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Keep and Bear Arms



The first draft was sent to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and various other public servants with a letter that was originally published here:
and is archived on our site here:

A follow-up letter to the Governor was later sent. That letter was originally published online here:  
and is archived on our site here:
The printer-friendly version can be found here:

As other organizations and individuals formulate and send similar notices to public officials to put them on notice that The Day of Infringement is over, we look forward to publishing your work.
Gun Owners' Free Press



The Militia of Washington County, Sovereign State of Arkansas


All elected Public Servants holding office at the State, County, and Municipal level, including Administrative, Legislative, Judicial, and Law Enforcement branches, their agents, appointees, and employees.

Greetings, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

BE IT KNOWN that any law, statute, or ordinance that is repugnant to the written Constitutions for the United States of America (1787) - Marbury vs. Madison 5 US 137,174, 176, (1803); and the State of Arkansas (1874) is NULL and VOID, ab initio, ultra vires.

The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The written Constitution for the United States of America is the supreme law of the land, any statute to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for both the written Constitution for the United States of America and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:

The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its inactment, and not merely from the date so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed.

Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it... A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.

No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.

Sixteenth American Jurisprudence
Second Edition, Section 256

BE IT KNOWN that all Senators and Representatives and all judicial and executive, State and county officers, both civil and military, before entering on the duties of their respective offices shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:

"I, _______ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Arkansas, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of ________, upon which I am now about to enter."

Constitution of the State of Arkansas of 1874; Article 19, Sec. 20


The Ten Original Amendments (Bill of Rights) of the written Constitution for the United States of America (Effective December 15, 1791)


The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses, should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution. (The first ten amendments are "declaratory and restrictive clauses". This means they supersede all other parts of our Constitution and restrict the powers of our Constitution. Any version of the "Bill of Rights" published without the Preamble is a fraud. The first ten Amendments are indefeasible, and thereby, not open to interpretation by anyone. The "Bill of Rights" are separate from all the other Amendments, and restrict the Constitution and restricts the powers of government.)

The following clauses of the Bill of Rights are entered as Facts supporting this Declaration:

Article I. 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.

Article II. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Article IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article IX. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (The only powers delegated by the Sovereign States to the Federal Government by the written Constitution for the United States of America are enumerated in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18.)

PREAMBLE to the written Constitution for the State of Arkansas of 1874:

"We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government, for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

The following clauses of Article 2, Declaration of Rights, of the written Constitution for the State of Arkansas are entered as Facts supporting this Declaration:

Sec. 1. Source of Power. All political power is inherent in the people and government is instituted for their protection, security and benefit; and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same in such manner as they may think proper.

Sec. 2. Freedom and independence. All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sec. 4. Right of assembly and of petition. The right of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition, by address or remonstrance, the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.

Sec. 5. Right to bear arms. The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.

Sec. 27. Slavery - Standing armies - Military subordinate to civil power. There shall be no slavery in this State, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. No standing army shall be kept in time of peace; the military shall at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power; and no soldier shall be quartered in any house, or on any premises, without the consent of the owner in time of peace; nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 29. Enumeration of rights of people not exclusive of other rights - Protection against encroachment. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people and to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the higher powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of the government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein contained, shall be void. (emphasis added.)


Efficiency of Militia Bill H.R. 11654, June 28, 1902. Congressional Record, House, pages 7706-7713 and 321-353, 7594-7595. Also known as the Dick Act of 1902, written by Representative Dick, passed by Congress on June 30, 1902.

"Be it enacted that the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen, respective of States, Territories, and the District of Columbia and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than 18 and less than 45 years of age, shall be divided into three classes; the organized militia, to be known as The National Guard of the State, Territory or District of Columbia, or by such other designations by the laws of the respective States or Territories, as may be given by the laws of the respective States or Territories, the national voluntary reserve as provided in this act, and the remainder to be known as the reserve militia."

The Militia Act and the revised Militia Act (the Dick Act), make it quite clear that all men between the ages of 18 and 45 are the unenrolled (unorganized) militia with an absolute right to keep and bear Arms under the Article II of the Bill of Rights, of whatever type; automatic or semi-automatic, regardless of size, magazine capacity, barrel length or caliber/gauge in any quantity they may deem necessary along with any amount of ammunition they may determine from time to time.

"The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Report", of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee; Ninety-seventh Congress, second session, February 1982. Orrin Hatch, Chairman.

"That the National Guard is not the "Militia" referred to in the Second Amendment is even clearer today. Congress has organized the National Guard under its power to "raise and support armies", and not its power to "Provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia." (65) This Congress chose to do so in the interest of organizing reserve military units which were not limited in deployment by the strictures of our power over Constitutional militia, which can be called forth only "to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection, and repel invasions." The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the Constitutional militia, a distinction recognized by Title 10 United States Code 311 (a)."

"The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentor and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear Arms, therefore, is a right of the individual citizen to privately possess and carry in a peaceful manner firearms and similar arms. Such an individual rights interpretation is in full accord with the history of the right to keep and bear arms previously discussed...It accurately reflects the majority of proposals that lead up to the Bill of Rights itself.

NOW, THEREFORE, all existing or future so-called "gun and/or ammunition laws", of whatever name or form under "color of law", whether Federal, Federal Agency, Pseudo Federal Agency, State, County or Municipal that infringes, abridges or restricts in any manner, the God given, unalienable, indefeasible, Constitutional right of Citizens to keep and bear Arms peaceably, openly or concealed, for their defense of life, liberty, and property are prima facie violations of Article 1, Sec. 9, Part 3; Article 6, Part 2; and Amendments I, II, IV, IX, and X of the Constitution for the United States of America; Article 2; Sec. 1, Sec. 2, Sec. 4, Sec. 5, Sec. 27, and Sec. 29 of the Constitution for the State of Arkansas; and the Dick Act of 1902, and are NO LAW, ab initio, ultra vires, of no force and effect, incumbent upon no one to obey or any court to enforce.

Constitution for the State of Arkansas; Article 11 - Militia

Sec. 1. Persons liable to military duty. The militia shall consist of all able-bodied male persons, residents of the State, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as may be exempted by the laws of the United States or this State, and shall be organized, officered, armed and equipped and trained in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 2. Volunteer companies. Volunteer companies of infantry, cavalry or artillery may be formed in such manner and with such restrictions as may be provided by law.

Sec. 3. Privilege of members from arrest. The volunteer and militia forces shall in all cases (except treason, felony and breach of the peace) be privileged from arrest during their attendance at muster and the election of officers, and in going to and returning from the same.

Sec. 4. Authority to call out volunteers or militia. The Governor shall, when the General Assembly is not in session, have the power to call out the volunteers or militia, or both, to execute the laws, repel invasion, repress insurrection and preserve the public peace in such manner as may be authorized by law.

We, the Volunteer (unenrolled) Militia of the Sovereign State of Arkansas do now Formally Declare - that among the Arms and their respective ammunition legally protected from infringement, for the Defense, Liberty, and Security of the Citizens, are:

For the Infantry - Any rifle, pistol, or shotgun, by any name known, regardless of size, calibre, barrel length, or magazine capacity, whether automatic or semi-automatic, of past, present, or future designs.

For the Cavalry - Including, but not limited to, Light and Heavy armored vehicles, rapid-deployment, self-powered mobile artillery, and any fixed or rotary winged aircraft.

For the Artillery - Any cannon, all types of rocketry, anti-tank weapons, mortars, recoilless rifles, or any such other weaponry used for bombardment.



BE IT KNOWN that whatever attempt to enforce any existing or future gun and/or ammunition control "laws, statutes, or legislation", registration, or restriction, whether Federal, State, County, or Municipal within the borders of the State of Arkansas, include, but are not limited to, the following violations:

1. The God-given, unalienable right of Citizens to defend and protect their life, liberty, and property.

2. The Constitution and Bill of Rights for the United States of America and the Constitution and Declaration of Rights for the State of Arkansas.

3. Oath of office to support the Constitution for the United States of America and the Constitution for the State of Arkansas.

4. Breach of Contract with We, the People.

5. False swearing, Perjury of Oath, and Contempt of the Constitution(s).

6. Conspiracy to deprive Citizens of their Constitutional Rights.

7. Malfeasance, Misfeasance, Nonfeasance, Misprision.

8. Constructive Fraud, Conspiracy to commit Fraud.

9. Subversion of and Conspiracy to Subvert the Constitution(s). AND

10. Supporting or accepting any Federal Treaty, Executive Order, Mandate, or Proclamation that compromises the Constitution or Sovereignty of the State of Arkansas is Treason against the Citizens.

11. By legal definition, "One, who being trusted, betrays; one guilty of treason" is a Traitor.

12. Ignorance of the Constitution(s) sworn to be supported is no excuse.

It is with deepest respect for the just, republican form of government that our Founding Fathers, pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, left us, their posterity, to rid We, the People from tyranny and despotism. With humility, prayer, and resolve, this DECLARATION is directed to all those who would despoil the hard-won legacy of freedom and liberty that too many of us are now taking for granted.

The Militia of Washington County sincerely extends an invitation to all those of good will, believing in Almighty God, Family, Country, and individual Freedom and Liberty, to join with us in the endeavor of insuring that the Citizens of Arkansas should never feel the chains of slavery.

Done in the County of Washington, Sovereign State of Arkansas, the ninth day of October in the Year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight and of the Independence of the United States the two hundred twenty-second.

The Militia of Washington County by:


Wayne Fincher, Commander


Black's Law Dictionary, Rev. Fourth Ed. (Citations omitted) West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, c 1968 (When preceded by *, is from Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, G. & C. Merriam Co., Publishers, 1964, c 1961)

The following definition of words in the foregoing DECLARATION is Acknowledged, and by reference thereto, is made a part thereof:

Ab initio. Lat. From the beginning; from the first act; entirely; as to all the acts done; in the inception. A party may be said to be a trespasser, an estate to be good, an agreement or deed to be void, or a marriage or act to be unlawful, ab initio.

Able-bodied. As used in a statute relating to service in the militia, this term does not imply an absolute freedom from all physical ailment. It imports an absence of those palpable and visible defects which evidently incapacitate the person from performing the ordinary duties of a soldier.

Abrogate. To annul, repeal, or destroy; to annul or repeal an order or rule issued by a subordinate authority; to repeal a former law by legislative act, or by usage.

Acquiesce. To give an implied consent to a transaction, to the accrual of a right, or to any act, by one's mere silence, or without express assent or acknowledgement.
It arises where a person who knows that he is entitled to impeach a transaction or enforce a right neglects to do so for such a length of time that, under the circumstances of the case, the other party may fairly infer that he has waived or abandoned his right.

Actionable. That for which an action will lie, furnishing legal ground for an action.

Actionable fraud. Deception practiced in order to induce another to part with property or surrender some legal right; a false representation made with an intention to deceive; may be committed by stating what is known to be false or by professing knowledge of the truth of a statement which is false, but in either case, the essential ingredient is a falsehood uttered with intent to deceive.

To constitute "actionable fraud," it must appear that defendant made a material representation; that it was false; that when he made it he knew it was false, or made it recklessly without any knowledge of its truth and as a positive assertion; that he made it with intention that it should be acted on by plaintiff; that plaintiff acted in reliance on it; and that plaintiff thereby suffered injury.

Actionable negligence. The breach or nonperformance of a legal duty, through neglect or carelessness, resulting in damage or injury to another.

It is failure of duty, omission of something which ought to have been done, or doing of something which ought not to have been done, or which reasonable man, guided by considerations which ordinarily regulate conduct of human affairs, would or would not do.

*Arm. fr. L armare, fr. arma (pl.) tools, weapons 1: to furnish or equip with weapons (arming the soldiers for battle) 2: to furnish or equip with something that adds strength, force, security, or efficiency; 1a : a means of offense or defense : weapon; esp. : firearm (an arms manufacturer) - often used in pl. (taking up arms to defend themselves)

Arms. Anything that a man wears for his defense, or takes in his hands, or uses in his anger, to cast at or strike at another.

*Bear. b : to be accoutered or fitted out with : carry as equipment (the right to bear a sword in the king's presence) -bear arms 1: to carry or possess arms (the right of the people to keep and bear arms -U.S. Constitution)

Bear. To support, sustain, or carry; to give rise to, or to produce, something else as an incident or auxiliary...

Bear arms. To carry arms as weapons and with reference to their military use, not to wear them about the person as part of the dress. As applied to fire-arms, includes the right to load and shoot them as such things are generally used.

Bill of Attainder. A legislative act, directed against a designated person, pronouncing him guilty of an alleged crime, (usually treason,) without trial or conviction according to the recognized rules of procedure, and passing sentence of death and attainder upon him.

"Bills of attainder," as they are technically called, are such special acts of the legislature as inflict capital punishments upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offenses, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an act inflicts a milder degree of punishment than death, it is called a "bill of pains and penalties," but both are included in the prohibition in the Federal constitution.

Bill of rights. A solemn and formal legislative declaration of popular rights and liberties. - A formal and emphatic legislative assertion and declaration of popular rights and liberties usually promulgated upon a change of government; particularly the statute 1 W. & M. St. 2, c. 2. Also the summary of the rights and liberties of the people, or of the principles of constitutional law deemed essential and fundamental, contained in many of the American state constitutions. That portion of the Constitution guaranteeing rights and privileges to the individual.

Breach. The breaking or violating of a law, right, or duty, either by commission or omission.

Breach of contract. Failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise which forms the whole or part of a contract.

Breach of duty. In a general sense, any violation or omission of a legal or moral duty. More particularly, the neglect or failure to fulfill in a just and proper manner the duties of an office or fiduciary employment. Every violation by a trustee of a duty which equity lays upon him, whether willful and fraudulent, or done through negligence or arising through mere oversight or forgetfulness, is a breach of duty.

Citizen. One who, under the constitution and laws of the United States, or of a particular state, is a member of the political community, owing allegiance and being entitled to the enjoyment of full civil rights.

Collusion. Is an agreement between two or more persons to defraud a person of his rights by the forms of law, or to obtain an object forbidden by law. It implies the existence of fraud of some kind, the employment of fraudulent means, or of lawful means for the accomplishment of an unlawful purpose. A secret combination, conspiracy, or concert of action between two or more persons for fraudulent or deceitful purpose.

Color of law. The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right.

Conspiracy. In criminal law. A combination or confederacy between two or more persons formed for the purpose of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act, or some act which is innocent in itself, but becomes unlawful when done by the concerted action of the conspirators, or for the purpose of using criminal or unlawful means to the commission of an act not in itself unlawful.

Conspirators. Persons guilty of a conspiracy. Those who bind themselves by oath, covenant, or other alliance that each of them shall aid the other falsely and maliciously to indict persons; or falsely to move and maintain pleas, etc.

Constitution. In American law. The written instrument agreed upon by the people of the Union or of a particular state, as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and officers of the government in respect to all the points covered by it, which must control until it shall be changed by the authority which established it, and in opposition to which any act or ordinance of any such department or officer is null and void.

Constitutional liberty or freedom. Such freedom as is enjoyed by the citizens of a country or state under the protection of its constitution; the aggregate of those personal, civil, and political rights of the individual which are guaranteed by the constitution and secured against invasion by the government or any of its agencies.

Constitutional right. A right guaranteed to the citizens by the Constitution and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith.

Declaratory. Explanatory; designed to fix or elucidate what before was uncertain or doubtful.

De facto. In fact; in deed, actually. This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs which must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. In this sense, it is the contrary of de jure, which means rightful, legitimate, just, or constitutional. Thus, an officer, king, or government de facto is one who is in actual possession of the office or supreme power, but by usurpation, or without lawful title; while an officer, king, or governor de jure is one who has just claim and rightful title to the office or power, but has never had plenary possession of it, or is not in actual possession.

De facto court. One established, organized, and exercising its judicial functions under authority of a statute apparently valid, though such statute may be in fact unconstitutional and may be afterwards so adjudged; or a court established and acting under the authority of a de facto government.

De facto Government. One that maintains itself by a display of force against the will of the rightful legal government and is successful, at least temporarily, in overturning the institutions of the rightful legal government by setting up its own in lieu thereof.

De jure. Of right; legitimate; lawful; by right and just title.

Despoil. This word involves, in its signification, violence or clandestine means by which one is deprived of that which he possesses.

Excess of jurisdiction. A case in which court has initially proceeded properly within its jurisdiction but steps out of jurisdiction in making of some order or in the doing of some judicial act. A departure by a court from those recognized and established requirements of law, however close apparent adherence to mere form in method of procedure, which has the effect of depriving one of a constitutional right, is an "excess of jurisdiction."

False. Not true. It also means: Artificial; assumed or designed to deceive; contrary to fact; deceitful, sham; intentionally untrue; not genuine or real; not according to truth or reality; counterfeit.

In law, this word usually means something more than untrue; it means something designedly untrue and deceitful, and implies an intention to perpetuate some treachery or fraud.

False arrest. Any unlawful physical restraint by one of another's liberty, whether in prison or elsewhere.

False fact. In the law of evidence. A feigned, simulated, or fabricated fact; a fact not founded in truth, but existing only in assertion; the deceitful semblance of a fact.

False imprisonment. See Imprisonment.

Forfeit. To lose, or lose the right to, by some error, fault, offense, or crime, or to subject, as property, to forfeiture or confiscation. To lose, in consequence of breach of contract, neglect of duty, or offense, some right, privilege, or property to another or to the state.

Fraud. An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. 

A generic term, embracing all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, get advantage over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth, and includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling, and any unfair way by which another is cheated.

It consists of some deceitful practice or willful device, resorted to with intent to deprive another of his right, or in some manner to do him an injury. As distinguished from negligence, it is always positive, intentional.

Fraud is either actual or constructive. Actual fraud consists in deceit, artifice, trick, design, some direct and active operation of the mind; it includes cases of the intentional and successful employment of any cunning, deception, or artifice used to circumvent or cheat another; it is something said, done, or omitted by a person with the design of perpetrating what he knows to be a cheat or deception. Constructive fraud consists in any act of commission or omission contrary to legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed, which is contrary to good conscience and operates to the injury of another. Or, as otherwise defined, it is an act, statement or omission which operates as a virtual fraud on an individual, or which, if generally permitted, would be prejudicial to the public welfare, and yet may have been unconnected with any selfish or evil design. Or, according to Story, constructive frauds are such acts or contracts as, though not originating in any actual evil design or contrivance to perpetuate a positive fraud or injury upon other persons, are yet, by their tendency to deceive or mislead other persons, or to violate private or public confidence, or to impair or injure the public interests, deemed equally reprehensible with actual fraud.

Fraudulent concealment. The hiding or suppression of a material fact or circumstance which the party is legally or morally bound to disclose. The test of whether failure to disclose material facts constitutes fraud is the existence of a duty, legal or equitable, arising from the relation of the parties; failure to disclose a material fact with intent to mislead or defraud under such circumstances being equivalent to an actual "fraudulent concealment."

Fraudulent representation. A false statement as to material fact, made with intent that another rely thereon. which is believed by other party and on which he relies and by which he is induced to act and does act to his injury, and statement is fraudulent if speaker knows statement to be false or if it is made with utter disregard of its truth or falsity.

Free. Not subject to legal constraint of another. Unconstrained; having power to follow the dictates of his own will. Not subject to the dominion of another. Not compelled to involuntary servitude. Used in this sense as opposed to "slave." Not despotic; assuring liberty; defending individual rights against encroachment by any person or class; instituted by a free people; said of governments, institutions, etc. Webster.

Freedom. The state of being free; liberty; self-determination; absence of restraint; the opposite of slavery. The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other check, hindrance, or prohibition than such as may be imposed by just and necessary laws and the duties of social life. The prevalence, in the government and constitution of a country, of such a system of laws and institutions as secure civil liberty to the individual citizen.

Freeman. A person in the possession and enjoyment of all the civil rights accorded to the people under a free government.

Fundamental law. The law which determines the constitution of government in a state, and prescribes and regulates the manner of its exercise; the organic law of the state; the constitution.

Give notice. To communicate to another, in any proper or permissible legal manner, information or warning of an existing fact or state of facts or (more usually) of some intended future action.

Government. From the Latin gubernaculum. Signifies the instrument, the helm, whereby the ship to which the state was compared, was guided on its course by the "gubernator" or helmsman, and in that view, the government is but an agency of the state, distinguished as it must be in accurate thought from its scheme and machinery of government.

The system of polity in a state; that form of fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions; a constitution, either written or unwritten, by which the rights and duties of citizens and public officers are prescribed and defined, as a monarchical government, a republican government, etc. Webster.

The sovereign or supreme power in a state or nation.

Federal government. The government of the United States of America, as distinguished from the governments of the several states.

Mixed government. A form of government combining some of the features of two or all of the three primary forms, viz., monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.

Republican government. One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated.

Government De Facto. A government of fact. A government actually exercising power and control in the state, as opposed to the true and lawful government; a government not established according to the constitution of the state, or not lawfully entitled to recognition or supremacy, but which has nevertheless supplanted or displaced the government de jure. A government deemed unlawful, or deemed wrongful or unjust, which, nevertheless, receives presently habitual obedience from the bulk of the community. Aust. Jur.324.

There are several degrees of what is called "de facto government." Such a government, in its highest degree, assumes a character very closely resembling that of a lawful government. This is when the usurping government expels the regular authorities from their customary seats and functions, and establishes itself in their place, and so becomes the actual government of a country. The distinguishing characteristic of such a government is that adherents to it in war against the government de jure do not incur the penalties of treason; and under certain limitations, obligations assumed by it in behalf of the country or otherwise will, in general, be respected by the government de jure when restored.

Such a government might be more aptly denominated a "government of paramount force," being maintained by active military against the rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and obeyed in civil matters by private citizens. They are usually administered directly by military authority, but they may be administered, also, by civil authorities, supported more or less by military force.

Government De Jure. A government of right; the true and lawful government; a government established according to the constitution of the state, and lawfully entitled to recognition and supremacy and the administration of the state, but which is actually cut off from power or control. A government deemed lawful, or deemed rightful or just, which, nevertheless, has been supplanted or displaced; that is to say, which receives not presently (although it received formerly) habitual obedience from the bulk of the community.

Governmental Agency. A subordinate creature of the sovereign created to carry out a governmental function...; and every agency which Congress can constitutionally create.

Grievance. An injury, injustice or wrong which gives ground for complaint because it is unjust and oppressive.

Ignorance. The want or absence of knowledge. Ignorance of law is want of knowledge or acquaintance with the laws of the land in so for as they apply to the act, relation, duty, or matter under consideration. Ignorance of fact is want of knowledge of some fact or facts constituting or relating to the subject-matter at hand. Voluntary ignorance exists when a party might, by taking reasonable pains, have acquired the necessary knowledge. For example, every man might acquire a knowledge of the laws which have been promulgated.

Imprison. To put in a prison; to put in a place of confinement. To confine a person, or restrain his liberty, in any way.

Imprisonment. The act of putting or confining a man in prison; the restraint of a man's personal liberty; coercion exercised upon a person to prevent the free exercise of his powers of locomotion.
It is not a necessary part of the definition that the confinement should be in a place usually appropriated to that purpose; it may be in a locality used only for the specific occasion; or it may take place without the actual application of any physical agencies of restraint, (such as locks or bars,) but by verbal compulsion and the display of available force. Every confinement of the person is an "imprisonment," whether it be in a common prison, or in a private house, or in the stocks, or even by forcibly detaining one in the public streets.

False imprisonment. The unlawful arrest or detention of a person without warrant, or by an illegal warrant, or a warrant illegally executed, and either in a prison or a place used temporarily for that purpose, or by force and constraint without confinement. False imprisonment consists in the unlawful detention of the person of another, for any length of time, whereby he is deprived of his personal liberty. The unlawful detention of the occupant of an automobile may be accomplished by driving so rapidly that he cannot alight.

The term is also used as the name of the action which lies for this species of injury.

Inalienable. Not subject to alienation; the characteristic of those things which cannot be bought or sold or transferred from one person to another, such as rivers and public highways, and certain personal rights; e. g., liberty.

Indefeasible. That which cannot be defeated, revoked, or made void. This term is usually applied to an estate or right which cannot be defeated.

Independence. The state or condition of being free from dependence, subjection, or control. A state of perfect irresponsibility. Political independence is the attribute of a nation or state which is entirely autonomous, and not subject to the government, control, or dictation of any exterior power.

Independent. Not dependent; not subject to control, restriction, modification, or limitation from a given outside source.

Infringement. A breaking into; a trespass or encroachment upon; a violation of the law, regulation, contract, or right. Used especially of invasions of the rights secured by patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

Injury. Any wrong or damage done to another, either in his person, rights, reputation, or property.
Absolute injuries. Injuries to those rights which a person possesses as being a member of society.
Public injuries. Breaches and violations of rights and duties which affect the whole community as a community.

Invalid. Vain; inadequate to its purpose; not of binding force or legal efficacy; lacking in authority or obligation.

Invasion. An encroachment upon the rights of another; the incursion of an army for conquest or plunder. Webster.

Involuntary. Without will or power of choice; opposed to volition or desire. An involuntary act is that which is performed with constraint (q.v.) or with repugnance, or without the will to do it. An action is involuntary, then, which is performed under duress.

Judge-made Law. A phrase used to indicate judicial decisions which construe away the meaning of statutes, or find meanings in them the legislature never intended. It is sometimes used as meaning, simply, the law established by judicial precedent.

Keep, v. To continue. To have or retain in one's power or possession; not to lose or part with; to preserve or retain.

Liberty. Freedom; exemption from extraneous control. Freedom from all restraints except such as are justly imposed by law.

Natural Liberty. The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, unless by the law of nature.

The right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men.

Malfeasance. Evil doing; ill conduct; the commission of some act which is positively unlawful; the doing of an act which person ought not to do at all or the unjust performance of some act which the party had no right or which hw had contracted not to do. Comprehensive term including any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duties.

Martial Law. Exists when military authorities carry on government or exercise various degrees of control over civilians or civilian authorities in domestic territory.

A system of law, obtaining only in time of actual war and growing out of exigencies thereof, arbitrary in its character, and depending only on the will of the commander of an army, which is established and administered in a place or district of hostile territory held in belligerent possession, or, sometimes, in places occupied or pervaded by insurgents or mobs, and which suspends all existing civil laws, as well as the civil authority and the ordinary administration of justice.

Martial law is neither more nor less than the will of the general who commands the army (Commander-in-Chief, emphasis added). It overrides and suppresses all existing civil laws, civil officers, and civil authorities, by the arbitrary exercise of military power; and every citizen or subject - in other words, the entire population of the country, within the confines of its power - is subjected to the mere will or caprice of the commander. He holds the lives, liberty, and property of all in the palm of his hand. Martial law is regulated by no known or established system or code of laws, as it is over and above all of them. The commander is the legislator, judge, and executioner.

Military Government. Exercised by military commander under the direction of President in time of foreign war without the boundaries of the United States, or in time of rebellion and civil war within states or districts occupied by rebels.

Military Jurisdiction. There are under the Constitution, three kinds of military jurisdiction: one to be exercised both in peace and war; another to be exercised in time of foreign war without the boundaries of the United States or in time of rebellion and civil war within states or districts occupied by rebels treated as belligerents; and a third to be exercised in time of invasion or insurrection within the limits of the United States or during rebellion within the limits of states maintaining adhesion to the National Government, when the public danger requires its exercise. The first of these may be called jurisdiction under "military law" and is found in acts of Congress prescribing rules and articles of war, or otherwise providing for the government of the national forces; the second may be distinguished as "military government" superseding, as far as may be deemed expedient the local law, and exercised by the military commander under the direction of the President, with the express or implied sanction of Congress; while the third may be denominated "martial law", and is called into action by Congress, or temporarily when the action of Congress cannot be invited, and in the face of justifying or excusing peril, by the President in times of insurrection or invasion, or of civil or foreign war, within districts or localities where ordinary law no longer adequately secures public safety and private rights.

Militia. The body of citizens in a state, enrolled for discipline as a military force, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies, as distinguished from regular troops or a standing army.

Militiamen. Comprehends every temporary citizen-soldier who in time of war or emergency enters active military service of the country.

Misprision. A word used to describe a misdemeanor which does not possess a specific name.
But more particularly and properly the term denoted either (1) a contempt against the sovereign, the government, or the courts of justice, including not only contempts of court, properly so called, but also all forms of seditious or disloyal conduct and leze-majesty; (2) maladministration of high public office, including peculation of the public funds; (3) neglect or light account made of a crime, that is, failure in the duty of a citizen to endeavor to prevent the commission of a crime, or, having knowledge of its commission, to reveal it to the proper authorities.

Misrepresentation. An intentional false statement respecting a matter of fact, made by one of the parties to a contract, which is material to the contract and influential in producing it.

Representation of persons. A fiction of the law, the effect of which is to put the representative in the place, degree, or right of the person represented.

Futile; ineffectual; invalid; destitute of constraining force or vitality. A legislative act may be "nugatory" because unconstitutional.

Oppression. The misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, wrongfully inflicts upon any person any bodily harm, imprisonment, or other injury. An act of cruelty, severity, unlawful exaction, or excessive use of authority.

People. A state; as the people of the state of New York. A nation in its collective and political capacity. The aggregate or mass of the individuals who constitute the state.

In a more restricted sense, and as generally used in constitutional law, the entire body of those citizens of a state or nation who are invested with political power for political purposes, that is, the qualified voters or electors.

The word "people" may have various significations according to the connection in which it is used. When we speak of the rights of the people, or of the government of the people by law, or of the people as a non-political aggregate, we mean all the inhabitants of the state or nation, without distinction as to sex, age, or otherwise. But when reference is made to the people as the repository of sovereignty, or as the source of government power, or to popular government, we are in fact speaking of that selected and limited class of citizens to whom the constitution accords the elective franchise and the right of participation in the offices of government.

Posse Comitatus. Lat. The power or force of the county. The entire population of a county above the age of fifteen, which a sheriff may summon to his assistance in certain cases; as to aid him in keeping the peace, in pursuing and arresting felons, etc.

Prima Facie. Lat. At first sight; on the first appearance; on the face of it; so far as can be judged from the first disclosure; presumably; a fact presumed to be true unless disproved by some evidence to the contrary.

Pseudo. False, counterfeit, pretended, spurious.

Represent. To appear in the character of; personate; to expose before the eyes. To represent a thing is to produce it publicly. To represent a person is to stand in his place; to supply his place; to act as his substitute.

Representation. Any conduct capable of being turned into a statement of fact.

Sedition. An insurrectionary movement tending towards treason, but wanting an overt act; attempts made by meetings or speeches, or by publications, to disturb the tranquility of the state. The distinction between "sedition" and "treason" consists in this: that though the ultimate object of sedition is a violation of the public peace, or at least such a course of measures as evidently engenders it, yet it does not aim at direct and open violence against the laws or the subversion of the constitution.

State, n. A people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common-law habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other communities of the globe.

The organization of social life which exercises sovereign power in behalf of the people.
One of the component commonwealths or states of the United States of America. The term is sometimes applied also to governmental agencies authorized by state, such as municipal corporations.

The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a cause, "The State vs. A. B."
The section of territory occupied by one of the United States.

Foreign state. A foreign country or nation. The several United States are considered "foreign" to each other except as regards their relations as common members of the Union.

*Subversion. 1 : the act of subverting or state of being subverted : overthrow from the foundation : utter ruin : destruction (subversion of a government) 2 obs : a cause of overthrow or destruction

*Subvert. fr. L subvertere to turn upside down, overturn, overthrow. 1: to overturn or overthrow from or as if from a foundation : ruin utterly : raze, demolish (who ... labor to subvert these great pillars of happiness -George Washington) 2: to pervert or corrupt (a person) by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith : alienate (propaganda that subverts foreign-born citizens) 3 a : to bring to nothing, destroy, or greatly impair the existence, sovereignty, influence, wholeness of esp. by insidious undermining (tear down our free institutions and subvert our form of government into a tyranny -New Republic) b : to make invalid or futile : to overthrow something completely

Supreme. Superior to all other things.

Traitor. One who, being trusted, betrays; one guilty of treason, (q.v.).

Tyranny. Arbitrary or despotic government; the severe and autocratic exercise of sovereign power, either vested constitutionally in one ruler, or usurped by him by breaking down the division and distribution of government powers.

Ultra. Lat. Beyond; outside of; in excess of.

Ultra Vires. The modern technical designation, in the law of corporations, of acts beyond the scope of the powers of a corporation, as defined by its charter or act of incorporation.

Act is "ultra vires" when corporation is without authority to perform it under any circumstances or for any purpose.

By doctrine of "ultra vires" a contract made by a corporation beyond the scope of its corporate powers is unlawful.

While the phrase "ultra vires" has been used to designate, not only acts beyond the express and implied powers of a corporation, but also acts contrary to public policy or contrary to some express statute prohibiting them, the latter class of acts is now termed illegal, and the "ultra vires" confined to the former class.

Unconstitutional. That which is contrary to the constitution. The opposite of "constitutional." The word does not necessarily mean that the act assailed is contrary to sound principles of legislation.

This word is used in two different senses. One, which may be called the English sense, is that the legislation conflicts with some recognized general principle. This is no more than to say that it is unwise, or is based upon a wrong or unsound principle, or conflicts with a generally accepted policy. The other, which may be called the American sense, is that the legislation conflicts with some provision of our written Constitution, which it is beyond the power of the Legislature to change.

United States. This term has several meanings. It may be merely the name of a sovereign occupying the position analogous to that of other sovereigns in family of nations, it may designate territory over which sovereignty of United States extends, or it may be collective name of the states which are united by and under the Constitution.

Usurp. To seize and hold any office by force, and without right; applied to seizure of office, place, functions, powers, rights, etc.

Usurpation. The unlawful assumption of the use of property which belongs to another; an interruption or the disturbing a man in his right and possession.

The unlawful seizure or assumption of sovereign power; the assumption of government or supreme power by force or illegally, in derogation of the constitution and the rights of the lawful ruler.

"Usurpation" for which writ of prohibition may be granted involves attempted exercise of power not possessed by inferior officer.

Usurper. One who assumes the right of government by force, contrary to and in violation of the constitution of the country.

Violation. Injury; infringement; breach of right, duty or law.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, -That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, ..."
Declaration of Independence (1776)



If a man neglects to enforce his rights, he cannot complain if, after a while, the law follows his example. —OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

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