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International Law & Territorial Jurisdiction

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Copyright March 24, 2013 All Rights ReservedJust Us


The idea that all businesses can be ordered to obey all the laws to collect sales tax for 45 states is unconstitutional. There is NO power in Congress or any legislature to authorize a free-for-all to subject any business outside its jurisdiction to its own laws. This NOT about the Founding Fathers failing to anticipate the internet – THEY DID! Such arguments show the total IGNORANCE of what is at stake and what the American Revolution was all about. The reason the states CANNOT compel businesses located in other states to collect their taxes for them is simple – it is called TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION, which was the result of the American Revolution. Under this gibberish on the web by idiots who do not understand the law or the constitution, is a serious threat to the entire establishment of civilization. If California tries to compel me in New Jersey to collect their taxes, as a matter of law, it is no different from France ordering me to act on their behalf if someone comes to New Jersey or orders something over the internet. It is as a matter of law INDISTINGUISHABLE! Neither has JURISDICTION in New Jersey.

Constitutionally, any proposal to allow the states to tax the internet and to compel everyone to collect the taxes of 45 different states and to by law be compelled to file tax forms remitting all these taxes to every state is PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL and anyone to argue otherwise is plain treason. Anyone who votes for this is more of a threat to society than Bin Laden ever was. If every state and nation can impose their laws on everyone in the world, what the hell would happen? Total anarchy!

The Founding Fathers knew very well what they were doing. For you see, “JURISDICTION” was different before the American Revolution. You were the PROPERTY of the king. If you killed someone while on vacation in Paris from England, the French were NOT allowed to punish you. They had to send you back to your king who owned you telling him what you did and ONLY he could punish you since you were his property.

Then comes the American Revolution against monarchy. This presented a HUGE problem legally. What if you were on vacation from France and killed someone in New York? If Americans did not have a king and you were a FREE citizen not belonging to a king here, how would they deal with the problem? Did they send you back to your king because he claimed he owned you when we claimed we were FREE individuals?

It was considered deeply by the Founding Fathers and what emerged was human rights not the rights of monarchs. It was decided that the laws of the United States must apply to everyone while they were here. Thus, what emerged was TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION. With the death of monarchy and the rise in the respect for the dignity of man, the laws of nations were to secure the rights, liberties, privileges and protection of ALL inhabitants within the TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION of the sovereign state. This fundamental change in the focus of rights from the perspective of the king to that of the individual is reflected in Madison’s Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1800)  (4 Elliot’s Debates 556).  It was the American Revolution that changed international law. The emergence of the nation-state in Europe and the growth of the doctrine of absolute territorial sovereignty changed the nature of extraterritorial rights. No longer were strangers to be denied the advantages of local law. Indeed, territorial sovereignty meant the exercise of sovereignty over all residents within the borders of the state, and thus is it utterly UNCONSTITUTIONAL for the States to impose ANY obligation upon anyone outside its TERRITORY to comply with its own laws even regarding their own citizens.

Carpenter MatthewWhat emerged internationally at first was the extraterritorial consular jurisdiction that finally tended to die out among Christian nations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Consular Courts were US courts held in foreign jurisdictions. At first an American committing a crime on a ship in a Japanese port was tried there by Americans but without the constitutional protections. This was still a claim over jurisdiction over the person based upon territory for it would apply to a non-American regarding a crime on an American ship. In 1881, Senator Carpenter, while attacking these Consular Courts on the floor in Congress, argued they were “a disgrace to this nation” because they deprived citizens of the “fundamental and essential” rights to indictment and trial by jury, declared: “If we are too mean as a nation to pay the expense of observing the Constitution in China, then let us give up our concessions in China and come back to as much of the Constitution as we can afford to carry out.” 11 Cong. Rec. 410. Of course John McCain and Lindsey Graham do not appreciate the constitutional restraints in the least.


International Law goes back to ancient times. It was seaborne transport that caused this same problem to surface. Whose law governed a ship? It was one of the earliest channels of commerce, and rules for resolving disputes involving maritime trade were developed early in recorded history. Early historical records of these laws include the Rhodian law (Nomos Rhodion Nautikos), which has not survived, but has been referenced in other legal texts such as Roman and Byzantine legal codes. Even the later the customs of the Hanseatic League refer to Rhodian law. In southern Italy the Ordinamenta et consuetudo maris (1063) at Trani and the Amalfian Laws were also early dated forms of international law that emerged from maritime or admiralty law after the Dark Ages.


The king abused the admiralty courts where there was no trial by jury. This was a prominent feature in the prelude to the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson included the phrase in the Declaration of Independence “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury” referring to the practice of Parliament giving the Admiralty Courts jurisdiction to enforce the Stamp Act in the American Colonies for taxes and it seems Congress is trying to overturn the Constitution also today for taxes. Since the Stamp Act was unpopular, a colonial jury was unlikely to convict a colonist of its violation. However, because admiralty courts did not then grant trial by jury, a colonist accused of violating the Stamp Act (not paying taxes) could be more easily convicted by the Crown’s agents since there was no jury trial.


Many American lawyers who were prominent in the American Revolution were in fact specialists in this unique area of international law and were known as admiralty and maritime lawyers in their private lives. Those included are Alexander Hamilton in New York and John Adams in Massachusetts. Today, very few lawyers even study the constitution for most only deal with statutory law presuming whatever law Congress enacts is constitutional. They are incapable of constitutional concepts for they study one semester and one class in constitutional law. Hence, we get Draconian laws with no concept that they are writing something really damaging to the nation as a whole.

Adams-JohnIn fact, in 1787 John Adams, who was then ambassador to France, wrote to James Madison proposing that the U.S. Constitution, then under consideration by the States, be amended to include “trial by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land [as opposed the law of admiralty] and not by the laws of Nations [i.e. not by the law of admiralty]”. The result was the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. John Adams represented John Hancock in an admiralty case in colonial Boston involving seizure of one of Hancock’s ships for violations of Customs regulations. Even Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was an admiralty lawyer.

Territorial Jurisdiction is a very serious matter for if we bend that to collect taxes, nothing is left. The Supreme Court once said “jurisdiction is not a matter of sympathy or favor. The courts are bound to take notice of the limits of their own authority, and it is no part of the defendant’s duty to help in obtaining and unauthorized judgment by surprise.” Reid v US, 211 US 529, 539 (1909).

In Johnson v Eisentrager, 339 US 763 (1950), the Supreme Court rejected the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Constitution and would not apply it to enemy aliens arrested in China and imprisoned in Germany after WWII saying they had no right even to file habeas corpus in the United States. The Quantanamo Bay is US Territory, and thus they had the right to habeas corpus because the government brought them back to the United States, see Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008). The Johnson Court said:

“Such extraterritorial application of organic law would have been so significant an innovation in the practice of governments that, it intended or apprehended, it could scarcely have failed to excite contemporary comment. Not one word can be cited. No decision of this court supports such a view. Cf. Downes v Bidwell, 182 US 244 (1901). None of the learned commentators on our constitution has even hinted at it. The practice of every modern government is opposed to it.”

          Id/ 339 US at 784

Therefore, I am also a student of Constitutional Law. I offer this to those who seek to oppose this treason to civilization. When Government is infested by lawyers, it would help if they took the time to study the reasons we have Territorial Jurisdiction and why the states cannot impose their laws upon everyone in the country. This would destroy everything and commerce would be unworkable. I offer this to those who seek to stand up and fight.