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On Sovereignty not Being Subject to Law

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  • Legalbear
    Mr. Justice says, This is the obvious problem He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom In Shapiro v. Thompson
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 31, 2012

      Mr. Justice says, “This is the obvious problem "He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom"


      In Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 US 618, 629-31 - Supreme Court 1969, at issue were whether welfare recipients, aka receivers of benefits, had lost their right to travel.

      The court held that even receivers of benefits could not have their federal right infringed by a state law.


      This Court long ago recognized that the nature of our Federal Union and our constitutional concepts of personal liberty unite to require that all citizens be free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement. That 630*630 proposition was early stated by Chief Justice Taney in the Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283, 492 (1849):

      "For all the great purposes for which the Federal government was formed, we are one people, with one common country. We are all citizens of the United States; and, as members of the same community, must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it without interruption, as freely as in our own States."

      We have no occasion to ascribe the source of this right to travel interstate to a particular constitutional provision.[8] It suffices that, as MR. JUSTICE STEWART said for the Court in United States v. Guest, 383 U. S. 745, 757-758 (1966):

      "The constitutional right to travel from one State to another . . . occupies a position fundamental to the concept of our Federal Union. It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.

      ". . . [T]he right finds no explicit mention in the Constitution. The reason, it has been suggested, is 631*631 that a right so elementary was conceived from the beginning to be a necessary concomitant of the stronger Union the Constitution created. In any event, freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution."

      Thus, the purpose of deterring the in-migration of indigents cannot serve as justification for the classification created by the one-year waiting period, since that purpose is constitutionally impermissible. If a law has "no other purpose . . . than to chill the assertion of constitutional rights by penalizing those who choose to exercise them, then it [is] patently unconstitutional." United States v. Jackson, 390 U. S. 570, 581 (1968).

      Alternatively, appellants argue that even if it is impermissible for a State to attempt to deter the entry of all indigents, the challenged classification may be justified as a permissible state attempt to discourage those indigents who would enter the State solely to obtain larger benefits. We observe first that none of the statutes before us is tailored to serve that objective. Rather, the class of barred newcomers is all-inclusive, lumping the great majority who come to the State for other purposes with those who come for the sole purpose of collecting higher benefits. In actual operation, therefore, the three statutes enact what in effect are nonrebuttable presumptions that every applicant for assistance in his first year of residence came to the jurisdiction solely to obtain higher benefits. Nothing whatever in any of these records supplies any basis in fact for such a presumption.

      More fundamentally, a State may no more try to fence out those indigents who seek higher welfare benefits than it may try to fence out indigents generally.




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    • originalfrogfrmr
      ... Sorry answering so late...still recovering from a fire-bombing here... anyway, can you provide the verbatim text of the law requiring you to produce
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 5, 2013
        > Of interest, perhaps, is an experience I had in municipal court. (N.M.)
        > The reason for being in court was an arrest and incarceration one evening
        > by a Uniformed County Employer.
        > I refused to provide ID., the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
        > At the "arraignment" the following morning  I was asked by the judge,
        > "How do you plead?"
        > My response was, (verbatim), "I don't know how to plead."
        > Judge immediately responded, "Case dismissed."

        Sorry answering so late...still recovering from a fire-bombing here...
        anyway, can you provide the verbatim text of the law requiring you to
        produce identification? Or the charges on the complaint? I've been
        operating under the belief that there was no such law, as it had been the
        subject of a supreme court case back in the 1980's... don't remember the
        case right a this moment... a black guy was carrying a TV down the street
        and got asked for ID and he refused to ID himself. I think it was in
        Texas or California... [Moderator/Bear: Kolender v. Lawson, 461 US 352 - Supreme Court 1983] Last year I had a stand-off here when 3 cops
        wanted me to ID myself, and they could produce no law. They lied and gave
        a fake code number that had nothing to do with it to see if I'd fall for
        it. I didn't. They settled on calling me "John Doe"! Then they punished
        the lead cop who failed to win the issue. I had mercy on him after seeing
        him suffer for a few hours (questioning my neighbors who also did not know
        my name) and so I arranged for him to view a piece of paper that had my
        name on it. He asked if that was my name and I said I wasn't going to ID
        myself, but he could assume anything he had to assume to get off duty
        late. I told Eric that I had nothing against him personally and that this
        just came with the job, that I give everybody a hard time. I told him I'd
        like to be friends with him. I never saw him again, nor did the subjects
        raised that day ever get raised again.

        Anyway, the trick with "ID" is, people who APPLY for it AGREE to produce
        it when asked to do so in the initial application. There is no law
        requiring one to apply for any privilege. Applying is voluntary.

        I just now spent 45 minutes looking for that case, didn't find it, but I
        did find this nice newer brief:


        I just tell them, "I don't like to be the first person to put my name into
        the record. I think my accuser should be the one to do that, don't you
        agree?" I've never got anything but mumbling for an answer.


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