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Organic Act of 1871: Connection to Modern "Sovereign Citizen" Movement

Organic Act of 1871: Connection to Modern “Sovereign Citizen” Movement

It’s called the District of Columbia Act of 1871. But I digress. “Sovcit,” or “Sovereign Citizen,” means many things to American citizens, especially within the federal government.

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, passed by Congress, repealed the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown. It established a new territorial government for the District of Columbia. While this territorial government was repealed by Congress in 1874, the legislation was significant as it marked the creation of a single municipal government for the Federal District.

The passage of the Residence Act in 1790 fostered a new federal district to serve as the capital of the United States. This District was formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Notably, the capital territory already included two sizable settlements: the port of Georgetown in Maryland and Alexandria in Virginia.

In 1791, a new capital city was founded east of Georgetown in honor of President George Washington. Shortly after, Congress passed the Organic Act of 1801, which organized the federal territory. The territory east of the Potomac River within the federal District formed the new county of Washington. This county was governed by a levy court consisting of seven to eleven justices of the peace appointed by the president. Additionally, it was governed by Maryland law as of 1801.

According to the Sovereign Citizen’s Handbook, The US went bankrupt under Roosevelt and was taken over by banks to bail us out. Sovereigns believe the Organic Act of 1871 set the stage.

“The UNITED STATES corporation now uses your birth certificate, filed as a registered security with the United States Department of Commerce, as collateral to secure credit from the World Bank, England’s private bank, thus making you liable for the national debt..” (International Bankers Guilty of Mass Bank Fraud.)

So-called “sovcits,” say before this, all Americans were “sovereign citizens.” Of course, there are many people with similar views who do not endorse the opinions of others. According to many legal experts, including me, it is a catch-all word used by the administrative state to define anyone who believes in limited government. Sovcits, like most intelligent people, don’t think the mainstream media, aka for-profit media. So, I am hoping you will appreciate this expert information from a legal history expert and civil rights lawyer.

Listed principal municipal authorities of DC

When I use it here, I am using it as a catch-all, so please don’t hold it against me. Have you ever wondered what the Organic Act of 1871 entails and how it compares to modern sovereign citizen ideas? You’re not alone. Understanding historical law could sometimes seem akin to unwrapping a complex legal puzzle. So, let’s dive deep into the matter and shed light on this iconic legislation and its implications in today’s context. 

“Law doesn’t exist merely to place regulations. It’s there to shape society and reflect its changing needs.”

Police and the Southern Poverty Law Center claim that the “sovereign citizen movement” believes individuals can choose whether or not to subject themselves to governmental laws created after 1871. This invites a vast array of legal issues and potential confabulations.

Exploring the Organic Act of 1871

  • Most of our founding fathers did not want a national debt.
  • When America canceled the Charter of the First National Bank in 1811, this precipitated an economic recession and the War of 1812. According to Sovcits, this was punishment for America refusing to do business according to the wishes of the International Banking House of Rothschild.
  • Congress refused to let the National Bank renew its Charter. It was followed by 4500 British troops burning down the “White House, both Houses of Congress, the War Office, the US State Department, and the Treasury and destroyed the ratification records (signed by 12 US states).”
  • Except for Gen. Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans, the War of 1812 ended in a string of American military disasters.
  • During the war and the post-war recession, the Republican government, under James Madison, re-established a second National Bank of the United States in 1816.
  • In January 9, 1832, President Andrew Jackson vetoed the Bank’s recharter on the grounds that the Bank was unconstitutional and won! Jackson then paid off the national debt, leaving the U.S. with a surplus of $5,000. 
  • 1868: Ultimately, the Fourteenth Amendment and Sixteenth Amendment were deemed legal. President Lincoln was assassinated before ending [unlawful] martial rule by executive order. (Sovereigns say the Republican’s veto-proof 14th Amendment created a “new citizenship” or “status” for expanded D.C. jurisdiction using UNELECTED carpetbaggers and blacks placed in Southern State assemblies by Republicans guilty of treason.)
  • Soon after, Congress allowed the privately run “Federal Reserve” into power. They began printing FIAT currency, and the republic is now over 75 trillion in debt, teetering on a mass financial depression. Anyone who disagrees with its legality is immediately branded as a nut, parroting “conspiracy theories.” Tens of thousands of Americans say it’s no conspiracy theory at all.

Legislation Key Points District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871

  • Repealed the individual charters of Washington and Georgetown
  • Established a new territorial government for the District of Columbia
  • Retained all existing laws relating to the District unless inconsistent with the Act
  • Prompted legislative assembly to enact new laws relevant to restaurants and similar establishments (1872, 1873.)

So Called Sovereign Citizens – Ideology

  • Basically, they argue the Organic Act converted the U.S. into a business (based on municipal corporation terminology)
  • Challenge the validity of Acts by the District’s legislative assembly
  • Debate the conflicting regulations between initial and later legislation in the District
  • Sovereign citizens assert that gold fringes on American flags in courtrooms are evidence of admiralty law in effect. This leads sovereign citizens to believe that U.S. judges and lawyers are agents of a foreign power. This foreign power is typically thought to be the United Kingdom. Another belief they carry is that the word “bar” is an acronym for “British Accreditation Registry.” This is the reason why sovereign citizens challenge our legal system to this day.

Modern Law Perspective

  • Contents legislative assembly acts are valid
  • Sustains the permanency of the District government (1901)
  • Argues Organic Act was implicitly repealed by the Organic Act of 1878

The Organic Act of 1871, officially titled ‘An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia,’ primarily aimed at creating a new municipal government for Washington, D.C. It is significant because this act transformed the municipal government of Washington, D.C., from what was formerly a piece of federal territory into something more like a regular city. 

“An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia” (Organic Act of 1871.)

In stark contrast, the sovereign citizen movement posits a controversial and often misunderstood interpretation of personal freedom and governance. These individuals believe themselves exempt from typical legal constraints, usually wielding this belief as a defense in legal altercations. 

Here are some key points that need clarification: 

  • The Organic Act of 1871 is often invoked by the sovereign citizen movement as proof of government overreach, reclaiming that it replaced the federal government with a corporation. However, statists claim this is a misinterpretation.

A municipal corporation and a private corporation are distinct entities with different purposes, structures, and functions. However, many sovereigns say the Act created a “United States corporation” under a commercial code; extending corporate rule over the American people.

Distinguishing Municipal Corp with Private Sector Corp

  • Municipal Corporation: A municipal corporation is a legal entity created by a state government. Its job is administering specific governmental functions within a defined geographic area, such as a city, town, or village. Municipal corporations can provide essential public services and infrastructure. This includes utilities, public safety, transportation, and sanitation.
  • Private Corporation: A private corporation, on the other hand, is a legal entity formed by individuals or entities to conduct business activities and generate profits. Private corporations produce goods and services in the marketplace.

Ownership and Governance:

  • Municipal Corporation: Municipal corporations are owned and governed by the residents or taxpayers within the jurisdiction they serve. They are typically overseen by elected officials. Typical officials include a mayor, city council, and chief of police. These people make decisions for communities.
  • Private Corporation: Private corporations are owned by shareholders or private individuals who hold ownership interests in the company. They are governed by a board of directors elected by the shareholders. The board makes strategic decisions and oversees management.

Legal Status and Powers:

  • Municipal Corporation: Municipal corporations possess limited sovereignty and governmental powers delegated to them by the state government. They can enact local ordinances, levy taxes, issue bonds. They can also provide public services inside their jurisdiction. However, their powers are subject to state laws and regulations.
  • Private Corporation: Private corporations operate under the legal framework of corporate law and are subject to the laws of the state in which they are incorporated with legal rights and obligations similar to individuals. This includes forming contracts, suing owning property.

Yes, municipal corporations existed in the United States prior to 1871. The concept of municipal incorporation dates back to the colonial period, with the establishment of chartered municipalities in the American colonies. In the 19th century, as cities and towns grew, state governments created municipal corporations to govern urban areas, providing essential residential services.

Understanding the differences, misconceptions, and correlations between these two legal paradigms will not only enlighten your grasp of the American legal system. Still, it could also prove to be helpful in courtroom skirmishes and debates. 

As we dissect it further, this complex dance between legal history and modern sovereign citizen ideas will take more twists and turns.

Let’s delve deeper together!

  • The term ‘municipal corporation,’ present in the Organic Act of 1871, has been seized upon by the sovereign citizen movement as proof of the United States being transformed into a business corporation.
  • Tyler v. Judges of the Court of Registration (179 U.S. 405, 21 S.Ct. 206, 45 L.Ed. 252) is a pertinent legal reference in understanding the Act’s implications.
  • Note that a defendant restaurant keeper once challenged the Act’s legitimacy.
  • Other pertinent cases include Yakus v. United States (321 U.S. 414, 64 S.Ct. 660, 88 L.Ed. 834), Roach v. Van Riswick, MacArthur & M., 11 D.C. 171, and Smith v. Olcott, 19 App.D.C.
  • Legal cases such as Stoutenburgh v. Hennick, Roach v. Van Riswick, and Cooper v. The District of Columbia provide significant insights into the limitations and powers that Congress vested to the legislative assembly of the District.
  • Contrary to a trial court ruling, the widely accepted view is that the Organic Act of 1878 did not implicitly repeal the legislation 1871.
  • The apt evaluation of police regulation in the municipal sense lies in its local relevance.
  • Supreme Court decisions and local appellate court rulings have upheld the viewpoint that local governments have the authority to manage local matters.
  • A discussion exists around the conflict between the Acts of 1872 and 1873 and later regulations in the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 acted as an umbrella governance mechanism, canceling existing town charters and assembling the whole area under a single district government. This marked a significant shift in the jurisdictional arrangement and is a point of active debate amongst law scholars and professionals. 

All laws relating to the District of Columbia that do not conflict with the Organic Act of 1871 were scheduled to remain valid, as stipulated in the Act. This fact forms a significant point of contention and interpretation, particularly about subsequent legislative developments in the District. 

Who has sovereignty in the United States?

As per the Constitution, the sovereignty of the United States rests primarily on the people and the states. However, unique complexities arise when examining the Constitution and the Organic Act of 1871. In the narrative of the Act and its comparison to modern sovereign citizen ideals, the Organic Act’s interpretation and comprehension hold a high degree of significance.

Federal Government Organic Act of 1878

In the progression of the District’s legal landscape, the Organic Act of 1878 brought forth a reorganization of the District Government but did not repeal the laws governing the District established before the Act. Despite a trial court’s upholding of an opposing view, there is an overwhelming consensus amongst legal scholars and practitioners that the 1878 legislation did not implicitly repeal the Organic Act of 1871. 

Thus, in comparing these points of view, it’s crucial to consider the correct interpretation of the act and its implications. 

What does it mean when a country is sovereign?

It implies that the country operates independently, with complete authority over its domestic affairs. It means that the nation is not under the control of any other foreign nation and has full autonomy to determine its laws, regulations, and governance structures. It takes on international obligations of its own volition and can negotiate and sign binding agreements with other nations. 

Essentially, a sovereign nation can control its population, establish its legal framework, regulate its economy, and interact with other sovereign nations on an equal footing. However, the concept of sovereignty is a bit more complex in terms of its practical application. We often find cases where sovereignty becomes conditional or is limited due to international regulations and agreements, global organizations’ rise, and influential nation-states’ influence. Nevertheless, a country retains its ability to make and enforce laws within its borders.

Despite the complexities, deepening your understanding of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 and its roots on modern sovereign citizen thought is essential. The rich tapestry of legal cases, scholarly debate, and historical context surrounding the Act is a valuable foundation for comprehending its intricacies.

Firstly, let’s dive into the legal details of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, a pivotal Act of Congress that forever redefined the governance of the District of Columbia. Erasing the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, the Act established a new territorial government for the whole District. It proclaimed, quite forcefully, that any existing laws relating to the District of Columbia, so long as they didn’t contradict the Act, would remain in full force and effect. 

This Act didn’t just simplify governance by eliminating town charters; it engulfed the entire area under the unifying umbrella of one district government. Perhaps more critically, the Act stated emphatically that the legislative power of the District would extend to ‘all rightful subjects of legislation within the District.’ This was, however, with the clear understanding that the restrictions imposed by the Constitution of the United States would continue to apply. 

What is a state national? 

A state national is a person who is a legal citizen of a particular state within the United States but not a citizen of the United States as a whole. This concept is rooted in the inherent sovereignty of individual states. It coexists with the federal sovereignty of the United States as a nation. State nationals enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded to citizens of their home state. Still, they are technically not entitled to the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship, such as participating in federal elections or holding federal office. Many sovereigns say that are actually governed under the Declaration of Independence, under the laws of the original states before their constitutions were re written to comply with the 14th Amendment.

Modern Definitions vs Historical Origins

However, it’s crucial to understand the origins of the term’ state national’ and how it’s interpreted today, especially in the context of sovereign citizen movements. Historically, state national refers to individuals born or naturalized within a given state pre-Civil War, when state allegiance sometimes precedes national loyalty. 

However, in the modern context, it has been co-opted by the sovereign citizen movement. Today’s sovereign citizens leverage this term to claim immunity from federal laws and taxes. They argue that the federal government lacks jurisdiction over them as they consider themselves bound only by their state’s jurisdiction. 

While this interpretation employs the language of the law, most legal and governmental authorities see it as a distortion of the Constitution and established Constitution statutes, leading to a significant amount of conflict and confusion. 

Debunking Myths

The idea of dual sovereignty — federal and state — is an established part of U.S. jurisprudence. However, the distinction between state nationals and U.S. citizens is not as clear-cut as some believe. Indeed, the 1868 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Thus, it merges the concepts of state and national citizenship contrary to the claims of the sovereign citizen movement.

Let’s leap forward in time and consider the modern sovereign citizen movement. Proponents of this perspective argue that this Act morphed the United States into a business corporation. Their argument springs from the specific terminology within the Act, precisely the term’ municipal corporation.’ However, from a purely legal standpoint, some critics view this interpretation as an oversimplification or misreading of the text. 

Consider seminal cases like Stoutenburgh v. Hennick, Roach v. Van Riswick, and Cooper v. The District of Columbia to appreciate the nuances better. These cases spotlight the limitations and powers of Congress over the legislative assembly of the District. 

Ironically, while the 1871 Act facilitated the streamlined governance of the District, its interpretation isn’t straightforward. Much like the ongoing debates around the Act’s relevance to the sovereign citizen movement, the tension between the Acts of 1872 and 1873 and later regulations within the District of Columbia further crop up inconsistencies. 

So, in summary, while the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, on the surface, merely rearranged the governance of the District, its ripples continue to shape debates in modern legal and civic society. Tens of thousands of sovereigns want nothing to do with the incorporeal Washington District of Columbia, and claim special privileges, convinced they are right.

  1. Bad Communication: Sovereign citizens reject federal, state, and local laws. They subscribe to their interpretations of the law. This makes it difficult to communicate effectively.
  2. Difficulties in court proceedings: Sovereigns employ unconventional legal tactics. They often file voluminous and “frivolous lawsuits.” They are known for filing lots of motions, and other legal documents. These tactics can disrupt court proceedings, forcing lawyers to devote substantial time and resources.
  3. Personal liability for practitioners. Sovereign citizens often engage in so called ‘paper terrorism.’ This includes filing fidelity bond liens and other legal documents against public officials, law enforcement officers, and private individuals. Practitioners who represent or interact with sovereign citizens may become targets of these tactics. This can can cause financial harm or damage to their professional reputation.
  4. Ethical dilemmas when dealing with sovereign citizens: Sovereigns reject the courts’ authority. They also refuse court orders. This places legal practitioners in a difficult position, similar to what happened with Michael Mie and Chille DeCastro. Attorneys must balance the duty to represent clients with the obligation to uphold laws. Courts expect them to honor the integrity of the legal profession.

Finally, lawyers may encounter challenges advising and representing sovereign citizens due to their unique beliefs and behaviors among the American people generally. Sovereigns often refuse to recognize the authority of legal professionals. They may resist or reject their advice and representation. This makes it difficult for practitioners to establish a productive attorney-client relationship or advocate effectively.

There have been many secret, illegal spying programs by the federal government. We now know that the FBI is labeling people who support the Constitution and Second Amendment, are treated as a sovereign citizen, and are considered a potential domestic violent extremist. If you were arrested or threatened by LEO and falsely labeled a sovereign, you should call a lawyer right away.