff'd 166 F3d 1223.  Similarly, in the case of a current employee who announces she has "revoked" her SSN and W-4 forms, the employer is legally entitled (in fact, by IRS regs, required) to continue to use the SSN and to maximize withholding in the absense of a valid W-4. Birt v. Consol. School Distr. (Mo.App 1992) 829 SW2d 538.} ;  (tried to "revoke" both govt authority and his marriage license simultaneously) Brown v. Mueller (ED Mich unpub 6/24/97); ditto (could not bring an action to be declared a "private state citizen of Texas" and thereby, he expected, nullify his birth certificate, marriage license, drivers license, school records, Soc.Sec.  account, etc)  Barcroft v. State (Tex.App 1995) 900 SW2d 370; (evading driver license law) Humphreys v. State (Okla. Crim. App 1987) 738 P2d 188; ditto (revoking "govt franchises" as a pretext for ignoring driver license laws) State v. Patterson (Kan.App unpub 2/14/92) review den (Kan. Supm 1992) 250 Kan 807; similarly Beideman v. IRS (D Del unpub 9/7/93) 72 AFTR2d 6188; (trying to limit effect of signature on legal documents by adding reference to UCC sections) State v. Stuart (No.Dak 1996) 544 NW2d 158; similarly Wesselman v. CIR (2/28/96) TC Memo 1996-85;  quibbling about the oath of the judge or prosecutor: US v. Dunkel (ND IL unpub 8/30/96) 78 AFTR2d 6529 rev. in part on other grnds (7th Cir unpub 7/1/97) 80 AFTR2d 5148, 97 USTC para  50565; US v. Ferguson (SD Ind 1985) 615 F.Supp 8 aff’d 793 F2d 828 cert. denied 479 US 933; US v. G.D. Bell (ED Cal unpub 4/30/97) 79 AFTR2d 2784 recons.den 27 F.Supp.2d 1191; Wyatt v. Kelly, Chief Bankruptcy Judge (WD Texas unpub 3/23/98) 44 USPQ2d 1578, 81 AFTR2d 1463, 98 USTC para 50326; US v. Scheumann (7th Cir unpub 12/16/97) 132 F3d 37(t); Greenstreet v. Heiskell (Tex.App 1997) 940 SW2d 831 reh.den 960 SW2d 713; Farm Credit Bank of Wichita v. Powers (Okla.App 1996) 919 P2d 31;  suing because Congress failed to enact odd legislation and because "the judiciary negligently misread the Constitution ... from 1803 to 1996", thereby causing him "a permanent pyschological scar for life", for which he wanted the "small price" of $50 Million.  Landesberg v. Legislative & Judicial Branches of Govt (SDNY unpub 8/19/97); Foster v. Clinton (10th Cir unpub 1/28/98) 134 F3d 382(t); tried to insist that the govt could not provide the defense for the various public officials he was suing over their official duties: Eismann v. Miller (1980) 101 Ida 692, 619 P2d 1145;  trying to sue on the theory that the delivery to him by mail of a letter from the IRS amounted to a trespass for which he sued for four million dollars.  Ijams v. Bryan (D Kan unpub 9/18/79) 44 AFTR2d 6050, 79 USTC para 9629; perp setting up No Trespassing signs around his property cannot thereby prevent IRS agents or other law enforcement from coming to his front door to deliver papers or ask questions, and cannot sue or prosecute them for doing so.  US v.  Hylton (5th Cir 1983) 710 F2d 1106; nor does a real or imagined defect in an officer's arrest warrant justify the perp making "terrorist threats" or using a weapon to resist him.  In re DeRiemer (Del.Super.  unpub 12/3/93);   claiming that a secret organization is setting govt or judicial policy: Landesberg v. Legislative & Judicial Branches of Govt (SDNY unpub 8/19/97); claiming that the US is actually bankrupt and that the IRS is really collecting money for the IMF:   DeLaRosa v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 10/12/95) 76 AFTR2d 7134 (arguing that, as a bankrupt, the US govt cannot enforce collection of debts owed to it); US v. Greenstreet (ND Tex 1996) 912 F.Supp 224; US v. G.D. Bell (ED Cal unpub 4/30/97) 79 AFTR2d 2784 recons.den 27 F.Supp.2d 1191; Bell v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 11/7/95) 76 AFTR2d 7543; In re Hale (Bankr. ED Ark 1996) 196 Bankr.Rptr 122 ("This legalistic gibberish has been so repeatedly and soundly dismissed that the courts no longer analyze each issue, unless imposing sanctions for filing such frivolous babble."); Ijams v. Newberry (D Kan unpub 2/6/79) 43 AFTR2d 859, 79 USTC para 9306; similarly Farber v. Mossman (SD Iowa unpub 2/26/79) 43 AFTR2d 979, 79 USTC para 9256 (alleging that he was bankrupt in 1979, thereby not suitable for taxation, because of the 1933 Gold Repeal); ditto  (also claimed that the US govt is bankrupt as a result of going off the gold standard but still wanted this bankrupt govt to pay him fabulous amounts of money in damages) Meuli v. Farm Credit Service, et al (D Kan unpub 8/8/91) aff'd (10th Cir unpub 12/18/92) 982 F2d 529(t));   [actually it would appear that attempting to litigate in court that the US govt is really bankrupt or that the national debt somehow is illegal or vitiates tax laws, etc., is prohibited by the US Constitution, 14th Amendment, the first sentence of sec. 4, "The validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned."  This section apparently has never been the focus of a court decision.];   that the IRS employees be fired and required to write letters of apology to the plaintiffs. We the People v. IRS (MD Fla unpub 5/29/96) 78 AFTR2d 5458 aff'd 132 F3d 1459; suing judges, policemen, district attorney, et al.  for "desubito" (literally barking and snapping like a dog) People v. Dunlap (Colo. 1981) 623 P2d 408;  (objecting to questions about the perp’s schooling on the grounds that an academic "degree is in essence a title of nobility under the German style") White v. CIR (9/15/81) TC Memo 1981-512 aff’d (9th Cir unpub 1982) 685 F2d 450(t) cert.den 459 US 1088; that a drivers license is title of nobility: State v. Larson (No.Dak 1988) 419 NW2d 897 app.dismissed 488 US 805; ditto (the court noted that the same crank who complained about the drivers license being a title of nobility had begun signing his suggested orders himself as "the Honorable Michale J. Maxfield") Maxfield v. Corwin (WD Mich unpub 3/17/87); that a  teaching license is a title of nobility.  State v. Weldon (No.Dak unpub 2/1/98) 422 NW2d 98(t);  that a dog license (!)  is a title of nobility. City of Bismarck v. Vetter (No.Dak unpub 11/29/87) 417 NW2d 186(t) app.dism 487 US 1201;  that a lawyer’s use of "esquire" is somehow a title of nobility. US v. Frech (10th Cir unpub 6/16/98) 149 F3d 1192(t); similarly (attempt to prevent opposition from being represented by a lawyer on the pretext that he "holds a title of nobility which is forbidden in this At Law court", heavily fined under Rule 11) Hilgeford v.  Peoples Bank Inc.  (ND Ind 1986) 113  FRD 161; [oddly a tax dodge guru was selling "legal advice" which he signed "William Drexler, Esq., Juris Doctor", more than a quarter century after his disbarment.  Kinkade v. CIR (6/1/99) TC Memo 1999-180]; similarly (tried to prevent opponents, all govt officials, from being represented by govt lawyers -- "hirelings of the govt" -- on similar pretext) C.  Lang v.  Axelrod (DDC unpub 9/6/88) case dism (DDC unpub 9/15/88); similarly (that a US magistrate was using a title of nobility) US v. Riley (D.Kan unpub 9/10/91); similarly (that all the officials of a federal district court were without any authority to act because they all held titles of nobility -- "patently frivolous") In re Woodson, et al. (4th Cir unpub 10/4/89) 887 F2d 1082(t);  similarly (tried to charge IRS employees, who were seeking to annul his bogus liens, was using Titles of Nobility, because the Federal Rules allow the federal govt a longer period in which to respond; fined under Rule 11 for  "a petty, vindictive response to the IRS defendants' legitimate effort to defend themselves against a frivolous lawsuit") Peth v.  Breitzman (ED Wis 1985) 611 F.Supp 50; similarly Frederick v.  Clark (WD Wis 1984) 587 F.Supp 789;  

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  that there is a mysterious Original Thirteenth Amendment which revokes the citizenship of anyone using a title of nobility and that this refers to lawyers, and thereby the judges, prosecutors, and even the Congressmen who enacted the law are not citizens and couldn't do anything to the nitwit.  D.A. Anderson v.  US (ND IL unpub 4/27/98)("These arguments may be amusing to some but are meritless and must be rejected"); suing to "restore the 'missing' Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution", and have copies of this revised Constitution sent "to all homes, prisons, hospitals and churches nationwide" and for $385 Million in damages; suit dismissed and an appeal in forma pauperis would not be taken in good faith because meritless. Smith v. US President (D. Conn unpub 11/6/96) in Conn. Law Tribune, 12/2/96;    {This is a very widespread myth among the militia movement, evidently dating from around 1980, and apparently begun by David Dodge (apparently of Miami) who calls himself an "archival research expert" and seems otherwise to be unknown, and Alfred Adask (of Dallas) who publishes amateurish quasi-legal advice in a magazine warmly titled "Anti-Shyster".  They have "discovered" that in 1810 the Congress proposed a Thirteenth Amendment (the Twelfth having been adopted in 1804) to the effect that "If any citizen ... shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor ... from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen ... and shall be incapable of holding any office ... or either of them".  This proposal is appended to some editions of the Constitution as an unratified proposal.  The nitwits, however, insist that it was adopted ... and to do so they insist on very dubious evidence, the very opposite of the methodology some of the same nitwits use to argue that the 16th Amendment (income tax) was not adopted.  This 1810 proposal was inspired by the instance of Elizabeth Patterson, a Baltimore socialite who, in 1803, apparently married the brother of the Emperor Napoleon and insisted on being identified as a duchess (the bona fides of her alleged marriage were eventually disputed by the Bonaparte family, which eventually obtained a divorce); the story is told in "The Phantom Amendment & the Duchess of Baltimore" by W.H. Earle, American History Illustrated, November 1987.  The proposed amendment had accumulated only 12 state ratifications,  the last in December 1812 by which time it would have required 14 to be adopted.  However, in 1815 there was published by Bioren & Duane of Philadelphia, under a government contract, a five volume set titled "Laws of the United States", which printed the proposal as "Article 13" immediately following the authentic 11th and 12th Amendments on page 74 of the first volume; however more than 75 pages earlier, in the volume's introduction, the editors had cautioned (on page ix), "There had been some difficulty in ascertaining whether the amendment proposed, which is stated as the thirteenth, has or has not been adopted by a sufficient number of the state legislatures....  It has been considered best, however, to publish the proposed amendment in its proper place, as if it had been adopted, with this explanation, to prevent misconception."   It thereafter appears that several editors or publishers of other editions of the US Constitution relied on the Bioren & Duane edition when working up their own texts of the Constitution (sometimes mentioning the Bioren & Duane edition by name as their source) but missed this editorial caution and thereby were misled into including this 1810 proposal as if it had been adopted.  The story is told in "The Case of the Phantom Thirteenth Amendment: A historical and bibliographic nightmare" by Curt E.  Conklin, 88 Law Library Journal 121 (winter 1996).  The inclusion of this phantom 13th Amendment is, in fact, virtually the only noteworthy characteristic of the Bioren & Duane edition, as shown in its lengthy description in the Checklist of United States Public Documents  (1911) p. 964.  Of course, the mere fact that a typographic error occurs in an officially published lawbook does not elevate that error to the status of a valid law;  Pease v.  Peck (1856) 59 US (18 How.)  595 at 596-597, 15 L.Ed 518 at 519; City of Atlanta v. Gate City Gas Light Co.  (1883) 71 Ga 106 at 119.   In 1813, the Secretary of State, James Monroe, sent a circular letter to all the governors inquiring about further ratifications of this proposed amendment, without result.  However, in 1817, the House of Representatives arranged to have a pocket edition of the Constitution printed up for distribution and when these copies arrived containing the so-called Thirteenth Amendment, the House on the last day of 1817 formally asked the President for verification of whether this was validly part of the Constitution.  The President, James Monroe, presented the House with two reports of his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, which confirmed that there had been only twelve state ratifications, an insufficient number for adoption, and these were published as Messages from the President on February 6, and March 2, 1818.  The Congress was apparently satisfied with these reports and thereafter this 1810 proposal never again appears as part of the Constitution in any edition published by any part of the federal government.  On April 20, 1818  Congress enacted a law making the Secretary of State responsible for accumulating the state ratifications of proposed amendments and announcing when these are sufficient for adoption (in 1951 this responsibility was shifted to the head of the National Archives).  Dodge, Adask, and others allege some great but vague conspiracy caused this "original" 13th amendment to vanish from the books by the time the genuine 13th Amendment (the abolition of slavery) was proposed in 1865, but they are very vague about the date this occurred.  Of course, it would require more than just the appearance of new editions omitting the 1810 proposal to accomplish this if the 1810 proposal had ever been a genuine part of  the Constitution, since too many adults would have remembered it despite new editions.  Yet the silence is deafening; no one protested the 1865 anti-slavery amendment  on the grounds that there already was a 13th Amendment dating from 1810.  Working backwards, in 1861 Congress had proposed an entirely different amendment (which was not adopted) with the title of "Thirteenth" and nobody protested the numbering then.  In 1847, Supreme Court Associate Justice Levi Woodbury wrote there were "only twelve amendments ever made to" the Constitution, and nobody quibbled with his numbers; Waring v.  Clarke (1847) 46 US (5 How.)  441 at 493, 12 L.Ed.  226 at 251 (dissent).  In 1845 Congress authorized the Boston publishing house of Little & Brown to publish a collection of federal laws to replace the 1815 Bioren & Duane edition, this was the Statutes at Large, whose printing has been continued to this day by the government; in this 1845 edition the Constitution stops at 12 amendments and the 1810 proposal is several volumes away as merely a Congressional resolution.  In 1833, Associate Justice Joseph Story of the US Supreme Court published his Commentaries on the Constitution, which included a text of the Constitution with only 12 amendments and the clear statement that there have been only twelve amendments (sec.  959) and further that the 1810 proposal had not been adopted "probably from a growing sense that it is wholly unnecessary" (sec.  1346).  There is no known state or federal court decision treating the 1810  proposal as a bona fide part of the Constitution, nor did Congress ever enact any enabling legislation for it (which would have been necessary, for example to determine which of the three penalties to impose).  The phantom amendment is not known to have appeared in more than two or three dozen books, out of literally thousands, that purport to reprint the Constitution, and these dropped off very sharply after 1845 when the Statutes at Large first appeared.  Since then, the US Supreme Court very explicitly described the 1810 proposal as unadopted, in Dillon v.  Gloss (1921) 256 US 368 at 375, and in a dissenting opinion of two justices in Coleman v.  Miller (1939) 307 US 433 at 472, and in some detail in  a dissenting opinion of four justices in Afroyim v.  Rusk (1967) 387 US 253 at 277-278.  It appears that the Congress determined in 1992, when the 27th Amendment (on Congressional pay raises) was declared adopted, that the 1810 proposal had lapsed and was no longer capable of being ratified (cf.  speech of Sen. Terry Sanford, D-NC, in Cong.Rec., daily ed., May 20, 1992, p. S-6949 col.3).  On the other hand, Dodge, Adask, and other propagandists claim that the mere fact that this 1810 text, derived from Bioren & Duane, appeared in collections of  laws that had been issued by various state governments constituted that state's formal ratification of the proposed amendment.  This is clearly contrary to the Pease and City of Atlanta decisions already mentioned.  Why do they go to all this trouble?  Because they then argue that lawyers cannot be US citizens because esquire is a title of nobility from a foreign power -- Adask goes further and includes bankers in this disenfranchising although he cannot explain what title is involved in banking -- and they provide strange and absurd explanations for the significance of esquire and how lawyers could get it from a foreign king.  Of course, all along the real Constitution has forbidden the federal and state governments from issuing titles of nobility, and since law schools and court systems are subsidized and supervised by federal and state governments you'd think these nitwits would have tried to make a fuss about a domestic title of nobility, but no, they have to stretch for something that's not part of the Constitution.   More recently, in Alabama, a militia-movement couple who shot a policeman to death have been claiming that this Phantom Amendment makes it impossible for a judge and prosecutor to put them on trial; cf.  Associated Press report, "Death row couple take aim at system" by Michael Pearson, 2 Sept 1996, and printed in the Houston Chronicle, 1 Sept 96; L.A. Times, 8 Sept 96; Ft Worth Star Telegram, 8 Sept 96, et al.; claiming that a lawyer’s use of "esquire" is somehow a title of nobility: US v. Frech (10th Cir unpub 6/16/98) 149 F3d 1192(t); Wright v.  Leasecomm Corp.  (MD Fla 1993) 817 F.Supp 106; or that lawyers (and judges) are, by virtue of their law degree or admission to the bar, "enfranchised creatures of the law" and thereby "are without standing in this court or any court of this land!"  R.E. Goode v. Sumner County Commissioners (D.Kan unpub 2/17/95);  -- this overlooks the explicit statements in Blackstone's Commentaries & Stephen's Commentaries that Esquire is a title of commonalty and not of nobility and carries none of the characteristics or privileges of  nobility, and the statement in Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary that "In the United States, the title ... is bestowed on any person at pleasure, and contains no definite description.  It is merely an expression of respect." See also the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary for its entries on "esquire" and especially "esquiress".  For  the past three centuries (at least) there is no instance of the British monarch "bestowing" an Esquire on anyone, and the British courts have held that the title is altogether unregulated and anyone can adopt it at whim.  Stephen's Commentaries on the Laws of England ranks it, emulating Blackstone's editors, between "gentleman" and "doctor", neither of  those being either nobility nor bestowed by royalty. Apparently it became a mark of distinction for lawyers at a time when, and because, the lawyers had no academic titles or degrees to put either in front or after their names, and the Oxford English Dictionary notes that it is used only with the full name and without any other embellishments (e.g., Mr., Dr., Hon., Rev., LL.B., J.D., Ph.D.).  Approximately  the late 17th century in England it was taken up by "outer barristers", those trial lawyers who, being junior grade, were not entitled to put KC (Kings Counsel) or QC after their names, but there are a couple of 18th century British court decisions indicating that the use of 'Esquire" is expected or required of all grades of barristers, and evidently QCs still use "Esq." .  Altho there is no law regulating the use of Esquire in the US, in several prosecutions for unauthorized practice of law the fact that the defendant was attaching "esq." to his name while doing whatever he was not supposed to do is treated as further evidence of holding himself out as a lawyer; e.g. In re contempt of Mittower (Ind.Supm 1998) 693 NE2d 555; Florida Bar v.  Gordon (Fla.Supm 1995) 661 So.2d 295; In re Wm. Patton (ED Penn unpub 11/6/98); altho one defendant argued, and the court appeared willing to concede, that "esq." related to his graduation from law school and did not necessarily imply passing the bar exam or practicing law.  In re Apollon (1997) 233 App.Div.2d 95, 662 NYS2d 815; and in allowing prison officials to examine letters from unknown persons whose return addresses include "esq" the court evidently conceded that the use of "esq" was unregulated.  Deutsch v.  US Dept of Justice (DDC 1995) 881 F.Supp 49 aff'd 320 US App DC 323, 93 F3d 986.  In 1863 the Arkansas Supreme Court said that Esquire was applied "not infrequently to officers of all grades, to attorneys at law, and sometimes bestowed upon persons at pleasure as an expression of respect."  Christian v.  Ashley County (1863) 24 Ark 142 at 151, and quoted in the definition of Esquire in the old (1920) Corpus Juris.  Bouvier's Law Dictionary says, "No one is entitled to it by law, and therefore it confers no distinction in law." -- and Bouvier's adds that the proposed 1810 amendment was never adopted.   Adask and other have suggested, without the slightest evidence, that the founders of the Republic distrusted and detested the use of "esquire" and regarded it as indicative of ties to the British monarch, but in fact the Articles of Confederation of 1781 contained (Art. VI) a prohibition of titles of nobility, and while it was in force various of the founding fathers addressed each other in official documents and letters as "esquire".    Instead of despising trained lawyers, the founders enacted laws requiring trained lawyers -- such as requiring the Attorney General to be "learned in the law", in the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat 93.  In attempting to relate the American lawyer's use of "esquire" to a monarch, Adask and Dodge have concocted a fantasy that all American lawyers are members of the International Bar Association, which they claim was established by King George III at an unspecified date before the American Revolution, but it is an undeniable fact that the International Bar Assn was not established until 1947 and that it consists of fewer than 18000 members, only a small portion of them American.  They also assume that an individual's admission to the bar is controlled by the American Bar Association and that somehow each new lawyer gets a document or goes through a ceremony which confers the "esquire" on him.  More recently this myth has been debunked in The" Missing Thirteenth Amendment":  Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility  by Jol A. Silversmith, 8 Southern Calif. Interdisciplinary Law Jrnl 577 (spring 1999) }  

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Quibbling about absence of OMB control number on IRS forms or booklets: US v. Schweitzer (D Mt 1991) 775 F.Supp 1355 ("The flaw in Schweitzer's argument ...[is] in her premise that the Form 1040 and the accompanying instruction booklet constitute separate information requests which must display different OMB control numbers. ... Form 1040, as the defendant acknowledges, displays an OMB control number.") ; US v. J.R. White (9th Cir unpub 12/20/90) 921 F2d 282(t) (tried to argue that the Form 1040 has a different OMB number from the Treasury regulation imposing an income tax on US citizens; court pointed out that the OMB number was the same as the regulation requiring the filing of a Form 1040); US v. Foster [& Madge] (D Minn unpub 5/27/97); (tax court said that OMB numbers had been issued for various IRS forms and listed some of them) Hyde v. CIR (7/27/92) TC Memo 1992-419 aff'd (7th Cir unpub 10/15/93) 9 F3d 112(t) cert.den 513 US 893; US v. Hicks (9th Cir 1991) 947 F2d 1356; B. Jackson v. CIR (9th Cir unpub 4/7/93); US v. Crocker (D Del 1991) 753 F.Supp 1209; US v. R.W. Collins (10th Cir 1990) 920 F2d 619 cert.den 500 US 920; Wesselman v. CIR (2/28/96) TC Memo 1996-85; Allnutt v. CIR (1/14/91) TC Memo 1991-6 aff'd (4th Cir 1992) 956 F2d 1161(t) cert.den 506 US 816; In re Becraft (9th Cir 1989) 885 F2d 547; Olsen v. CIR (10/3/95) TC Memo 1995-471; ditto Baker v. CIR (10/16/95) TC Memo 1995-495 aff’d (5th Cir 1996) 98 F3d 1338; (the 1981 IRS forms did have OMB numbers and no OMB numbers are needed for IRS instruction booklets) US v.  Karlin (D.  Kan 1991) 762 F.Supp 911; ditto US v.  Ryan (7th Cir 1992) 969 F2d 238; ditto US v. Wunder (6th Cir 1990) 919 F2d 34; US v.  Gaumer (6th Cir unpub 6/17/94) 27 F3d 568(t); (argued they could ignore IRS summonses because the summons form lacked an OMB number! -- held that 44 USC sec. 3518(c)(1)(B) exempts "an administration action or investigation involving an agency against specific individuals or entities.") US v. Saunders (9th Cir 1991) 951 F2d 1065;  (Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to IRS forms and booklets, and even if it did that is not a defense for criminal tax evasion) US v.  Burdette (EDNY 1991) 768 F.Supp 409; similarly  US v.  Stoecklin (MD Fla 1994) 848 F.Supp 1521; ditto J.  Woods v.  CIR (MD Fla 1998) 8 F.Supp.2d 1357; US v. Dawes (10th Cir 1991) 951 F2d 1189; ditto US v. Wunder (6th Cir 1990) 919 F2d 34; Brewer v.  US (SDNY 1991) 764 F.Supp 309; US v.  Justis (D Dela unpub 5/10/84) 54 AFTR2d 5455, 84 USTC para 9842 ("all the courts which considered this issue have so held [that IRS forms do not violate the Paperwork Reduction Act]"); ditto US v. O'Ferrall (D Dela unpub 5/4/84) 54 AFTR2d 5315, 84 USTC para 9843; ditto Aldrich v.  CIR (7/6/93) TC Memo 1993-290;     (or because IRS forms or delegations of authority not published in Federal Register) Lonsdale v. US (10th Cir 1990) 919 F2d 1440; Craig v. Lowe (ND Cal unpub 3/7/96) 78 AFTR2d 5488, 96 USTC para 50416 aff’d 108 F3d 1384; (it is sufficient under 5 USC sec. 552 that regs tells where forms can be obtained instead of reprinting them, and this is done with  26 CFR sec. 601.602) US v. Bowers (4th Cir 1990) 920 F2d 220;  quibbling about the CFR authority lines and tables of authorities: Madge v. US (D Minn unpub 2/13/95) 75 AFTR2d 1374 aff’d 78 F3d 589, 77 AFTR2d 1441; similarly  Russell v. US (WD Mich unpub 11/23/94) 75 AFTR2d 495, 95 USTC para 50029 ("This convoluted argument is wholly baseless."); quibbling that regulations(not statutes) must impose taxes: US v. Foster [& Madge] (D Minn unpub 5/27/97); US v. Langert (D Minn 1995) 902 F.Supp 999; US v. Hicks (9th Cir 1991) 947 F2d 1356; similarly Russell v. US (WD Mich unpub 11/23/94) 75 AFTR2d 495, 95 USTC para 50029 ("This convoluted argument is wholly baseless."); (sued unsuccessfully to compel tax-evasion organization, which had given him the instructions that landed him as a defendant in criminal court, to pay for his defense lawyer) US v. Condo (9th Cir 1984) 741 F2d 238 cert.den 469 US 1164;  claiming that the court filing fee is some sort of "contract" to compel a particular outcome or procedure: Slangal v. Cassel (D Neb 1997) 962 F.Supp 1214; similarly Jones v. Watson (ND Ohio unpub 2/4/97); R. Jones v. T.G. Watson (ND Ohio unpub 9/29/97); Bell v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 11/7/95) 76 AFTR2d 7543; Leistikow v.  Mangerson (ED Wis 1997) 172 FRD 403 (refusing to accept court papers until the judge forms a "contract" with him); US v. Poole (CD IL 1996) 916 F.Supp 861; Poole v. Baker (CD IL 1994) 874 F.Supp 222; R. Jones v. Watson (ND Ohio unpub 2/4/97); R. Jones v. T.G. Watson (ND Ohio unpub 9/29/97);  In re Shugrue (Bankr., ND Tex 1998) 221 Bankr.Rptr 394; R. Miller v. USA (ND Ohio unpub 2/6/98); US v. Kettler [& Van Skiver](10th Cir unpub 6/3/91) 934 F2d 326(t); suing the judge and prosecutor who convicted him for breach of contract on the pretext that their oaths to defend the Constitution was some sort of contract.  Poole v.  Baker (CD IL 1994) 874 F.Supp 222; ditto US v. Anderson (ND IL unpub 9/25/98); arguing that the "United States" is a fictitious entity unable to sue in  its own name: US v. Scheumann (7th Cir unpub 12/16/97) 132 F3d 37(t); suing Clinton to force the Census Bureau to count fetuses: Slattery v. Clinton (SDNY unpub 3/28/97); suing NYC and prison authorities for implanting a computer chip in his body that manipulated him into writing unsuccessful jailhouse pleadings. Davis v. City of New York (SDNY unpub 1/26/98); suing all the members of the state legislature for not replying to his (nutty) letters on the grounds that their inaction violated his right to petition the govt.  Gehring v. All Members of the State Legislature (1994) 269 Mont 373, 889 P2d 1164;  demanding to be regarded as a "Prisoner of War": US v. Buck (SDNY 1988) 690 F.Supp 1291; or as a "political prisoner": US v. Fort (ND IL 1996) 921 F.Supp 523; or a prison inmate (armed bank robbery) filing a civil rights suit to obtain the immediate return of various items including his gun with ammunition. D.L. Bailey v. US (ND IL 8/27/96);   suing the UN because it did not itself assist him but advised him to contact a well-respected charitable agency thereby violating "my right to choose the philanthropy agency I prefer". Klyumel v. United Nations (SDNY unpub 12/4/92) aff’d (SDNY unpub 2/17/93); claiming that their unfavorable decision in their previous suit was the result of UN scheme to set up a "New World Order".  Cockrell v. City of Southaven (Miss.Supm unpub 12/31/98);  claimed a "right" to have machine guns in violation of gun control laws because he was "preparing to repel an invasion of UN troops". US v. Kuehnoel (9th Cir unpub 7/15/99);   trying to insist on "Christian common law" and being reminded by court that it would be a lot rougher than the prevailing statutes. Farm Credit Bank of Wichita v. Devous (WD Okl 1996) 933 F.Supp 1028; filing papers for the taking of judicial notice, when this is not of indisputable facts but of his interpretation of laws and cases.  US v. Schiefen (D SD 1995) 926 F.Supp 877 aff’d 81 F3d 166 mand.denied 522 US 1074; and similarly the court in a tax fraud case refused to take judicial notice of what were alleged to be thousands of documents, none of them placed in evidence, which were supposedly filed in unspecified courts elsewhere which substatiated in some unspecified way that the Sixteenth Amendment had not been properly ratified. US v. Sugarman (4th Cir unpub 7/31/86) 21 Fed.R.Evid.Serv 379; -- this particular practice seems especially widespread among some militia-types, and is repeated in the various essays of arch-crank Dan Meador - in reality, judicial notice is a minor procedural shortcut by which the judge accepts certain very obvious and indisputable facts as true without requiring either side to present evidence or witnesses; similarly the term is much misused such as in C.W. Singer v. IRS (ED Penn unpub 8/10/98) 98 USTC para 50683, 82 AFTR2d 5995; and Stoecklin v. US (MD Fla unpub 11/7/97) 80 AFTR2d 8207; pointing realistic looking toy gun at Secret Service agents is sufficient for prosecution under 18 USC 111 for assaulting, intimidating or interfering with federal officers in performance of duties. US v.  Carvin (5th Cir 1977) 555 F2d 1303 cert.den 434 US 971; brandishing a real assault firearm at an IRS agent enforcing a tax  lien similarly prosecuted even if, arguendo, the tax lien were somehow invalid.  US v.  Streich (7th Cir 1984) cert.den 474 US 860;  county recorder has authority and duty to refuse to accept a document which does not meet the criteria for filing: Leatherman v. Schwab (1929) 98 Fla 885, 124 So. 459; (tried to argue that since the official edition of the state code did not have enacting clauses nor bill titles that it was an invalid "collection of books") State v. L.L. Russell (Ohio App unpub 3/10/98);   

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"nonstatutory abatement": (term is meaningless and does not appear in any legal authority) Minn. Atty-Gen. Opinion 390a-21 (11/5/96); (apparently this term is used by the nitwits to describe some sort of claim that the court lacks jurisdiction) State v. Cella (Mo.App 1998) 976 SW2d 543; (not to be filed by registrars) Wash.Atty-Gen 1996 Opinion nr.12 (7/31/96); (used in  futile attempt to evade law): Dees v. State (Tex.App unpub 3/19/97); Hedspeth v. McMeans (Tex.App unpub 3/18/96); Bixler v. CIR (7/23/96) TC Memo 1996-329; US v. J.F. Heard (ND WV 1996) 952 F.Supp 329 (court held that the abatement forms were so absurd and inappropriate that their use - to refuse to comply with a grand jury subpoena - could not be in good faith);  (regretted having his "nonstatutory abatement" - his attempt to ignore a subpoena - used as evidence against him) US v. S.L. Heard (4th Cir unpub 2/23/98) 135 F3d 771(t), 81 AFTR2d 873; (perp who sent "Non-Statutory Abatement" and Demand papers to IRS agents and then sent them a summons from "Our One Supreme Court" severely punished according to the sentencing standards for a "terrorist") US v. J.V. Wells (4th Cir 1998) 163 F3d 889;  (not to be accepted for filing by county recorder): Washington State Atty-Gen, Opinion AGO 1996 nr. 12,  7/31/96; (sheriffs are instructed not to deliver such documents because illegal) Minn. Atty-Gen. Opinion 390a-21 (11/5/96);  (not an allowable pleading under the Fed Rules of Civil Procedure) US v. Gamble (ND IL unpub 12/3/96); (does not comply with Fed Rules and is of no legal force or effect) US v. Lyman (D Utah unpub 6/3/96); (county clerk ordered to remove such document from files or bulletin board) US v. Engles (ND Iowa unpub 9/6/96) 78 AFTR2d 6550, 97 USTC para 50215; (evidently being churned out by the American Jural Society) US v. J.F. Heard (ND WV 1996) 952 F.Supp 329; Fed Rule of Civil Procedure 9 sets forth the rules for pleading fraud (mostly as a defense to a contract suit) but this is not to be used as a pretext for refusing court papers or pleadings or otherwise obstructing the proceedings.  US v. G.D. Bell (ED Cal unpub 4/30/97) 79 AFTR2d 2784 recons.den 27 F.Supp.2d 1191;  filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants and then refused to respond to motions, orders, or to questions asked in court  ("Jones responded to virtually every piece of correspondence in the case with a notice of refusal for fraud.  The plaintiff chose this forum yet he is unwilling to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or to participate in a meaningful way in the proceedings.  Time and agin the plaintiff's pleadings reflect a belief he can apply his own rules ... in this court.")  R. Jones v. Watson (ND Ohio unpub 2/4/97); enjoined from filing any more suits or other proceedings on any pretext against any fed judges or any other fed employees without this court's permission and from advising or assisting anyone else to file such a suit. Hanson v. Goodwin (WD Wash 1977) 432 F.Supp 853 app.dism (9th Cir unpub 1977); (tax protester who was using a number of apparently incorporated businesses as his alter egos and his co-parties instructed that these business could only submit pleadings via bona fide lawyers and not thru his amateur self)  US v. Klimek (ED Penn 1997) 952 F.Supp 1100; similarly (tax evasion defendant who purported that all his assets belonged to a church was sniffed out because he was the only person who showed up in court on behalf of that church and his pleadings written ostensibly for the church were all in the first person singular) A.W. Morris v. US (ED Mich 1985) 616 F.Supp 246; (not allowed to commence a lawsuit against govt employees by using a substituted service which is not authorized by the federal or state court rules) Salman v. Jameson (D Nev unpub 10/7/94);  (not only challenging the IRC but demanding twenty-one million dollars damages for each of several plaintiffs) Graber v. US (SD Iowa 1997) 993 F.Supp 685;  

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 (attempting to impose UCC provisions about "presentment", refusal, demur, default, etc to correspondence with the IRS; "the UCC would be inapplicable because the operation of the IRS is a sovereign function and note a commercial operation....the Uniform Commercial Code ... is clearly not applicable to the IRS's summonses") Holling v. US (ED Mich unpub 11/27/95) 76 AFTR2d 6968, magistrate's recommendation (ED Mich unpub 2/6/96) 77 AFTR2d 1052, sanctions imposed (Ed Mich 5/17/96) 934 F.Supp 251; similarly US v.  Andra (D Ida 1996) 923 F.Supp  157; similarly US v. Van Skiver (D Kan unpub 12/13/90) 71A AFTR2d 4063, 91 USTC para 50017 aff'd US v. Kettler [& Van Skiver](10th Cir unpub 6/3/91) 934 F2d 326(t); (held that IRS operations are not "commercial" nor are IRS documents or court documents "commercial paper" and therefore UCC provisions cannot be applied to them) US v.  Trowbridge (D. Ida unpub 9/13/93) aff'd (9th Cir 12/13/94) 43 F3d 1480(t); similarly Wesselman v. CIR (2/28/96) TC Memo 1996-85; ditto (perp tried to impose UCC provisions about accord & satisfaction by partial payment upon debt to IRS; "However, the US Govt, as a sovereign, is not bound by such State statutes as the UCC.") Bear v. CIR (12/3/92) TC Memo 1992-690 aff'd (9th Cir 3/24/94) 19 F3d 26(t), 73 AFTR2d 1611; ditto US v.  Stoecklin (MD Fla 1994) 848 F.Supp 1521; similarly Brandt v. CIR (9/7/93) TC Memo 1993-411; similarly (IRS tax liens are not "commercial" and therefore not subject to UCC requirements but are covered by the Uniform Federal Tax Lien Registration Act, adopted by about 40 states) In re Bertelt (Bankr.  MD Fla 1996) 206 Bankr.Rptr 579; similarly Watts v.  IRS (D NJ 1996) 925 F.Supp 271; similarly (court papers issued in an IRS case are not commercial or negotiable instruments and the use of UCC formulae is inapplicable) US v.  Andra (D Ida 1996) 923 F.Supp 157; (similarly the use by municipal police and courts of US currency does not turn the operations of the traffic court into a "commercial" activity subject to the UCC nor does it turn a traffic case into a federal case) Kimmell v. Leoffler (Tex.App 1990) 791 SW2d 648; (similarly, UCC is not applicable to traffic court; "First, the UCC is not applicable to criminal proceedings. .... Moreover, the regulation of speed limits is specifically authorized under [the State highway laws].") Barcroft v.  State (Tex.App 1994) 881 SW2d 838; ditto (UCC does not apply to offenses of driving without a license, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without insurance, carrying a concealed weapon) Theo.  Jones v.  City of Little Rock (1993) 314 Ark 383, 862 SW2d 273 cert.den 512 US 1237; (perp tried to require UCC formalities for traffic court case.  "There is no way to review this argument.  There is no way to understand this argument.  More importantly, there is no way that this argument relates to the proceedings...") City of Kansas City v. Hayward (Mo.App 1997) 954 SW2d 399; (when scofflaw refused to participate in traffic court  because it would not apply UCC provisions to his drunk driving case, the court entered a Not Guilty plea for him and and proceeded as if he were activing pro se, he eventually got the conviction overturned but it was a lot of trouble for him and he probably didn't do any better on retrial) State v. Bruch (So.Dak 1997) 565 NW2d 7898;  (sent back numerous parking tickets marked "refused for cause without dishonor" and was thereafter surprised when the Highway Patrol towed his truck away) Fenili v. Calif. Dept of Motor Vehicles (ND Cal unpub 6/16/98);   (perp demanded that court invoke the War Powers Act to prevent the IRS from operating, and wanted IRS employees "deported" as foreign agents) Green v. Winkler (SD Fla unpub 12/5/96) 78 AFTR2d 7630;  (perp tried to bring in Latin teacher to testify that the words of the Sixteenth Amendment meant something exotic); Rowlee v. CIR (6/15/83) 80 TC 1111; (in litigation filed pleadings titled "Asseveration" as if this was a proper procedure) United States Govt v.  "People of the United States" [J.A. Course] (ND IL unpub 7/8/87) 87 USTC para 9553, 60 AFTR2d 5479; Vos v. Boyle (WD Mich unpub 4/11/95); J. Napier v. Jonas (WD Mich unpub 2/10/95); Pottorf v. Bryan (D Kan unpub 5/18/87); Huebner v. US (D Ariz 1990) 731 F.Supp 1441; US v. Genger (9th Cir unpub 3/21/88) 842 F2d 1295(t);   -- or filed such an "Asseveration" with the county registrar or another govt office.  Texas Atty-Gen Letter Op. 98-16 (3/13/98);  In re Hovind (Bankr.  ND Fla 1996) 197 Bankr.Rptr 157;  -- even though an "asseveration" is merely an "allegation" not made under oath and therefore of little legal weight.  Vos v. Boyle (WD Mich unpub 4/11/95); J. Napier v. Jonas (WD Mich unpub 2/10/95); Huebner v. US (D Ariz 1990) 731 F.Supp 1441; (county recorders instructed not to accept this document for filing) Texas Atty-Gen Letter Op. 98-16 (3/13/98);     (tried to claim to be "civilly dead" and thereby immune from prosecution) US v. Verlin (D Kan 1997) 979 F.Supp 1334; (tried to insist that traffic policemen must be "elected officials" to give out tickets or else his right to a "republican form of govt" was violated) Endsley v. State (1987) 184 Ga.App 797, 363 SE2d 1; bringing a "class action" against the US Supreme Court, "Janice" Reno, the foreman of the fed grand jury, the ABA, et al, demanding "a full investigation of the federal govt" because this nitwit’s attempt to get backpay from a former employer was unsuccessful.  Hotchkiss v.  Supreme Court of the US (9th Cir unpub 8/28/97) 122 F3d 1071(t) cert.den 522 US 1149; (suing the local Unitarian Church and its pastor as well as NASA, alleging an enormous conspiracy whereby the Unitarian congregants are praying for the arrival of flying saucers which will abduct and torture earthlings) Khan v.  Unitarian Church of Kensington (ND Cal unpub 10/26/94); (sued a federal judge alleging a govt cover-up of flying saucer crashes) US v. Barker (SD Ga 1998) 182 FRD 661; (sued former Pres. Carter, current Pres. Clinton and never-president Perot and others alleging that Carter is Clinton's biological father and that Clinton and Perot together are responsible for the deaths of over ten million black women in secret concentration camps, for which the plaintiff wanted only 5.6 Billion dollars in compensatory and punitive damages and an accounting of every black woman born in the US since 1940, as well as an end to NASA's cyborg conspiracy) T.S. Tyler v. Carter et al (SDNY 1993) 151 FRD 537;  (crank's adherence to the views of the John Birch Society and of a Trilateral Commission plot to take over his town, and that "the United States Constitution gave him the right to shoot and kill anyone trespassing on his land", while evidence of serious psychosis, was not indicative of insanity sufficient to excuse him for killing a policeman).  State v.  Ulm (Minn.Supm  1982) 326 NW2d 159; (mountebanks convicted in lengthy trial in Wyoming federal court of numerous frauds arising from their scam of selling "investments" whereby suckers paid for the privilege of supposedly filching from an enormous - $157 Trillion - bank account held jointly by the Mafia, CIA, Illuminati and the Vatican, and well over a million dollars was extracted from more than 3000 victims, some of whom were understandably reluctant to come forward) US v.  McAleer (10th Cir 1998) 138 F3d 852 cert.den 119 S.Ct 132-133; [by the way, in a criminal prosecution the defendant successfully established his insanity plea, one important bit of evidence being his belief that the Illuminati controlled the US, England, and some other countries, and were in turn controlled by the Rothschild family, and that the Rockefeller family controlled Russia, China, and some other countries. State v. Jeppesen (1989) 55 Wash.App 231, 776 P2d 1372 revw.den 113 Wash.2d 1024, 782 P2d 1070];  (it is often claimed, in militia-type literature including magazines and internet, that the Civil War, or the War Between the States, never ended, and therefore the state of war and an attendant state of martial law still exists, -  this is demonstrably false, as the Civil War was officially declared ended by a Proclamation by Pres. Andrew Johnson on 20 August 1866 [14 Stat 814], and this proclamation was treated as dispositive in various Acts of Congress, as in McElrath v. US (1880) 102 US (12 Otto) 426 at 438);  

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an unscientific note about "unconstitutional" laws:  Quite a bit of militia/scofflaw propaganda quotes court decisions, or sometimes from a legal encyclopedia called American Jurisprudence (Second), to the effect that an unconstitutional law is unenforceable and nobody can be punished for violating an unconstitutional law.  This is, of course, a true statement of constitutional law.  (Oddly enough, all the propaganda that quotes this from American Jurisprudence (Second) do so from an obsolete edition; the same statements appear in the current edition at 16 Am.Jur.2d "Constitutional Law" sec. 203 (1998).)  This legal principle is trotted out to persuade people not to obey certain laws, such as tax or traffic laws, but the propagandists conveniently overlook a closely related legal principle: The courts will always presume that a law is a valid; US v. Harris (1883) 106 US 629 at 635; Fletcher v. Peck (1810) 10 US (6 Cranch) 87 at 128;  and the burden of proving its unconstitutionality (or the invalidity of its adoption)  rests entirely on the litigant who is challenging the law; Brown v. Maryland (1827) 25 US (12 Wheat.) 419 at 436; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. v. Tompkins (1900) 176 US 167 at 173; and many many other places; and this principle is stated in the very same volume of Am.Jur.2d at sec. 166.   The person who tries to deny the validity of a law takes on the entire burden of proving that the law is invalid, and if he fails to make that proof then he also takes on all the penalties for disobeying that law.  Occasionally it has been indicated that a good faith doubt about the meaning or validity of a law is enough of an excuse to lighten the actual punishment (especially if the law is new and confusing) but a court is unlikely to see good faith when such an excuse is attempted involving such long-established and long-upheld laws such as taxation or traffic laws.

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