Which “United States”???? There are so many . . . by J.H. Hill, M.D.

Which “United States”?

Many people talk and write about the United States. My question is. “To which United States are you referring?”

 A.) Which “United States”?

First I must ask, to which “United States” are you referring? People usually use the term “the Union” correctly, as it originally mean the federal government (with very limited, specific, enumerated powers) created by the various States. However, the term “United States” has been defined in at least FIVE different ways in various federal statutes and Supreme Court decisions.

(1)       United States* or U.S.* or U.S.A.*  (meaning #1)

                         The name of the sovereign Nation, occupying the position of other sovereigns in the family of nations.


 (2)       United States** or U.S.** or U.S.A.**  (meaning #2)

                         The federal government and the limited territory over which it exercises exclusive sovereign authority, often called the “federal zone”.


(3)       United States*** or U.S.***  or U.S.A.***   (meaning #3)

a private municipal corporation created by the District of Columbia Act of 1871  


(4)       United States**** or U.S.****  or U.S.A.****   (meaning #4)

 The collective name for the States united by and under the Constitution for the United States of America, operating under Common Law jurisdiction. This was referred to as the “Union”.

(5)       United States***** or U.S.*****  or U.S.A.*****   (meaning #5)

The bankrupt (as per 1930 Geneva agreement), private, foreign municipal corporation (item #3 above) domiciled in Washington, D.C. and operating in a “state of emergency” under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and martial law since 1933 to the present time.

All Common Law was suspended in 1938 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Erie v. Thompkins. Erie v Thonpkins also invalidated all previous court decisions prior to 1938 under Common Law jurisdiction, so that only Supreme Court decisions from 1938 onward could henceforth be cited in federal courts. All federal public laws revised as the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), as adopted in 1963. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), has been adopted in whole or substantially by all states. (See: Blacks Law, 6th Ed. pg. 1531) In essence, all court decisions are based on commercial law or business law and has criminal penalties associated with it. Rather than openly calling this new law Admiralty/Maritime Jurisdiction, it is called Statutory Jurisdiction. The UCC is now the “law of the land” as far as the federal and state courts are concerned.


 “It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.”   (whether or not the “United States” means the federal government as a corporate TRUST established by the Constitution and the limited territory over which it exercises exclusive sovereign authority OR as in definitions #3 and #5 above,  a private, foreign municipal corporation]   Slaughter House Cases, 83 U.S. 36,(1873)

Of note, the “State of California” means the private municipal corporation inferior to the United States corporation; “California state” means one of the 50 sovereign States superior to the United States; and “California” means the geographical entity in which the people live as individual sovereigns.

B.) What precisely is the Constitution?

What precisely is the “Constitution of the United States of America”?

The “Constitution of the United States of America” was named very precisely by those who wrote it and the various States that ratified it. This Constitution was and remains a CONTRACT solely among the various independent and sovereign States. While this contract was written for the various States in the name of the People as individual sovereigns over their respective States, it was NOT a contract among the people themselves or between the people and the States. And since the federal government called the United States did not yet exist, it could not possibly have been a contract between the people and the United States – as a contract can be created ONLY by two or more existing parties. Therefore, as a contract among the various States only, this Constitution was NOT binding upon the people as individual men and women. NO man, as a sovereign human being, signed this contract: it was approved and signed solely by the government officers of the various States over which each man or woman therein was and remains an individual sovereign.

Each man retained his individual sovereignty over both the States (Trustors) and the new federal government called the United States of America (Trustee), a corporate trust created under international commercial law by the ratifying States’ government officers. The Beneficiaries of this trust, under commercial law, were the People as individual sovereigns.

“…at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereignty.” sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjectswith none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the land Chisholm v. Georgia (US) 2 Dall 419, 454, 1 L Ed 440, 455 @DALL 1793 pp471-472

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. [Constitution]”
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.)

“The very meaning of ‘sovereignty’ is that the decree of the sovereign makes law.” American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., 29 S.Ct. 511, 513, 213 U.S. 347, 53 L.Ed. 826, 19 Ann.Cas. 1047.

“‘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.

Bond v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2355, 180 L. Ed. 2d 269 (2011) [2011 BL 158313], 2011

In point of fact, the Constitution of the United States of America is NOT the “supreme law of the land” in America. Instead, the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” SOLELY for the corporate entity called the “United States of America” on the very limited lands for which it has exclusive jurisdiction; AND for its officers and employees/agents. In fact, the United States is a legal trust constituted (created through its constitution) by the various ratifying States under international commercial law. This constituting document creating the legal trust lays out rules of conduct (corporate law as private law) SOLELY for the various officers (called Trustees) and employees/agents of that trust to ensure that the beneficiaries (the People) receive the full benefits of the trust. (Of note, in 1789 only corporations had a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. Governments had governors and ministers.)

“The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America.”  Maier, Pauline. “Ratification: the people debate the constitution, 1787-1788”. 2010. ISBN 978-0-684-86854-7, p. 35. ; Paul Rodgers (2011). United States Constitutional Law: An Introduction. McFarland. p. 109.; The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, S. Doc. No. 103-6, 103rd Cong., 1st Sess.. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1996. p. 25 n.2.

 “It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.”   (whether or not the “United States” means the federal government as a corporate TRUST established by the Constitution and the limited territory over which it exercises exclusive sovereign authority OR as (definitions #3 or #4 or #5 above)  a private, foreign municipal corporation]   Slaughter House Cases, 83 U.S. 36,(1873)

C.) How We Got Here: A Brief History

The original thirteen colonies of America were each separately established by charters (legal contracts) from the English Crown. Outside of the common bond of each being a dependency and colony of the mother country, England, the colonies were not otherwise united. Each had its own governor, legislative assembly and courts, and each was governed separately and independently by the English Parliament.

Beginning with the American Revolution and the King’s revocation of the colonial royal charters, the people of these colonies became individual sovereigns, with no recognizable governments.  The people of each former British colony in America created States with corporate state governments. Each State was recognized as an independent sovereign entity or country under its own sovereign people. In creating their State governments, the people remained individual sovereigns; and one’s State became one’s COUNTRY. Consequently, before the end of the American Civil War, people referred to their country by using the name of their respective State, e.g., a citizen of Massachusetts, a citizen of Georgia, etc.; and NEVER as a citizen of the United States. And, prior to the Civil War the term “United States” was PLEURAL, as in, “The United States ARE …” referring to the various States, which could also correctly be phrased as “The States united ARE …”. Today, most Americans incorrectly use the term “United States” as SINGULAR, as in “The United States IS …”, thereby distorting the intentions and concepts created by the Founders. (Foreigners often labeled the people of the collective various States as “Americans”, but this appellation was a semantic distinction; not a political or legal one.)

As a separate country, each of the various independent States had a governor, a legislature and a judiciary. The Articles of Confederation for the various States set up TRUST, a type of contract with the corporate Confederation government as the trustee for the people of the States. It is vital to note that the Confederation was NOT ratified by the People – rather it was a contract between the State corporations that created the Confederation corporate trust. The Constitution was put forth in the name of the People (“We, the People”), but it was NOT ratified by the People – rather it was also a contractual TRUST between the State corporations to create the United States of America corporate trust for the benefit of the people. And like any corporation, the United States of America corporation was set up with a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and so on.

When asked the legal significance of the Preamble of the Constitution, most attorneys today will state that it has NO legal significance – that is only an introduction to the document. If one examines Preamble of the Constitution, one can clearly see that it contain all of the elements of a corporate TRUST created NOT by the various States, but by the people as individual sovereigns. The States would ratify the Constitution, thereby creating a corporation subordinate to the several States, except for the few, limited powers explicitly delegated to the federal government. Thus, the people remained as individual sovereigns over BOTH the several States and the federal government; while the several States retained their sovereignty as independent countries, with the exception of a few limited and well-circumscribed powers involving relations among the various sovereign States.

The PREAMBLE of the Constitution for the United States of America reads:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

STRUCTURE OF PREAMBLE  [the Preamble contains all the elements of a TRUST]

TRUSTOR: We the People [trustors]

VENUE: of the United States

PURPOSE: in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty

BENEFICIARY: to ourselves and our Posterity, (that is, the people as individual sovereigns)

ENABLING ACTION 1: do ordain [declare the law]

ENABLING ACTION 2: and establish [bring into existence]

WHAT: this Constitution [articles of incorporation for trust]

TRUSTEE: for the United States of America. [trustee]

Analysis of the Preamble

The Preamble defines the context in which the remainder of the Constitution must be interpreted. Most of it is self explanatory. Here is an explanation that affirms the concept of retained popular sovereignty:

After the Declaration of Independence, but before the ordainment and establishment of the Constitution, the people of the United States pretty much handled their own affairs using the Common Law. They were not subject to any higher authority other than the authority of the common law as administered by the people themselves (self governance). Although the states did exist, they only existed by the authority of the people. Every man was a king, and every woman a queen–and none had any subjects. Upon declaring our independence, we all became sovereigns and members of the peerage (nobility).

In the Constitution (and the constitution of any real republic) the operative words are establishand ordain”. The People existed in their own individual sovereignty before the constitution was enabled. When the People “establish” (bring into existence) and “ordain” (grant legitimacy and authority to it) a constitution, there is nothing in the words “establish” and “ordain” that signifies that they have yielded any of their sovereignty to the agency they have created. To interpret otherwise would convert the republic into a democracy.

Republican Government. One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people as individuals possessing unalienable natural rights, and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11 S.Ct. 573, 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162, 22 L.Ed. 627. Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 626 (Of note, the word “people” is both singular and pleural; and means an individual man or a group of men –  “man” and “men” being gender-neutral.)

Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly, or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 388  In a true democracy the majority of citizens rules, without concern for individual rights.

 “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.

Therefore, the enabling actions in the Preamble are significant because there is simply nothing in the use of those words to imply that the People relinquished any of their own power and authority. The People declared the law (ordain) without taking away from themselves the authority to declare law again in the future. The People established the Constitution without taking away from themselves the authority to establish anything else in the future. In other words, the people gave birth to the Constitution without giving up any of their own power and authority.

What was before, continues to be so today.

From the context of the Preamble, one may conclude that the legislated “laws” as acts (statutes) of the United States do NOT apply to People. The People, as ordainers and establishers of the country, are sovereigns of the country and may NOT be involuntarily subjected to the legislated “laws” (acts or statutes) of the United States.

D.) Federal Jurisdiction: To whom does the Constitution and legislation by Congress apply?

So how does the federal government gain jurisdiction over the people of the various States? To better understand federal jurisdiction, the term federal zone first used by Paul Mitchell (The Federal Zone: Cracking The Code Of Internal Revenue , Paul Andrew Mitchell; Supreme Law Publishers, Seattle, Washington, 2001) In a concurring opinion Supreme Court Justice Kennedy later used the term “federal zone” in U.S. v. Alfonso Lopez, 514 U.S. 549115 S.Ct. 1624131 L.Ed.2d 626; 1995)  entirely in the context of limiting federal jurisdiction under the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution. The FEDERAL ZONE is the SOLE area over which the federal government has jurisdiction under statutes enacted by Congress and includes ONLY:

1.)   Washington, District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.);

2.)   federal enclaves within the States (such as forts, etc.) which have explicitly been ceded by a State’s legislature; and

3.)   territories and insular possessions of the United States (the United States corporation).

“The only provision in the Constitution which permits territorial jurisdiction to be vested in the United States is found in Art. I, S 8, cl. 17, which provides the mechanism for a voluntary cession of jurisdiction from any State to the United States. When the Constitution was adopted, the United States had jurisdiction over no lands within the States, and it possessed jurisdiction only in the lands encompassed in the Northwest Territories. Shortly after formation of the Union, Maryland and Virginia ceded jurisdiction to the United States for Washington, D.C. Over time, the States have ceded jurisdiction to federal enclaves within the States. Today, the territorial jurisdiction of the United States is found only in such ceded areas, which encompass Washington, D.C., the federal enclaves within the States, and such territories and possessions which may now be owned by the United States.” (Federal Jurisdiction” by Lowell H. “Larry” Becraft, Jr.)

One of the earliest Supreme Court decisions (in 1818) regarding federal jurisdiction involved a federal prosecution for a murder committed on board the Warship, Independence, anchored in the harbor of Boston, Massachusetts. The defense complained that only the state had jurisdiction to prosecute this crime and argued that the federal circuit courts had no jurisdiction of this crime supposedly committed within the federal government’s admiralty jurisdiction. In argument before the Supreme Court, counsel for the United States admitted as much:

“The exclusive jurisdiction which the United States have in forts and dock-yards ceded to them, is derived from the express assent of the states by whom the cessions are made. It could be derived in no other manner; because without it, the authority of the state would be supreme and exclusive therein,” United States v. Bevans, 16 U.S. (3 Wheat.) 336 (1818) at 350-51. (Note that phrase “the United States have” indicates that the term “United States” is PLEURAL)

In holding that the State of Massachusetts had jurisdiction over this crime, the Supreme Court of the United States held: (United States v. Bevans, 16 U.S. (3 Wheat.) 336 (1818)

  • “What, then, is the extent of jurisdiction which a state possesses?
  • “We answer, without hesitation, the jurisdiction of a state is co-extensive with its territory; co-extensive with its legislative power,” Id., at 386-87.
  • “The article which describes the judicial power of the United States is not intended for the cession of territory or of general jurisdiction… Congress has power to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over this district, [Washington, D.C.] and over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings.”

“It is observable that the power of exclusive legislation (which is jurisdiction) is united with cession of territory, which is to be the free act of the states. It is difficult to compare the two sections together, without feeling a conviction, not to be strengthened by any commentary on them, that, in describing the judicial power, the framers of our constitution had not in view any cession of territory; or, which is essentially the same, of general jurisdiction,” Id., at 388.

E.) Legislation as Acts (statutes) by Congress

The BODY of the Constitution following the Preamble contains the internal RULES (policy or “private law”) for the Trust that the trustees (officers and other employees/agents of the trust) are required to follow. For minor issues that would arise from time to time within the trust, a Congress was created within the Trust, but under the strict control of the States and the people. The people of each State would elect House members directly, with the number of House seats apportioned among the various States. The legislatures of the States would elect Senators. Any changes to these corporate rules required approval by the Congress and three quarters of the States’ legislatures. This Congress could enact additional rules of conduct called “acts” or “statutes” applicable ONLY to the officers and other employees of the corporate Trust called the United States; NOT to the individual sovereigns (the people) or to the various States. The SOLE exceptions were “acts” or “statutes” created by Congress under the powers explicitly delegated to this Trust called the federal government OR if an individual sovereign man or a State voluntarily consented to subordinate himself to federal jurisdiction for a specific statute-act. Thus, as under English law of centuries past, the voluntary CONSENT of a man was required before he became subject to the jurisdiction of “private law”, which encompasses federal statutes or acts.

Because of the 10th Amendment (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”) and the 9th Amendment (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”), the government has NO authority and cannot assume any authority over the People, UNLESS an individual gives his consent to its jurisdiction. Government powers may not reach beyond that which is constitutionally granted. In order for the federal or State governments to subject People to its “laws” (as acts or statutes, since true LAW in America was solely the Common Law), it is necessary for the People to relinquish the exercise of some rights under their individual sovereignty and Common Law. Sovereignty is a natural right which cannot lawfully be relinquished involuntarily. Any removal of powers under the rights of sovereignty must be accomplished voluntarily by the individual man himself.

Once again we ask the question: How does the federal government gain jurisdiction over the people of the various States? To deprive the People of their sovereignty it is first necessary to get the People to freely CONSENT to submit to the authority of the entity they have created. That is done by getting them to claim they are “citizens” of that entity. The term “citizen of the United States” is defined in the 14th Amendment, which reads in part: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and [citizens] of the State wherein they reside.”

Therefore, in order to be a “citizen of the United States”, two of two conditions must be met:

(1) a person must be born or naturalized in the United States;


(2) subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

(1) But why does it use the word “persons” rather than “people”? To presume that the choice of words is arbitrary is a serious mistake. In law, words have very precise meanings which are usually quite different from their meanings in everyday usage. For example. the term “person” [a Legal Fiction] can include firms, labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or receivers. A corporation is a “person” for purposes of the constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection of Laws and Due Process of Law. (West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. ) Foreign governments otherwise eligible to sue in United States courts are “persons” entitled to institute a suit for treble damages for alleged antitrust violations under the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 12 et seq.). Most revealing are the following court rulings: A “county is a person in a legal sense,” Lancaster Co. v. Trimble, 34 Neb. 752, 52 N.W. 711; but “a sovereign is not” a person. In re Fox, 52 N.Y. 535, 11 Am.Rep. 751; U.S. v. Fox 94 U.S. 315, 24 L.Ed. 192 …. ; and Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Ed., p 1300

That last phrase merits repeating: a sovereign is NOT a person. And a person is NOT a sovereign.

In law a “person” is NOT the equivalent of a living, breathing “man” [or woman or child]. Rather, a “person” usually refers to a man as a legal fiction (or “strawman” or “artificial man”) and may refer to corporations, as well as actors within corporations (officers and employees). The most important point here, as noted immediately above, is that a man as an individual sovereign is NOT a “person” – which means that if a man affirms that he is a “person” or a “citizen”, he thereby waives his powers derived from the his rights as an individual sovereign and becomes a “subject” under the jurisdiction of the private, municipal corporation named the “United States”.

(2) What about the second required condition?: That a person must be subject to the jurisdiction thereof [the United States corporation]. This phrase means that a man must, through his voluntary CONSENT, subject himself to the jurisdiction of the United States corporation before he becomes obligated to follow its acts (statutes). Consequently, if a man, by word (spoken or unspoken) or deed (action or inaction) presents himself as a “corporation” (the artificial “person”) and does NOT rebut the presumption of fact in law that he is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States corporation, then he will be presumed to be, in fact, a “citizen of the United States” corporation and therefore subject to its acts (statutes). This voluntary consent from each man as an individual sovereign is what is meant by the phrase “consent of the governed”.

Legislated acts (or statutes) are NOT true LAW. The Common Law is the SOLE true Law in America, as it is in Brittain and most of the former colonies of Britain. Conduct conforming to the Common Law is called “lawful”; and conduct violating Common Law is called “unlawful”. On the other hand, legislated acts (statutes) define what conduct is “legal” and “illegal”. Therefore, violating a legislated act (statute) or regulations derived from an act such as driving a motor vehicle on a public road without a state-issued driver’s license is illegal, but NOT unlawful under Common Law jurisdiction. Conversely, if a police officer who, having no judicial warrant (based on evidence of probable cause and sworn under oath) arrests a man, this police officer has committed an “unlawful” act, even though it may be considered “legal” under legislated acts.

A few court rulings regarding the exclusive legislative authority which Congress exercises over the Federal Zone are listed below:

“In exercising this power [to make all needful rules and regulations respecting territory or other property belonging to the United States (#2), Congress is not subject to the same constitutional limitations, as when it is legislating for the United States***(#3).Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U.S. 652 (1945) Within the SAME sentence of the SAME Supreme Court opinion, we observe that the term “United States” assumes two very different meanings! In essence, what the court stated is that when the Congress is legislating, the resulting acts or statutes involve only a very limited territorial jurisdiction in which the Constitution does NOT apply, as opposed to legislating for the various 50 States in which case the Constitutions does apply. Got that !!?????? To make matters even more confusing, the “United States Supreme Court” and the “Supreme Court of the United States” are NOT the same entity: the former refers to a legislative, non-judicial, administrative corporate court operating outside the Constitution, while the latter refers to a true judicial court operating under the Constitution and the Common Law. The same is true of all lower courts: a “United States District Court” is NOT the same as a “District Court of the United States”. Confused????

F.) A few example of the many relevant Supreme Court decisions

“The first clause of the fourteenth amendment made negroes citizens of the United States**, and citizens of the State in which they reside, and thereby created two classes of citizens, one of the United States** and the other of the state.” [Cory et al. v. Carter, 48 Ind. 327,(1874) headnote 8

“We have in our political system a Government of the United States** and a government of each of the several States.  Each one of these governments is distinct from the others, and each has citizens of its own ….”  U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542,(1875)

“One may be a citizen of a State and yet not a citizen of the United States.”  Thomasson v. State, 15 Ind. 449;  Cory v. Carter, 48 Ind. 327 (17 Am. R. 738);  McCarthy v. Froelke, 63 Ind. 507;  In Re Wehlitz, 16 Wis. 443.;   McDonel v. State, 90 Ind. 320, 323;(1883)

“A person who is a citizen of the United States** is necessarily a citizen of the particular state in which he resides.  But a person may be a citizen of a particular state and not a citizen of the United States**.  To hold otherwise would be to deny to the state the highest exercise of its sovereignty, — the right to declare who are its citizens.”  State v. Fowler, 41 La. Ann. 380; 6 S. 602 (1889)

“The first clause of the fourteenth amendment of the federal Constitution made negroes citizens of the United States**, and citizens of the state in which they reside, and thereby created two classes of citizens, one of the United States** and the other of the state.” 4 Dec. Dig. ’06, p. 1197, sec. 11; “Citizens” (1906)

“There are, then, under our republican form of government, two classes of citizens, one of the United States** and one of the state. One class of citizenship may exist in a person, without the other, as in the case of a resident of the District of Columbia; but both classes usually exist in the same person.” Gardina v. Board of Registrars, 160 Ala. 155; 48 S. 788, 791 (1909)

Note: Since the District of Columbia was never admitted into the Union as one of the various States, it is NOT a State — UNLESS it is specifically defined as a state for a particular act (statute). However, the District of Columbia may be a state within the corporate entity called the United States. Also, the terms “citizen” and “person” mean a man (or woman) as a corporate entity; NOT the man as an individual sovereign. Consequently, a man may become:

– a citizen of one of the various States, but not of the United States; OR

– a citizen of the United States, but not of one of the various States; OR

– a citizen of one of the various States and of the United States; OR

– remain an individual sovereign who is NEITHER a citizen of one of the various States or of the United States.

“There is a distinction between citizenship of the United States** and citizenship of a particular state, and a person may be the former without being the latter.”  Alla v. Kornfeld, 84 F.Supp. 823;(1949) headnote 5

“A person may be a citizen of the United States** and yet be not identified or identifiable as a citizen of any particular state.” Du Vernay v. Ledbetter; 61 So.2d 573

“… citizens of the District of Columbia were not granted the privilege of litigating in the federal courts on the ground of diversity of citizenship.  Possibly no better reason for this fact exists than such citizens were not thought of when the judiciary article [III] of the federal Constitution was drafted.  … citizens of the United States** … were also not thought of;  but in any event a citizen of the United States**, who is not a citizen of any state, is not within the language of the [federal] Constitution. Pannill v. Roanoke, 252 F. 910, 914

In plain English, the Supreme Court is stating that a man, who is a “citizen of the United States” corporation residing in the District of Columbia (or any other territory or insular possession of the U.S.) is NOT covered by the Constitution. Rather, such a man is subject to ALL legislation enacted by Congress acting as the local municipal legislative body of the District of Columbia, the territories and insular possessions. Further, such citizens do NOT have access to true judicial courts operating under the Constitution and the Common Law, but rather only to legislated administrative, non-judicial “courts” in which a judge may issue “summary judgments” without the benefit of trial by jury and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution and Common Law. ONLY citizens of one of the 50 sovereign States (along with people as individual sovereigns acting under Common Law) are protected by the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution and thereby have access to true judicial federal courts acting under the Common Law.

It is clear, that Congress cannot punish felonies generally; and, of consequence, cannot punish misprision of felony. It is equally clear, that a State legislature, the State of Maryland for example, cannot punish those who, in another State, conceal a felony committed in Maryland. How, then, is it that Congress, legislating exclusively for a fort, punishes those who, out of that fort, conceal a felony committed within it? […]     The solution, and the only solution of the difficulty, is, that the power vested in Congress, as the legislature of the United States, to legislate exclusively within any place ceded by a State  [. . .]    It is clear that Congress, as a legislative body, exercise two species of legislative power: the one, limited as to its objects, but extending all over the Union: the other, an absolute, exclusive legislative power over the District of Columbia. The preliminary inquiry in the case now before the Court, is, by virtue of which of these authorities was the law in question passed? When this is ascertained, we shall be able to determine its extent and application. In this country, we are trying the novel experiment of a divided sovereignty, between the national government and the States. The precise line of division between these is not always distinctly marked. Government is a moral not a mathematical science; and the powers of such a government especially, cannot be defined with mathematical [19 U.S. 264, 435]   accuracy and precision. There is a competition of opposite analogies. Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 6 Wheat. 265; 5 L.Ed. 257 (1821)

The foregoing considerations would lead, in case of doubt, to a construction of any statute as intended to be confined in its operation and effect to the territorial limits over which the lawmaker has general and legitimate power. ‘All legislation is prima facie territorial.’ Ex parte Blain, L. R. 12 Ch. Div. 522, 528; State v. Carter, 27 N. J. L. 499; People v. Merrill, 2 Park. Crim. Rep. 590, 596. Words having universal scope, such as ‘every contract in restraint of trade,’ ‘every person who shall monopolize,’ etc., will be taken, as a matter of course, to mean only everyone subject to such legislation, not all that the legislator subsequently may be able to catch. In the case of the present statute, the improbability of the United States attempting to make acts done in Panama or Costa Rica criminal is obvious, yet the law begins by making criminal the acts for which it gives a right to sue. We think it entirely plain that what the defendant did in Panama or Costa Rica is not within the scope of the statute so far as the present suit is concerned. American Banana Co. v. U.S. Fruit, 213 U.S. 347 at 357-358

Legislation [acts or statutes] is presumptively territorial and confined to limits over which the law-making power has jurisdiction. American Banana Company v. United Fruit Co., 213 U.S. 347, 357 , 29 S. Sup. Ct. 511, 16 Ann. Cas. 1047. In Patterson v. Bark Eudora, supra, this court declared such legislation as to foreign vessels in United States ports to be constitutional. […]  Congress could not prevent the making of such contracts in other jurisdictions. If they saw fit to do so, foreign countries would continue to permit such contracts and advance payments no matter what our declared law or policy in regard to them might be as to vessels coming to our ports.” Sandberg v. McDonald, 248 U.S. 185 (1918)]

The reader should note that each of the 50 various States is considered a “foreign country” with respect to the remaining 49 States and to the United States.

“Special provision is made in the constitution, for the cession of jurisdiction from the states over places where the federal government shall establish forts, or other military works. And it is only in these places, or in the territories of the United States, where it can exercise a general jurisdiction.” New Orleans v. United States, 35 U.S. (10 Pet.) 662 (1836)

In Foley Bros. v. Filardo, we had occasion to refer to the ‘canon of construction which teaches that legislation of Congress, unless a contrary intent appears, is meant to apply only within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States * * * .’ That presumption, far from being overcome here, is doubly fortified by the language of this statute and the legislative purpose underlying it.  U.S. v. Spelar, 338 U.S. 217 at 222 (1949)

 “. . .the United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in Alabama or any of the new states which were formed … “ […]     When Alabama was admitted into the union, on an equal footing with the original states, she succeeded to all the rights of sovereignty, jurisdiction, and eminent domain which Georgia possessed at the date of the cession, except so far as this right was diminished by the public lands remaining in the possession and under the control of the United States, for the temporary purposes provided for in the deed of cession and the legislative acts connected with it. Nothing remained to the United States, according to the terms of the agreement, but the public lands. And, if an express stipulation had been inserted in the agreement, granting the municipal right of sovereignty and eminent domain to the United States, such stipulation would have been void and inoperative: because the United States have 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. 213, 221, 223 (1845)]


G.) Examples of contradictory definitions within the same act


Examples of Two Definitions of the term “United States”

in 26 U.S.C. (Internal Revenue Code)

 First Definition

 1.)  26 U.S.C. 7701(a)(9):

(9)                  United States. — The term “United States” when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia.

Here the word “States” means ONLY the geographic land owned exclusively by the United States corporation, that is, the territories and possessions belonging to the “United States” over which it has exclusive jurisdiction. Therefore, this first definition of the “United States” above means SOLELY the territories and possessions, plus the District of Columbia.

  Second Definition

 2.)  26 U.S.C. 4612(a)(4)(A):

(A) In general. — The term “United States” means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

The Supreme Court stated in Hepburn & Dundas v. Ellsey, 6 U.S. 445, 2 Cranch 445, 2 L.Ed 332, that the District of Columbia is not a “State” within the meaning of the Constitution.  The meaning of the term “States” most often means solely the territories and possessions belonging to the “United States”, because of the specific mention of the District of Columbia and the specific absence of the phrase, the “50 States” (inclusio unius est exclusio alterius) meaning in law that “if something is included, all other things are excluded”.  The District of Columbia is not a “State” within the meaning of the Constitution (see Hepburn supra).  Therefore, “the 50 States” are specifically excluded from this first definition of the term “United States”.

Congress has no problem naming the “50 States” when it is legislating for them, so, in the second definition of the term “United States” above, Congress expressly mentions them, and there is no misunderstanding.  If a statute in 26 U.S.C. does not have a special “word of art” definition for the term “United States” such as the “50 States”, then the First Definition of the term “United States” is always used (see above) because of the general nature of that term as defined by Congress. (Paul Andrew Mitchell, The Federal Zone: Cracking The Code Of Internal Revenue ; Supreme Law Publishers, Seattle, Washington, 2001)

In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled many times that “this term ‘state’ does not embrace one of the 50 States, united by the Constitution, because they are separate governments or foreign states with respect to the ‘United States’.” Indeed, a man, born and living in one of the various 50 States, is considered by the United States to be a “non-resident alien”.

H.) If you ever go to court, what type of court is it?

Court of Record

A true “court of record” is a court which is required to meet the following five criteria:

     1.  generally has a seal (generally, but not absolutely required)
     2.  power to fine or imprison for contempt 
     3.  keeps a permanent record of the proceedings 
        (The written “minutes” of the proceedings do NOT constitute a true record)
     4.  proceeding according to the Common Law (NOT acts, statutes or codes)
     5.  the tribunal (decider of Law and Facts of the case, as well as the procedures followed) is   independent   of the magistrate (judge)
“A ‘court of record’ is a judicial tribunal having attributes and exercising functions independently of the person of the magistrate designated generally to hold it, and proceeding according to the course of common law, its acts and proceedings being enrolled [recorded in writing and stored] for a perpetual memorial.”  Jones v. Jones, 188 Mo.App. 220, 175 S.W. 227, 229; Ex parte Gladhill, 8 Metc. Mass., 171, per Shaw, C.J.  See, also, Ledwith v. Rosalsky, 244 N.Y.  406, 155 N.E. 688, 689. 3 Bl. Comm. 24; 3 Steph. Comm. 383; The Thomas Fletcher, C.C.Ga., 24 F. 481; Ex parte Thistleton, 52 Cal 225;  Erwin v. U.S., D.C.Ga., 37 F. 488, 2 L.R.A. 229; Heininger v. Davis, 96 Ohio St. 205, 117 N.E. 229, 231. “The proceedings of the courts of common law are records. But every minute made by a clerk of a court for his own future guidance in making up his record is not a record.” 4 Wash. C.C. 698. See 10 Penn. St. 157; 2 Pick. Mass. 448; 4 N. II. 450; 6 id. 567; 5 Ohio St. 545; 3 Wend. N.Y. 267; 2 Vt. 573; 6 id. 580; 5 Day, Conn. 363; 3 T. B. Monr. Ky. 63. Minutesare not considered as any part of the record. 1 Ohio, 268. See 23 Pick. Mass. 184.; Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 14th Ed. (1870)  MINUTE BOOK:  A book kept by the clerk or prothonotary of a court, in which minutes of its proceedings are entered.  Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 14th Ed. (1870)

Note that in a true “court of record” - which is required to operate under the Common Law - a judge acts as a magistrate performing ONLY administrative, organizational functions; he is NOT the tribunal and therefore can issue NO decisions or rulings regarding the Law or the Facts of the case at hand; nor can he issue any contempt of court or arrest orders. The tribunal (the sole decider of Law and Facts of the case) is either the sovereign himself as the plaintiff or counter-plaintiff in the case, or a fully-empowered jury of 12 people (not paid by the government; sole decider of all LAW and FACTS applicable to the case at hand; and answerable to no one). See Foster v. Worcester, 16 Pick. (Mass.) 81. If a judge issues any rulings or decisions; OR if the court cites any legislated acts (as statutes, regulations, codes, ordinances, procedures, etc.); OR if the court proceedings are guided by any such legislated act (statutes, etc.), then by definition that court is NOT a true “court of record” which is required to proceed SOLELY under the Common Law and never under legislated acts --  so-called “statutory law”.

MAGISTRATE: Person clothed with power as a public civil officerState ex rel. Miller v. McLeod, 142 Fla. 254, 194 So. 628, 630.   A public officer belonging to the civil organization of the state, and invested with powers and functions which may be either judicial, legislative, or executive.  But the term is commonly used in a narrower sense, designating, in England, a person entrusted with the commission of the peace, and, in America, one of the class of inferior judicial officers, such as justices of the peace and police justices.  Martin v. State, 32 Ark. 124; Ex parte White, 15 Nev. 146, 37 Am.Rep. 466; State v. Allen, 83 Fla. 655, 92 So. 155, 156; Merritt v. Merritt, 193 Iowa 899, 188 N.W. 32, 34. [...]  The word "magistrate" does not necessarily imply an officer exercising any judicial functions, and might very well be held to embrace notaries and commissioners of deeds.  Schultz v. Merchants' Ins. Co., 57 Mo. 336.

I.) The Hierarchy of Courts

The following persons are typically magistrates within a state court:

          1.  The judges of the Supreme Court

          2.  The judges of the courts of appeal.

          3.  The judges of the superior courts.

          4.  The judges of the municipal courts.

          5.  The judges of the justice courts.

A court of record is a “superior court” whose jurisdiction is unlimited and general, and whose proceedings are according to the course of the Common Law.” A court not of record is an “inferior court.” “Inferior courts” are those whose jurisdiction is limited and special; and whose proceedings are not according to the course of the Common Law.” Ex Parte Kearny, 55 Cal. 212; Smith v. Andrews, 6 Cal. 652

Criminal courts proceed according to so-called “statutory law”. Jurisdiction and procedure are defined by legislated acts or statutes. Likewise, civil courts and admiralty courts proceed according to statutory law. Consequently, any court proceeding according to statutory law is NOT a court of record (which only proceeds according to Common Law); it is an inferior court.

“The only inherent difference ordinarily recognized between superior and inferior courts is that there is a presumption in favor of the validity of the judgments of the former [superior courts], none in favor of those of the latter [inferior courts], and that a superior court may be shown not to have had power to render a particular judgment by reference to its record. Ex parte Kearny, 55 Cal. 212. Note, however, that in many states, a  ‘superior court’ is the name of a particular court. But when any court, regardless of the name assigned to it, “acts by virtue of a special statute conferring jurisdiction in a certain class of cases, it is a court of inferior or limited jurisdiction for the time being, no matter what its ordinary status may be.” Heydenfeldt v. Superior Court, 117 Cal. 348, 49 Pac. 210; Cohen v. Barrett, 5 Cal. 195” 7 Cal. Jur. 579
Why is a true “court of record” (proceeding according to Common Law; and NEVER under legislated acts —  so-called “statutory law”) so important in comparison all other statutory or judicial courts?

The decisions of a superior court may only be challenged in a court of appeal. The decisions of an inferior court are subject to collateral attack. In other words, in a superior court one may sue an inferior court directly, rather than resort to appeal to an appellate court.

Any and all decisions of a true court of record operating under the Common Law may NOT be appealed to any other court; its decisions are binding on ALL other courts.

Further, NO statutory or constitutional court (whether it be an appellate or supreme court) can question or review the judgment of a court of record proceeding under the Common Law.

The judgment of a court of record whose jurisdiction is final, is as conclusive on all the world as the judgment of this court would be. It is as conclusive on this court as it is on other courts. It puts an end to inquiry concerning the fact, by deciding it.” Ex parte Watkins, 3 Pet., at 202-203. [cited by SCHNECKLOTH v. USTAMONTE, 412 U.S. 218, 255 (1973)] – U.S. Supreme Court

I.) Conclusion

In conclusion, when one talks about the “United States” (using any of its various names or acronyms), one needs to specify which one of the five or more definitions one is using. As we illustrated above, even within the same code (a CODE is simply a collection of related legislative ACTS), such as the Internal Revenue Code (IRC, known as 26 USC) immediately above, the definition of “United States” takes on two different meanings. As we have seen, the term “United States”  may refer to the geographic land mass comprised of the 50 various sovereign states plus the District of Columbia and all territories and possessions; or to the “United States of America” under the Constitution as a nation among nations, or to the now bankrupt United States corporation operating since 1933 as a debtor under the international Uniform Commercial Code; or to the bankrupt United States corporation operating in a “state of emergency” under martial law, as the late Senator Frank Church wrote in the Special Senate Report of 1973. Further, whether an individual man (or woman) is subject to such legislated acts depends greatly on the definitions used within each act; how that individual man responds to any and all presumptions of fact in law that other people and entities place upon that individual; and if prosecuted, in which type of court he finds himself.


— Additional relevant articles about these topics can be found at: https://johnhenryhill.wordpress.com


John-Henry Hill, M.D. is a pen-name used by the author, who is, in point of fact, a retired physician-surgeon ,having earned his doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree and served a 5-year residency in a surgical sub-specialty. For 20 years prior to his retirement, he also worked as a professional software programmer in medical research and diagnostic devices. Earlier in life he earned a Ph.D. in American history, with a specialization in America political and legal history from the colonial period through the American Civil War. His Ph.D. dissertation discussed the political ramifications of the battles of Ball’s Bluff, South Mountain and Antietam (Sharpsburg). He has authored a number of medical articles and two medical text books. He is considered by his peers an expert in the history of the Maryland Campaign under the command of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in September 1862, resulting in battles at South Mountain and Sharpsburg, Maryland (the latter called the Battle of Antietam by Union troops and the Battle of Sharpsburg by Confederate troops). He has written numerous articles for historical journals; and has written three published hard-copy books on the Maryland Campaign of 1862. He later matriculated from law school – paid in full by YOUR tax dollars – and received his juris doctorate (J.D.) degree. He has lived in Europe for a number of years since his early retirement, and has no intention of returning to America… ever.  He is a member of no political party – neither the Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians or whatever. As the old joke says, “How can you tell when a politician is lying?” Answer:”His lips move.”

 e-mail:  johnhenryhill@yahoo.com

Thank you for reading my essays!


One comment

  1. I do NOT consider myself “smart” or “brilliant”. I simply babble on and on “ad infinitum” and gain advantage through the brute force of words. True genius resides in those who can present their arguments in the fewest words. E = Mc2 is true genius.

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