Time: Fri Jun 13 07:39:14 1997
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	Fri, 13 Jun 1997 07:31:29 -0700 (MST)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 07:30:23 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS Member Questions
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At 02:51 AM 6/13/97 -0700, you wrote:
>SLS Member
>Hi Paul,
>Here is a succinct (hopefully) list of the biggest things I've been
>wondering about lately, that I hope you can find time to address with your
>1.  The first thing that confuses me and my friends is:
>   An "Act of Congress" is policy, not law, and per definition located in
>   Rule 54, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, has only local
>   application in the District of Columbia and other United States
>   territories and insular possessions unless general application is
>   manifestly expressed: Rule 54(c) - "Act of Congress" includes any act
>   of Congress locally applicable to and in force in the District of
>   Columbia, in Puerto Rico, in a territory or in an insular possession."
>How can this be true?  Is the key part "unless general application is
>manifestly expressed"?  All the laws Congress passes... these are Acts of
>Congress arn't they?  All the U.S.C. Titles... are all AoC, right?  I'm
>getting a headache.

This is a complex point of law, but Congress must
expressly extend the application of a statute
beyond its municipal jurisdiction.  See, for example,
18 U.S.C. 1512 and 1513 for a good illustration of
statutes which do have language extending them 
beyond the federal zone.  Also, Congress must be
explicit about the territory(s) for which laws are
written.  There are lots of authorities on this
point, but admittedly it is a point which is lost
on many young Americans.

>2.  Inalienable vs. Unalienable.  How do we know which to use?  One has
>surely been twisted and spun since Bouviers 1828, but how do we know which

Define it to mean whatever you want,
as I always do in pleadings.  Then,
it means what YOU WANT IT TO MEAN!

See example below for "U.S. Constitution".

/s/ Paul Mitchell

>3.  What do you make of line 4 of the below section?  Wouldn't the
>opposite be "I do solemnly affirm that I will administer justice with
>respect to persons..."?  So the opposite of that, which is what it says,
>is that he/she solemnly affirms to administer justice except with respects
>to persons...
>     453. Oaths of justices and judges
>   Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following
>   oath or affirmation before performing the duties of this office: ''I,
>   _ _ _ _ _ _, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer
>   justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and
>   to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and
>   perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _ _ _ under the
>   Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.''

Title 28 has been enacted into positive law.
The term "person" has many meanings, one of
which is to refer to human beings.  I prefer
"Person" because that is the spelling found
in the organic Constitution for the United
States of America, as lawfully amended
(hereinafter "U.S. Constitution").         <---- sample definition!!

>4.  In BALZAC v. PEOPLE OF PORTO RICO, 258 U.S. 298 (1922), which I thank
>you a thousand times over for pointing me to, there is something I do not
>understand.  The Chief Justice says Porto Rico is not incorporated, yet we
>know its a U.S. territory and that's why Congress can put a USDC in there.
>This means congress is sovereign in Porto Rico, right?

America won the Spanish-American War, and
the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the
United States can acquire land by conquest
or treaty.  Porto Rico was conquest.

  Yet, it seems like
>the place should be "incorporated" BEFORE Congress can be  sovereign.

This is another very subtle point of law.
I agree with you, however, that Congress
must enact law(s) to bring the conquered
land(s) into the federal zone;  otherwise,
they remain what they were under international
law, prior to the conquest.  Police actions
do not bring municipal law into effect, without
due process of law.  

>I.E. a corporation is created and is called Porto Rico by Congress through
>the act of incorporation. THAT would seem to make Congress sovereign
>there.  Not just "a step towards statehood."

Yes, Congress is sovereign over the federal zone.

>I'm confused. Both Porto Rico _unincorporated_ AND _incorporated_ seem to
>have Congress as sovereign... Arrgh.

Yes, Congress is sovereign, until and unless
the territory joins the Union, then the
new state becomes sovereign in its own Right,
under the Tenth Amendment and the Equal Footing
Doctrine (all states join the Union on an equal
footing with the original 13 colonies).

>5. Lastly, I could not find this Supreme Court case: American Insurance
>Company v. 356 Bales of Cotton that you mention in your "Karma and the
>Federal Courts" essay.  Do you have anything else that could point me to
>it in an online search routine? Numbers?

American Insurance Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton,
1 Pet. 511 (1828), 7 L.Ed. 242.

A cotton shipment foundered off the coast of
Florida.  The damaged cargo was auctioned
as salvage by the insurance company, to reduce
their loss.  The auction was challenged, and
the case ended up in a federal court established
for Florida, before Florida joined the Union.
The authority of the court was properly challenged,
and Justice John Marshall wrote another brilliant
tract to lay down the constitutional law on this
important point.  That law has never changed.

I hope this helps.

/s/ Paul Mitchell

>Many thanks!

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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