MEMORANDUM WITH POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ACTION FOR TRESPASS, VERIFIED, RE: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO TRAVEL
If ever a judge understood the public's right to use the public roads, it was Justice Tolman of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington. Justice Tolman stated:
"Complete freedom of the highways is so old and well established a blessing that we have forgotten the days of the Robber Barons and toll roads, and yet, under an act like this, arbitrarily administered, the highways may be completely monopolized, if, through lack of interest, the people submit, then they may look to see the most sacred of their liberties taken from them one by one, more or less by rapid encroachment." [Robertson v. Department of Public Works, 180 Wash 133, 147 (1934)]
The words of Justice Tolman ring most prophetically in the ears of Citizens throughout the country today as the use of the public roads has been monopolized by the very entity which has been empowered to stand guard over our freedoms, i.e., that of state government.
The "most sacred of liberties" of which Justice Tolman spoke was personal liberty. The definition of personal liberty is:
"Personal liberty, or the right to enjoyment of life and liberty, is one of the fundamental or natural rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in the various constitutions, which is not derived from, or dependent on, the Federal Constitution, and which may not be submitted to a vote and may not depend on the outcome of an election. It is one of the most sacred and valuable rights; as sacred as the right of private property; or as occupying a preferred position as contrasted with property rights; and is regarded as inalienable." 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sect.202, p.987.
This concept is further amplified by this definition of personal liberty:
"Personal liberty largely consists of the right of locomotion -- to go where and when one pleases -- only so far restrained as the rights of others may make it necessary for the welfare of all other Citizens. The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horse drawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under this Constitutional guarantee one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct." 11 Am.Jur. Constitutional Law, Sect.329, p.1135.
PERSONAL LIBERTY - Freedom from physical and personal restraint; the right to the pursuit of happiness; freedom to go where one chooses and to pursue such lawful occupations as may seem suitable...it would include also...the right to travel... [Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1914 ed.]
PERSONAL LIBERTY – The right or power of locomotion, of changing situation, of removing one's person to whatsoever place one's own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint unless by due course of law [Black's Law Dictionary, 4th ed.]
“Personal liberty, which is guarantied to every citizen under our constitution and laws, consists of the right of locomotion, to go where one pleases, and when...only so far restrained as the rights of others may make it necessary for the welfare of all other citizens. One may travel long the public high-ways or in public places; and while conducting themselves in a decent and orderly manner, disturbing no other, and interfering with the rights of no other citizens, there they will be protected under the law, not only in their persons, but in their safe conduct.” [Pinkerton v. Verberg, 7 L.R.A.507 (1889)]
And on restraint, “And all these rights and liberties it is our birthright to enjoy entire; unless where the laws of our country have laid them under necessary restraints. Restraints in themselves so gentle and moderate, as will appear upon farther enquiry that no man of sense or probity would wish to see them slackened. For all of us have it in our choice to do every thing that a good man would desire to do; and are restrained from nothing, but what would be pernicious either to ourselves or our fellow Citizens.” [1 Blackstone’s Commentary 134]
Justice Tolman was concerned about the state prohibiting the Citizen from the "most sacred of his liberties," the right of movement, the right of moving one's self from place to place without threat of imprisonment, the right to use the public roads in the ordinary course of life.
When the state allows the formation of a corporation it may control its creation by establishing guidelines (statutes) for its operation (charters). Corporations who use the roads in the course of business do not use the roads in the ordinary course of life. There is a difference between a corporation and an individual. The United States Supreme Court has stated:
"...We are of the opinion that there is a clear distinction in this particular between an individual and a corporation, and that the latter has no right to refuse to submit its books and papers for examination at the suit of the State. 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 neighbors to divulge his business, or to open his doors to investigation, so far as it may tend to criminate him. He owes no such duty to the state, since he receives nothing there from, 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 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 (1906), 74-75.]
"Upon the other hand, the corporation is a creature of the state. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and find out whether it has exceeded its powers. It would be a strange anomaly to hold that the state, having chartered a corporation to make use of certain franchises, could not in exercise of its sovereignty, inquire how those franchises had been employed, and whether they had been abused, and demand the production of corporate books and papers for that purpose." [Ibid]
Corporations engaged in mercantile equity fall under the purview of the state's admiralty jurisdiction, and the public at large must be protected from their activities, as they (the corporations) are engaged in business for profit.
"...based upon the fundamental ground that the sovereign state has the plenary control of the streets and highways in the exercise of its police power (see police power, infra.), may absolutely prohibit the use of the streets as a place for the prosecution of a private business for gain. They all recognize the fundamental distinction between the ordinary right of a Citizen to use the streets in the usual way and the use of the streets as a place of business or a main instrumentality of a business for private gain. The former is a common right, the latter an extraordinary use. As to the former the legislative power is confined to regulation, as to the latter it is plenary and extends even to absolute prohibition. Since the use of the streets by a common carrier in the prosecution of its business as such is not a right but a mere license of privilege..." [Hadfield v. Lundin, 98 Wash 657, 168, p.516]
It is necessary to review early cases and legal authority in order to reach a lawfully correct perspective dealing with a common right or "privilege”. We will attempt to reach a sound conclusion as to what is a "right to use the road" and what is a "privilege to use the road". Once reaching this determination, we shall then apply those positions to modern case decision.
"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them." [Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491]
"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." [Miller v. U.S., 230 F.2d 486, 489]
"There should be no sanction or penalty imposed on one because of his exercise of constitutional rights." [Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F.2d 945]
“In this context ‘penalty’ is not restricted to fine or imprisonment. It means, as we said in Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609, 85 S.Ct. 1229, 14 L.Ed.2d 106 (1965), the imposition of any sanction which makes assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege ‘costly.’” Id. at 515, 87 S.Ct. at 628. In Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493, 87 S.Ct. 616, 17 L.Ed.2d 562 (1967),” [Ibid]
The seizure of an automobile, private property, of the plaintiff is clearly a penalty imposed upon the exercise of her substantive right to travel. Streets and highways are established and maintained for the purpose of travel and transportation by the public. Such travel may be for business or pleasure.
"Even the legislature has no power to deny to a Citizen the right to travel upon the highway and transport his property in the ordinary course of his business or pleasure… [Chicago Motor Coach v. City of Chicago, 337 Ill. 200]
“The city has no right to so obstruct the street as to deprive the public and adjacent property holders of their use as streets. The primary object is for ordinary passage and travel, and the public and individuals cannot be rightfully deprived of such use.” [Ligare v. City of Chicago, 28 NE 934]
The use of the highways for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common and fundamental right of which the public and the individual cannot be rightfully deprived. [25 Am.Jur. Highways Sect.163]
“The primary and paramount object in establishing and maintaining streets and highways is for the purpose of public travel, and the public and individuals cannot be rightfully deprived of such use, nor can the rights of the public therein be encroached upon by private individuals or corporations, even with the consent of the municipality.” [Boone v. Clark, 214 SW 607]
The right of a Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day. This right is not a mere privilege which a city may permit or prohibit at will. [Thompson v. Smith, 155 Va 367]
The right of a Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day; and under the existing modes of travel includes the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street, or transporting persons or property for hire along the street, which a city may permit or prohibit at will. [Ibid]
So we can see that a Citizen has a right to travel upon the public highways by automobile and the Citizen cannot be rightfully deprived of his liberty. So where does the misconception that the use of the public road is always and only a privilege come from?
"...while a Citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place for private gain. For the latter purpose no person has a vested right in the use of the highways of the state, but is a privilege or a license which the Legislature may grant or withhold in its discretion." [State v. Johnson, 75 Mont. 240]
“The right of a Citizen to travel upon the highway and transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business and uses it for private gain, in the running of a stage coach or omnibus. The former is the usual and ordinary right of a Citizen, a common right, a right common to all, while the latter is special, unusual, and extraordinary.” [Cummins v. Jones, 155 P. 171]
“They all recognize the fundamental distinction between the ordinary right of a Citizen to use the streets in the usual way and the use of the streets as a place of business or main instrumentality of a business for private gain. The former is a common right, the latter an extraordinary use.” [Hadfield, supra]
“The streets belong to the public and are primarily for the use of the public in the ordinary way. Their use for the purposes of gain is special and extraordinary, and, generally at least, may be prohibited or conditioned as the Legislature deems proper.” [Packard v. Banton, 264 U.S. 140]
“Prior to the advent of motor-driven vehicles, our roads were constructed and maintained by the several counties of the state, but thereafter it became necessary for the state, in a large measure, to take over this work…to keep down the ever-mounting cost of maintenance, as well as to minimize the increased danger to persons and property in the use of the highways,...it became a necessary function of government to regulate transportation of persons and property for compensation over the highway..., if not so regulated, the appropriation of the highways as a place for the transaction of private business might eventually result in forcing the state into the position of maintaining highways for private enterprise, rather than for the public purposes for which they were established.” [Barney v. Railroad Commissioners, 17 P.2d 82]
Here the court held that a Citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways, but that he did not have the right to conduct commerce or business upon the highways. On this point of law all authorities are unanimous.
“Heretofore the court has held, and we think correctly, that ‘While a Citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place of business for private gain.’” [Barney v. Board of Railroad Commissioners, 17 P.2d 82; Willis v. Buck, 263 P.l 982]
"The right of the Citizen to travel upon the highway and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business for private gain in the running of a stagecoach or omnibus." [State v. City of Spokane, 186 P. 864]
What is this right of the Citizen which differs so "radically and obviously" from one who uses the highway as a place of business? Who better to enlighten us than Justice Tolman of the Supreme Court of Washington State? In State v. City of Spokane, supra, the Court also noted a very "radical and obvious" difference, but went on to explain just what the difference is:
"The former is the usual and ordinary right of the Citizen, a common right to all, while the latter is special, unusual, and extraordinary." [Ibid]
"This distinction, elementary and fundamental in character, is recognized by all the authorities." [Ibid]
This position does not hang precariously upon only a few cases, but has been proclaimed by an impressive array of cases ranging from the state courts to the federal courts.
"The right of the Citizen to travel upon the highway and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business and uses it for private gain in the running of a stagecoach or omnibus. The former is the usual and ordinary right of the Citizen, a right common to all, while the latter is special, unusual, and extraordinary." [Ex Parte Dickey, (Dickey v. Davis), 85 SE 781]
"The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right, in so doing, to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day, and under the existing modes of travel, includes the right to drive a horse drawn carriage or wagon thereon or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purpose of life and business. There seems to be no dissent among the authorities on this proposition." [Teche Lines v. Danforth, 195 Miss. 226, 12 So.2d 784(1943); Thompson v. Smith, supra]
"Personal liberty, or the right to enjoyment of life and liberty, is one of the fundamental or natural rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in various state constitutions, which is not derived from nor dependent on the U.S. Constitution. It is one of the most sacred and valuable rights [remember the words of Justice Tolman, supra.] as sacred as the right to private property...and is regarded as inalienable." 16 C.J.S. Const. Law, Sect.202, p.987.
As we can see, the distinction between a "right" to use the public roads and a "privilege" to use the public roads is drawn upon the line of "using the road as a place of business" and the various state courts have held so. But what have the U.S. courts held on this point?
"First, it is well established law that the highways of the state are public property, and their primary and preferred use is for private purposes, and that their use for purposes of gain is special and extraordinary which, generally at least, the legislature may prohibit or condition as it sees fit." [Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251; Packard vs Banton, supra]
So what is a privilege to use the roads? By now it should be apparent even to the "learned" that an attempt to use the road as a place of business is a privilege. The distinction must be drawn between...
1. Travelling upon and transporting one's property upon the public roads, which is our right; and...
2. Using the public roads as a place of business or a main instrumentality of business, which is a privilege.
"Public Highways and streets are constructed and maintained at public expense. No person therefore, can insist that he has, or may acquire, a vested right use such streets and highways in carrying on a commercial business." [Ex Parte Sterling, 53 SW.2d 294; Barney v. Railroad Commissioners, 17 P.2d 82; Stephenson v. Binford, supra]
"When the public highways are made the place of business the state has a right to regulate their use in the interest of safety and convenience of the public as well as the preservation of the highways." [Barney v. Railroad Commissioners, supra]
"[The] State’s right to regulate such use is based upon the nature of the business and the use of the highways in connection therewith." [Ibid]
"We know of no inherent right in one to use the highways for commercial purposes. The highways are primarily for the use of the public, and in the interest of the public, the state may prohibit or regulate...the use of the highways for gain." [Robertson v. Dept. of Public Works, supra]
As is shown there is considerable authority on this subject which is important because it is a potential deprivation of the liberty of the individual "using the roads in the ordinary course of life as opposed to commerce." It should be noted that extensive research has not turned up one case or authority acknowledging the state's power to convert the individual's right to travel upon the public roads into a "privilege".
Therefore, we conclude that the Citizen does have a "right" to travel and transport his property upon the public highways and roads and the exercise of this right is not a "privilege".
In order to understand the correct application of the statutes in question, we must first define the terms used in connection with this point of law. As will be shown, many terms used today do not, in their legal context, mean what we assume they mean, thus resulting in the misapplication of statutes.
AUTOMOBILE AND MOTOR VEHICLE
There is a clear distinction between an automobile and a motor vehicle. An automobile has been defined as:
"The word `automobile' connotes a pleasure vehicle designed for the transportation of persons on highways." American Mutual Liability Ins. Co., v. Chaput, 60 A.2d 118, 120; 95 NH 200.
While the distinction is made clear between the two as the courts have stated:
“‘For hire’ vehicles, as provided in section 6313, Rem. Comp. Stats., are defined to mean all motor vehicles other than automobile stages used for the transportation of persons for which transportation remuneration of any kind is received, either directly or indirectly. [International Motor Transit Co. v. Seattle, 251 P. 120]
“The term `motor vehicle' is different and broader than the word `automobile.'" [City of Dayton v. DeBrosse, 23 NE.2d 647, 650; 62 Ohio App. 232]
The distinction is made very clear in Title 18 USC 31: "Motor vehicle" means every description or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, or passengers and property.
"Used for commercial purposes" means the carriage of persons or property for any fare, fee, rate, charge or other considerations, or directly or indirectly in connection with any business, or other undertaking intended for profit.
Clearly, an automobile is private property in use for private purposes, while a motor vehicle is a machine which may be used upon the highways for trade, commerce, or hire.
The term "travel" is a significant term and is defined as:
"The term `travel' and `traveler' are usually construed in their broad and general sense...so as to include all those who rightfully use the highways viatically and who have occasion to pass over them for the purpose of business, convenience, or pleasure." [25 Am.Jur. Highways, Sect.427, p.717]
"Traveler -- One who passes from place to place, whether for pleasure, instruction, business, or health." [Locket v. State, 47 Ala. 45; Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., p. 3309]
"Travel -- To journey or to pass through or over; as a country district, road, etc. To go from one place to another, whether on foot, or horseback, or in any conveyance as a train, an automobile, carriage, ship, or aircraft; Make a journey." Century Dictionary, p.2034.
The term "travel" or "traveler" refers to one who uses a conveyance to go from one place to another, and includes all those who use the highways as a matter of right.
Notice that in all these definitions the phrase "for hire" never occurs. This term "travel" or "traveler" implies, by definition, one who uses the road as a means to move from one place to another. One who uses the road in the ordinary course of life and business for the purpose of locomotion and moving from one place to another is a traveler.
The term "driver" in contradistinction to "traveler" is defined as:
"Driver - One employed in conducting a coach, carriage, wagon, or other vehicle..." Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., p. 940.
Notice that this definition includes one who is "employed" in conducting a vehicle. It is self-evident that this person could not be "travelling" on a journey, but is using the road as a place of business.
Today we assume that a "traveler" is a "driver", and a "driver" is an "operator." However, this is not the case.
"It will be observed from the language of the ordinance that a distinction is to be drawn between the terms `operator' and `driver'; the `operator' of the service car being the person who is licensed to have the car on the streets in the business of carrying passengers for hire; while the `driver' is the one who actually drives the car. However, in the actual prosecution of business, it was possible for the same person to be both `operator' and `driver.'" [Newbill v. Union Indemnity Co., 60 SE.2d 658]
To further clarify the definition of an "operator" the court observed that this was a vehicle "for hire" and that it was in the business of carrying passengers. This definition would seem to describe a person who is using the road as a place of business, or in other words, a person engaged in the "privilege" of using the road for gain.
This definition, then, is a further clarification of the distinction mentioned earlier, and therefore:
1. Travelling upon and transporting one's property upon the public roads as a matter of right meets the definition of a traveler.
2. Using the road as a place of business as a matter of privilege meets the definition of a driver or an operator or both.
Having defined the terms "automobile", "motor vehicle", "traveler", "driver", and "operator", the next term to define is "traffic":
"...Traffic thereon is to some extent destructive, therefore, the prevention of unnecessary duplication of auto transportation service will lengthen the life of the highways or reduce the cost of maintenance, the revenue derived by the state...will also tend toward the public welfare by producing at the expense of those operating for private gain, some small part of the cost of repairing the wear..." [Northern Pacific R.R. Co. v. Schoenfeldt, 213 P. 26]
Note: In the above, Justice Tolman expounded upon the key of raising revenue by taxing the "privilege" to use the public roads "at the expense of those operating for gain."
In this case, the word "traffic" is used in conjunction with the unnecessary Auto Transportation Service, or in other words, "vehicles for hire." The word "traffic" is another word which is to be strictly construed to the conducting of business.
"Traffic -- Commerce, trade, sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, or the like. The passing of goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money..." [Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., p. 3307]
Here again, notice that this definition refers to one conducting business. No mention is made of one who is travelling in his automobile. This definition is of one who is engaged in the passing of a commodity or goods in exchange for money, i.e.., vehicles for hire or common carriers.
Furthermore, the word "traffic" and "travel" must have different meanings which the courts recognize. The difference is recognized in Ex Parte Dickey, supra:
"...in addition to this, cabs, hackney coaches, omnibuses, taxicabs, and hacks, when unnecessarily numerous, interfere with the ordinary traffic and travel and obstruct them." [Ex parte Dickey, supra]
The court, by using both terms, signified its recognition of a distinction between the two. But, what was the distinction? We have already defined both terms, but to clear up any doubt:
"The word ‘traffic’ is manifestly used here in a secondary sense, and has reference to the business of transportation rather than to its primary meaning of interchange of commodities." [Allen v. City of Bellingham, 163 P. 18]
Here the Supreme Court of the State of Washington has defined the word "traffic" (in either it’s primary or secondary sense) in reference to business, and not to mere travel! So it is clear that the term "traffic" is business related and therefore, it is a "privilege." The net result being that "traffic" is brought under the (police) power of the legislature. The term has no application to one who is not using the roads as a place of business.
It seems only proper to define the word "license", as the definition of this word will be extremely important in understanding the statutes as they are properly applied:
“‘License’ is the permission by competent authority to do an act which, without such permission, would be illegal.” [People v. Henderson, 218 NW.2d 2, 4]
“‘License’ means only leave to do thing which licensor could prevent.” [Western Electric Co. v. Pacent Reproducer Corp., 42 F.2d 116, 118]
In order for these two definitions to apply to a Citizen travelling in his private automobile, the state would have to take up the position that the exercise of a constitutional right to use the public roads in the ordinary course of life and business is illegal which the state could then regulate or prevent.
This position, however, would raise Constitutional questions as it would be diametrically opposed to fundamental Constitutional Law. (See "Conversion of a Right to a Crime," infra.)
Most people tend to think that "licensing" is imposed by the state for the purpose of raising revenue, yet there may well be more subtle reasons contemplated; for when one seeks permission from someone to do something he invokes the jurisdiction of the "licensor" which, in this case, is the state. In essence, the licensee may well be seeking to be regulated by the "licensor."
"A license fee is a charge made primarily for regulation, with the fee to cover costs and expenses of supervision or regulation." [State v. Jackson, 60 Wisc.2d 700; 211 NW.2d 480, 487]
The fee is the price; the regulation or control of the licensee is the real aim of the legislation.
Are these licenses really used to fund legitimate government, or are they nothing more than a subtle introduction of police power into every facet of our lives? Have our "enforcement agencies" been diverted from crime prevention, perhaps through no fault of their own, instead now busying themselves as they "check" our papers to see that all are properly endorsed by the state?
How much longer will it be before we are forced to get a license for our lawn mowers, or before our wives will need a license for her "blender" or "mixer?" They all have motors on them and the state can always use the revenue.
When one considers the un-constitutional “Cap and Trade” Legislation that is being illegally introduced into regulation by the current administration here in California, and being considered on a Federal level, the answer to that question is undoubtedly, Not very Long! This Legislation has provisions in it to allow law enforcement to enter your house without warrant to search it in order to determine the wattage of your household appliances. Can this be called reasonable?
The confusion of the police power with the power of taxation usually arises in cases where the police power has affixed a penalty to a certain act, or where it requires licenses to be obtained and a certain sum be paid for certain occupations. The power used cannot, however, be the power of taxation since an attempt to levy a tax upon a right would be open to constitutional objection. (See "taxing power," infra.)
Each law relating to the use of police power must ask three questions:
1. Is there threatened danger?
2. Does the regulation involve a constitutional right?
3. Is this regulation reasonable?
[People v. Smith, 108 Mich. 527]
[Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., under "Police Power."]
When applying these three questions to the statute in question, some very important issues emerge.
First, "is there a threatened danger" in the individual using his automobile on the public highways, in the ordinary course of life and business?
The answer is No! There is nothing inherently dangerous in the use of an automobile when it is carefully managed. Their guidance, speed, and noise are subject to a quick and easy control, under a competent and considerate manager, it is less dangerous on the road than a horse and buggy.
It is the manner of managing the automobile, and that alone, which threatens the safety of the public. The ability to stop quickly and to respond quickly to guidance would seem to make the automobile one of the least dangerous conveyances. (See Yale Law Journal, December, 1905)
"An automobile is not such a dangerous machine or agency as to make applicable to it the rules requiring extraordinary care in the use..." Cohen v. Meador, 89 SE 876; Blair v. Broadwater, 93 SE 632.
To deprive all persons of the right to use the road in the ordinary course of life and business, because one might, in the future, become dangerous, would be a deprivation not only of the right to travel, but also the right to due process. (See "Due Process," infra.)
Next, does the regulation involve a Constitutional Right?
This question has already been addressed and answered in this brief, and need not be reinforced other than to remind the Court that this Citizen does have the right to travel upon the public highway by automobile in the ordinary course of life and business. It can therefore be concluded that this regulation does involve a Constitutional right.
The third question is the most important in this case. "Is this regulation reasonable?"
The answer is No! It will be shown later in "Regulation" infra, that this licensing statute is oppressive and could be effectively administered by less oppressive means.
Although the Fourteenth Amendment does not interfere with the proper exercise of the police power, in accordance with the general principle that the power must be exercised so as not to invade unreasonably the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, it is established beyond question that every state power, including the police power, is limited by the Fourteenth Amendment (and others, see United States v. Guest, infra) and by the inhibitions there imposed.
Moreover, the ultimate test of the propriety of police power regulations must be found in the Fourteenth Amendment, since it operates to limit the field of the police power to the extent of preventing the enforcement of statutes in denial of rights that the Amendment protects. (See Parks v. State, 64 NE 682.)
"The right to travel freely from State to State finds constitutional protection that is quite independent of the Fourteenth Amendment." [United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745]
"as the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, anything in the Constitution or statutes of the states to the contrary notwithstanding, a statute of a state, even when avowedly enacted in the exercise of its police powers, must yield to that law..." [Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540]
A right conferred or protected by the Federal Constitution cannot be overthrown or impaired by any authority derived from the police power. [Lafarier v. Grand Trunk R.R. Co., 24 A. 848]
The police power is not absolute and the Legislature is not permitted under the exercise of the police power to enact a statute that will in its operation defeat the purpose of the Constitution. [O'Neil v. Providence Amusement Co., 108 A. 887]
A claim that action is being taken under the police power of the state cannot justify disregard of constitutional inhibitions. [Schlesinger v. Wisconsin, 270 U.S. 230, 240]
“Police power [though broad] does not justify any act which violates prohibitions of state or Federal Constitutions.” [Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. v. State Highway Commission, 294 U.S. 613; Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60]
"It is well settled that the constitutional rights protected from invasion by the police power, include rights safeguarded both by express and implied prohibitions in the Constitutions." Tiche v. Osborne, 131 A. 60.
"As a rule, fundamental limitations of regulations under the police power are found in the spirit of the Constitutions, not in the letter, although they are just as efficient as if expressed in the clearest language." Mehlos v. Milwaukee, 146 NW 882.
The language of the Fifth Amendment is clear:
No person shall be...deprived of Life, Liberty, or Property without due process of law.
As has been shown, the courts at all levels have firmly established an absolute right to travel. The state, by applying commercial statutes to all entities, natural and artificial persons alike, has deprived the free and natural person of the right of liberty, without cause and without due process of law.
"The essential elements of due process of law are...Notice and the opportunity to defend." [Simon v. Craft, 182 U.S. 427]
Not one individual has been given notice of the loss of their rights, before applying for and signing the license (contract), nor was the Citizen given any opportunity to defend against the loss of their right to travel, by automobile, on the highways, in the ordinary course of life and business. This amounts to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
"There should be no arbitrary deprivation of life or liberty..." [Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 31; Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356]
“The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the Citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the Fifth Amendment...In Anglo-Saxon law that right was emerging at least as early as the Magna Carta...Travel abroad, like travel within the country, may be necessary for a livelihood. It may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads.” [Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958)]
The focal point of this question of police power and due process must balance upon the point of making the public highways a safe place for the public to travel. If a man travels in a manner that creates actual damage, an action would lie (civilly) for recovery of damages. The state could then also proceed against the individual to deprive him of his right to use the public highways, for cause. This process would fulfill the due process requirements of the Fifth Amendment while at the same time insuring that rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the state constitutions would be protected. Unless or until harm or damage (a crime) is committed, there is no cause for interference in the private affairs or actions of a Citizen.
One of the most famous and perhaps the most quoted definitions of due process of law is that of Daniel Webster when he declared that “due process’ is "a law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial." [Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat 518; See also State v. Strasburg, 110 P. 1020; Dennis v. Moses, 52 P. 333.]
Somewhat similar is the statement that is a rule as old as the law that "no one shall be personally bound (restricted) until he has had his day in court," by which is meant, until he has been duly cited to appear and has been afforded an opportunity to be heard. Judgment without such citation and opportunity lacks all the attributes of a judicial determination; it is judicial usurpation and it is oppressive and can never be upheld where it is fairly administered. [12 Am.Jur. Const. Law, Sect.573, p.269]
Note: This sounds like the process used to deprive one of the "privilege" of operating a motor vehicle "for hire." It should be kept in mind, however, that we are discussing the arbitrary deprivation of the right to use the road that all Citizens have "in common."
The futility of the state's position can be easily observed in the opinion of John O’Connell, Washington Attorney General (1959) on a similar issue:
"The distinction between the right of the Citizen to use the public highways for private, rather than commercial purposes is recognized..." [Barbour v. Walker, 126 Okla. 227, 259 Pac. 552]
"Under its power to regulate private uses of our highways, our legislature has required that “motor vehicle” operators be licensed. (RCW46.20.190)
Undoubtedly, the primary purpose of this requirement is to insure, in so far as possible, that all “motor vehicle” “operators” will be competent and qualified, thereby reducing the potential hazard, or risk of harm, to which other users of the highways might otherwise be subject. But once having complied with this regulatory provision, by obtaining the requisite operator’s license, a motorist enjoys the privilege of travelling freely upon the highways..." Washington A.G.O. 59-60 No. 88, p. 11.
This alarming opinion appears to be saying that every person using an automobile as a matter of right, must give up the right and convert the right into a privilege. But notice how the magic words “motor vehicle” and “operator” are woven into the opinion. Even if this were to be accomplished under the guise of regulation, this statement is indicative of the insensitivity and ignorance, of the government to the limits placed upon it by and through the constitutions. It should also be noted that even though the government may, for the safety of the public at large, regulate the motorist that regulation must conform to standards of reasonableness.
“The constitutional right of Citizens to travel on public highways may be reasonably regulated by legislative acts in pursuance of police power of state, but the police power cannot justify the enactment of any statute which amounts to an arbitrary and unwarranted interference with or unreasonable restriction on those rights of Citizens which are fundamental.” [Teche Lines, Inc. v. Danforth 195 Miss 226]
“The rights aforesaid, being fundamental, are constitutional rights, and while the exercise thereof may be reasonably regulated by legislative act in pursuance of the police power of the State, and although those powers are broad, they do not rise above those privileges which are imbedded in the constitutional structure. The police power cannot justify the enactment of any law which amounts to an arbitrary and unwarranted interference with or unreasonable restriction on, those rights of the Citizen which are fundamental.” [State v. Armstead, 103 Miss. 790, 799, 60 So. 778, Ann. Cas.1915B, 495 as quoted in Teche Lines, Inc. v. Danforth 195 Miss 226]
Although O’Connell’s legal theory may have been able to stand in 1959, as of 1966 by the United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, even this weak defense of the state's actions fails.
"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them." Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491.
Thus the legislature does not have the power to abrogate the Citizen's rights by passing legislation forcing the Citizen to waive his right and convert that right into a privilege. This includes the right to travel upon the public roads. Furthermore, we have previously established that this "privilege" has been defined as applying only to those who are "conducting business in the streets" or "operating vehicles for-hire."
“[The] State's power to grant privilege on its own conditions is limited, so that it may not thereby require relinquishment of constitutional rights.” [Frost v. Railroad Commission of the State of California 271 US 583]
“Any act of the Legislature attempting to abridge the constitutional right is void.” [People v. Kelly, 203 Cal. 128, 133]
The right to a trial by jury cannot be avoided by merely calling an action a special proceeding or equitable in nature. If that could be done, the Legislature, by providing new remedies and new judgments and decrees in form equitable, could in all cases dispense with jury trials, and thus entirely defeat the provision of the Constitution. The Legislature cannot convert a legal right into an equitable one so as to infringe upon the right of trial by jury. [People v One 1941 Chevrolet Coupe, 37 Cal.2d 283]
The court in 1941 Chevrolet explains that the Legislature cannot by special legislation, legislate away our unalienable rights. If it could then ultimately it could usurp all authority over our rights simply by legislating them away. The legislature has attempted, by legislative fiat, to deprive the Citizen of his right to use the roads and highways in the ordinary course of life and business, without affording the Citizen the safeguard of "due process of law." This has been accomplished under supposed powers of regulation.
"In addition to the requirement that regulations governing the use of the highways must not be violative of constitutional guarantees, the prime essentials of such regulation are reasonableness, impartiality, and definiteness or certainty." [25 Am.Jur. Highways, Sect.260,emphasis added]
"Moreover, a distinction must be observed between the regulation of an activity which may be engaged in as a matter of right and one carried on by government sufferance of permission." Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43; Packard v. Banton, supra.
“The constitutional right of Citizens to travel on public highways may be reasonably regulated” [Teche Lines, Inc. v. Danforth 195 Miss 226]
One can say for certain that these regulations are impartial since they are being applied to all, even though they are clearly beyond the limits of the legislative powers. We must consider whether such regulations are reasonable and non-violative of constitutional guarantees. Remember Blackstones Commentary on Page 1, “Restraints in themselves so gentle and moderate” that no man would disagree with them.
Reasonable. Just; proper. Ordinary or usual. Fit and appropriate to the end in view. (Parkes v. Bartlett, 236 Mich. 460, 210 NW 492, 494, 47 ALR 1128) Having the faculty of reason; rational; governed by reason; under the influence of reason; agreeable to reason. (Clausen v. State, 21 Wyo. 505, 133 P. 1055, 1056) Thinking, speaking, or acting according to the dictates of reason; not immoderate or excessive, being synonymous with rational; honest; equitable; fair; suitable; moderate; tolerable. (Cass v. State, 124 Tex.Cr.R. 208, 61 SW2d 500)[Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1914 ed.]
Reason. A faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood, good from evil, and which enables the possessor to deduce inferences from facts or from propositions. [Ibid]
First, let us consider the reasonableness of this statute requiring all persons to be licensed (presuming that we are applying this statute to all persons using the public roads). In determining the reasonableness of the statute we need only ask two questions:
1. Does the statute accomplish its stated goal?
The answer is No! The attempted explanation for this regulation "to insure the safety of the public by insuring, as much as possible, that all are competent and qualified."
One can keep his license without retesting, from the time he is first licensed until the day he dies, without regard to the competency of the person, by merely renewing said license before it expires. It is therefore possible to completely skirt the goal of this attempted regulation. Thus it appears that the regulation is not even attempting to accomplish this goal.
Furthermore, by initial testing and licensing, the state gives the appearance of underwriting the competence of the licensees, and could therefore be held liable for failures, accidents, etc. caused by licensees.
That, and the fact the roads are open to all the public. The state cannot stop travelers from other jurisdictions using them, so really has no capability to control the safety of the highways. They are not able to control what qualifications travelers from other states have, or from other countries for that matter. So they are completely without the ability to accomplish their stated goal of insuring the safety of the public highways through the licensing scheme.
2. Is the statute reasonable?
The answer is No! The statutes cannot be determined to be reasonable since they require the Citizen to give up his or her natural right to travel unrestricted in order to accept the privilege of “driving”. And if the Citizen is found not to be in possession of the “license” while “driving” then he is subject to arrest, fined, and risks possible imprisonment. The purported goal of this statute could be met by much less oppressive regulations, i.e., competency tests and certificates of competency before using an automobile upon the public roads.
There also can be no requirement that a direct fee be paid to the government on an ongoing basis, such as is the case with registration.
(See Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, supra) The stated purpose of this fee is “To protect owner’s interests” [People v. Galceran, infra].
However, if this fee is not paid, then your private property is subject to warrant-less seizure. This blatantly appears to be extortion.
(CPC 518, Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer,
induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three
or four years.) Because of the repetitive nature of this crime it also makes it a violation of Title 18, 1961(A) the RICO Act.
“This requirement of registration of vehicles is designed for the protection of owners and prospective purchasers and other persons who
might have reason to deal with or be affected by the operation of the vehicle in question. (Stoddart v. Pierce, 53 Cal.2d 105, 119.)”
[People v. Galceran 178 Cal.App.2d 312, 316 (1960)]
This fee is for the most part used for enforcement and administration. In these economic times this fee is burdensome to already struggling
Citizens who are being forced to park their automobiles as opposed to risk losing them to enforcement. This also has a greater effect on
the economy as a whole by impeding the constructive ability of Citizens to create goods and perform services for the benefit of the
Consider what happens when you fail to pay your fee. Here in California you will be stopped, arrested, forced to pay additional fines, and it is likely that your automobile will be seized with out warrant, or “due process”. Then you will have to pay for additional charges of towing and storage, not being able to retrieve your private property until you have paid the ransom. Does that sound reasonable?
Isn't our current licensing regulations the same as a certificate of competency?
The answer is No! The real purpose of this license is much more insidious. When one signs the license, he gives up his constitutional right to travel in order to accept and exercise a “privilege”. After signing the license, a quasi-contract, the Citizen has given the state his consent to be prosecuted for constructive crimes and quasi-criminal actions where there is no harm done and no damaged property.
The acceptance or retention by a resident of this state of a driver’s license... shall constitute the consent of the person that service of summons may be made upon him within or without this state...in any action brought in the courts of this state upon a cause of action arising in this state out of his operation of a motor vehicle anywhere within this state. [California Vehicle Code 17640] (emphasis added)
These prosecutions take place without affording the Citizen of their constitutional rights and guarantees such as the right to a trial by jury and the right to counsel, as well as the normal safeguards such as proof of intent, corpus delicti and grand jury indictment. These unconstitutional prosecutions take place because the Citizen is exercising a privilege, in legal theory, by voluntarily giving his "implied consent" to legislative enactments designed to control interstate commerce, an enterprise that can be regulated under the police power of the state. Again, notice the use of the magic words “motor vehicle” and “operation”. As has been shown these words apply specifically to commerce.
We must conclude that the Citizen is forced to give up Constitutional guarantees of "right" in order to exercise his state "privilege" to travel upon the public highways in the ordinary course of life and business. And the Supreme Court has ruled that an individual may ignore unconstitutional licensing laws and exercise their rights with impunity.
“And our decisions have made clear that a person faced with such an unconstitutional licensing law may ignore it and engage with impunity in the exercise of the right of free expression for which the law purports to require a license.” [Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, 394 U.S. 147 (1969)]
SURRENDER OF RIGHTS
A Citizen cannot be forced to give up his rights in the name of regulation.
"...the only limitations found restricting the right of the state to condition the use of the public highways as a means of vehicular transportation for compensation are (1) that the state must not exact of those it permits to use the highways for hauling for gain that they surrender any of their inherent Constitutional rights as a condition precedent to obtaining permission for such use..." Riley v. Lawson, 143 So. 619; Stephenson v. Binford, supra.
If one cannot be placed in a position of being forced to surrender rights in order to exercise a privilege, how much more must this maxim of law, then, apply when one is simply exercising or putting into use a fundamental right?
“Legislative acts, as profess in themselves directly to punish persons or to deprive the citizen of his property, without trial before the judicial tribunals, and a decision upon the matter of rights, as determined by the laws under which it vested, according to the course, mode and usages of the common law as derived from our fore-fathers, are not effectually ‘laws of the land,’” [Hoke v. Henderson, 15 NC 1]
“To be that statuFte which would deprive a Citizen of the rights of person or property, without a regular trial, according to the course and usage of the common law, would not be the law of the land. “[People v. One 1941 Chevrolet Coupe, 37 Cal.2d 283]
"We find it intolerable that one constitutional right should have to be surrendered in order to assert another." [Simons v. United States, 390 U.S. 389]
“The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.” [Davis v. Wechsler, 263 U.S. 22, 24 (1923)]
Since the state requires that one give up rights in order to exercise the “privilege of driving”, the regulation cannot stand under the scrutiny of police power, due process, or reasonable regulation, but must be exposed as statutes which are oppressive and which have been misapplied to deprive the Citizen of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and multiple state constitutions.
Any claim that the statutes are taxing statutes would be immediately open to severe Constitutional objections. If it could be said that the State had the power to tax a right, this would enable the State to destroy rights guaranteed by the Constitution through the use of oppressive taxation. The question herein, is one of the states taxing the right to travel by the ordinary modes of the day, and whether this is a proper legislative object of the state taxation.
The views advanced herein are neither novel nor unsupported by authority. The question of taxing power of the states has been repeatedly considered by the Supreme Court. The right of the state to impede or embarrass the constitutional operation of the Federal Government or the rights which the Citizen holds under it has been uniformly denied.
“The state governments have no right to tax any of the constitutional means employed by the government of the Union to execute its constitutional powers.” [M’Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316]
“The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by congress to carry into effect the powers vested in the national government.” [M’Culloch v. Maryland, supra]
“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation. A question of constitutional power can hardly be made to depend on a question of more or less. If the states may tax, they have no limit but their discretion...” [M’Culloch v. Maryland, supra]
The power to tax is the power to destroy, and if the state is given the power to destroy rights through taxation, the framers of the Constitution wrote that document in vain.
"...It may be said that a tax of one dollar for passing through the state...cannot sensibly affect any function of government or deprive a Citizen of any valuable right. But if the state can tax...a passenger one dollar, it can tax him one thousand dollars." [Crandall v. State of Nevada, 73 U.S. 35]
"If the right of passing through a state by a Citizen of the United States is one guaranteed by the Constitution, it must be sacred from state taxation." [Ibid]
Therefore, the right of travel must be kept sacred from all forms of state taxation and if this argument is used by the state as a defense of the enforcement of this statute, then this argument also must fail.
CONVERSION OF A RIGHT TO A CRIME
As previously demonstrated, the Citizen has the right to travel and to transport his property upon the public highways in the ordinary course of life and business. However, if one exercises this right to travel (without first giving up the right and converting that right into a privilege) the Citizen is by statute, guilty of a crime. This amounts to converting the exercise of a constitutional right into a crime.
Recall Miller v. U.S. and Sherar v. Cullen quotes from page 3.
Also, "The state cannot diminish rights of the people." [Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516]
And, "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them." [Miranda, supra]
Indeed, the very purpose for creating state government under the limitations of the Constitution was to protect the rights of the people from intrusion, particularly by the forces of the government. So we can see that any attempt by the legislature to make the act of using the public highways as a matter of right into a crime, is void upon its face.
If the state cannot convert a right into a crime then they cannot prosecute someone for violating a statute that is unconstitutional. That along with the fact the “crimes” the state are attempting prosecution for do not even meet the legal elements of a crime to begin with. They fail to meet the standards of “Corpus Delecti” (see People v. Lopez, infra), the fact of loss, harm, or injury, an injured party to come forward and make the accusation must exist.
“It is well established that "In every prosecution for crime, it is necessary to establish the corpus delicti, i.e., the body or elements of the crime. The corpus delicti consists of two elements, namely, (1) …the facts establishing the injury, loss or harm; and (2) the criminal agency causing them to exist.” [People v. Lopez, 254 Cal.App.2d 185]
They also fail to meet the element of “intent” or “mens rea” which literally means “guilty mind”. In order for a crime to be committed their must have been intention to commit the crime, or simply put, the crime cannot be an accident as the case would most often be when an individual is cited for speeding on a public highway that has been built for the safe travel of speeds way in excess of the current posted limits.
Any person who claims his right to travel upon the highways, and so exercises that right, cannot be tried for a crime for doing so. And yet, many Freeman have stood before the courts today to answer charges for the "crime" of exercising his right to liberty.
As we have already shown, the term "drive" can only apply to those who are employed, in the business of transportation for hire. It has been shown that liberty includes the Citizen’s right to use the public highways in the ordinary course of life and business without license or unreasonable regulation by the police powers of the state.
It is the duty of the court to recognize the substance of things and not the mere form.
"The courts are not bound by mere forms nor are they to be misled by mere pretenses. They are at liberty, indeed, are under a solemn duty, to look at the substance of things, whenever they enter upon the inquiry whether the legislature has transcended the limits of its authority. If, therefore, a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect...the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects or is a palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution." [Mulger v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661]
"It is the duty of the courts to be watchful for the Constitutional rights of the Citizen and against any stealthy encroachments thereon." [Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616] (Emphasis added)
The courts are "duty bound" to recognize and stop the "stealthy encroachments" which have been made upon the Citizen's right to travel and to use the roads to transport his property in the "ordinary course of life and business." [Hadfield, supra]
Further, the courts must recognize that the right to travel is part of the liberty of which a Citizen cannot be deprived without specific cause and without the "due process of law" guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment. [Kent, supra]
The history of this "invasion" of the Citizen's right to use the public highways shows clearly that the legislature simply found a heretofore untapped source of revenue, got greedy, and is enforcing statutes in an unconstitutional manner upon those free and natural individuals who have a right to travel upon the highways. This was not attempted in an outright action, but in a slow, meticulous, calculated encroachment upon the Citizen's right to travel.
This position must be accepted unless the state can show it has the authority for the position that the "use of the road in the ordinary course of life and business" is a privilege.
To rule in any other manner, without clear authority for an adverse ruling, will infringe upon fundamental and basic concepts of Constitutional law. This position that a right cannot be regulated under any guise must be accepted without concern for the monetary loss of the state.
"Disobedience or evasion of a constitutional mandate may not be tolerated even though such disobedience might, perhaps, at least temporarily, promote in some respects the best interests of the public." [Sloat v. BOE of New York, 112 ALR 660]
Economic necessity cannot justify a disregard of Constitutional guarantee.
Riley v. Carter, 79 ALR 1018; 16 Am.Jur.2d, Const. Law, Sect.601.
"Constitutional rights cannot be denied simply because of hostility to their assertions and exercise;...vindication of conceded Constitutional rights cannot be made dependent upon any theory that it is less expensive to deny them than to afford them." [Watson v. Memphis, 375 U.S. 526]
Therefore, the Court's decision must be made without the issue of cost to the state being taken into consideration, as that issue is irrelevant. The state cannot lose money that it never had a right to demand from the "Sovereign People".
"The duty and function of the court is to construe, not to adopt or rewrite, a constitution, and a constitutional restriction is, within its defined limits, to be enforced according to its letter and its spirit. It is the duty and responsibility of the court to ascertain the meaning of the constitution as written, neither adding to nor subtracting from it, and neither deleting nor distorting the document. A court's obligation is to give to the words of a constitution a reasonable interpretation consistent with the plain meaning understood by the ratifiers." 16 Am.Jur.2d, Const. Law, Sect.70.
Finally, we come to the issue of "public policy." It could be argued that the "licensing scheme" of all persons is a matter of "public policy." However, if this argument is used, it too must fail, as:
The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice. [Davis v. Wechsler, 263 US 22, 24.]
So even "public policy" cannot abolish this Citizen's right to travel and to use the public highways in the ordinary course of life and business.
Therefore, it must be concluded that the only application for restrictions on the use of the highways applies to commerce:
"We have repeatedly held that the legislature may regulate the use of the highways for carrying on business for private gain and that such regulation is a valid exercise of the police power." Northern Pacific R.R. Co., supra.
"The act in question is a valid regulation, and as such is binding upon all who use the highway for the purpose of private gain." Ibid.
Any other construction of this statute would render it unconstitutional as applied to this Citizen or any Citizen.
Since no notice is given to people applying for driver's (or other) licenses, that they have a perfect right to use the roads without any permission, and that they surrender valuable rights by taking on the regulation system of licensure, the state has committed a massive constructed fraud. This occurs when any person is told that they must have a license in order to use the public roads and highways.
The license, being a legal contract under which the state is empowered with policing powers is only valid when the licensee takes on the burdens of the contract and bargains away his or her rights knowingly, intentionally, and voluntarily.
Few know that the driver's license is a contract without which the police are powerless to regulate the people's actions or activities.
Few if any licensees intentionally surrender valuable rights. They are told that they must have the license. As we have seen, this is not the case.
No one in their right mind voluntarily surrenders complete liberty and accepts in its place a set of regulations thus giving up their constitutionally protected rights.
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
Edmund Burke, 1784.