LaFAYETTE, Ga., Friday, July 21 – Christian family man Gregory Parker is in jail in Walker County, Ga., in a right to travel case that highlights the trap that resides in the bills of rights in many state constitutions.
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio Network
And that is the trap of natural rights in American jurisprudence. In Tennessee, the bill of rights begins, “That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority.” This view of national covenant infuses study materials of Americans set on defeating government excess and restoring rights abused by the rise of the welfare-warfare industrial complex starting in WWI. The rights defended by Mr. Parker are taught by the Magna Carta — and also by legal theories that strike lawyers and judges as incomprehensible.
In a daylong trial in state court in LaFayette, Mr. Parker is convicted of two alleged breaches of the Georgia motor vehicle law, with one “traffic stop” arrest Jan. 21, 2020, and Oct. 13, 2021, by deputies serving Sheriff Steve Wilson. The two offenses are tried together to give leverage that would not otherwise exist. That is to extort from Mr. Parker the property right of being able to choose his profession and calling and to reject others not in his interest that require entry into contract with a corporate overlord, aka State of Georgia. The servitude being thrust upon Mr. Parker is that he enter into the occupation of driver and operator in the field of moving goods and people for hire. He must get a driver license, in other words.
In a legal filings the state refers to the “public road.” however, the state enforces the motor vehicle law with the understanding that the roads belong to the corporation, on either side of the painted line, from curb to curb.
For the 2020 case, Mr. Parker is given two months behind concertina wire (wife Kasee Parker says today he is trustee in the kitchen), a F$1,000 fine and probation with eight conditions denying right to be free from warrantless searches. For the 2021 case, Mr. Parker in the fill-in-the-blank July 19 sentencing order is given a second jail term to run consecutively. But to fulfill Georgia policy, and in show of lenity, the court will “suspend 4 months jail and $2,500 [fine] upon [Mr. Parker’s] providing proof of eligibility for valid license at end of the probation in” the earlier case.
The grand claims to being a “living soul, holder of the office of ‘the people,’” either prevent his claims from being seen – or are an excuse for refusing to see correct claims he makes about the limited scope of the state motor vehicle law. Arguments contrived from complex patriotic theories give “no meaningful analysis” or, says solicitor J. Matt Williamson, “have no conceivable validity and should be rejected summarily.”
His jailing immediately on conviction is irregular. The substitute judge ignores a Parker statement that he plans to appeal. It’s not immediately clear what rule allows for punishment in the jail, with no bond or condition before the court in last moments of trial. A statement that he has 30 days to appeal is no comfort to a man in a cell in a cheap gray building behind the Walker County courthouse with no means of fending for himself in drafting documents and reviewing the law and criminal procedure rules. A likely rights violation.
Mr. Parker probably should immediately ask Mrs. Parker to draft a notice of intention for the appeals court in Atlanta, for John Dennis the supply judge and for Billy Mullinax, the Walker County state court judge who recused. Accompanying that notice, probably, a demand for immediate hearing in Lafayette regarding conditions for bond, whether payment or OR (“own recognizance”) to secure the state’s interest in his person returning for hearing or custody.
An appeal would focus on lack of subject matter jurisdiction and abuse of his right to obtain evidence from the fact witnesses, namely the officers. None roadside obtained the first lick of evidence establishing privileged activity in which Mr. Parker might have been engaged. The officials intend to make a point with Mr. Parker, regardless of illegalities unlikely to redound back to them in office or personally.
Natural law trap
Mr. Parker’s defense contains a good bit of natural rights lore that is humanistic rather than Christian, heavily borrowing from philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke as to their conceit. The best treatment of the natural rights ancestry of American constitutionalism is Gary North’s Book Conspiracy in Philadelphia. Natural rights magnify the people and reduce God the Creator as the source of political covenant. The American alchemists, unitarians, freemasons, Jesuits and humanists dubbed the “founding fathers” replace God with the deity of “the people,” which concept has since 1787 been replaced by “the five” people, namely a majority of the U.S. supreme court.
The American police state is an inevitable consequence of this settlement with no mechanism to secure balance between the one and the many, the citizen and the state, as detailed by R.J. Rushdoony in The One and the Many.
Jailers on Friday refuse to let this reporter visit Mr. Parker, who is allowed to see only an attorney. He has no lawyer for representation or counsel. A Sheriff Wilson staffer, in the main office in the jailbuilding, denies an interview on grounds he is not available. Next door towers the court building where I spend three hours Friday in a cluttered clerk’s office. As a very heavy woman enters, the floor creaks and shifts as she unlocks the door through counter. I scribble notes by hand. Explains court clerk Carter Brown, no man or woman of the 700 people who enter the building daily is allowed to carry a phone or electronic device because they are so brutish and ill-behaved that court decorum would be impossible to keep. He runs a photocopier for me at 50 cents a page.
Good & bad in legal position
Mr. Parker’s claims to sovereignty are grandly stated. He is “a declared living American sovereign standing with treaty laws of God,” signing one handwritten statement in red marker, “Gregory Justin; house of Parker[,] sovereign living soul, holder of office of ‘the people.”
A substrata of these peaks include valid law, with a scattered rather than coherent effect. State law, he rightly, says, is upon corporations and parties who apply to be subject to privilege. How can crime be alleged if there is no victim? One has no duty to “register” private property with the state. He uses his car as a private conveyance, “not for hire,” and is not using a “motor vehicle.” He’s not on the highway for commercial purposes. Travel is part of a common right and use of “by carriage or by automobile is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a ‘COMMON RIGHT” which he has under the ‘RIGHT’ to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” citing a famous case.
At the courtroom level of the conflict, Mr. Parker has good grounds and a solid argument as to why he has committed no offense, according to my reading of his two pleadings in the case file. The Georgia trucking administrative regulation thrust upon him by Sheriff Wilson doesn’t apply to private travel. The state’s case fails on grounds of subject matter jurisdiction, the issue being that no evidence can be shown that Mr. Parker is, indeed, hauling goods or people (“passengers” in the law) for private gain. The case based on presumption fails in an honest court.
Mr. Parker’s defense of his rights is as much about him and his status as about the limits within Title 40 that his enemies overlook. This imbalance may explain why the other side is so confident in blanket dismissal of his defense, and its willingness breach his rights by denying all his examination questions at trial. Mr. Parker works from a world of sweeping global conflict, between honest money and banking, between limited government and corporatism, among private life and subjugation to corporations, profit and debt. In hand-to-hand combat, however, he seems bested as too slow, insufficiently concrete, too abstract or philosophical.
‘Without merit and frivolous’
Alas, the wounded American, swinging fists wildly, cannot keep off the jackals closing for the kill. “Due to the suspect being a sovereign citizen I had Cpl. Reese in route,” the arresting deputy writes in all caps in one case. Prosecutor Williamson, in a March 1 four-page brief, scoffs that challenges to “this honorable court’s jurisdiction *** are without merit and frivolous.” To his unexcitable enemies, Mr. Parker is a contemptible “sov cit,” or sovereign citizen. This category of subject deserves treatment suited only to one subject, in darker earlier times, to a bill of attainder as a nuisance class, outlaw from the git-go.
It’s not immediately known how well Mr. Parker held his accusers to their standard. They have 100 percent of the burden of proof. Their evidence controls the jury’s doings, according to a review of draft jury instructions in the file. Not the indictment, not the briefs, not the opening or closing, not anything but the evidence.
In such a case, the defendant must have the presence of mind to avoid the clutter likely to fill his brain, the arcane patriot vocabulary and sometimes pseudo-legal grounds. Much otherwise good material from long patriot reading will hurt the presentation and push jurors to default to the simple argument of prejudice of the prosecutor, “Whatever the defendant says theoretically, we all know — we know this from birth, virtually — that we have to have a driver license to drive on the public road.”