Posts Tagged ‘jurisdiction’

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

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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”?

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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

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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.

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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.

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