Declaration of Nonauthority

We the People, in Congress assembled, and sitting as an informal court of review on numerous petitions for what are essentially writs of quo warranto, and other prerogative writs, find that the following demands for proof of authority were duly submitted, that proof of authority was refused, and that the official courts failed to properly rule on such refusal, to find that the officials petitioned lacked authority. Therefore, we declare those courts derelict in their duty, and that such officials lack authority for the actions challenged; therefore, we call on all loyal Americans to refuse to cooperate in any way with such illegitimate actions, regardless of personal consequences. Specifically, we find United States officials have no authority:

  1. We the People v. United States, Case No. 04CV01211
    1. To exercise any authority that has been challenged by the functional equivalent of a writ of quo warranto without proving that authority by a logical chain of derivation from provisions of the Constitution;
    2. To treat wages or other compensation for labor as "income" as it was understood by the framers and ratifiers of the alleged income tax amendment of 1913;
    3. To treat the income tax amendment as actually ratified by 3/4 of the states, and therefore to levy and collect direct taxes without apportionment;
    4. To require individuals to file reports on their wages or other compensation for labor;
    5. To require individuals to pay taxes on their wages or other compensation for labor;
    6. To require employers to withhold taxes on their employees' wages or other compensation for labor;
    7. To administratively seize, without court order or due process, wages, salary, or other property, without proof of claim, or to punish, oppress, or retaliate against protesters;
    8. To intimidate or subvert judges, prosecutors, defense counsels, or jurors to induce unjust convictions;
    9. To coerce and oppress persons and their publications, and improperly influence private media, presenting or threatening to present, evidence and argument that questions the authority of officials and agents;
    10. To criminally prosecute any person without basing the charge on a statute presented in court and proving it constitutional;
    11. To file reports or pay taxes on gifts or inheritances, which are not "income";
    12. To seek sanctions on or disbarment of attorneys for making legal arguments that challenge the authority of charges or the activities of official or agents;
    13. To criminally prosecute any person for failure to pay any tax when such failure is committed outside territory under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Congress;[1]
    14. To criminally prosecute any person for fraud committed outside territory under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Congress;
  2. We the People v. United States, Case No. 07-681
    1. To take any warlike action under War Powers Resolution 50 U.S.C. ยง1541 et.seq., which is not equivalent to, and does not satisfy, the constitutional requirement for a congressional declaration of war, or letters of marque and reprisal;
    2. To have invaded, without a congressional declaration of war, the nations of Kuwait and Iraq in 1990-91 and Iraq in 2003;
    3. To have engaged in military hostilities, without a congressional declaration of war, in and about the nations of the former Yugoslavia in the 1999 timeframe;
    4. To have engaged in military hostilities, without a congressional declaration of war, in and about the nation of Afghanistan beginning in 2001 and continuing to this day;
  3. We the People v. United States, (Recent)
    1. To prosecute or punish any person under the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, or under any other acts which restrict who may possess firearms or under what conditions, encoded in 18 USC Chapters 39, 40, and 44, as an infringement of the right to keep and bear arms;
    2. To otherwise infringe in any way on the right of individuals to acquire arms, ammunition, and the tools of militia, through regulation or taxation, other than to enhance their effectiveness as militia;
  4. We the People v. United States, (Recent)
    1. To make federal reserve notes legal tender on state territory;
    2. To confer a privileged status on a quasi-private "Federal Reserve System" to regulate the money supply and collect interest on the debts of the United States;
  5. We the People v. United States, (Recent)
    1. To administratively designate a U.S. citizen as a "suspected terrorist" or "material witness" and deny his due process rights, such as by indefinitely detaining him without the right to a speedy jury trial;
    2. To deny or impede access of detainees to counsel;
    3. To deny or impede accused of the right to confront witnesses against them;
    4. To criminally prosecute any person for "terrorism" for acts not included in the constitutional meaning of "piracy" or "offenses against the law of nations" as originally meant and understood;
    5. To conduct searches of persons and their private spaces without presenting a proper warrant, on probable cause, issued by a court, as soon as possible;
    6. To conduct secret military tribunals of accused suspects;
    7. To suspend or impede the right to a writ of habeas corpus or a prompt hearing on the merits thereof;
  6. We the People v. United States, (Recent)
    1. To neglect their duty to defend the country from foreign invasion, specifically by aliens who cross the borders illegally or overstay their visas;
    2. To impede or penalize private citizens who attempt to enforce immigration laws as volunteers;
    3. To coerce the use of a national identification system that would enable central agencies to control our lives, rather than use an enhanced form of the traditional decentralized notary system;
  7. We the People v. United States, (Recent)
    1. To neglect their duty to maintain necessary separation of the government of the United States from that of other nations, to maintain the constitutional sovereignty of all nations;
    2. To enforce treaties as though they were amendments to the Constitution for the United States;
    3. To enter into "executive agreements" that are enforced like treaties but without the consent of 2/3 of the Senate;
  8. Bennis v. Michigan, 517 U.S. 1163 (1996)
    1. To forfeit property used in a crime belonging to an innocent third party;
  9. Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Assn. v. de la Cuesta, 458 U.S. 141 (1982)
    1. To enforce a rule or regulation to supersede a U.S. or state statute;
  10. Schlesinger v. Reservists Com. to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208 (1974)
    1. To deny judicial standing to a person to enforce a provision of the Constitution on the grounds his injury is shared by all members of the public;
  11. Colgrove v. Battin, 413 U.S. 149 (1973)
    1. To allow a civil jury consisting of less than twelve;
  12. Davis v. U.S., 411 U.S. 233 (1973)
    1. To promulgate rules of judicial procedure by the Supreme Court that supersede conflicting constitutional statutes;
  13. Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972)
    1. To allow a nonunanimous jury verdict in a state criminal trial;
  14. Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970)
    1. To allow a jury verdict by less than twelve in a state criminal trial;
  15. U.S. v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966)
    1. To enforce statutes against acts of nonstate actors under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment;
  16. Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964)
    1. To regulate a purely intrastate activity on the basis of the presence of some object that will or has crossed state lines;
  17. Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S., 379 U.S. 241 (1964)
    1. To enforce the Public Accommodations section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against other than state actors;
  18. Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46 (1947)
    1. To allow the decision not to testify to be used against the defendant in a state criminal trial;
  19. Rescue Army v. Municipal Court, 331 U.S. 549 (1947)
    1. To refuse to decide properly framed constitutional questions in reaching a judicial decision;
  20. American Light & Power Co. v. SEC, 329 U.S. 90 (1946)
    1. To regulate securities, by the SEC or other agency, on territory over which Congress does not have exclusive legislative jurisdiction, as interstate commerce;
  21. Associated Press v. U.S., 326 U.S. 1 (1945)
    1. To regulate the gathering and transmission of news as interstate commerce;
  22. U.S. v. South-Eastern Underwriters Assn., 322 U.S. 533 (1944)
    1. To regulate every species of commercial negotiation which will involve sooner or later an act of transportation of persons or things, or the flow of services or power, across state lines, as interstate commerce;
  23. National Broadcasting Co. v. U.S., 319 U.S. 190 (1943)
    1. To regulate broadcasting or broadcasting stations, by the FCC or other agency, as interstate commerce;
  24. Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)
    1. To regulate or criminally prosecute any person for activity that has a "substantial effect" on interstate commerce, without itself consisting of the transfer of title and possession of tangible commodities from a vendor outside a state to a purchaser inside that state;
  25. Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381 (1940)
    1. To regulate mining as interstate commerce;
  26. Oklahoma ex rel. Johnson v. Cook, 304 U.S. 387 (1938)
    1. To deny judicial standing by a state to pursue claims of its citizens against the citizens of another state;
  27. U.S. v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938)
    1. To restrain or prohibit commerce, broadly defined, at any or all times for the welfare of the pubic;
  28. Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937)
    1. To allow double jeopardy in state criminal trials;
  29. Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937)
    1. To use a tax to redistribute wealth;
  30. U.S. v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324 (1937)
    1. To treat an executive agreement with a foreign state as a treaty without consent of 2/3 of the Senate;
  31. NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937)
    1. To regulate manufacturing, or relations between labor and management, as interstate commerce;
  32. U.S. v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)
    1. To exercise any power under the Welfare Clause or treat it as other than a restriction on the power to tax and spend;
  33. Nortz v. U.S., 294 U.S. 317 (1935)
    1. To require the surrender of gold coin and of gold certificates in exchange for other currency not redeemable in gold;
  34. Norman v. Baltimore & O.R. Co., 294 U.S. 240 (1935)
    1. To abrogate the clauses in private contracts calling for payment in gold coin;
  35. Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928)
    1. To convict someone of a crime using illegally acquired evidence;
  36. Brooks v. U.S., 267 U.S. 432 (1925)
    1. To regulate commerce on the basis of how the items might be used;
  37. Frothingham v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 (1923)
    1. To deny judicial standing to any person seeking to privately prosecute a public right for at least injunctive or declaratory relief;
  38. Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 (1923)
    1. To deny judicial standing to a state as parens patriae to represent the constitutional rights of its citizens against the federal government;
  39. U.S. v. Simpson, 252 U.S. 465 (1920)
    1. To regulate every species of communication, every species of transmission of intelligence, whether for commercial purposes or otherwise, as interstate commerce;
  40. Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920)
    1. To regulate migratory birds or other wildlife, under the terms of a treaty, as interstate commerce;
  41. U.S. v. Ferger, 250 U.S. 199 (1919)
    1. To criminally prosecute anyone for fraud, even if that might influence interstate commerce, outside territory under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Congress;
  42. Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366 (1918)
    1. To conscript persons into the military;
  43. Caminetti v. U.S., 242 U.S. 470 (1917)
    1. To forbid the transport across state lines of persons for immoral purposes;
  44. Brushaber v. Union Pacific R. Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916)
    1. To tax the exercise of a right that stems from nature or society, prior to the Constitution;
  45. Houston & Texas Ry. v. U.S., 234 U.S. 342 (1914)
    1. To regulate purely intrastate commerce in order to effectuate the regulation of interstate activities;
  46. U.S. v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506 (1911)
    1. To punish violations of valid administrative regulations as crimes;
  47. Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78 (1908)
    1. To allow state to not protect right of defendant against self-incrimination;
  48. Illinois Central Railroad v. McKendree, 203 U.S. 514 (1906), and Reid v. Colorado, 187 U.S. 137 (1902)
    1. To impose criminal penalties for violations of regulations of interstate commerce;
  49. Swift & Co. v. U.S., 196 U.S. 375 (1905)
    1. To regulate business transactions, and the like, which are antecedent to or subsequent to a move across state lines, as interstate commerce;
  50. McCray v. U.S., 195 U.S. 27 (1904)
    1. To impose a tax for regulatory or prohibitive purposes, or any purpose other than to raise revenue;
  51. Addyston Pipe and Steel Co. v. U.S., 175 U.S. 211 (1899)
    1. To regulate or prohibit business activities in restraint of trade, other than by creating a jurisdiction for private civil action;
  52. Sparf & Hansen v. U.S., 156 U.S. 51,64 (1895)
    1. To prevent jurors from hearing arguments of law in a mixed case of law and fact, such as a criminal case, or to be informed of their duty to review the law and decisions of the bench, as well as to weigh the evidence;
  53. Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890)
    1. To forbid a citizen to sue a state under the doctrine of "sovereign immunity", other than to be restricted for the collection of money judgments to funds appropriated by the state for that purpose;
  54. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516 (1884)
    1. To allow state criminal prosecution without indictment by a grand jury;
  55. Julliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421 (1884), and Knox v. Lee, 79 U.S. 457 (1871) (Legal Tender Cases)
    1. To require treasury notes, or other than gold or silver coin on state territory, to be accepted as legal tender for the payment of private debts;
  56. Tennessee v. Davis, 100 U.S. 257 (1880)
    1. To remove to federal court and dismiss a state case against a federal officer without allowing a jury to decide whether that officer was acting within his constitutional and statutory authority;
  57. Ex parte Robinson, 86 U.S. 505, 19 Wa. (1874)
    1. To punish for contempt as an "inherent power" of courts without a statute authorizing it, which power Congress does not have under the U.S. Constitution on territory outside its exclusive legislative jurisdiction;
  58. U.S. v. Klein, 80 U.S. 128, 13 Wa. (1872)
    1. To pardon or grant amnesty for offenses not yet indicted or convicted;
  59. Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 75 U.S. 533, 8 Wa. (1869)
    1. To restrain the circulation of notes not issued under the authority of Congress;
  60. Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. 506 (1868)
    1. To remove both original and appellate jurisdiction from all federal courts including the Supreme Court;
  61. Games v. Dunn, 39 U.S. 322, 14 Pe. (1840)
    1. To remove a decision from a jury concerning whether a question is a matter or "law" or "fact" without allowing the jury to review the decision of the bench in reaching that decision;
  62. U.S. v. Clarke, 33 U.S. 436, 8 Pe. (1834)
    1. To forbid suit against the United States except as provided by laws passed by Congress, other than to restrict collection of money from other than funds appropriated for that purpose;
  63. Ogden v. Saunders, 25 U.S. 213, 12 Wh. (1827)
    1. To presume an act of Congress to be constitutional until proved otherwise;
  64. Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1, 9 Wh. (1824)
    1. To expand the definition of "commerce" from only transport and sale of tangible commodities, to include "traffic", "navigation" or "commercial intercourse", and every species of movement of persons and things, whether for profit or not, across state lines; or expand the definition of "regulate" to be considered "plenary as to those objects";
  65. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 4 Wh. (1819)
    1. To create a private bank or other organization with special privileges and treat it as an instrumentality of the United States and thus as tax-exempt;

We further find that many if not most such actions without authority by executive officials or agents constitute criminal violations, specifically of 18 USC 241 and 241.

We call upon all American citizens to affirm, individually and in groups, this Declaration, and to convey your affirmations to decisionmakers and the media.



1. Territory under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Congress consists only of non-state incorporated territories under Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 17 and Art. IV Sec. 3 Cl. 2.

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Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 2009/10/20 —