CITES BY TOPIC:  sovereignty

Sovereignty and Freedom Topic Page- Family Guardian Fellowship


Sovereignty- Rousas John Rushdoony. Theological perspective on soverereignty


Sovereignty Forms and Instructions Manual, Form #10.005- Sovereignty Education and Defense Ministry (SEDM)


"Sovereign"="Foreign"- Family Guardian Fellowship


What Does The Sovereignty Of God Mean?- Ligon Duncan, The Gosepal Coalition


The Sovereignty of God- Chalcedon Foundation


Family Guardian Disclaimer Page, Section 4: Meaning of Words- Family Guardian Fellowship

DISCLAIMER AND LICENSE AGREEMENT

4. MEANINGS OF WORDS

The word "sovereign" when referring to humans or governments means all the following:

  1. A human being and NOT a "government".  Only human beings are "sovereign" and only when they are acting in strict obedience to the laws of their religion.   All powers of government are delegated from the PEOPLE and are NOT "divine rights".  Those powers in turn are only operative when government PREVENTS the conversion of PRIVATE rights into PUBLIC rights.  When that goal is avoided or undermined or when law is used to accomplish involuntary conversion, we cease to have a government and instead end up with a private, de facto for profit corporation that has no sovereign immunity and cannot abuse sovereign immunity to protect its criminal thefts from the people.
  2. EQUAL in every respect to any and every government or actor in government.   All governments are legal "persons" and under our Constitutional system, ALL "persons" are equal and can only become UNEQUAL in relation to each other WITH their EXPRESS and NOT IMPLIED consent.    Since our Constitutional rights are unalienable per the Declaration of Independence, then we can't become unequal in relation to any government, INCLUDING through our consent.
  3. Not superior in any way to any human being within the jurisdiction of the courts of any country.
  4. Possessing the EQUAL right to acquire rights over others by the same mechanisms as the government uses.  For instance, if the government encourages the filing of FALSE information returns that essentially "elect" people into public office without their consent, then we have an EQUAL right to elect any and every government or officer within government into our PERSONAL service as our PERSONAL officer without THEIR consent.  See:
    PDF Correcting Erroneous Information Returns, Form #04.001.
  5. Subject to the criminal laws of the jurisdiction they are physically situated in, just like everyone else.  This provision excludes "quasi criminal provisions" within civil franchises, such as tax crimes.
  6. The origin of all authority delegated to the government per the Declaration of Independence.
  7. Reserving all rights and delegating NONE to any and every government or government actor.  U.C.C. 1-308 and its predecessor, U.C.C. 1-207.
  8. Not consenting to any and every civil franchise offered by any government.
  9. Possessing the same sovereign immunity as any government.  Hence, like the government, any government actor asserting a liability or obligation has the burden of proving on the record of any court proceeding EXPRESS WRITTEN consent to be sued before the obligation becomes enforceable.
  10. Claiming no civil or franchise status under any statutory franchise, including but not limited to "citizen", "resident", "driver" (under the vehicle code), "spouse" (under the family code), "taxpayer" (under the tax code).  Any attempt to associate a statutory status and the public rights it represents against a non-consenting party is THEFT and SLAVERY and INJUSTICE.
  11. Acting as a fiduciary, agent, and trustee on behalf of God 24 hours a day, seven days a week as an ambassador of a legislatively foreign jurisdiction and as a public officer of "Heaven, Inc.", a private foreign corporation.  God is the ONLY "sovereign" and the source of all sovereignty.  We must be acting as His agent and fiduciary before we can exercise any sovereignty at all.  Any attempt by so-called "government" to interfere with our ability to act as His fiduciaries is a direct interference with our right to contract and the free exercise of religion.  See:
    PDF Delegation of Authority Order from God to Christians, Form #13.007
  12. Capable of being civilly sued ONLY under the common law and equity and not under any statutory civil law.  All statutory civil laws are law for government and public officers, and NOT for private human beings. They are civil franchises that only acquire the "force of law" with the consent of the subject.  See:
    PDF Why Statutory Civil Law is Law for Government and Not Private Persons, Form #05.037
  13. Protected from the civil statutory law by the First Amendment requirement for separation of church and state because we Christians are the church and our physical body is the "temple" of the church.  See: 1 Cor. 6:19.
  14. Responsible for all the injuries they cause to every other person under equity and common law ONLY, and not under civil statutory law.

The term "anarchy" implies any one or more of the following, and especially as regards so-called "governments". An important goal of this site is to ELIMINATE all such "anarchy":

  1. Are superior in any way to the people they govern UNDER THE LAW.
  2. Are not directly accountable to the people or the law.  They prohibit the PEOPLE from criminally prosecuting their own crimes, reserving the right to prosecute to their own fellow criminals.  Who polices the police?  THE CRIMINALS.
  3. Enact laws that exempt themselves. This is a violation of the Constitutional requirement for equal protection and equal treatment and constitutes an unconstitutional Title of Nobility in violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution.
  4. Only enforce the law against others and NOT themselves, as a way to protect their own criminal activities by persecuting dissidents.  This is called “selective enforcement”.  In the legal field it is also called “professional courtesy”.  Never kill the goose that lays the STOLEN golden eggs.
  5. Break the laws with impunity.  This happens most frequently when corrupt people in government engage in “selective enforcement”, whereby they refuse to prosecute or interfere with the prosecution of anyone in government.  The Department of Justice (D.O.J.) or the District Attorney are the most frequent perpetrators of this type of crime.
  6. Are able to choose which laws they want to be subject to, and thus refuse to enforce laws against themselves.  The most frequent method for this type of abuse is to assert sovereign, official, or judicial immunity as a defense in order to protect the wrongdoers in government when they are acting outside their delegated authority, or outside what the definitions in the statutes EXPRESSLY allow.
  7. Impute to themselves more rights or methods of acquiring rights than the people themselves have.  In other words, who are the object of PAGAN IDOL WORSHIP because they possess “supernatural” powers.  By “supernatural”, we mean that which is superior to the “natural”, which is ordinary human beings.
  8. Claim and protect their own sovereign immunity, but refuse to recognize the same EQUAL immunity of the people from whom that power was delegated to begin with.  Hypocrites.
  9. Abuse sovereign immunity to exclude either the government or anyone working in the government from being subject to the laws they pass to regulate everyone ELSE’S behavior.  In other words, they can choose WHEN they want to be a statutory “person” who is subject, and when they aren’t.  Anyone who has this kind of choice will ALWAYS corruptly exclude themselves and include everyone else, and thereby enforce and implement an unconstitutional “Title of Nobility” towards themself.  On this subject, the U.S. Supreme Court has held the following:

    "No man in this country [including legislators of the government as a legal person] is so high that he is above the law.  No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity.  All the officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law and are bound to obey it.  It is the only supreme power in our system of government, and every man who by accepting office participates in its functions is only the more strongly bound to submit to that supremacy, and to observe the limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which it gives," 106 U.S., at 220.  "Shall it be said... that the courts cannot give remedy when the Citizen has been deprived of his property by force, his estate seized and converted to the use of the government without any lawful authority, without any process of law, and without any compensation, because the president has ordered it and his officers are in possession?  If such be the law of this country, it sanctions a tyranny which has no existence in the monarchies of Europe, nor in any other government which has a just claim to well-regulated liberty and the protection of personal rights," 106 U.S., at 220, 221.
    [United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, 1 S. Ct. 240 (1882)]

  10. Have a monopoly on anything, INCLUDING “protection”, and who turn that monopoly into a mechanism to force EVERYONE illegally to be treated as uncompensated public officers in exchange for the “privilege” of being able to even exist or earn a living to support oneself.
  11. Can tax and spend any amount or percentage of the people’s earnings over the OBJECTIONS of the people.
  12. Can print, meaning illegally counterfeit, as much money as they want to fund their criminal enterprise, and thus to be completely free from accountability to the people.
  13. Deceive and/or lie to the public with impunity by telling you that you can’t trust anything they say, but force YOU to sign everything under penalty of perjury when you want to talk to them. 26 U.S.C. §6065.

In support of the above definition of "anarchy", here is how the U.S. Supreme Court defined it:

“Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means-to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal-would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.”
[Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)]

The above requirements are a consequence of the fact that the foundation of the United States Constitution is EQUAL protection and EQUAL treatment.    Any attempt to undermine equal rights and equal protection described above constitutes:
  1. The establishment of a state sponsored religion in violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. Chapter 21B.  That religion is described in:  Socialism: The New American Civil Religion, Form #05.016.  The object of worship of such a religion is imputing "supernatural powers" to civil rulers and forcing everyone to worship and serve said rulers as "superior beings".
  2. The establishment of an unconstitutional Title of Nobility in violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution.

[Family Guardian Disclaimer Page, Section 4: Meaning of Words; SOURCE: https://famguardian.org/disclaimer.htm]


President Theodore Roosevelt; Opening of the Jamestown Exposition; Norfolk, VA, April 26, 1907

“We of this mighty western Republic have to grapple with the dangers that spring from popular self-government tried on a scale incomparably vaster than ever before in the history of mankind, and from an abounding material prosperity greater also than anything which the world has hitherto seen.

As regards the first set of dangers, it behooves us to remember that men can never escape being governed.  Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others.  If from lawlessness or fickleness, from folly or self-indulgence, they refuse to govern themselves then most assuredly in the end they will have to be governed from the outside.  They can prevent the need of government from without only by showing they possess the power of government from within.  A sovereign cannot make excuses for his failures; a sovereign must accept the responsibility for the exercise of power that inheres in him; and where, as is true in our Republic, the people are sovereign, then the people must show a sober understanding and a sane and steadfast purpose if they are to preserve that orderly liberty upon which as a foundation every republic must rest.”

[President Theodore Roosevelt; Opening of the Jamestown Exposition; Norfolk, VA, April 26, 1907]


PDF Congressional Record-Senate, Volume 75- Part 11, June 10, 1933, Page 12522

Mr. Logan: "...Natural laws can not be created, repealed, or modified by legislation. Congress should know there are many things which it can not do..."

 "It is now proposed to make the Federal Government the guardian of its citizens. If that should be done, the Nation soon must perish. There can only be a free nation when the people themselves are free and administer the government which they have set up to protect their rights. Where the general government must provide work, and incidentally food and clothing for its citizens, freedom and individuality will be destroyed and eventually the citizens will become serfs to the general government..."

[Congressional Record-Senate, Volume 75- Part 11, June 10, 1933, Page 12522]


Kohl v. United States, (1876) 91 U.S. 367, 23 L.Ed. 597

United States government is as sovereign within its sphere as states are within theirs.

[Kohl v. United States, (1876) 91 U.S. 367, 23 L.Ed. 597]


Senate Report 443, 64th Congress, 1st Session, Volume 3, Titled, "Election of Delegate From the District of Columbia", Page 5

". . .The United States is a representative Government.  Congress meets in the Capital.  Senators and Representatives come yearly to    perform their legislative duties, refreshed by contact with their home people, and because thereof better able to represent their views.  Each of their constituents is a sovereign citizen; he is a part of the Government, State and National; he has a voice in the selection of his officers and, either directly or indirectly through his representatives,makes and enforces all laws, State and National, affecting life, liberty, and property. . ."

[Senate Report 443, 64th Congress, 1st Session, Volume 3, Titled, "Election of Delegate From the District of Columbia", Page 5]


Pollard v. Hagan, 44 U.S. 212, 221, 223

"the United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in Alabama or any of the new states which were formed ... The United States has no Constitutional capacity to exercise municipal jurisdiction, sovereignty or eminent domain, within the limits of a state or elsewhere, except in the cases in which it is expressly granted ..."

[Pollard v. Hagan, 44 U.S. 212, 221, 223]


Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935)

"the right to make binding obligations is a competence attaching to sovereignty."

[Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935)]


Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967)

"In the United States the people are sovereign, and the government cannot sever its relationship to the people by taking away their citizenship...The very nature of our free Government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to and does, protect every citizen of this Nation, against a congressional, forcible destruction of his citizenship, whatever his creed, color, or race. Our holding does no more than to give this citizen, that which is his own, a constitutional right to remain a citizen in a free country unless he voluntarily relinquishes that citizenship." "

[Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967)]


United States v. Winstar Corp. 518 U.S. 839 (1996)

Moreover, if the dissent were correct that the sovereign acts doctrine permits the Government to abrogate its contractual commitments in "regulatory" cases even where it simply sought to avoid contracts it had come to regret, then the Government's sovereign contracting power would be of very little use in this broad sphere of public activity. We rejected a virtually identical argument in Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935), in which Congress had passed a resolution regulating the payment of obligations in gold. We held that the law could not be applied to the Government's own obligations, noting that "the right to make binding obligations is a competence attaching to sovereignty." Id. at 353.

See also Clearfield Trust Co. v. United States, 318 U.S. 363, 369 (1943) ("`The United States does business on business terms'") (quoting United States v. National Exchange Bank of Baltimore, 270 U.S. 527, 534 (1926)); Perry v. United States, supra at 352 (1935) ("When the United States, with constitutional authority, makes contracts, it has rights and incurs responsibilities similar to those of individuals who are parties to such instruments. There is no difference . . . except that the United States cannot be sued without its consent") (citation omitted); United States v. Bostwick, 94 U.S. 53, 66 (1877) ("The United States, when they contract with their citizens, are controlled by the same laws that govern the citizen in that behalf"); Cooke v. United States, 91 U.S. 389, 398 (1875) (explaining that when the United States "comes down from its position of sovereignty, and enters the domain of commerce, it submits itself to the same laws that govern individuals there").

See Jones, 1 Cl.Ct. at 85 ("Wherever the public and private acts of the government seem to commingle, a citizen or corporate body must by supposition be substituted in its place, and then the question be determined whether the action will lie against the supposed defendant"); O'Neill v. United States, 231 Ct.Cl. 823, 826 (1982) (sovereign acts doctrine applies where, "[w]ere [the] contracts exclusively between private parties, the party hurt by such governing action could not claim compensation from the other party for the governing action"). The dissent ignores these statements (including the statement from Jones, from which case Horowitz drew its reasoning literally verbatim), when it says, post at 931, that the sovereign acts cases do not emphasize the need to treat the government-as-contractor the same as a private party.

Our Contract Clause cases have demonstrated a similar concern with governmental self-interest by recognizing that "complete deference to a legislative assessment of reasonableness and necessity is not appropriate because the State's self-interest is at stake." United States Trust Co. of N.Y. v. New Jersey, 431 U.S. 1, 26 (1977); see also Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power & Light Co., 459 U.S. 400, 412-413, and n. 14 (1983) (noting that a stricter level of scrutiny applies under the Contract Clause when a State alters its own contractual obligations); cf. Perry, supra at 350-351 (drawing a "clear distinction" between Congress' power over private contracts and "the power of the Congress to alter or repudiate the substance of its own engagements").

The generality requirement will almost always be met where, as in Deming, the governmental action "bears upon [the government's contract] as it bears upon all similar contracts between citizens." Deming v. United States, 1 Ct.Cl. 190, 191 (1865). Deming is less helpful, however, in cases where, as here, the public contracts at issue have no obvious private analogs.

[United States v. Winstar Corp. 518 U.S. 839 (1996)]


American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., 29 S.Ct. 511, 513, 213 U.S. 347, 53 L.Ed. 826, 19 Ann.Cas. 1047

"The very meaning of sovereignty is that the decree of the sovereign makes law. See Kawananakoa v. Polyblank, 205 U. S. 349, 353, 51 L. ed. 834, 836, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 526. In the case of private persons, it consistently may assert the freedom of the immediate parties to an injury and yet declare that certain persuasions addressed to them are wrong. See Angle v. Chicago, St. P. M. & O. R. Co. 151 U. S. 1, 16-21, 38 L. ed. 55, 63-65, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 240; Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch, 87, 130, 131, 3 L. ed. 162, 176."

[American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., 29 S.Ct. 511, 513, 213 U.S. 347, 53 L.Ed. 826, 19 Ann.Cas. 1047]


Carlisle v. United States, 83 U.S. 147, 154 (1873) :  Sovereignty

"The rights of sovereignty extend to all persons and things not privileged, that are within the territory. They extend to all strangers resident therein; not only to those who are naturalized, and to those who are domiciled therein, having taken up their abode with the intention of permanent residence, but also to those whose residence is transitory. All strangers are under the protection of the sovereign while they are within his territory and owe a temporary allegiance in return for that protection."

[Carlisle v. United States, 83 U.S. 147, 154 (1873)]


James Monroe, Second Inaugural Address; March 5, 1821

“…a government which is founded by the people, who possess exclusively the sovereignty…” “In this great nation there is but one order, that of the people, whose power, by a peculiarly happy improvement of the representative principle, is transferred from them, without impairing in the slightest degree their sovereignty, to bodies of their own creation, and to persons elected by themselves, in the full extent necessary for all the purposes of free, enlightened and efficient government. The whole system is elective, the complete sovereignty being in the people, and every officer in every department deriving his authority from and being responsible to them for his conduct.”

[James Monroe, Second Inaugural Speech March 5, 1821]


Bouv. Law Dict (1870)

Strictly speaking, in our republican form of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state.  2 Dall. 471

[Bouv. Law Dict (1870)]


Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed., p 1300

As independent sovereignty, it is State's province and duty to forbid interference by another state or foreign power with status of its own citizens. Roberts v Roberts (1947) 81 CA2d 871, 185 P2d 381.

[Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed., p 1300]


Redding v Los Angeles (1947) 81 CA2d 888, 185 P2d 430, app dismd 334 US 825, 92 L Ed 1754,68 S Ct 1338

United States and State of California are two separate sovereignties, each dominant within its own sphere.

[Redding v Los Angeles (1947) 81 CA2d 888, 185 P2d 430, app dismd 334 US 825, 92 L Ed 1754,68 S Ct 1338]


United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875):

"The Government of the United States is one of delegated powers alone.  Its authority is defined and limited by the Constitution.  All powers not granted to it by that instrument are reserved to the States or the people." 

[United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875)]


Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. v. Chambers, 73 Ohio St. 16; 76 N.E. 91; 11 L.R.A., N.S., 1012 (1905)

"Judge Story, in his treatise on the Conflicts of Laws, lays down, as the basis upon which all reasonings on the law of comity must necessarily rest, the following maxims: First 'that every nation possesses an exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction within its own territory'; secondly, 'that no state or nation can by its laws directly affect or bind property out of its own territory, or bind persons not resident therein, whether they are natural born subjects or others.'  The learned judge then adds: 'From these two maxims or propositions there follows a third, and that is that whatever force and obligation the laws of one country have in another depend solely upon the laws and municipal regulation of the latter; that is to say, upon its own proper jurisdiction and polity, and upon its own express or tacit consent."  Story on Conflict of Laws 23."

[Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. v. Chambers, 73 Ohio St. 16; 76 N.E. 91; 11 L.R.A., N.S., 1012 (1905)]


Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82 (1985):  Dual sovereignty between federal and state governments


Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 74 (1906):  Individual Sovereignty

"The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no duty to the State or to his neighbor to divulge his business, or to open his doors to an investigation, so far as it may tend to criminate him. He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights."

[Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 74 (1906)]


81A Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), United States 29 (2003):

Sovereignty"Generally, the states of the Union sustain toward each other the relationship of independent sovereigns or independent foreign states, except in so far as the United States is paramount as the dominating government, and in so far as the states are bound to recognize the fraternity among sovereignties established by the federal Constitution, as by the provision requiring each state to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of the other states..."

[81A Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), United States, 29 (2003)]


American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828, Vol. II, 76.

Sovereignty.  Supreme power; supremacy; the possession of the highest power, or of uncontrollable power.

[American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828, Vol. II, 76]


Gaines v. Buford, 31 Ky. (1 Dana) 481, 501

I shall notice one idea more in defence of the act, and only one. It is the appeal made in the preamble to the sovereign power of the state. I do not admit that there is any sovereign power, in the literal meaning of the terms, to be found any where in our systems of government. The people possess, as it regards their governments, a revolutionary sovereign power; but so long as the governments remain which they have instituted, to establish justice and “to secure the enjoyment of the right of life, liberty and property, and of pursuing happiness;” sovereign power,?? or, which I take to be the same thing, power without limitation, is no where to be found in any branch or department of the government, either state or national; nor indeed in all of them put together. The constitution of the United States expressly forbids the passage of a bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, or the granting of any title of nobility, by the general or state governments. The same instrument likewise limits the powers of the general government to those expressly granted, and places many other restrictions upon the power of the state governments.--The constitutions of the different states likewise contain many prohibitions and limitations of power. The tenth article of our state constitution, consisting of twenty eight sections, is made up of restrictions and prohibitions upon legislative and judicial power, and concludes with the emphatic declaration, “that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution, shall be void.” These numerous limitations and restrictions prove, that the idea of sovereignty in government, was not tolerated by the wise founders of our systems. “Sovereign state” are cabalistic words, not understood by the disciple of liberty, who has been instructed in our constitutional schools. It is an appropriate phrase when applied to an absolute despotism. I firmly believe, that the idea of sovereign power in the government of a republic, is incompatible with the existence and permanent foundation of civil liberty, and the rights of property. The history of man, in all ages, has shown the necessity of the strongest checks upon power, whether it be exercised by one man, a few or many. Our revolution broke up the foundations of sovereignty in government; and our written constitutions have carefully guarded against the baneful influence of such an idea henceforth and forever. I can not, therefore, recognize the appeal to the sovereignty of the state, as a justification of the act in question. Hence I conclude that the circuit court erred in refusing to give the third instruction asked for by the plaintiff, and in giving the first asked for by the defendant.

[Gaines v. Buford, 31 Ky. (1 Dana) 481, 501]


Moscow Fire Ins. Co. of Moscow, Russia v. Bank of New York & Trust Co., 294 N.Y.S. 648, 662, 161 Misc. 903

"'Sovereignty' means that the decree of sovereign makes law, and foreign courts cannot condemn influences persuading sovereign to make the decree."

[Moscow Fire Ins. Co. of Moscow, Russia v. Bank of New York & Trust Co., 294 N.Y.S. 648, 662, 161 Misc. 903.]


Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Third Revision (8th Edition)(1914), Volume 3, pp. 3096 & 3097.

SOVEREIGNTY.  The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state: It is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability, —to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story, Const. 207.

The artificial soul of that artificial body, the state. Spencer.

As long as it is accurately employed . . . it is a merely legal conception and means simply the power of law-making unrestricted by any legal limit. But it is sometimes employed in a political rather than a legal sense. Dicey, Engl. Constitution.

Abstractly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.

When analyzed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers: namely, the legislative, the executive, and the Judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws and to collect and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws, both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts, to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.

See EXECUTIVE POWER; LEGISLATIVE POWER; JUDICIAL POWER.

Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state; Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. (U. S.) 471, 1 L. Ed. 440.

In international law a state is considered sovereign when it is organized for political purposes and permanently occupies a fixed territory. It must have an organized government capable of enforcing law and be free from all external control. A wandering tribe of savages, or nomads, or people united merely for commercial purposes or under control of another state cannot be considered as a sovereign state. Until a state becomes sovereign in the sense above described. It is not subject to international law. The states of the American Union are each, in a certain sense, sovereign in their domestic concerns, but not in international law, and Norway is an instance of a community not sovereign in International law because bound in a union with Sweden. The fact of sovereignty is usually established by general recognition of other states, and, until such recognition is universal, no community can be considered as sovereign; Snow, Int. Law 19. See International Law.

Every sovereign state is bound to respect the independence of every other sovereign state, and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another, done within its own territory. Underhill v. Hernandez, 168 U. S. 250, 18 Sup. Ct. 83, 42 L. Ed. 456.

“The transactions of independent states between each other are governed by other laws than those which municipal courts administer; such courts have neither the means of deciding what is right, nor the power of enforcing any decision which they may make.” 13 Moore, P. C. 75. And the same is the case with their dealings with the subjects of other states; Pollock, Torts 105.

Public agents, military or civil, or foreign governments, whether such governments be de jure or de facto, cannot be held responsible in any courts of the United States for things done in their own states in the exercise of the sovereignty thereof, in pursuance of the directions of their governments; Underhill v. Hernandez, 65 Fed. 577, 13 C. C. A 51, 38 L. B. A. 405. The government of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another country done within Its own territory; Underhill v Hernandez, 168 U. S. 250, 18 Sup. Ct 83, 42 L. Ed. 456.

Sovereignty means that the decree of the sovereign makes law; and foreign courts can not condemn the influences persuading the sovereign to make the decree; American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., 213 U. 5. 347, 29 Sup. Ct. 511, 53 L Ed. 826, 16 Ann. Cas 1047.

The idea of sovereignty was not associated in the Teutonic mind with dominion over a particular portion of the earth’s surface; it was distinctly personal or tribal; and so was their conception of law. Taylor, Science of Jurispr. 133.

See SOVEREIGN; STATE.

[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Third Revision (8th Edition) (1914), Volume 3, pp. 3096 & 3097]


Law Dictionary, James A. Ballentine, Second Edition, 1948, p. 1216.

"sovereignty (suv’- or sov-rn-ti). That political authority which commands in civil society, and orders and directs what each citizen is to perform to obtain the end of its institution. See note to Bannock County v. Bell, 101 Am. St. Rep. 158."

[Law Dictionary, James A. Ballentine, Second Edition, 1948, p. 1216]


Black’s Law Dictionary 4th Edition (1951), p. 1568.

"SovereigntyThe supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; self sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; the international independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign dictation; also a political society, or state, which is sovereign and independent.

Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 455, 1 L.Ed. 440; Union Bank v. Hill, 3 Cold., Tenn 325; Moore v. Shaw, 17 Cal. 218, 79 Am.Dec. 123; State v. Dixon, 66 Mont. 76, 213 P. 227. "

[Black’s Law Dictionary 4th Edition (1951), p. 1568]


Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Ed.(1988), p. 1283

"Sovereignty.  1) the state or quality of being sovereignty 2) the status, dominion, rule, or power of a sovereign 3) supreme and independent political authority 4) a sovereign state or governmental unit."

[Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Ed.(1988), p. 1283 ]


Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Childs & Peterson, c1856, John Bouvier

SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them: to impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story on the Const. Sec. 207.

2. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.

3. When analyzed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.

4. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; (q.v.) and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state. (q.v.) 2 Dall. 471; and vide, generally, 2 Dall. 433, 455; 3 Dall. 93; 1 Story, Const. Sec. 208; 1 Toull. n. 20 Merl. Repert. h.t.

SOVEREIGN STATE. One which governs itself independently of any foreign power.

SOVEREIGN. A chief ruler with supreme power; one possessing sovereignty. (q.v.) It is also applied to a king or other magistrate with limited powers.

2. In the United States the sovereignty resides in the body of the people. Vide Rutherf. Inst. 282.

[Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Childs & Peterson, c1856, John Bouvier]


PDF Cracking the Code Book, Pete Hendrickson, Description of Sovereignty


In January, 1776, the Massachusetts General Court had proclaimed:

"It is a Maxim that, in every Government, there must exist, Somewhere, a Supreme, Sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable Power, But this Power resides, always in the body of the People, and it never was, or can be delegated, to one Man, or a few."


Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, W.W. Norton & Co., c1969, at 382.

As one Connecticut town declared in 1783; "...there is an original, underived and incommunicable authority and supremacy, in the collective body of the people, to whom all delegated power must submit, and from whom there is no appeal."


The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, at 364.

"The counties of Orange and Mecklenburg, North Carolina informed their delegates at the North Carolina Convention of 1776; "Political power is of two kinds, one principal and superior, the other derived and inferior...The principal supreme power is possessed by the people at large, the derived and inferior power by the servants they employ."

[The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, at 364]


Chisholm, Ex'r. v. Georgia, 2 Dall. (U.S.)  419, 1 L.Ed. 454, 457, 471, 472) (1794):

"It will be sufficient to observe briefly, that the sovereignties in Europe, and particularly in England, exist on feudal principles. That system considers the Prince as the sovereign, and the people as his subjects; it regards his person as the object of allegiance, and excludes the idea of his being on an equal footing with a subject, either in a Court of Justice or elsewhere. That system contemplates him as being the fountain of honor and authority; and from his grace and grant derives all franchises, immunities and privileges..." at 471.

"From the differences existing between feudal sovereignties and Government founded on compacts, it necessarily follows that their respective prerogatives must differ. Sovereignty is the right to govern; a nation or State-sovereign is the person or persons in whom that resides. In Europe the sovereignty is generally ascribed to the Prince; here it rests with the people; there, the sovereign actually administers the Government; here, never in a single instance; our Governors are the agents of the people, and at most stand in the same relation to their sovereign, in which regents in Europe stand to their sovereigns. Their Princes have personal powers, dignities, and pre-eminences, our rulers have none but official; nor do they partake in the sovereignty otherwise, or in any other capacity, than as private citizens." at 472.
[Justice Wilson]

[Chisholm, Ex'r. v. Georgia, 2 Dall. (U.S.)  419, 1 L.ed. 454, 457, 471, 472) (1794)]


In the United States the people are sovereign over their civil servants:

Romans 6:16 (NIV): "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey..."


Spooner v. McConnell, 22 F. 939 @ 943:

"The sovereignty of a state does not reside in the persons who fill the different departments of its government, but in the People, from whom the government emanated; and they may change it at their discretion. Sovereignty, then in this country, abides with the constituency, and not with the agent; and this remark is true, both in reference to the federal and state government."

[Spooner v. McConnell, 22 F. 939 @ 943]


Merrion Et. Al., DBA Merrion & Bayless, Et. Al. v. Jiccarilla Apache Tribe Et. Al., 455 U.S. 130, 102 S.Ct. 894, 71 L.Ed.2d. 21, 50 U.S.L.W. 4169 pp. 144-148 (1982) (Bold emphasis added here)

"[15] (b) Even if the Tribe's power to tax were derived solely from its power to exclude non-Indians from the reservation, the Tribe has the authority to impose the severance tax. Non-Indians who lawfully enter tribal lands remain subject to a tribe's power to exclude them, which power includes the lesser power to tax or place other conditions on the non-Indian's conduct or continued presence on the reservation. The Tribe's role as commercial partner with petitioners should not be confused with its role as sovereign. It is one thing to find that the Tribe has agreed to sell the right to use the land and take valuable minerals from it, and quite another to find that the Tribe has abandoned its sovereign powers simply because it has not expressly reserved them through a contract. To presume that a sovereign forever waives the right to exercise one of its powers unless it expressly reserves the right to exercise that power in a commercial agreement turns the concept of sovereignty on its head.

[Merrion Et. Al., DBA Merrion & Bayless, Et. Al. v. Jiccarilla Apache Tribe Et. Al., 455 U.S. 130, 102 S.Ct. 894, 71 L.Ed.2d. 21, 50 U.S.L.W. 4169 pp. 144-148 (1982). (Bold emphasis added here)]


Glass v. Sloop Betsey, 3 U.S. 6, 3 Dall. 6, 1 L.Ed. 485 (1794):

"The District Court has no jurisdiction by the Constitution and laws of the United States (which form the only possible source of Federal jurisdiction) for, although it is admitted, that by the 1st and 2d sections of the 3d article of the Constitution, and the Judicial act, the jurisdiction of the District Court extends to all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction..."

"In Europe, the Executive is almost synonymous with the Sovereign power of a State; and, generally, includes legislative and judicial authority.  When, therefore, writers speak of the sovereign, it is not necessarily in exclusion of the judiciary; and it will often be found, that when the Executive affords a remedy for any wrong, it is nothing more than by an exercise of its judicial authority.  Such is the condition of power in that quarter of the world, where it is too commonly acquired by force, or fraud, or both, and seldom by compact.  In America, however, the case is widely different.  Our government is founded upon compact. Sovereignty was, and is, in the people.  It was entrusted by them, as far as was necessary for the purpose of forming a good government, to the Federal Convention; and the Convention executed their trust, by effectually separating the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive powers; which, in the contemplation of our Constitution, are each a branch of the sovereignty.  The well-being of the whole depends upon keeping each department within its limits."

[Glass v. Sloop Betsey, 3 U.S. 6, 3 Dall. 6, 1 L.Ed. 485 (1794)]


Lansing v. Smith, 4 Wend. 9 (N.Y.) (1829):

"The people of this State, as the successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the King by his prerogative. Through the medium of their Legislature they may exercise all the powers which previous to the Revolution could have been exercised either by the King alone, or by him in conjunction with his Parliament; subject only to those restrictions which have been imposed by the Constitution of this State or of the U.S."

[Lansing v. Smith, 21 D. 89., 4 Wendel 9 (1829) (New York)]
"D." = Decennial Digest
Lansing v. Smith, 4 Wend. 9 (N.Y.) (1829), 21 Am.Dec. 89
10C Const. Law Sec. 298; 18 C Em.Dom. Sec. 3, 228;
37 C Nav.Wat. Sec. 219; Nuls Sec. 1`67; 48 C Wharves Sec. 3, 7.
NOTE: Am.Dec.=American Decision, Wend. = Wendell (N.Y.)


Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. (U.S.) 419, 454, 1 L.Ed. 440, 455 @DALL 1793 pp. 471-472:

"...at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects...with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty."

[Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall (U.S.) 419, 454, 1 L.Ed. 440, 455 @DALL 1793, pp. 471-472]


PDF M'Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. 316 (1819)

In discussing this question, the counsel for the state of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the constitution, to consider that instrument, not as emanating from the people, but as the act of sovereign and independent states. The powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated by the states, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exercised in subordination to the states, who alone possess supreme dominion. It would be difficult to sustain this proposition. The convention which framed the constitution was indeed elected by the state legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation, or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing congress of the United States, with a request that it might ‘be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.’ This mode of proceeding was adopted; and by the convention, by congress, and by the state legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject, by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several states-and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the states, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their states. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the state governments.

From these conventions, the constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is ‘ordained and established,’ in the name of the people; and is declared to be ordained, ‘in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.’ The assent of the states, in their sovereign capacity, is implied, in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the state governments. The constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the state sovereignties.

It has been said, that the people had already surrendered all their powers to the state sovereignties, and had nothing more to give. But, surely, the question whether they may resume and modify the powers granted to government, does not remain to be settled in this country. Much more might the legitimacy of the general government be doubted, had it been created by the states. The powers delegated to the state sovereignties were to be exercised by themselves, not by a distinct and independent sovereignty, created by themselves. To the formation of a league, such as was the confederation, the state sovereignties were certainly competent. But when, ‘in order to form a more perfect union,’ it was deemed necessary to change this alliance into an effective government, possessing great and sovereign powers, and acting directly on the people, the necessity of referring it to the people, and of deriving its powers directly from them, was felt and acknowledged by all. The government of the Union, then (whatever may be the influence of this fact on the case), is, emphatically and truly, a government of the people. In form, and in substance, it emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their benefit.

*32 This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent, to have required to be enforced by all those arguments, which its enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge; that principle is now universally admitted. But the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, so long as our system shall exist. In discussing these questions, the conflicting powers of the general and state governments must be brought into view, and the supremacy of their respective laws, when they are in opposition, must be settled.

If any one proposition could command the universal assent of mankind, we might expect it would be this-that the government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action. This would seem to result, necessarily, from its nature. It is the government of all; its powers are delegated by all; it represents all, and acts for all. Though any one state may be willing to control its operations, no state is willing to allow others to control them. The nation, on those subjects on which it can act, must necessarily bind its component parts. But this question is not left to mere reason: the people have, in express terms, decided it, by saying, ‘this constitution, and the laws of the United States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof,’ ‘shall be the supreme law of the land,’ and by requiring that the members of the state legislatures, and the officers of the executive and judicial departments of the states, shall take the oath of fidelity to it. The government of the United States, then, though limited in its powers, is supreme; and its laws, when made in pursuance of the constitution, form the supreme law of the land, ‘anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.'

[M'Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. 316 (1819)]


Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886):

"While sovereign powers are delegated to ... the government, sovereignty itself remains with the people.."

Yick Wo is a powerful anti-discrimination case. You might get the impression that the legislature can write perfectly legal laws, yet the laws cannot be enforced contrary to the intent of the people. It's as if servants do not make rules for their masters. It's as if the Citizens who created government were their masters. It's as if civil servants were to obey the higher authority. You are the higher authority of Romans 13:1. You as ruler are not a terror to good works per Romans 13:3. Imagine that! Isn't it a shame that your government was surrendered to those who are a terror to good works? Isn't it a shame that you enlisted to obey them?

[Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886)]


Juilliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, (1884):

"There is no such thing as a power of inherent sovereignty in the government of the United States .... In this country sovereignty resides in the people, and Congress can exercise no power which they have not, by their Constitution entrusted to it: All else is withheld."

[Julliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, (1884)]


Wilson v. Omaha Indian Tribe, 442 U.S. 653, 667 (1979):

"In common usage, the term 'person' does not include the sovereign, and statutes employing the word are ordinarily construed to exclude it."

[Wilson v. Omaha Indian Tribe, 442 U.S. 653, 667 (1979)]


U.S. v. Cooper, 312 U.S. 600, 604, 61 S.Ct. 742 (1941):

"Since in common usage the term `person' does not include the sovereign, statutes employing that term are ordinarily construed to exclude it."

[U.S. v. Cooper, 312 U.S. 600, 604, 61 S.Ct. 742 (1941)]


U.S. v. United Mine Workers of America, 330 U.S. 258, 67 S.Ct. 677 (1947):

"In common usage, the term `person' does not include the sovereign and statutes employing it will ordinarily not be construed to do so."

[U.S. v. United Mine Workers of America, 330 U.S. 258, 67 S.Ct. 677 (1947)]


U.S. v. General Motors Corporation, D.C. Ill, 2 F.R.D. 528, 530:

"In common usage the word `person' does not include the sovereign, and statutes employing the word are generally construed to exclude the sovereign."

[U.S. v. General Motors Corporation, D.C. Ill, 2 F.R.D. 528, 530]


Church of Scientology v. US Department of Justice, 612 F.2d. 417 (1979)  @425 :

"the word `person' in legal terminology is perceived as a general word which normally includes in its scope a variety of entities other than human beings., see e.g. 1, U.S.C. para 1."

[Church of Scientology v. US Department of Justice, 612 F.2d. 417 (1979)  @425 :]


Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996)

The Eleventh Amendment provides:

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Although the text of the Amendment would appear to restrict only the Article III diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts, "we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition . . . which it confirms." Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501 U.S. 775, 779 (1991). That presupposition, first observed over a century ago in Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890), has two parts: first, that each State is a sovereign entity in our federal system; and second, that "`[i]t is inherent in the nature of sovereignty not to be amenable to the suit of an individual without its consent.'" Id. at 13 (emphasis deleted), quoting The Federalist No. 81, p. 487 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton). See also Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, supra, at 146 ("The Amendment is rooted in a recognition that the States, although a union, maintain certain attributes of sovereignty, including sovereign immunity"). For over a century, we have reaffirmed that federal jurisdiction over suits against unconsenting States "was not contemplated by the Constitution when establishing the judicial power of the United States." Hans, supra, at 15.{7} [517 U.S. 55]

[. . .]

Kawananakoa v. Polyblank, 205 U.S. 349, 353 (1907) (Holmes, J.) ("A sovereign is exempt from suit . . . on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the right depends")

[Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996)]


Perry v. U.S., 294 U.S. 330 (1935):

 "In United States, sovereignty resides in people... the Congress cannot invoke the sovereign power of the People to override their will as thus declared.",

[Perry v. U.S., 294 U.S. 330 (1935)]

That's right! According to the US Supreme Court, the people are non-persons.

This all makes sense, after all, servants don't make rules for their masters.

In his book Judicial Tyranny and Your Income Tax, tax attorney Jeffrey Dickstein included the transcript of the tax trial US v. Carl Beery, Case A87-43CR Vol. III transcript. On page 296 of the book, you will read where the IRS claims that "an individual is somebody with a social security number."


United States v. Texas, 143 U.S. 621, 646 (1892)

"This [traditional] explanation [of sovereign immunity] adequately supports the conclusion that no sovereign may be sued in its own courts without its consent, but it affords no support for a claim of immunity in another sovereign's courts. Such a claim necessarily implicates the power and authority of a second sovereign; its source must be found either in an agreement, express or implied, between the two sovereigns, or in the voluntary decision of the second to respect the dignity of the first as a matter of comity."

[United States v. Texas, 143 U.S. 621, 646 (1892)]


Ohio Life Ins. & Trust Co. v. Debolt, 16 How. 415, 428-9

"For it can never be maintained in any tribunal in this country that the people of a State, in the exercise of the powers of sovereignty, can be restrained within narrower limits than that fixed by the Constitution of the United States...the people of a State may, by the form of government they adopt, confer on their public servants and representatives all the power and rights of sovereignty which they themselves possess; or may restrict them within such limits as may be deemed best and safest for the public interest."  (See police power)

[Ohio Life Ins. & Trust Co. v. Debolt, 16 How. 415, 428-9] 


Blackstone's Commentaries, "View of the Constitution of the United States, Section 2 - Nature of U.S. Constitution; manner of its adoption; as annotated by St. George Tucker, William Young Birch and Abraham Small, c1803:

"... a very great lawyer, who wrote but a few years before the American revolution, seems to doubt whether the original contract of society had in any one instance been formally expressed at the first institution of a state; The American revolution seems to have given birth to this new political phenomenon: in every state a written constitution was framed, and adopted by the people, both in their individual and sovereign capacity, and character. By this means, the just distinction between the sovereignty, and the government, was rendered familiar to every intelligent mind; the former was found to reside in the people, and to be unalienable from them; the latter in their servants and agents: by this means, also, government was reduced to its elements; its object was defined, it's principles ascertained; its powers limited, and fixed; its structure organized; and the functions of every part of the machine so clearly designated, as to prevent any interference, so long as the limits of each were observed...."

[Blackstone's Commentaries, "View of the Constitution of the United States, Section 2 - Nature of U.S. Constitution; manner of its adoption; as annotated by St. George Tucker, William Young Birch and Abraham Small, c1803]


James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46.

"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone."

[James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46.]


Murray v. City of Charleston, 96 U.S. 432 (1877):  Use of sovereignty to evade loan:

"What, then, is meant by the doctrine that contracts are made with reference to the taxing power resident in the State, and in subordination to it? Is it meant that when a person lends money to a State, or to a municipal division of the State having the power of taxation, there is in the contract a tacit reservation of a right in the debtor to raise contributions out of the money promised to be paid before payment? That cannot be, because if it could, the contract (in the language of Alexander Hamilton) would 'involve two contradictory things: an obligation to do, and a right not to do; an obligation to pay a certain sum, and a right to retain it in the shape of a tax. It is against the rules, both of law and of reason, to admit by implication in the construction of a contract a principle which goes in destruction of it.' The truth is, States and cities, when they borrow money and contract to repay it with interest, are not acting as sovereignties. They come down to the level of ordinary individuals. Their contracts have the same meaning as that of similar contracts between private persons. Hence, instead of there being in the undertaking of a State or city to pay, a reservation of a sovereign right to withhold payment, the contract should be regarded as an assurance that such a right will not be exercised. A promise to pay, with a reserved right to deny or change the effect of the promise, is an absurdity."

     Is, then, property, which consists in the promise of a State, or of a municipality of a State, beyond the reach of taxation? We do not affirm that it is. A State may undoubtedly tax any of its creditors within its jurisdiction for the debt due to him, and regulate the amount of the tax by the rate of interest the debt bears, if its promise be left unchanged. A tax thus laid impairs no obligation assumed. It leaves the contract untouched. But until payment of the debt or interest has been made, as stipulated, we think no act of State sovereignty can work an exoneration from what has been promised to the [446] creditor; namely, payment to him, without a violation of the Constitution. 'The true rule of every case of property founded on contract with the government is this: It must first be reduced into possession, and then it will become subject, in common with other similar property, to the right of the government to raise contributions upon it. It may be said that the government may fulfil this principle by paying the interest with one hand, and taking back the amount of the tax with the other. But to this the answer is, that, to comply truly with the rule, the tax must be upon all the money of the community, not upon the particular portion of it which is paid to the public creditors, and it ought besides to be so regulated as not to include a lien of the tax upon the fund. The creditor should be no otherwise acted upon than as every other possessor of money; and, consequently, the money he receives from the public can then only be a fit subject of taxation when it is entirely separated' (from the contract), 'and thrown undistinguished into the common mass.' 3 Hamilton, Works, 514 et seq. Thus only can contracts with the State be allowed to have the same meaning as all other similar contracts have.

[Murray v. City of Charleston, 96 U.S. 432 (1877)]


16 American Jurisprudence 2d, Constitutional law, Sovereignty of states 281 (1999):

"The original thirteen states existed prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution and before that time possessed all the attributes of sovereignty.  All these attributes except those surrendered by the formation of the Constitution and the amendments thereto have been retained.  But the sovereign power of the states is necessarily diminished to the extent of the grants of power to the federal government in the Constitution, and it is subject to the restraints and limitations of the Constitution.

"New states, upon their admission into the Union, become invested with equal rights and are subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon the states already admitted.  There can be no state of the Union whose sovereignty or freedom of action is in any respect different from that of any other state.  There can be no restriction upon any state other than one prescribed upon all the states by the Federal Constitution.  Congress, in admitting a state, cannot restrict such state by bargain.  The state, by so contracting with Congress, is in no way bound by such a contract, however irrevocable it is stated to be.  It is said that subject to the restraint and limitations of the Federal Constitution, the states have all the sovereign powers of independent nations over all persons and things within their respective territorial limits.

[16 American Jurisprudence 2d, Constitutional law, 281 (1999)]


16A American Jurisprudence 2d, Constitutional Law, Sovereignty of states 229 (1999):

"The original thirteen states existed prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution and before that time possessed all the attributes of sovereignty. 83 All of these attributes except those surrendered by the formation of the Constitution and the amendments thereto have been retained. 84 But the sovereign power of the states is necessarily diminished to the extent of the grants of power to the Federal Government in the Constitution, 85 and it is subject to the restraints and limitations of the Constitution. 86

New states, upon their admission into the Union, become invested with equal rights and are subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon the states already admitted. 87 Under this rule, which is referred to as the "equal footing" doctrine, 88 there can be no state of the Union whose sovereignty or freedom of action is in any respect different from that of any other state, including those states constituting the original 13 states. 89 "

[16A American Jurisprudence 2d, Constitutional law, 229 (1999)]


Maxims of Law Relating to Sovereignty

“Quod meum est sine me auferri non potest.[1]

What is mine [sovereignty in this case] cannot be taken away without my consent”

[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary Unabridged, 8th Edition, pg. 2159]

 

“Derivativa potestas non potest esse major primitive.[2]

The power [sovereign immunity in this case] which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.”

[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary Unabridged, 8th Edition, pg. 2131]

 

“Nemo potest facere per obliquum quod non potest facere per directum.[3]

No one can do that indirectly which cannot be done directly.”

[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary Unabridged, 8th Edition, pg. 2147]

 

“Quod per me non possum, nec per alium..[4]

What I cannot do in person, I cannot do through the agency of another.”

[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary Unabridged, 8th Edition, pg. 2159]


[1] Jenk. Cent. 251.

[2] Wing. Max. 36: Pinch. Law, b. 1. c. 3, p. 11.

[3] 1 Eden 512

[4] 4 Co. 24 b: 11 id. 87 a.