You’re not entitled to your own facts (or to hang the people who prove you wrong).

“There is evidence for being able to hang these [public officials]. I am so tired of ‘em. I’m just sick of it. I’ve had it, the Second Amendment is there for a reason.” Corey Eib, Agenda 31.

white-male-1871394_1280You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts–that’s the simplest, most basic credo of skepticism. Want to hold the opinion that extraterrestrial life exists out there? Great, me too. Want to insist that it built the pyramids? Now we’re talking pseudoscience.

I’ve been following a budding pseudolegal guru who’s become very frustrated and angry that his nonsense theories about citizenship and jurisdiction have yet to make him immune to the laws of the United States, where he lives. His case highlights an interesting difference between pseudoscience and pseudolaw.

Both turn on theories that don’t really fit the available facts, whether those facts relate to the building of the pyramids, the origin of species, or the text of the Fourteenth Amendment. When the theory doesn’t fit the facts, pseudoscientists and pseudolawyers both build walled gardens to protect their theories–that’s one of the crucial differences between a “pseudo” scientist or lawyer and the real thing. Those walls might be a community that doesn’t ask critical questions or conspiracy theories that provide a mechanism for disqualifying and ignoring such questions. A creationist, for example, can pretend that carbon dating proves the Earth is just 6,000 years old. And they’ll never have to emerge from their walled garden to compare that theory to the facts available to actual scientists. They can just keep reading creationist blogs and books and avoid the awkward mismatch between their beliefs and the outside world.

A pseudolawyer is in a different boat. Legal theories usually get decided in court, sooner or later. It forces a comparison between the irrational belief and reality, and exposes its flaws. That can happen with scientific and medical theories, such as when a miracle cancer cure fails to cure any cancer, but it’s less common for any individual believer to experience that. In the legal world, if you decide you’re allowed to drive without a driver’s license because you’re a special kind of super-citizen, sooner or later the system is going to force you to test that belief. And the theory is going to fail, because it’s wrong.

When those cherished, irrational beliefs fail, it’s at the end of a long and difficult process. The tribulations of trials encourage pseudolegal gurus to double down on their beliefs–they have to be truly committed to spend months litigating their beliefs, much less risk jail for them. And when the process that’s welded them more tightly to their ideology then exposes that ideology as false, the result is often going to be immense frustration and anger.

This is an exploration of one pseudolawyer’s mistaken ideas about the US Constitution, how they failed that empirical test, and how he’s responded with frustration, anger, and paranoia rather than reconsidering his own beliefs. It’s also about why just losing in court again and again and again isn’t enough to dissuade a budding guru. I’m not trying to do that with this piece, either. I don’t think it’s possible to talk such a person out of their beliefs.

But because this guru’s recent rhetoric has become extremely frantic and even he’s even suggested violence, it’s important to engage with the theories he preaches in case that helps dissuade people from falling for them. I don’t think this particular pseudolawyer is actually going to become violent, but the communities that form around such ideas can become unpredictable. (Just ask the Malheur occupiers.) So in addition to discussing those theories as a case study, at the end of this piece I’m going to outline some of the simplest and most obvious flaws with them. Engaging irrational beliefs that hurt people is, after all, the Good Fight.

The Man

Corey Eib is one of the hosts of the dependably erroneous “Agenda 31” podcast. Eib really, really wants to drive without a driver’s license. And he really wants to be seen as a legal expert. He does not, however, seem to want to actually do much studying. His legal theories are what Popehat calls “moon law.” They describe the law as he imagines it to be, but don’t have much to do with the world the rest of us live in.

Eib believes, wrongly, that when you get a driver’s license or agree to have a Social Security number, you’re consenting to be a US citizen under the 14th Amendment citizen instead of a state citizen under Article IV of the Constitution. And if that happens, he thinks, you become “federal personnel” and the government basically owns you, so it can do just about anything it wants to you. But if you can somehow reverse the process and stop being federal personnel, then the opposite happens: the government can’t regulate you. You could throw away your driver’s license and drive without insurance. You could buy a gun without showing ID, or just by showing your literally homemade “common law” ID card.

The usual goal of schemes like this is to stop paying taxes, although to Eib’s credit, he hasn’t really been beating that particular drum. These schemes are all completely impossible, of course. They’re based on bizarre fantasies, simple misreading of the law, and urban legends. Down at the bottom of this post is a very simple and quick explanation; you can wait , but it will help put the silliness of these theories in context. Nevertheless Eib is a true believer, and he’s paid a high cost to maintain these fantasies. Now that he’s coming face-to-face once again with the fact that they don’t work in the real world, he’s getting angrier about it.

(I’m basing this piece on emails I’ve exchanged with Eib, his podcast, and his legal filings. He’s refused an interview so I can’t check my facts with him. I welcome any corrections.)

Eib apparently decided years ago that a state citizen, as opposed to a federal citizen, has the right to drive without a driver’s license. He wrote to the DMV, demanding that they take him out of their database, and hit the road without his little plastic card. Of course he was caught, charged, and convicted of driving without a license. After that he decided he needed to also withdraw from the Social Security program (which is not a thing you can actually do), apparently because then he would cease being “federal personnel” (which is not a thing that he ever was) and would therefore be immune to those damned license laws (which is not a thing he will ever be). So of course he was again caught, charged with driving without a license, and hauled into court. This time he got extremely lucky. The prosecutor was apparently more interested in fixing the underlying problem than beating up on a hopeless pseudolawyer; the state offered to drop the charges if Eib would just start driving with a license. (I thought this was a huge mistake when I learned about it, but as time goes on I’m starting to think it might be a brilliant approach.)

The Plan

But even though the charges against him were dismissed, Eib suffered. He had to go through a long and stressful court proceeding with lots of hearings, he probably was afraid and frustrated at many points, and in the end, the system humbled him and he agreed to carry the license he believes he can drive without. He wants to keep fighting, but he doesn’t want to keep paying the costs. So rather than being a defendant, he’s decided to take a turn as plaintiff instead. He decided he’d file a lawsuit demanding that the courts emancipate him from the Social Security program and the California DMV.

Eib’s not a wealthy man, as far as I can tell. And lawsuits aren’t cheap. Just making all the copies he needed to file his lawsuit cost over a thousand dollars. Rather than carry that load himself, Eib put out a call for donations, soaking money from his followers to support the cause. I don’t know how much he raised, but while most must be pretty small I’ve heard him crow on his podcast about individual donations over a hundred dollars. And on Twitter, I’ve seen one of Eib’s followers apologize for being broke and having to cancel his recurring donation. (Taking money from the people who can least afford it, for such a frivolous and self-centered project, burns me.) But the cause these people are donating to isn’t winning lawsuits or changing the law—it’s inflating the ego of the pseudolaw guru. Eib, like most pseudolawyers, seems to have relied on his own intuition rather than any homework. He doesn’t appear to have put any real effort into making sure his lawsuit could work, such as running it by actual lawyers. And why would he? He doesn’t need to win to be a successful guru. Most pseudolaw gurus don’t win cases.

The Flaw

Here’s how bad Eib’s plan was. Just about every federal lawsuit has to start in federal district court, because that’s where trial happens. The side that loses at trial can appeal to the “circuit courts,” and whoever loses there can appeal to the Supreme Court. But filing in district court didn’t suit Eib. He has far too high an opinion of himself, his skills, and his theories for that. He went straight to the US Supreme Court, in a move that was absolutely against the most basic procedural rules. The US Constitution, federal law, and the rules on the Court’s website explicitly state that the Supreme Court won’t hear a case unless it’s on appeal from a lower court. (There are very specific exceptions, but they don’t even come close to applying here.) Any lawyer could have told him so, as would a few minutes on Google. But if your followers are footing the bill, you don’t mind starting over at someone else’s expense, and just filing the lawsuit makes you look like a bold legal rebel, why would you bother trying to get it right the first time?

And of course, it’s not just the procedure he used. Even if he files this lawsuit in the right court, it’s not going anywhere. The basic legal theory underlying his complaint is complete nonsense. Those theories will never prevail in a real, live court of law. But it’s easy for a guru to pretend otherwise as long as those theories look nice and complex to the suckers paying him attention and beer money.

The Fury

Here’s where the anger comes in. Eib had no reason to suspect that his case would succeed, having put very little effort into learning the law. Indeed, he now claims he didn’t really think that this case—the one other people paid for him to file—would go through. But no one likes to lose, and now he’s clearly very frustrated. He’s sick and tired of having courts and lawyers disrespect his legal skills and intuitions. But rather than examining his own failing theories to see whether he’s made any mistakes, he’s externalized the blame. It’s not his half-baked, uneducated theories that are the problem, he says—it’s the god damn lawyers and bureaucrats who keep sabotaging him rather than acknowledging his legal genius!

In a recent podcast, Eib fumed, “Not only illegitimate, but corrupt government officials, in my opinion, they should be hung. There is evidence for being able to hang these bastards. I am so tired of ‘em. I’m just sick of it. I’ve had it, the Second Amendment is there for a reason.

The reason why the Second Amendment is there is because the framers got sick of the way the British parliament and the British soldiers were treating them so they shot ‘em. They killed ‘em. That’s why they have the Second Amendment.

These people in Sacramento – California is a fucking mess. It’s out of control, you can’t get an honest answer from anybody. The police are absolutely trained liars. Every government official you talk to, all they do is delay, they lie, they cheat, they steal. FUCK YOU GUYS!

When I win this case in the Supreme Court—I know it’s going to take awhile, but I’m going to do as much damage as I possibly can, individually, to every single one of these assholes that have been fucking with me for years.

(The first part of that rant is referring to California officials he thinks have lied to him. By the end he’s venting his rage at all the esquires and government officials who don’t treat him with the deference he’s sure he deserves. Please note that I don’t have any reason to think that Eib actually intends to do anything violent. When he threatens to do “damage” to officials, I think he means legal consequences for them, not bullets. But I’m not positive.)

He’s hardly alone in this anger. Here’s another pseudolawyer with similar ideas about citizenship, ranting in a court filing at the judge who just won’t agree with the ideas she’s made up or read somewhere online:

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These two pseudolawyers have a lot in common. They don’t know anything about the law in reality, but have an intense faith in elaborate fantasies. And they’re livid that they can’t get the system to agree with their fantasies. What I’ve seen, and what I suspect is happening here, is that the fantasy crowds out actual knowledge. The pseudolawyer can’t learn how the law actually works, because they’re over-invested in their fantasy. Eib is going to keep losing lawsuits he doesn’t know anything about the law. To change that, he’d have to learn some basics. But doing that would require admitting that his current beliefs are factually wrong–that California and Alaska and Hawaii really are states, for example (something he denies from time to time). That would mean admitting that he’s spent years preaching false ideas and racking up criminal charges based on incredible ignorance, arrogance, and silly mistakes. Maybe even worse, it would require admitting that those damned esquires understood this all along, and that they were right and he was wrong.

That would be a particularly bitter pill to swallow. Eib knows that lawyers don’t agree with his theories. And it infuriates him. His inability to engage productively with educated people, who read and understand and use the law on a daily basis, seems to be the source of tremendous personal frustration. In a recent podcast he spat, “I have such little respect, as soon as I see that term ‘esquire,’ I see dirt, I see scum, I see second class citizen, and I see exactly why the original 13th Amendment was [that] if you’re going to be an esquire, then you can’t be a citizen.” (He’s referring to the idea that there was a proposed amendment back in the day that would have made it illegal for any American to hold a title of nobility; lawyers are only called ‘esquire’ as an informal courtesy, though, so it would never have applied to us.)


Assume that Eib’s theories are wrong and that the lawyers who have tried to tell him so (I’m one of them) are right. How could he ever come to terms with that? Given the choice between admitting that he should have listened to the “dirt … scum … second class citizens” all along on the one hand, and doubling down on the conspiracy theories on the other, which is more likely? I think the latter, by a long shot. Eib’s built a wall around his theories to defend them against pressure from the outside world. Dismantling that wall, and admitting that he was wrong, would put tremendous pressure on the renegade legal expert persona he’s crafted for himself. So he won’t. He’ll build the wall higher and stronger, isolating himself as far as possible from criticism and engagement with the outside world.

Conspiracy theories are the bricks and mortar of that wall. Eib is already in a place where he needs to accuse a critic (me) of being a paid disinformation agent, sent by the conspiracy, to discredit him. He’s declared that he may even be under surveillance, and that the government knows who he is when they see his name on legal filings. Paranoid beliefs like that isolate the conspiracy theorist, because why would you listen to criticism from a paid disinformation agent? And they substitute for evidence—sure, his legal theories keep failing, but if he wasn’t on to something big, why would the conspiracy be out to get him? (Corey, if you’re reading this: no one’s out to get you. Your theories are just wrong. And no one sent me or pays me to discredit you. Engaging pseudolaw gurus and sovereign citizens is just the right thing to do.) In that mental environment, every loss and slight and insult and frustration helps build the wall. If there’s any sure way to pierce it, I haven’t found it. That’s why I think it’s so important to point out nonsense when we see it, so that people who haven’t yet built their walls can see the facts for what they are.

The Future

But Eib, and pseudolawyers like him, can keep their theories isolated from outside criticism and inconvenient facts for a long time. They build communities around those ideas, like the community that paid Eib to file his ludicrous, guaranteed-to-fail lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Those communities provide an almost inexhaustible supply of praise and encouragement, and often a little cash. But unlike pseudoscientists, at some point every pseudolawyer winds up in court and has their theory put to the test. Maybe they go there voluntarily to prove their ideas, or the law catches up to them and they eat a criminal charge. But either way, the theory fails. It happens every single day, as people lose despite trotting out their very best arguments: but the flag has a gold fringe and therefore this is an admiralty court… but I named the judge as my fiduciary… but I am not the birth certificate named in the indictment… Those are all real, irrational theories that lose in court every time. I predict that Eib’s theories will lose in court, every time. I can be very confident about that prediction because they aren’t based on real law. They’re based on the fantasy version of the law he built to support his theories, and can only exist in that careful, nurturing environment. Moon law only works on the moon, and pseudolaw only works in the pseudolawyer’s head. The real world cares about real law, and such theories fall apart there.

There will probably be more tests and failures ahead for Eib and his theories. He’s relatively young and is still establishing his bona fides as a guru. He doesn’t have many followers yet, and hasn’t taken all that much money from the ones he does have. So why write a profile like this? Largely because this is a larval pseudolegal community. Eib is still finding his identity as a pseudolaw guru, building a community around that identity, and adapting his tactics to shift the risk from himself to his followers. That makes this a great case study in how irrational beliefs form and change over time. The heart of my project, and the point of my book, is exploring how we can we push back against this kind of nonsense.

This case shows us both that it’s impossible in some cases, and that there’s hope. I’m increasingly convinced that once someone has really invested in a conspiracy theory—by making part of their sense of identity, for example—it’s almost impossible for them to back down from it. A true believer might change how they believe, but they’ll almost never really question whether they’re just plain wrong. So if the goal is to persuade the guru that he’s wrong, that will almost never succeed. I can’t think of any facts or arguments that would ever persuade Eib that he’s wrong; he’s had numerous lawyers and judges tell him and demonstrate for him that his ideas don’t work, but that only strengthens his faith. He despises the educated, experienced lawyers who doubt his brilliance. That contempt encourages him to reject education and experience here generally, and go with his own failed notions instead. He seems to take the fact that they (we) all disagree with his notions as a point of pride rather than a clue that his ideas are actually wrong.

But what about his followers, and most importantly, people who aren’t yet but might one day become followers of this kind of nonsense? Those people, call them the conspiracy-curious, have more flexible beliefs. They might just be interested in these theories today, but if they never hear how and why those ideas are wrong, they become gradually more plausible. The road to being a true believer (and in this case, getting arrested for driving without a license) is a gradual downwards spiral. Those are the people who might rethink their belief in these pseudolegal theories.

When we talk about engaging irrational beliefs, what that really means is putting out good information to counter bad information, so that someone who’s putting a toe in the conspiracy theory waters doesn’t mistakenly think the baloney they’re reading online is plausible. In other words, if this particular conspiracy theory turns out to have legs, I’d like there to be at least one google result flatly and simply pointing out all the blazingly obvious problems with it. And more importantly, I’d like there to be a broader conversation that shows not just how wrong theories like Eib’s are, but how insular and flawed the process that creates those pseudolegal theories is. How they’re based more on ego and anger than actual knowledge or expertise, and how little progress they make in the face of constant failure.

With that in mind, I have two things to end with. The first is that if you’ve read this piece and you think I’m a real sonofabitch for criticizing Eib and his theories, I’d like to hear about it. I want to know how you came to your beliefs, why you think they’re right, what they mean to you, and anything else you’d like to share. You can leave your thoughts in the comments here or email them to me at Second, below the bar I’m going to leave a more detailed explanation of why Eib’s theories are bunk. (I’ve linked to this section above, too.) Again, if you disagree, I’d love to hear why. But I think we won’t hear much disagreement. Pseudolaw, like pseudoscience, thrives in insular and isolated communities. It doesn’t do well engaging critics. And that’s why active criticism is so important in stifling the growth of such communities before they generate angry, frustrated pseudolawyers spouting violent rhetoric based on nonsense ideas.

A Little More Detail

(return to the beginning)

There are many, many problems with Eib’s legal fantasies. We’ll just focus on two: Article IV citizenship and being “federal personnel.” I’ve made these explanations as short and simple as possible, because I know lots of readers will bounce off of dense legalese. I think it’s important to include them so that people on the edge of falling for nonsense like Eib’s theories can find simple explanations for why they’re wrong.

When is a Citizen Not a Citizen?

Primarily Eib believes that there are two ways to be a citizen: Article IV of the US Constitution, and the 14th Amendment. He also believes that you can be an Article IV citizen without being a 14th Amendment citizen. And he is confident that Article IV citizens get special perks that 14th Amendment citizens don’t. He’s completely wrong.

The very short version is this: the 14th Amendment sets the rules for both state and national citizenship. The original Constitution doesn’t have much to say about citizenship, but it does refer (in Article IV) to the “citizens of each state.” So, the theory goes, back in the day people were citizens of the state where they lived, not of the country as a whole. An “Article IV” citizen would be someone who was just a citizen of Texas or Illinois or whatever state they lived in, not of the country. That’s an iffy interpretation, but it’s also irrelevant. We changed the Constitution after the Civil War by adding the 14th Amendment, which creates a whole new rule for citizenship.

The 14th Amendment says that everyone born in any state is a citizen “of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Many, many court cases have explained that this means that if you’re born in any state, you’re a citizen of the country. And you cannot just be a citizen under Article IV; state and federal citizenship comes under the 14th Amendment. The first case I found on this subject, after a very quick and easy search, was Kantor v. Wellesley Galleries, ¶¶ 9-10. “Relying on this Supreme Court authority, circuit and district courts have treated the question before us today as one long decided: ‘[I]n order to be a citizen of a state, it is elementary law that one must first be a citizen of the United States.’”

Kantor is particularly relevant to Eib’s theories because it’s a Ninth Circuit case, binding over the trial courts in California where he lives. It’s not like the rule would be different anywhere else in the country, though. Kantor cites many other cases, like the Supreme Court cases of Sun Printing & Publishing Association v. Edwards, Anderson v. Watt, and Colgate v. Harvey, and the federal and circuit court cases of City of Minneapolis v. Reum, Factor v. Pennington Press, Inc., Sadat v. Mertes, Mas v. Perry, Delaware, L. & W.R. Co. v. Petrowsky, Avins v. Hannum, Kaufman & Broad, Inc. v. Gootrad, Fahrner v. Gentzsch, and Codagnone v. Perrin.

In other words, a huge body of case law makes it clear that there’s no such thing as an Article IV citizen who’s not a 14th Amendment citizen. And there’s no case to the contrary. So how do pseudolaw gurus explain away those massive piles of cases that disagree with them? They ignore it. A good guru just doesn’t tell his followers about all these cases, he just insists—without evidence—that all the cases are on his side. If his followers were inclined (or able) to do the research themselves, they wouldn’t be following an incompetent guru in the first place. So he can ignore the cases for as long as he likes—or, at least, until he gets to court and loses. Then it’s back to conspiracy theories: I totally would have won but for those rascally dishonest esquires, etc.

You’re Not Federal Personnel If You Don’t Work for the Feds

The second example has to do with the idea that anyone with a Social Security number is “federal personnel.” Eib believes that the government can do pretty much whatever it wants to federal personnel, because for some unexplained reason they have no rights. Both ideas are false: having a Social Security number doesn’t make anyone “federal personnel,” and even if it did, it wouldn’t affect their rights. Let’s focus on the first one, because it’s so easily disproved and makes the second claim irrelevant.

Eib’s theory is based on 5 USC 552a(a)(13), which is one of the definitions included in a federal law titled “Records Maintained on Individuals.” The definition says that “the term ‘Federal personnel’ means … individuals entitled to receive immediate or deferred retirement benefits under any retirement program of the Government of the United States….” Eib’s reasoning is that Social Security is a “retirement program of the Government of the United States,” so if you’ve got a Social Security number then this federal law says that you’re “federal personnel.”

He’s wrong. Eib wants to take this definition and apply it universally to all people everywhere in all circumstances, so that anyone who has Social Security is “federal personnel” for all purposes. But setting aside that being “federal personnel” wouldn’t actually affect your rights, it’s not how statutes work. Their definitions only apply internally, to the law in which they’re found, not to all law generally.

The very first words of the section say that its definitions only apply “for purposes of this section.” In other words, by its own language, the definitions in 5 USC 522a only apply for the purposes of Section 552a. And Section 552a doesn’t have anything to do with citizenship or losing access to the Bill of Rights or any of Eib’s theories. Whenever Eib or any other conspiracy theorist cites this law and the “federal personnel” definition, but doesn’t show how they’re relating it to some specific reference to “federal personnel” in the operational parts of 522a, they’re just blowing smoke.

That shaky logic says a lot about how pseudolaw gurus operate. Pseudolawyers, like pseudoscientists, don’t approach a field and try to learn all about it. They pick a theory—creationism or flat earth or “Article IV citizenship”—and try to build a case for that theory by taking facts out of context or just making evidence up. Actually reading the statute and understanding in context would take real effort. So would learning enough law to have a stronger understanding of how statutes and definitions work. Why would a guru bother doing that, when the suckers who fall for his theories also won’t go reading the entire section in context, and won’t realize how little their guru knows about the law?

So what?

So, two huge problems with a very elaborate and incredibly wrong theory of law. Hardly the only problems with Eib’s self-proclaimed legal expertise; he also insists that Hawaii and Alaska are not states, and that pseudolegal ninjas can send mail in the US for just two cents a letter. Both wrong, by the way. Given that this is how Eib approaches the law, as a kind of careening, ad hoc Mad Lib, it’s hardly surprising that I’ve been teargassed more times than he’s won a case. (That would be once and never, respectively.)

52 thoughts on “You’re not entitled to your own facts (or to hang the people who prove you wrong).

    • Steve August 28, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      “The privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects very few rights because it neither incorporates any of the Bill of Rights nor protects all rights of individual citizens. See Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 21 L. Ed. 394 (1873). Instead, this provision protects only those rights peculiar to being a citizen of the federal government; it does not protect those rights which relate to state citizenship.“
      Jones v. Temmer, 829 F. Supp. 1226 (D. Colo. 1993)

      • Steve August 28, 2018 / 11:03 pm

        Basically everything you’ve stated here is a lie.. as proven by my citation of Jones V Temmer. There are for a fact two different types of citizenship in America.. again as proven by Jones V Temmer. My guess is that you will simply not allow this post instead magically trying to debunk it.

        • Colin August 28, 2018 / 11:40 pm

          Hi Steve,

          I approve all comments, unless they’re threats or trolling or something like that. It just takes me a while, sometimes, to get to the computer to hit the button.

          It sounds like you think that I wrote that there’s no such thing as state citizenship. I don’t know why you think that; the post is very long (sorry) but I think also very clear. For example, I talk explicitly about state citizenship when I cite Kantor and the 14th Amendment.

          Yes, there are two types of citizenship–state and federal. The 14th Amendment clearly makes everyone born in this country a federal citizen and also a citizen of the state in which they reside. (In theory a state could provide for citizenship for non-residents, but I haven’t found any examples.)

        • doritmi August 28, 2018 / 11:40 pm

          Jones v. Temmer does not argue that there are two types of citizenship in America. The clause you are citing is about rejecting an argument that the Privileges and Immunities clause does not protect residents of the state, only non-resident. The court is explaining that state citizenship – which for federal citizens is the result of residency (and is not separate from the federal citizenship) – is irrelevant, and that the clause protects very few rights.

          The response is to this claim: “Defendants further argue that all plaintiffs lack standing to bring the privileges and immunities portion of the first claim for relief because that clause protects nonresidents of Colorado from discrimination based on their nonresident status, and here, each plaintiff is a resident of Colorado. ”

          Reading this as creating or stating that there are two types of citizenship is misreading it.

    • Troy October 8, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      A US citizen has no access to the first 8 amendments of The Bill of Rights. And why do we have thousands of people who are state nationals getting passports?

      • Colin October 9, 2018 / 2:51 am

        I’m having trouble making sense of both of your sentences.

        If you mean that US citizens don’t benefit from or can’t sue to enforce the Bill of Rights, that’s completely wrong. Every single day US citizens file lawsuits over alleged violations of the Bill of Rights. In fact, even citizens of foreign countries (including illegal immigrants) have “access” to the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Nothing in that refers at all to citizenship. It’s a restriction on the powers of Congress, not a grant of powers to anyone else. If anyone believes that Congress has overstepped their Constitutional authority and can show an injury, they can sue, regardless of citizenship. If you believe otherwise, please show us the specific laws or precedent that you believe prevents that regular occurrence.

        Your second sentence doesn’t make much sense. What is a “state national,” and can you give me an example of someone who isn’t a US citizen getting a US passport?

        • Chris October 9, 2018 / 10:14 pm

          Sometimes I think that it should be required for everyone in the USA to spend a year or two living in an authoritative dictatorship where there is no Bill of Rights.

          In the early 1970s my Army officer dad was stationed in what was then the Panama Canal Zone. Wow! I got to live a privileged life in that strip of American colonialism!

          Though we did get some effect from Omar Torrijos. Sometimes we did not get our daily Miami Herald delivered because he did not like an article in it, so he had them confiscated when they arrived at Tocumen Airport. Also, since his coup occurred on my birthday, we could not leave the zone to celebrate (though I often wonder if that was my parents giving me a story to skip a nice restaurant). Though more chilling was that folks that he did not like ended up being found on a beach without a head. Apparently at least one was a family friend/relative of a school mate whose mother was Panamanian.

          Then there was Noriega. Ray Dragseth was my chemistry teacher at Balboa High School in the 1973/74 school year:

          So forgive me if I get a wee bit testy at certain “freedom” lovers.

      • Chris October 9, 2018 / 11:29 am

        You do not change your national citizenship when you move from one state to another. My kid did not become a citizen of Wisconsin when they moved there. They did work live there for a year before attending the University of Wisconsin, so they paid resident tuition. Colin and Jennifer did not change their national citizenship when they moved from Texas to Kansas.

        A resident of a state does not have be a US citizen, so they do not vote and may have restrictions like being able to work depending on their circumstances. They can become nationalized citizens, which is what my grandfather’s family did, and also my husband’s family.

        But everyone born in the United States of America is a citizen of that nation, no matter what state they live in.

        Unfortunately, that was not always the case. That was rectified by 14th Amendment, and even more so with the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. A hundred years ago families whose ancestry on this continent went back tens of thousands of years were not considered citizen of the nation that they were born in and paid taxes to:

        Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In honor of that day, you should read Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen.

        Perhaps you should actually study this stuff, and not just make stuff up.

  1. J Bankston December 30, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    Like the article – gave me some new ideas for discussions with certain folks I know who have less than stellar powers of reasoning.

  2. Neil Rickert December 30, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    I’m treating this post as humor.

    I realize that the guy is deadly serious. But I can help but laugh at his folly.

    • Colin January 1, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      That’s not unreasonable–I don’t think he’d actually act on his violent fantasies.

  3. Charles E Marsh December 30, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Pseudo religous dogma; dogma not recognized or is even denounced by the church, is another “brick in the wall” of these pseudo gurus. These are the dangerous ones, for they sale their theories as ” God’s will”…

  4. reissd December 30, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Do you think these people look at each other for guidance? Another self appointed legal expert litigating against SB277 recently referred to another person – who also appears never to have won a case – as a legal authority.

    Sad that they ruin their own lives and drag others into this.

    • Colin December 30, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      Absolutely. Like pseudoscience, it’s “cargo cult” expertise.

  5. Nanea December 30, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    We here in Germany have a similar problem with a far-right fringe group/movement that calls itself Reichsbürger, citizens of of the German Reich that existed within the 1937 borders (or within the 1914 ones, depending on the group). They refuse to pay taxes, carry ID or drivers’ licenses… Some of them are armed and dangerous, a police officer was recently killed in Bavaria at a raid. They fight the law in courts – not only the codified law, but also the personnel – lawyers, prosecutors etc.ürgerbewegung

    • Colin December 30, 2016 / 4:02 pm


  6. fireminer December 30, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    Great post, but I want to ask this question: You said that pseudolawyers don’t study law, but then why can they cheery picking the laws that they (wrongly) think can reinforce their belief? For example, this Eib, did he read through the law or did someone just feed him that idea?

    Also, how many people are there that think like this guy – That the Constitution and the Amendments are separate entities? In Vietnam, we just change the constitution when we need to add something.

    • Colin January 1, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      I think they mostly get their understanding of the law from the pseudolegal community. They do read bits and pieces of the law, but not in context and not with understanding. One guy reads a statute he doesn’t understand, and rather than study to understand it he just makes up an interpretation that fits his beliefs about law. Then he explains poorly it to someone else, who twists it a little bit more to fit her interpretation, and so on.

      In other words, one guy explains something he doesn’t understand to a second person who understands neither the explanation nor the original text, but then passes her understanding on to someone else… the result is a kind of communal misunderstanding that pseudolawyers trust much more than the body of actual courts, academics, and other experts whose expertise is provable.

      As for your second question, I have no idea. It’s an interesting way of looking at things! I suspect that virtually no one who reads the Constitution and understands it at all winds up as badly confused as these guys are–they literally think there are fewer than 50 states, which is how bad they are at interpreting legal things that they read. They are on the far end of the bell curve when it comes to basic legal competence.

  7. Anonymous December 30, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    This was a great read for someone with a rudimentary idea that there’s a subculture of people that cling to outdated laws, but I had no idea how deep it went. I get the impression that a lot of the philosophy involves hearing about an old set of laws and ignoring the fact that history happened after it. This makes the small group of Magna Carta loyalists (I can’t believe that’s a real thing) seem less like they’re educated and more like they’re just being contradictory because they hate paying taxes. This was incredibly informative!

    • Colin January 1, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thanks! It’s fascinating how many different countries and legal systems have their own variations on the same theme.

  8. phanmo December 31, 2016 / 1:24 am

    Has anyone heard of any of these kinds of movements or belief systems in France (where I currently reside)?

    I’ve read about this kind of thing in Canada, my native country, mainly of the “Freeman on the land” sovereign citizen type.

    • Chris December 31, 2016 / 2:08 pm

      I have heard of them in Norway and the UK (from the European Skeptics Podcast, ), and right above in Germany. I would not be surprised if there were some in France.

  9. zobop republic December 31, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    If this guy, Corey Eib, is going to continue trying to fight the government, he should be flat broke by now. If he continues to get money from his followers, they should go bankrupt too. Soon this whole movement will have no money, unless they start robbing banks. And we know how that will end.

    Thanks for the moderation.

  10. grayaj23 January 1, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    A note about “Esquire”. It’s not even a title of nobility. It had some significance in medieval England as a title for landowners who were not nobles, and for the sons of knights. Modernly, it’s the titular equivalent of the honorific “Mr.” As in “Mr. John Smith” = “John Smith, Esquire”. It likely exists in legal circles as a way of referring to colleagues and opposing counsel with the maximum of courtesy.

    So even if the “secret thirteenth amendment” is an actual thing, it wouldn’t apply to “Esquire”.

    • Colin January 1, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      I thought as much. Historically, I was taught (and I have no idea whether this is accurate or not) it was the polite term for professionals who might have entitled clients. That way a duke or baron could associate with their counsel on something more like an even social footing, even though the lawyer was not actually entitled. But I’m sure that explanation is filtered through a few layers of American befuddlement at English honorifics.

      The pseudolegal abhorrence for “esquires” is just the tip of the iceberg. There are some who believe that “bar” (as in bar association) is an acronym that stands for British Accreditation Registry or something like that, and that all American lawyers swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown. I’ve never really understood where that comes from, or how they think such a massive secret could possibly be kept for more than ten seconds.

  11. Raucous Indignation January 9, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Colin, you’ve only been teargassed once? You need to get out more.

  12. shay April 3, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    “Most pseudolaw gurus don’t win cases.”

    Have any of them ever won a case? I don’t count that guy in Canada, the judge tossed the case because of a procedural error on the part of the police.

    • Colin April 4, 2017 / 10:04 pm

      Many claim that they win cases. Sean David Morton and Winston Shrout both did; both are going to have their skillz put to the test this month. (SDM’s trial started today, I think.)

      In my experience, it’s one of three things:

      1. They won a small matter by being a pain in the ass, such that the court dismisses the case against them. For example, they get a $50 traffic ticket and file hundreds of pages of briefs, so the court just dumps the case. They chalk that up as a win for their theories.
      2. They get a large case dismissed. Alfred Adask had this happen, when the state of Texas dismissed a case against him. As far as I can tell, the state just decided it wasn’t worth suing poor people who weren’t going to change their behavior anyway. He thinks, and tells people, it’s because of (a) his amazing legal arguments and (b) the sanctified olive oil they used to anoint the courthouse before hearings. (I’m currently trying to arrange an interview with the AG lawyers on the case to find out the true story.) I can’t think of any other examples of this option.
      3. They lie. SDM and Shrout both did this, just flat-out lying and telling people they’d won lots of cases. When I pressed them for examples, they couldn’t name any.

      There are some outliers. For example, there’s a thing called the “Cheek defense,” after a case called Cheek. Basically if you convince a jury that you didn’t know you had to pay a tax, that’s a valid defense against the criminal charge. It’s the only case where ignorance of the law is actually a defense. Some gurus have gotten off of criminal charges on the Cheek defense. It’s not much of a win, though; it’s rare, it often results in new charges being filed, and it’s not a defense against civil liability so the defendant is still on the hook for massive back taxes, interest, and civil fines.

  13. Xavier June 8, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Holy smoke! Thanks for your article, Colin.

    I first met Corey in 2012 (at a couple of meetings at the Oath Keepers “chapter” in Orange County – an “organization” with no legal status, just a website and a quasi-“Constitutional” attorney named Stuart Rhodes as its leader).

    Eventually, I deemed Oath Keepers to be little more than a nascent cult with some very amateurish artwork inspired by the Army Rangers logos, etc. It’s also a clutch of overweight right-wingers bent on carrying firearms, concealed if possible, permit be-damned.

    At the time (2012), Stuart Rhodes had already been busy building himself up into legendary status among his followers. Likewise, Corey has been trying to do the same. In fact, the rumors were that despite Corey’s self-professed “legal prowess,” Rhodes had snubbed pseudo-lawyer, Corey. At least, Rhodes had a JD and a license to practice ACTUAL law in an at least one jurisdiction.

    After not too long of hanging out with these folks, I began to realize that pretty much everyone associated with Oath Keepers was something of a loony-toon. Their ideas just didn’t function in the “real world.” Each one of them was one “chem-trail” away from going off the deep end.

    It seemed like the path for all of these Oath Keepers and “patriots” was they’d eventually run afoul of the “illegitimate” law enforcement (aka the “de facto government”), such as James Stewart of RAWSOME FOODS. I met him too and he told me was facing 20 years for “conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor” – a felony.

    A rational person, such as myself observed these phenomena (e.g. criminal charges, etc.), and drew the conclusion this path was the natural trajectory for anyone and everyone holding onto these “illegitimate government” beliefs. I figured, even if the “illegitimate, de facto government” had been installed by some cabal, it was just better to go back into the Matrix where mainstream society dwells. At least there, you can hold down a job and get few of the “illegitimate” government’s dollar bills that everyone uses (even the conspiracy theorists).

    In contrast to me who abandoned these kooky people and their unworkable theories, there were people in the Oath Keeper/patriot movement (like Corey) who observed this SAME set of facts (e.g. criminal charges, etc.) and let those events REINFORCE their beliefs. And being ignorant of the court system, they turned to Corey as their guru. Like any guru, if you asked him any hard and fast legal question, he’d withhold this dark and mysterious knowledge from any acolytes. And simple give you some circular response in form of a riddle. For example, when I asked him about this whole “common law” driving thing and whether that meant you didn’t need car insurance, Corey responded – “well, having car insurance is a GOOD thing.” Or, if you dump your driver’s license for a “common law” ID, how are you supposed to get car insurance? Again, no answer. He actually just gave the sense that he knew how you could get car insurance without having a driver’s license. (Of course, no insurance company will issue insurance to an unlicensed driver.)

    Every so often, I’ve googled Corey to see if he ever got anywhere with his theories. As you’ve pointed out, he’s suffered tremendously just for refusing to maintain a driver’s licence, current registration and car insurance. MAYBE Corey is actually right. MAYBE …. SOMEWHERE in the land of obscurity his theories are the right ones. But, even if he is right, the people with the guns and the power to put him (or anyone else) behind bars haven’t been convinced by any of his arguments.

    I found some of Corey’s court pleadings online. They come off just as pathetic as those YouTube videos where “sovereign citizens” get pwned by law enforcement and the courts of this “fictional place” called the United States.

    • Colin June 8, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Wow, thanks for your perspective!

      Corey and his partner just shut down their podcast; I think they got discouraged in the end by the constant failures. I expect they’ll work themselves up for another round of failure before too long, though.

      • Xavier June 8, 2017 / 6:33 pm

        Between your (sardonic) piece and City Atty., Mike Feuer’s office ripping Corey up in court filings, I’m still busting a gut.

        Corey once tried to “practice some of his law” on me, and I ripped him a new one too! (And I barely knew anything at the time.) His crap only works on the dumbest of the dumb (maybe not even them).

    • Colin June 8, 2017 / 5:04 pm

      Yeah, Meads is a classic. The Quatloos and Fogbow forums are great for further reading, and the TP FAQ ( is an excellent resource (although focused specifically on tax issues).

      • Xavier June 8, 2017 / 10:02 pm

        Holy cow! What a resource! Thanks.

        In the context of my brush with the Oath Keepers, I also encountered self-proclaimed anarchist, Marc Stevens (No-State Project).

        Whereas Corey (Eib) only practiced medicine .. urr … law on himself without a license or any other credentials, Stevens practices it using clients as his cannon fodder – mainly in the form of tax protesting.

        My assessment of Marc is that he’s almost not half-bad as a stand-up comedian.

        Yes. He points out many ridiculous assumptions about our society and how lay-people think law OUGHT to work. That’s what stand-up comedians do. Highlight the absurd.

        But then, like an unlicensed surgeon who dropped out of medical school, he practices on his patients (aka “clients”) before IRS agents and so forth, perhaps exposing them to criminal prosecution or at least putting these misguided souls into even worse circumstances.

        I knew Marc’s ideas were faulty when – during his ‘stand-up comedy act’ in San Clemente (2012), he spoke about his young daughters. He denounces the police as psychopaths with guns (which might not be far from the truth), but who would he rely on to secure his daughters’ protection from OTHER psychopaths? These same “psychopaths” (dressed as police) I’m guessing.

        Marc Stevens’ sin is leading lambs to the slaughter rather than just himself, like Corey.

        • Colin June 11, 2017 / 9:36 pm

          Been going down the Marc Stevens rabbit hole all weekend, thanks! Bizarre stuff. More harmful than the Agenda 31 guys I think, as he seems to be more successful in convincing people to trust his nonsense.

  14. Xavier June 11, 2017 / 3:19 pm


    After reading and re-reading your article several times .. .and skimming some of the articles you’ve linked out to …

    It appears me A) you’re an actual licensed attorney .. and that you’ve attempted to school Corey (as has Mike Feuer’s office) out of a sense of compassion to him personally and to society in general.

    That is admirable. And who could ask for more? Most of us (non-attorneys have to spend $395 to get a taste of our wrong-headed ideas). By contrast, Corey has spend $1,000 in photocopies and wasted countless hours trying to win un-winnable cases using himself as the giunea pig.

    And B) as far as I can tell, the intentions of Mr. Feuer’s office have come from a similar place. That is, as a society, we shouldn’t apply harsh punishments upon the “merely misguided” or even “delusional.” Instead we should give each one a chance to make corrections and get back to the “business of living.”

    Around that time I’d met Corey (2012), he told me he’d recently had a falling out with his significant other (“SO”). Not being a psychologist, and not having much detail on these events, I don’t know if this falling out was due to his ambitions of becoming a guru (“pseudo-lawyer”) or if his pseudo-lawyering was an outcropping of this (failed) personal relationship.

    Again, if you are an attorney (as your article indicates), I commend you for donating your time to this case study (i.e. Corey Eib) and as a donation to society.

    I’m glad you posted a link to Corey’s podcast about the 2nd Amendment. While the transcript could be disturbing, by listening to the actual podcast, it’s easier to discern he has no real intentions of “hanging” anyone.

    Blessings be upon you, Colin.

  15. Lee Watters June 30, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    I see that many are pro government here, so let me ask you this:

    What is the legal definition of a citizen?
    What is the legal definition of a subject?
    What is the legal definition of a sovereign?

    Which one are you?

    Are we to have a Corporate form of government?
    Are we to have a Democracy form of government?

    Now, look up Article 4 Section 4 of the united states constitution.

    Can any laws passed by a government established through fraud? The answer would be no as they were unconstitutional!

    • Colin June 30, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      I don’t know a legal definition for any of the three off the top of my head. If there are definitions you think are relevant, feel free to say why.

      I’m a citizen of the United States, and of the state in which I reside, pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment.

      The Constitution guarantees a republican form of government in each state, as you write.

      So with all of that said, so what?

      • tubebuzzer July 12, 2018 / 5:34 pm

        Quick question for you, since you said ‘so what?’ – Should the DMV have the ability to supersede decisions of the Supreme Court?

        Does the DMV ever find a case it doesn’t like, then change the driver license application so as to subvert the decisions from SCOTUS?

        Would that even be possible, lets say someone takes the issue of blood chemical analysis incident to a drunk driving arrest to the Supreme Court and wins a finding that it is unconstitutional to draw blood without a warrant. Would it be possible for the DMV to simply change the driver license application to completely subvert this decision by making it a voluntary act that you agree to consent to a blood draw when an officer requests it?

        Could the DMV, which you claim has authority to require all drivers to have a license to drive, force people to waive 4th amendment rights as a condition of getting a license after a decision from SCOTUS which specifically protects those rights.

        Curious, can you answer this question?

        • Colin July 13, 2018 / 12:59 am

          No, possibly but not that I know of, as far as I know, and I think so, respectively.

          Corey, you seem to be assuming that there is a fundamental right to drive. There isn’t. There’s a right to travel, but that’s not the same thing. See Miller v. Reed, 176 F. 3d 1202 (9th Cir. 1999) (

    • Chris July 1, 2017 / 2:19 am

      Did you fail your high school civics class (which morphed into “American Government” for my kids)? By the way, “subject” and “sovereign” only apply to monarchies or other feudal systems (which are now rare on this planet, wait, do you live in the Kingdom of Tonga?).

      “Now, look up Article 4 Section 4 of the united states constitution.”

      What about sections 1 through 3 of Article 4? Or the other bits in that constitution. Speaking of which.. “united states”… which one? Does it include los Estados Unidos de Venezuela:

      Because, while it was lovely to live in during the late 1960s… now, not so much. Though you are welcome to move down there and try to survive. I got to live there because I was an Army brat, which meant I got to live in other places (though not in Europe, not in Japan… and definitely not in Hawaii).

      Then later I also got to live in a total dictatorship. That was fun. Newspapers that said something the dictator did not like disappeared. So did actual people.* Except the headless bodies would occasionally be found. The newspapers just disappeared. Perhaps you would prefer Somalia, I hear they have very nice beaches and very little government. (I believe they don’t bother with decapitation… just bullets if you disagree with the guy who has more guns)

      Seriously what kind of society would you prefer to live in… one with actual laws or total anarchy (though I fear the latter is often young kids who like to dress up like ninjas and break things, hence the song “Busting Up a Starbucks”… wearing Nike shoes).

      Come on! Be brave, explain how a civil society should be achieved. Don’t do something as silly as declare “no taxes”, because I seriously do not want pay tolls on every little tiny street I need to walk/drive on just to get groceries (which I hope are not adulterated with sawdust or melamine!).

      My high school chemistry teacher was murdered by a subsequent dictator in that country several years after I left… yeah, I have some resentments over the “authoritative dictator” model of civil society. I really liked my chemistry teacher, just like I like science. You say “pro government”… well, let me tell you this… I do not like a “government” that has its Guardia Nacional drag a community college teacher, formally a high school chemistry teacher, from his home to a random place just to kill him. Why is this acceptable anywhere?

  16. tubebuzzer July 12, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    The statement that there is no case law which supports the idea that state citizenship, as distinguished from United States citizenship is just wrong.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    Van Valkenburg v Brown 43 CAL 43 (1872) – “It is claimed that the plaintiff is a citizen of the United States and of this State. Undoubtedly she is. It is argued that she became such by force of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, already recited. This, however, is a mistake. It could as well be claimed that she became free by the effect of the Thirteenth Amendment, by which slavery was abolished; for she was no less a citizen than she was free before the adoption of either of these amendments. No white person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, or born without those limits, and subsequently naturalized under their laws, owes the status of citizenship to the recent amendments to the Federal Constitution. “The history and aim of the Fourteenth Amendment is well known, and the purpose had in view in its adoption well understood. That purpose was to confer the status of citizenship upon a numerous class of persons domiciled within the limits of the United States, who could not be brought within the operation of the naturalization laws because native born, and whose birth, though native, had at the same time left them without the status of citizenship. These persons were not white persons, but were, in the main, persons of African descent, who had been held in slavery in this country, or, if having themselves never been held in slavery, were the native-born descendents of slaves. Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment it was settled that neither slaves, nor those who had been such, nor the descendants of these, though native and free born, were capable of becoming citizens of the United States. (Dread Scott v. Sanford, 19 How. 393). The Thirteenth Amendment, though conferring the boon of freedom upon native-born persons of African blood, had yet left them under an insuperable bar as to citizenship; and it was mainly to remedy this condition that the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted.”

    Slaughterhouse Cases 83 US 36 – “It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the
    United States** and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.”

    Alla v Kornfeld 84 F Sup 823 – “There is a distinction between citizenship of the United States**
    and citizenship of a particular state, and a person may be the former without being the latter.”

    State v Fowler 41 La. Ann. 380 – “But a person may be a citizen of a particular state and not a citizen of the United States.”

    With regard to constitutional protections of the 14th Amendment, here is what Jones v Temmer had to say on the issue; “The privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects very few rights because it neither incorporates any of the Bill of Rights nor protects all rights of individual citizens. See Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 21 L.Ed. 394 (1873). Instead, this provision protects only those rights peculiar to being a citizen of the federal government; it does not protect those rights which relate to state citizenship.”

    Seems to me your biased towards a particular thought process which is pro-DC government, and anti citizen, which is very common with attorneys, and why most attorneys are unable to explain why the USPS has the obligation to deliver mail at the rate set by the 37th congress.

    Unlikely this post will see the light of day, as most attorneys are incapable of rational thought when it comes to constitutional issues, they just paint anyone who strives to protect rights secured by the Constitution as a ‘guru’ who should be dismissed.

    BTW, an encouraging comment made by a clerk at SCOTUS in regards to my Writ of Mandamus that was dismissed without comment, was that a case is not docketed into the court without having merit. How many cases have you had docketed in the Supreme Court Jennifer?

    • Colin July 13, 2018 / 2:16 am

      Hi Corey,

      This is Colin, not Jennifer—she lets me post on her blog. You can tell which posts are mine by the byline under the title.

      I don’t think I wrote that state and federal citizenship aren’t different things. For example, I cited Kantor, which says that you have to be US citizen to be a state citizen—that’s not the same thing as saying the two kinds of citizenship are the same thing. The 14th Amendment also makes it clear that they’re not, because there are rights coming from federal citizenship that don’t come from state citizenship. (For what it’s worth, I don’t much care whether it’s possible to be a state citizen without being a federal citizen. If it is, you haven’t gotten there yet. You were obviously a federal citizen at one point since you carried a passport, and you don’t seem to have effectively renounced that citizenship.)

      What I said was that it’s impossible to just be a state citizen without being a federal citizen as well. I believe that’s correct as a general matter of law. And presuming that you were born in the US, which includes every state, I think it’s also a moot point because the 14th Amendment makes you a federal citizen.

      As for the case of Van Valkenburg v Brown, I think you’re misreading it—it holds that she didn’t become a US citizen by operation of the 14th Amendment because she was already a citizen at the moment it was ratified. That reasoning would only apply to someone who was alive, like she was, at the time. Anyone born in the US after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, like you, is a citizen by virtue of that amendment.

      I’m sure you disagree with that, but it doesn’t particularly matter given that VVvB is irrelevant. As you can see, it’s the decision of a state supreme court. The US Supreme Court is the final arbiter when it comes to the federal constitution. In 1872, the same year VVvB came out, the US Supreme Court decided the Slaughterhouse cases—I believe the first USSCT case to interpret the 14th Amendment. The US Supreme Court explicitly held that under the plain text of the amendment, “all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction [are] citizens of the United States.” 83 US 36 (1872) (It also explicitly holds that “subject to its jurisdiction” is meant to exclude the children of diplomats and citizens of foreign nations.) Even if your reading of VVvB were correct, it would be irrelevant given the Slaughterhouse cases and subsequent precedent.

      You also point out that the Slaughterhouse cases say that federal and state citizenship are different. Sure. As that case says, the two have different requirements—to be a state citizen you have to reside in a state, while to be a federal citizen you just have to be born in the country. (Page 74.) But it also says that if you’re born in the US, you’re a citizen of the union. And there are no semantic games that fix that problem for your belief. If you were born east of the Pacific, west of the Atlantic, north of Mexico, and south of Canada, you’re a citizen of the union.

      State v Fowler looks like a cool case, and it looks like you’re right – it does say that someone can be a state citizen without being a federal citizen. There’s a few problems, though. One is that a state case from 1889 is likely to have been overturned or challenged in the intervening 130 years. Have you shephardized the case to see if it’s still good law? Another problem is that even if Fowler is still binding precedent, it’s only binding in Louisiana. In California, Kantor is going to be a more relevant case, and it came out the other way.

      But the biggest problem for your theories is that Fowler doesn’t change the fact that you were (I’m presuming) born in California or some other state, therefore in the US, and are therefore a US citizen. You could renounce that citizenship, but federal law makes that difficult and rather a life-changing experience. For one, you have to leave the country to do it, and if you thereafter reentered the country you’d be an undocumented alien.

      “most attorneys are unable to explain why the USPS has the obligation to deliver mail at the rate set by the 37th congress”

      Sure I can explain it. The post office delivers mail with crap postage sometimes, but not all of the time. You could experiment with this, you know—invest a few bucks in sending a thousand letters with insufficient postage, and see if they all get through.

      “BTW, an encouraging comment made by a clerk at SCOTUS in regards to my Writ of Mandamus that was dismissed without comment, was that a case is not docketed into the court without having merit. How many cases have you had docketed in the Supreme Court Jennifer?”

      I’m Colin, not Jennifer, as I said before. And none. I litigated and won my cases in trial and intermediate appellate courts. Having done that, I know from experience that getting something docketed is not an indication of merit. It’s an indication that the papers arrived in the clerk’s office and had a legible caption. I’ve literally seen pro se motions written in pencil on envelopes and toilet paper docketed. (From prisoners, who had no other supplies—it was actually an impressive feat given their circumstances.)

      Only the court itself can decide whether something has merit. I’m glad that the clerk was nice to you, but you’ve read rather more than he or she intended into that comment.

      “Unlikely this post will see the light of day, as most attorneys are incapable of rational thought when it comes to constitutional issues, they just paint anyone who strives to protect rights secured by the Constitution as a ‘guru’ who should be dismissed.”

      Corey, learning the law from YouTube comments and blog posts isn’t striving to protect anything. You’re a guru because you take money from people who can’t afford to waste it, and then waste it on feeding your ego.

      If you care about law, why not spend some time learning it? There are free constitutional law classes on MOOC sites like Coursera. If you can’t be bothered to even put that much effort into learning the law, how serious are you about this?

  17. Rob May 17, 2019 / 10:59 am

    Hear! Hear!
    We need more voices of reason & sense and not voices telling people to kill people and otherwise break the laws.
    If Mr. Eib & others just took a few minutes to breathe deeply and calmly read our Constitution & the individual State’s Constitutions, he might see that he has enough Natural & Human Rights guaranteed by those Constitutions, and he might realize that he doesn’t need to hurt others or himself in such an over-heated and thoughtless pursuit of false rights.
    Semel insanivimnum omnes!

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