Posts Tagged ‘history’

Liberty or Laws – Who Are the Enemy? – The Government?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Liberty or Laws?

Who Are the Enemy?

The Government?

wrinkled-declaration

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 8, 2016

But when long trains of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide for new guards for their future security.

Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776

 

This revised version of Sons of Liberty #14, first published on August 22, 1995, is focused on two of the forms of dissolution of government that John Locke wrote of in his Second Treatise of Government, Chapter 19. Those forms, the second and third, are the ones that are quite demonstrable in the current presidential election, and are the most subversive form of dissolution.

Governments can be dissolved by a number of means. What used to be the most common was forceful encroachment by a conquering army. The effect was dissolution of the government and subsequent dissolution of the society, for every nation is composed of both government and society. Generally, under these circumstances, society was disrupted and scattered to the winds. This form of dissolution has not existed for quite some time.

Another is when an enemy dissolves government, and replaces that government with a government of their own choosing. The result, in this instance, is dissolution of government by non-violent means, and subsequent dissolution of the society, which is replaced, through a slow transitional process, by a society unlike the one that was the source of the original government.

We must not assume, in this circumstance, that the dissolution of government will, necessarily, take a forceful effort. The likelihood, in modern times, is that the dissolution of government, and subsequent dissolution of society will go unnoticed until history is revised and the transition is lost from existence, without a notice of its demise. Unless, of course, the efforts to dissolve the government and society is recognized in sufficient time to cast out the encroachers and restore both the society and the government.

If the form of government within a nation has any form of representative capacity, the means by which dissolution may occur will take one of three forms. First, the executive may begin to arbitrarily impose his will on the elected representatives and the people. Slowly the rule of law deviates from its original intent, and the dissolution process slowly occurs.

Second, by delivery of the people to the influence of a foreign power. Eventually, the legislative body finds themselves subjected to a set of rules not of their making, but to which they must adhere. Again, results in the demise of the government, as was originally intended, and the society as it becomes subject to that foreign power.

Third, when the trust bestowed upon the Legislature is betrayed, by whatever means, these same results of dissolution will occur. That trust, generally in the form of a constitution, forms a set of rules by which the government is empowered with the belief that it will abide by such contract. Faith is necessary because there is a need to pass power to government so that it can conduct its business. When that power is directed in violation of the trust, ultimately it will be used to dissolve the society. The question here is, is the government dissolved as well?

Governments, by the nature of its legislative authority, are created by, and subject to, the will of the people. They are creatures of the will of the people, and their purpose for existence is only to administer the rights of the people, to the extent delegated, for the preservation of property and the protection of the rights of the people.

There is no other purpose for government whose authority is of the people,
than the preservation and protection of the People’s rights and property.

. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 35 – From the Law Giver: “the law as I give it to you!”

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 35
From the Law Giver: “the law as I give it to you!”

jury-05

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 25, 2016

Having obtained a copy of the Jury Instructions, as given to the jury in the U. S. v. Ammon Bundy, et al, by Judge Anna Brown.  I had sought them, as I was curious as to whether the instructions, at least, conform to the laws.  In Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute, an example of what is referred to as “Pattern Jury Instructions”, and how the wording of the instructions is contrary to the wording of the Statute.  So, let’s delve into Anna Brown’s mental state and cognitive abilities in advising the jury on the “letter of the law”.  (A PDF format of the Jury Instructions.  References will be to {page} number.)

What is the Law?

Regarding the obligation of the jury, with regard to their deliberations, on {4}, she says:

“Upon your return to the jury room, it is your duty to weigh and to evaluate all of the evidence calmly and dispassionately and, in that process, to decide what the facts are.  To the facts as you find them, you must apply the law as I give it to you, whether you agree with the law or not, which is just as you promised to do in the Oath that you took at the beginning of the case.”

John Peter Zenger was tried in a New York court, in 1735.  He had violated the written law on sedition by an article he had printed.  Though in violation of the working of the law, the jury acquitted him, and in so doing, vacated the law.

Later, when the Constitution was written, the jury’s action in that trial provided an understanding that the People were the final arbiters of the laws enacted by Congress, as the colonists did with regard to Crown written laws.

Now, I do not intend to discuss FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association), though I would suggest that you would find them a source for what was intended to be the role of a jury in our justice system.  I am going to provide an historical context as to what “jury” meant in the age of the Founders, and what one State did to assure that the original intent would be adhered to.

Maryland ratified their Constitution on November 11, 1776.  From that Documents Declaration of Rights, we find:

III. That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England, and the trial by Jury, according that law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes, as existed at the time of their first emigration, and which, by experience, have been found applicable to their local and other circumstances

XVII. That every freeman, for any injury done him in his person or property, ought to have remedy, by the course of the law of the land, and ought to have justice and right freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the law of the land.

XIX. That, in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the indictment or charge in due time (if required) to prepare for his defence; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses, for and against him, on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty.

Now, those are the only references to juries, and I will suggest that it was understood by everyone, in all of the colonies, that the jury could judge both facts and law.  To support this, we also find that the People are the ultimate authority under that Constitution.

I. That all government of right originates from the people, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole.

II. That the people of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof.

But, I wouldn’t want you to take my word for it, so let’s look at their 1867 Constitution.  This was ratified after the chaos and turmoil created by the Civil War.  Apparently, concerns over the acceptance of the past understanding of both the jury process and the authority of the People, we find these changes in the new Constitution, ratified on September 18, 1867.  Again, from the Declaration of Rights:

Article 1.  That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

So, they have the right (not the Legislature) to alter or reform.  However, it does not say how that would be accomplished.

So, since the power resides with the People, they have provided, and reinstituted, a means by which those laws enacted by the legislature can be judged by the people.

Art. 23. In the trial of all criminal cases, the Jury shall be the Judges of Law, as well as of fact, except that the Court may pass upon the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction.

For a final affirmation of what was intended, and readily understood, back in 1852, we have an “Essay on Trial by Jury“, by Lysander Spooner.  We find Spooner’s explanation of the right to judge the laws in Chapter I, Section I (page 4 of the PDF.):

“FOR more than six hundred years that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.”

He goes into a greater explanation, though I believe that this is sufficient for our purposes.  Unfortunately, today, the Rules being used by the Court allow the Judge to deny that which is in the Constitution, by the intent of the Founders, and clearly what was understood to be the right of the jury, without question.

However, as we see by the instructions, the Rules and the words of Judge Anna Brown obviously circumvent the intent of the Constitution.  And, isn’t that what this trial is about?

Later, on {4}, she says:

“Because you must base your verdicts only on the evidence and on the Court’s instructions, it remains essential that you not be exposed to any information about the case or to the issues it involves beyond what has been received here in open court in your presence and the presence of the parties.”

She reaffirms that her “instructions” must be obeyed, and, by the way, don’t think very hard.  I’ll do that for you”.

Government’s Use of Informants

. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 34 – “shall enjoy the right… to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor”

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 34
“shall enjoy the right… to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor

emoticon01

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 17, 2016

As I watch these events unfold, I often compare them to the Constitution, as it is written — so that any man could understand it. But, when I try to fit the puzzle pieces into that image of what our Founding Fathers envisioned for us, they just don’t seem to fit.

The had decades of experience of the British government, whether Parliament or the Ministers, slowly encroaching upon their historical rights. So, when it came time to leave the Articles of Confederation behind, and to form a new limited government under the Constitution, they reflected on those encroachments, and both within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, provided such limitations as they saw fit. Their purpose was to exclude any governmental authority that could subordinate those rights.

In this instance, the amendment that we should concern ourselves with is the Sixth. It reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused [not defendant] shall enjoy the right… to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Putting that aside for a moment, we need to consider a couple of phrases that are probably well recognized, with regard to legal proceedings. First is “preponderance of evidence“, which is most often associated with civil actions, where there is not a crime, rather, a determination of which side is most likely to be correct in their claims.

Next is “beyond a reasonable doubt“. Now, this is only applicable to criminal cases and requires that the jury is unanimous in their determination of the guilt of the accused party. However, this doesn’t mean that when a criminal trial has “facts” that are in question, that the preponderance method shouldn’t be applied.

Let’s look at it this way. Suppose Witness “A” says that the Accused did something, and then Witness “B” says that they did not. Both are supposed to be relying on their personal knowledge, though there is always the question of the interpretation of an observation. Now, with both “A” and “B” providing conflicting “facts”, which shall the jury accept as proof?  Suppose, however, that there were a number of other observers to those facts. Let’s say that we have Witnesses “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, & “G”. Wouldn’t their testimony provide the jury the means to more readily make a determination as to what appears to be the correct “fact”?

. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 30
Officer?   What Officer?

bank-robber

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 26, 2016

In the Indictments, both in Oregon and Nevada, there is one Count that raises some serious questions.  The exact wording, to the extent of understanding the charges being made, is as follows:

For Oregon:

COUNT 1

(Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States)

(18 u.s.c. § 372)

On or about November 5, 2015, and continuing through February 12, 2016, in the District of Oregon, defendants…

It then goes on to list the Defendants and makes some rather general accusations, WITHOUT naming “Officers” or, how they were impeded.

Next, we look to the Nevada Indictment:

COUNT TWO

Conspiracy to Impede or Injure a Federal Officer

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 372)

Then, they go into a narrative, missing, of course, any named “Officers”, or any specific acts that constitute impeding.

The statute cited reads:

18 U.S.C. § 372 : US Code – Section 372: Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

Now, our concern, as much as with the Indictments lacking specificity, is the Statute, itself.  So, let’s first trace the history of the Statute, and then we will look into just who an “Officer” might be.

. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 29 – Public Lands – Part 2 – The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 29
Public Lands – Part 2
The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

harney-county-resource-centera-cropped

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 21, 2016

In a previous article, “It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction“, we looked at the constitutional aspect of jurisdiction.  Many will simply ignore that aspect, since they believe that the government is not bound by the Constitution, anymore.  So, we must wonder whether those who enacted laws, more recently, regarding jurisdiction, especially on lands that were obtained for certain purposes, were as doubtful of the intent of the Constitution.

The original buildings on the Refuge were built during the Great Depression under one of the various work programs intended to provide employment.  The land that they were built on was acquired by the government on February 18, 1935.  The remainder of the government-owned land in Section 35, as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was expanded, was acquired on November 22, 1948.

Shortly after the first parcel was acquired, on April 27, 1935, Congress enacted “AN ACT To provide for the protection of land resources against soil erosion, and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 163.  Those “other purposes did include uses anticipated “to preserve public lands and relieve unemployment“.  That Act applied:

(a) On lands owned or controlled by the United States or any of its agencies, with the cooperation of the agency having jurisdiction thereof; and
(b) On any other lands, upon obtaining proper consent or the necessary rights or interests in such lands.

So, it was recognized that the federal government need not have jurisdiction, but more about why, later.

The benefits of the Act would be extended where local government would extend “reasonable safeguards for the enforcement of State and local laws imposing suitable permanent restrictions on the use of such lands…”

So, we see no effort to presume prior jurisdiction, to make all needful rules and regulations, as per Article IX, § 3, cl. 2, or to presume a necessity to require the State to cede the lands to the federal government, as per Article I, § 8, cl. 17, since there were no “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”.

Then, on June 29, 1936, Congress went even further in abiding by the Constitution by clarifying their position on “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” (I:8:17), with “AN ACT To waive any exclusive jurisdiction over premises of resettlement or rural-rehabilitation projects…; and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 2035.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the acquisition by the United States of any real property heretofore or hereafter acquired for any resettlement project or any rural-rehabilitation project for resettlement purposes heretofore or hereafter constructed with funds allotted or transferred to the Resettlement Administration pursuant to the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, or any other law, shall not be held to deprive any State or political subdivision thereof of its civil and criminal jurisdiction in and over such property, or to impair the civil rights under the local law of the tenants or inhabitants on such property ; and insofar as any such jurisdiction has been taken away from any such State or subdivision, or any such rights have been impaired, jurisdiction over any such property is hereby ceded back to such State or subdivision.

So, not only did they relinquish all “civil or criminal jurisdiction“, but they ceded back any jurisdiction that had been taken away from any State or subdivision.  Now the record had been set straight, in accordance with the Constitution.

. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 27 – Public Lands – Part 1 – It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 27
Public Lands – Part 1
It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction

caution-yellow-tape

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 13, 2016

Thomas Jefferson had proposed an ordinance to deal with the lands won along with independence from Britain in 1784, and not belonging to any State, any lands that might be relinquished when considered to have been granted by Royal Charter.  The Continental Congress ratified the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 on July 13, 1787.  The First Congress under the newly ratified Constitution, which met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, then reaffirmed that same ordinance.  This slightly revised version reaffirmed on July 13, 1789, and is known as the Northwest Ordinance of 1789.

The Fourth Article, unchanged in the two versions, reads, in part:

Article the Fourth.  The said territory, and the States which may be formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this Confederacy of the United States of America…  The legislatures of those districts or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.  No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and, in no case, shall nonresident proprietors be taxed higher than residents.

Note that “primary disposal” seems to be the objective of holding the land.  That disposal would serve two very significant purposes in the creation of a nation that would grow from those first thirteen states.  First, it would raise revenue for the payment of the debt incurred because of the War of Independence, and it continued to provide revenue for the fledgling nation.

Second, it would provide land for people to populate the barren regions, first, across the Allegheny Mountains, then on to the Mississippi River, next to the Rocky Mountains, and finally to the Pacific Ocean.  With each of these principal movements, as those people moved westward, the resources of the most resource rich country in the world would develop into the greatest nation in the world.

. (more…)

Liberty or Laws – Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Liberty or Laws?

Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

 

latino-polling-placeGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 6, 2016

During this current election cycle, a matter has constantly recurred, that of the federal government mandating, primarily through the District and Circuit Courts, who can vote and what requirements, if any, are necessary to do so.

To understand what has gone wrong, we will have to look to the Constitution, what was required to vote in national elections in the past, and how the federal government has supplanted the States regarding the authority over who may vote.  There is also concern about the Electoral College, so we need to see what was intended when the Constitution was written.  It is necessary to follow this history of voting to understand just how Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution has become moot.  The pertinent part of that Article reads:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…

So, let’s begin with references to voting and elections in the Constitution.  In Article I (Legislative Branch), we find:

Section 2 — The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Well, clearly, it is the prerogative of the State to determine what “Qualifications [are] requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.”  The federal then yields to the state’s authority concerning who is qualified to vote in federal elections.  The use of the term “Electors”, in this section, is what most would simply call “voters”.  They elect the Representatives, but their qualifications are based upon the qualifications that State has set for its most “numerous Branch.”  There is no such condition for the Senate, like the Senators, prior to the 17th Amendment, were chosen by the state legislatures.

Next, we see that the Constitution leaves a degree of discretion to the federal government, though quite limited:

Section 4 — The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

It says that “Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations…”, though since it refers to itself, when it says “alter such regulation”, it can only refer to “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections…”  Otherwise, the previous (Section 2) provision would be without substance.  The same power or authority cannot be granted to two different parties, the federal government and the State governments.  That would be contrary to any practical possibility that both would agree to any acceptable determination of who could vote, especially if one had the guarantee of a Republican Form of Government.  As we will see, the states that existed in 1874 had diverse requirements.  There was some commonality, but the federal government could only intervene to assure that such voting was done timely, not done at a place that would limit access to voting, and of the manner (not requirements), such as paper ballots.  At that time (before the Seventeenth Amendment), the state legislatures elected the Senators.

Next, we have:

Section 5 — Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…

Now, there is another grant to the federal government, but only to “Judge… the Elections“.  That, obviously, could only extend to judging the results of the elections, as they cannot be judged before being completed.  This would include Returns.  The Qualifications, of course, is to satisfy the requirements regarding who may serve in the House of Representatives and the Senate, found in Article I. Section 2, clause 2 and Section 3, clause 3.

Initially, Article II (Executive Branch) set forth the method by which the President would be elected:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.  And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.  The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.  But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.  In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President.  But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Now, in the election of the President, the Electors are selected according to the “Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct“.  In the subsequent section on the “Electoral College“, the disparity of this method has become problematic.  However, we can see that the federal government may only “determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes.”

This procedure was changed in 1804 with the ratification of the 12th Amendment.  The Constitution had the second highest vote receiver as Vice-President, and it was determined that the two highest vote getters, running in opposition to each other, would then share the responsibilities of the Executive Branch of Government.  The 12th Amendment changed the voting by the Electors to one vote for President and one vote for Vice-President, rather than, as described above, where they voted for “two Persons.”

The only other amendment to affect the election of the President was ratified in 1961 as the 23rd Amendment; it simply gave Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia, the ability to participate by allowing it to select Electors for the election of the President and Vice-President, just as the States.

. (more…)

The Bundy Affair #14 – “public trial” v. Star Chamber

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The Bundy Affair – #14
public trial” v. Star Chamber

star chamber 01

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 11, 2016

Recently, the Las Vegas Review Journal petitioned the Court to allow access to certain evidence that would be used against the Defendants.  They even asserted that they would have no problem if names were omitted from the documents.  This was filed in response to the government’s Proposed Protective Order, a request that the Court seal and keep from the public some of the discovery materials, certain evidentiary documents, and exhibits that could be used in the trial against the Defendants.  Quite simply, it is all of the evidence acquired by the government in their pursuit of the persecution of 19 people that were involved in the Bundy Ranch Affair, nearly two years before the matter was indicted by a Grand Jury.  The Court has yet to rule on the matter.

Before we proceed, the discovery material would show what the government did, what they acquired, what their practices are, and whether they had subversive agents embedded within the group that afforded protection to the Bundy Ranch in April 2014.

As you follow along in pursuit of the government’s position, and the legal precedence, some of it even distorted perversions regarding the original intent of the Founders, also keep in mind that, historically, spies and entrapment were used against enemies, and spies against foreign governments, but never sent within the population that was supposed to be protected by that government.  For, to do so essentially, makes the people an enemy of the government, or, rather, the government the enemy of the people.

So, let’s look at what the Supreme Court has said, with regard to the Sixth Amendment.

In 1979, the United States Supreme Court, in Gannett Co. v. DePasquale, 443 US 368, addressed whether the press and public could be denied access to the court and evidence in a pre-trial hearing.  Although the decision was based solely (and rightfully) on a pre-trial hearing, the decision of the Court ventured further into the entire concept of the intent and purpose of a “public trial”, as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

The Petitioner, Gannett Co., is a publisher and among others, published USA Today.  Greathouse and Jones were defendants in a state prosecution for second-degree murder, robbery, and grand larceny.  They requested that the public and the press be excluded from the hearing, arguing that the unabated buildup of adverse publicity had jeopardized their ability to receive a fair trial.  The trial judge granted the motion.  The following are excerpts from that decision:

Petitioner [Gannett] then moved to have the closure order set aside but the trial judge, after a hearing, refused to vacate the order or grant petitioner immediate access to the transcript, ruling that the interest of the press and the public was outweighed by the defendants’ right to a fair trial.

The New York Court of Appeals… [held] the exclusion of the press and the public from the pretrial proceeding.

The Constitution does not give petitioner [Gannett] an affirmative right of access to the pretrial proceeding, all the participants in the litigation having agreed that it should be closed to protect the fair-trial rights of the defendants.

Publicity concerning pretrial suppression hearings poses special risks of unfairness because it may influence public opinion against a defendant and inform potential jurors of inculpatory information wholly inadmissible at the actual trial.

The Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a public trial is for the benefit of the defendant alone.  The Constitution nowhere mentions any right of access to a criminal trial on the part of the public.  While there is a strong societal interest in public trials, nevertheless members of the public do not have an enforceable right to a public trial that can be asserted independently of the parties in the litigation.  The adversary system of criminal justice is premised upon the proposition that the public interest is fully protected by the participants in the litigation. (more…)

Independence Day 2016

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Independence Day 2016

You Have Tread On Me lg

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 4, in the year of our Lord, 2016, and of Our Independence, 241

“But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.”

Thus wrote John Adams, to his wife Abigail, on July 3, 1776. The Independence from Britain had been approved the day before he wrote to Abigail, yet the final wording of the Declaration of Independence wasn’t completed and its final form wasn’t approved until July 4, 1776.  John Hancock did sign the document on July 4, though it was many months later when the final signatures were affixed thereto.

Now, 240 years after those men were willing to “pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”, most have lost sight of what their intentions were, what was created from their fortitude, and what so many have died in the cause of, until recently.

Six years ago, I set out to identify what that Declaration would look like, today, should we, once again, cast off the yoke of despotism. I did not refer to it as a declaration of independence, rather, as a Declaration of Dissolution of Government, since we still have a Constitution, and there is no government that we want independence from — only a return to the limitations imposed upon that government by the Constitution that created it.

The grievances that were set forth in that document were as follows: (more…)

Liberty or Laws? – The First Line of Defense

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Liberty or Laws?
The First Line of Defense

2ndAmendment

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
June 17, 2016

As much as many disagree with the Founder’s intent of the Second Amendment, there is little doubt that there were two primary purposes.  The first, of course, was be able to respond if, should the need arise, as had then recently occurred, the government had begun taking their rights.  It was to assure that the People would have an adequate means of defending against those encroachments and complying with the duty set out in the Declaration of Independence:

“But when long trains of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide for new guards for their future security.”

There was a second intent that is, in this day, perhaps a bit more obscure.  However, there was a constant threat, especially in the fringes of the American civilization, of attack by Indians, and on occasion, by foreigners such as the French.  Though most often, fighting such battles was conducted by militia units, armed and equipped by the local government, those who of necessity, to protect life and property, were operating within the capacity of the intent when they acted, as individuals or small groups without the organized structure, were no less militia than the units, or even the standing military force.  There was never a consideration that individuals must rely on the government to afford them and their property protection.

Even during the expansion of the country, especially after the Civil War, military forts were few and far between.  The first line of defense had to be the armed citizenry.  It could be days, weeks, or there might never be a response by the military when there were attacks made on the People.

As the West was settled, the need for the militia and the armed citizenry was diminished.  Since that time, that historical necessity had all but gone away.  By 1903, with the passage of an Act “To promote the efficiency of the militia“, also known as the “Dick Act”, the militias was redefined as the National Guard and the Reserve Militia.  Within that Act, only the National Guard could be called to national service.

That Act did not deny the existence of any right secured by the Second Amendment.  However, it did mandate (shall) that:

“That the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classes—the organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or, District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.”

There you have it: every able-bodied male citizen, is either exempt, in the National Guard, or the Reserve Militia.  The only exclusions were certain government employees and those excluded by the respective state laws.  There is no subsequent mention of the “Reserve Militia”, therefore, it includes those described and only excludes those so described. (more…)