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Who Are Sovereign Citizens And Are They Above The Law?

In 2010, two police officers were shot and killed by “sovereign citizens” in Arkansas

during a routine traffic stop. In most cases, sovereign citizens tend to be more of a nuisance

than a deadly threat. They claim that US law does not apply to them, and refuse to pay

traffic tickets and taxes. However, a 2014 survey of law enforcement officers found that

sovereign citizens were the number one threat in the US, more so than even islamic extremists

or neo-Nazis. So, what exactly is a sovereign citizen?

Well, the concept is a little difficult to explain, mainly because it doesn’t really

make any sense. Basically, sovereign citizens believe that through a series of loopholes

in common law court decisions, selective readings of the constitution, and obscure tax codes,

that they do not have to follow US law. They tend to argue that because they never agreed

to the federal government’s authority, they cannot be arrested or charged with a crime.

It is difficult to summarize the reasons behind this belief because every sovereign citizen

tends to have their own interpretation of common law. Sovereign citizens often renounce

their US citizenship, driver's licence, marriage license, voter registration, birth certificate,

and anything else they see as a contract with the federal government. In nearly all cases

their claims are dismissed as frivolous. Most sovereign citizen organizations charge memberships

or sell DVDs, promising to explain how to achieve sovereign status.

The movement was originally started by a 1960s Christian white supremacist group called “Posse

Comitatus." One of their core beliefs is that the United States is controlled by a global

Jewish conspiracy. In order to distance themselves from supporting this government while still

continuing to live within the US, they developed the belief that they are not subject to federal

laws. The group is most known for pioneering techniques known as “paper terrorism." This

includes filing frivolous lawsuits, fake reports of tax evasion on government officials, and

similar false documents. This forces their victims to spend time and money responding

to these illegitimate claims, which sometimes even leads to bankruptcy.

One of the simplest arguments against sovereign citizens is that the constitution, and by

extension, the federal government, has express authority over the citizens of the United

States. This is according to article six of the constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause.

Those who renounce their citizenship must do it in a foreign country and in front of

a US diplomat or consular. They cannot simply declare themselves “sovereign” while continuing

to live in the US.

As of 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that there were about 100,000 hard

core sovereign citizens. Another 200,000 have attempted sovereign citizen arguments against

things like traffic tickets and taxes. Although their beliefs are completely illegitimate

and borne out of anti-semitic racism, they are a disruptive and growing force within

the United States.

Although the fear of islamic extremists has reached an all time high in the United States,

attacks are actually almost nonexistent. Check out this video about what terrorist threats

America is actually facing. Thanks for watching TestTube News, don’t forget to like and

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