Why charged ‘driving on revoked’? Dred Scott tells of roadway slavery

These mugshots of Hamilton County jail bookings over the weekend show the great power of the commercial transportation statute to regulate minorities and the poor. Are any of these people involved in transportation? Some defendants charged under Title 55 are alleged to have committed real crimes such as killings. (Photos Chattanoogan.com)

“You are not a slave, you are free” is a bold assertion I have made several times in the past few weeks to African-American men and women in Chattanooga.

I propose they liberate themselves from a holdover claim of slave days, a law so familiar that even the most just and honorable people in our city do not see its quiet hand upon the affairs of the people.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

That holdover rule is the state and local police control of their movements by car. It is imposed upon these black people even though they are using the car or truck for private purposes, apart from any commercial activity, not within the scope of the commercial regulation of motor vehicles in Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55.

Existing practice by Chattanooga-area police departments and the sheriff’s office of Jim Hammond is to demand a valid driver license of everyone on the road, even though they are noncommercial private users. These accused people are only presumptively in the commercial realm, having opted into it voluntarily by mistake and deceit, cunningly coerced out of their constitutional rights under the bill of rights.

Undo Dred Scott under administrative notice courtesy copy, 20 pp PDF

The driver license scheme that oppresses African-Americans and all other peoples in Tennessee constitutes badges and incidents of slavery described by federal court justice Roger Taney in his ruling against the slave Dred Scott before the outbreak of the war to prevent Southern independence to become a slave-based separate economy.

Mr. Taney favors practices “to treat [blacks] as an inferior class, and to subject them to strict police regulations, drawing a broad line of distinction between the citizen and the slave races.” Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 19 How. (1856), 412.

‘Without pass, shall be stopped, seized’

Judge Taney goes on to describe existing laws in Connecticut, which had outlawed slavery and “the first to fix a mark of reprobation upon the African slave trade.” But it kept blacks under licensure and police power, particularly when they move about on its roads.

[T]there is also a provision by which any negro, Indian, or mulatto servant who was found wandering out of the town or place to which he belonged without a written pass such as is therein described was made liable to be seized by anyone, and taken before the next authority to be examined and delivered up to his master — who was required to pay the charge which had accrued thereby. And a subsequent section of the same law provides that if any free negro shall travel without such pass, and shall be stopped, seized, or taken up, he shall pay all charges arising thereby. And this law was in full operation when the Constitution of the United States was adopted, and was not repealed till 1797. So that, up to that time, free negroes and mulattoes were associated with servants and slaves in the police regulations established by the laws of the State. (416)

It is inconceivable to Judge Taney that blacks even in free states such as Connecticut could be truly free. If they were, other states would be compelled to accept these black people as free and equal with whites when they crossed a border as travelers, either on foot, on horse or mule or in wagon.

Roger Taney, supreme court justice whose Dred Scott ruling shored up slavery.

For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it would exempt them from the operation of the special laws and from the (417) regulations which they considered to be necessary for their own safety. It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. [emphasis added]

All rights depend on free movement

Judge Taney rightly understands that the freedom of travel enables and facilitates other rights that are to be denied the slave class.

The liberty of speech.

The holding of public meetings.

The keeping and bearing of arms.

For blacks to be free to move apart from today’s driver license would produce among such people “discontent and insubordination,” and this state would endanger “the peace and safety” of the state.

The enforcement of Title 55 is outside the scope of the statute, and outside the scope of commercial regulatory inception starting at the time of World War I. Since about 1915 the power of the state to regulate the people’s roads has been upon the use of those roads for COMMERCIAL activity, that is to say, the extraordinary and profit-seeking use of the roadways by those who find the highway their principal place of business.

Pinkston prosecutorial practice: ‘No constitutional “right to travel,”’ & that’s that

Sun shines over Red Bank; city attorney refuses to admit TAN

Chatty Wagon should insist: Not in ‘transportation’

Meltdown at clinic: Christians buy building as landlord bankrupts (III)

Cops pile 8 charges on Mrs. Watt in hair-raising traffic stop

Taxi board oversees transportation, no authority over private travel

Title 55 charge puts young woman to tears

Judge halts TN’s driver license abuse, but keeps deep state scheme alive

City puts officers’ necks on line if it doesn’t revise traffic stop procedure

Pinkston prosecutorial practice: ‘No constitutional “right to travel,”’ & that’s that

Ledford pushes back against open city idea that would result from Title 55 obedience

Pinkston prosecutorial practice: ‘No constitutional “right to travel,”’ & that’s that

Legal reform by administrative notice — Noogacentric fix to unsolveable woe

Citizens appear to reject ‘double nickel’ police stop reform

New Question Police Should Ask at Traffic Stop


Matron of constitution fears tongue-twisting liberty lingo

Small towns, big cities should mind limits of Title 55: Only transportation subject to cop controls

Escapees kill 2 ’drivers’; but apps help others on road turn profit

Double-nickel police reform enjoys major political constituencies

Oppressed ‘Fiddle Man of Lawrenceburg’ pleads with sheriff to obey law


Breast-feeding traffic stop: Ex-MP tells cop merely traveling, not in commerce

Airbnb ordinance violates ‘arbitrary, capricious’ rule in TN law

U.S. judge urged ‘notice’ openness in TN law to free movement, travel by car

Administrative Notice as PDF, 20pp


Taxi board oversees transportation, no authority over private travel

What I tell appellate judge McClarty about slave days, use of roads

City claims authority to regulate vehicles for hire

Pinkston gets copy of administrative notice; will officers be notified?

Gun ban tailored to keep blacks suppressed

Gun ban tailored to keep blacks suppressed

As opposed to possible gay ruling, ‘Good Faith & The County Clerk’

Administrative notice tells city its authority is limited

Yearly emissions test reminds of state’s conversion of right into privilege

Might we work together, dear reverend, to abolish this roadside human trafficking?

Notice to Hammond: Reform required even though Haslam, judges, legislators opposed

Musty paper trail confirms highway law respects free travelers

It’s time DA Pinkston squints at TN traffic law, observes limited scope

City urged restrain cops, obey TN traffic law, avoid abusing minorities

Hammond mulls 7 questions on travel right, transportation privilege

City claims authority to regulate vehicles for hire

Breast-feeding traffic stop: Ex-MP tells cop merely traveling, not in commerce

Administrative notice warns East Ridge about limits of arrest power over travelers

Paying penny a day, people yield rights, avoid the accuser

Citizens appear to reject ‘double nickel’ police stop reform



One Response

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.