Thursday, October 12, 2006

The right to petition

Last week, Bob Schulz and We the People Foundation argued their landmark case in front of the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. This landmark case is the case for the right to petition.

The right to petition, found in the 1st Amendment, reads in full: "Congress shall make no law...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." It is the only right that confronts the people with their government directly. WTP have 4 specific petitions: the federal income tax petition, the money and banking petition, the war powers petition, and the privacy petition. But in 217 years when we first operated under the Constitution, there is no court case which gives the word "petition" its definition. It will definitely go to the Supreme Court after this trial.

The people argued two things. Within the meaning of the Constitution and the 1st Amendment, the government must respond when given petitions for a "redress of grievances", and if the government doesn't respond, the people have the right to enforce by withholding their money until the government finally responds to the people's petitions.

However, the district court ruled otherwise. As you may remember, Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the government doesn't have to answer, respond, or listen to the people's petitions, a right listed in the 1st Amendment. Judge Sullivan was featured in a 15-minute promo for America: Freedom To Fascism [push play].

As WTP said, it is impossible to know what the appeals court will decide. But, the organization will issue an educational guess. The WTP states:

First, we believe the Court will issue an explicit finding that the defense of "sovereign immunity" is no jurisdictional bar to suits asserting constitutional claims. We believe we have established this fundamental constitutional principle beyond question in this case, and that only such an explicit finding will adequately deter the Justice Department from renewing that defense in the future.

Given that the well-entrenched doctrine of sovereign immunity has, to date barred many lawsuits against the Government, this judicial clarification in itself, could be of extraordinary significance for the Law and those that seek redress where constitutional injuries have been inflicted.

Second, we believe the Court will define the word "Petition" as found in the First Amendment. Only the Court can define the meaning of the word. We believe we have provided the Court with a sufficient context of historical and constitutional background so it can properly declare the contours of the Right as it was intended by our Founders.

Third, we believe the Court will rule that the constitutional guarantee of the Right to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances includes the Right to a Response from the Government, i.e., that the government is obligated to respond to our Petitions for Redress of Grievances, which the Court will hold are Petitions for Redress.

Fourth, we believe the Court may hesitate on ruling that the constitutional guarantee of the Right to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances includes the Right of Enforcement should the Government fail to respond. During questioning, Chief Judge [Douglas] Ginsburg expressed a concern over the "fisc" (public treasury). Therefore, despite the compelling evidence, the Court may leave for the United States Supreme Court, on appeal, to decide the question of whether we have the Right to retain our money if the Government refuses to respond to our Petitions for Redress.

I hope the people will be victorious. However, whether the judges sides with the government or the people, this case is headed to the Supreme Court.

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