From: Donald Neuls [mailto:[email protected]]



For many years Professionals within the criminal justice System have acted
upon the belief that traveling by motor vehicle upon the roadway was a
privilege that was gained by a citizen only after approval by their
respective state government in the form of the issuance of a permit or
license to that Particular individual. Legislators, police officers and
court officials are becoming aware that there are now court decisions that
prove the fallacy of the legal opinion that" driving is a privilege and
therefore requires government approval, i.e. a license". Some of these cases

bulletCase # 1 - "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, though this right may be regulated in
accordance with the public interest and convenience. - Chicago Motor Coach v
Chicago 169 NE 22
("Regulated" here means traffic safety enforcement, stop lights, signs, etc.
NOT a privilege that requires permission i.e.- licensing, mandatory
insurance, vehicle registration, etc.)
bulletCase # 2 - "The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and
to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is
not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a
common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness."- Thompson v Smith 154 SE 579.

It could not be stated more conclusively that Citizens of the states have a
right to travel, without approval or restriction, (license,) and that this
right is protected under the U.S. Constitution. Here are other court
decisions that expound the same facts:

bulletCase # 3 - "The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the
citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the 5th
Amendment." - Kent v Dulles, 357 U.S. 116, 125.
bulletCase # 4 - "Undoubtedly the right of locomotion, the right to remove from
one place to another according to inclination, is an attribute of personal
Liberty, and the right, ordinarily, of free transit from or through the
territory of any State is a right secured by the l4th Amendment and by other
provisions of the Constitution." - Schactman v Dulles, 96 App D.C. 287, 293.


As hard as it is for those of us in Law enforcement to believe, there is no
room for speculation in these court decisions. The American citizen does
indeed have the inalienable right to use the roadways unrestricted in any
manner as long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of

Government, in requiring the people to file for "drivers Iicenses, vehicle
registrations, mandatory insurance, and demanding they stop for vehicle
inspections, DUI/DWI roadblocks etc. without question, are "restricting",
and therefore violating, the Peoples common law right to travel.

Is this a new legal interpretation on this subject of the right to travel?

Apparently not. The American Citizens and Lawmen Association in conjunction
with The U.S. Federal Law Research Center are presently involved in studies
in several areas involving questions on constitutional law. One of the many
areas under review is the area of "Citizens right to travel." In an
interview a spokesmen stated: "Upon researching this subject over many
months, substantial case law has presented itself that completely
substantiates the position that the "right to travel unrestricted upon the
nations highways" is and has always been a fundamental right of every

This means that the "beliefs and opinions" our state legislators, the
courts, and those of as involved in the law enforcement profession have
acted upon for years have been in error. Researchers armed with actual facts
state that U.S. case law is overwhelming in determining that - to restrict,
in any fashion, the movement of the individual American in the free exercise
of their right to travel upon the roadways, (excluding "commerce" which the
state Legislatures are correct in regulating), is a serious breach of those
freedoms secured by the U.S. Constitution, and most state Constitutions,
i.e - it is Unlawful.


The first of such questions may very well be - If the States have been
enforcing laws that are unconstitutional on their face, it would seem that
there must be some way that a state can legally put restrictions, such as -
licensing requirements, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, vehicle
inspections, D.W.I. roadblocks, to name just a few, on a Citizens
constitutionally protected right. Is that not so?

For the answer to this question let us look, once again, to the U.S. courts
for a determination on this very issue.

The case of Hertado v. California, 110 U.S. 516. states very plainly: "The
State cannot diminish rights of the people."

"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.

Would we not say that these judicial decisions are straight to the point -
that there is no lawful method for government to put restrictions or
Imitations on rights belonging to the people?

Other cases are even more straight forward:

bullet"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.
bullet"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a
crime.� - Miller v. U.S., 230 F 2d 486, 489.
bullet"There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this
exercise of Constitutional rights."- Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 945. ( There
is no question that a citation/ticket issued by a police officer, for no
drivers license, no current vehicle registration, no vehicle insurance etc.
which carries a fine or jail time, is a penalty or sanction, and is indeed
"converting a Right into a crime".)

We could go on, quoting court decision after court decision, however, In
addition, the Constitution itself answers our question- "Can a government
legally put restrictions on the rights of the American people at anytime,
for any reason"? (Such as in this particular case - when the government
believes it to be for the safety and welfare of the people).

The answer is found in ARTICLE SIX of the U.S. Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in
Pursuance thereof;..shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in
every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of
any State to the Contrary not withstanding". (This tells us that the U.S.
Constitution is to be upheld over any state, county, or city laws that are
in opposition to it.)

In the same Article it goes on to say just who it is within our governments
that is bound by this Supreme Law:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the
several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of
the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or
Affirmation, to support this Constitution;". - ART. 6 U.S. CONST.

We know that Police officers, are a part of the Executive branch. We are
"Executive Officers".

Article 6 above, is called the SUPREMACY CLAUSE, and it clearly states that,
under every circumstance, the above listed officials in these United States
must hold this documents tenets supreme over any other laws, regulations, or
orders. Every U.S. Police officer knows that they have sworn a oath to the
people of our nation that we will not only protect their lives and property,
but, that we will uphold, and protect their freedoms and rights under the
Supreme laws of this nation, - the U. S. Constitution.

In this regard then, we must agree that those within government that
restrict a Citizens rights, (such as restricting the peoples right to
travel,) are acting in violation of his or her oath of office and are
actually committing a crime against such Citizens. Here's an interesting
question. Is ignorance of these laws an excuse for such acts by officials?

If we are to follow the "letter of the law (as we are sworn to do), this
places officials that involve themselves in such unlawful acts in a
unfavorable legal situation. For it is a felony and federal crime to
violate, or deprive citizens of their Constitutionally protected rights.

Our system of law dictates the fact that there are only two ways to legally
remove a right belonging to the people. These are - #1 - by lawfully
amending the constitution, or #2 - by a person knowingly waiving a
particular right.

Some of the confusion in our present system has arisen because many millions
of people have waived their right to travel "unrestricted" upon the roadways
of the states and opted into the jurisdiction of the state for various
reasons. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are now legally
regulated by state law, the proper courts, and "sworn, constitutionally
empowered officers-of-the-law," and must acquire proper permits,
registrations, insurance, etc.

There are basically two groups of people in this category:

bullet#1 - Any citizen that involves themselves in "commerce," (business for
private gain), upon the highways of the state.

Here is what the courts have said about this:

"...For 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 to use the highways of the
state, but is a privilege or license which the legislature may grant or
withhold at its discretion..." - State v Johnson, 243 P. 1073, 1078.

Other U.S. court cases that confirm and point out the difference between the
"right" of the citizen to travel and a government "privilege" are - Barney v
Board of Railroad Commissioners; State v City of Spokane, 186 P. 864.; Ex
Parte Dickey (Dickey v Davis), 85 S.E. 781.; Teche Lines v Danforth, 12
So.2d 784.

There are numerous other court decisions that spell out the JURISDICTION
issue In these two distinctly different activities. However, because of
space restrictions we will leave it up to officers to research it further
for themselves. (See last page for additional references).

bullet#2 - The second group of citizens that are legally under the jurisdiction of
the state is the individual citizen who has voluntarily and knowingly waived
their right to travel "unregulated and unrestricted" by requesting placement
under such jurisdiction through the acquisition of a state - drivers
license, vehicle registration, mandatory insurance, etc. (In other words "by
contract only".)

We should remember what makes this "legal," and not a violation of the
individuals common law right to travel "unrestricted" is that they knowingly
volunteer, freely, by contract, to waive their right. If they were forced,
coerced or unknowingly placed under the 5tates powers, the courts have said
it is a clear violation of their rights.

This in itself raises a very interesting question. What percentage of the
people in each state have filed, and received, licenses, registrations,
insurance etc. after erroneously being advised by their government that it
was mandatory?

Many of our courts, attorneys and police officials are just becoming
informed about this important issue and the difference between "Privileges
vs. Rights". We can assume that the majority of those Americans carrying
state licenses, vehicle registrations etc., have no knowledge of the rights
they waived in obeying laws such as these that the U.S. Constitution clearly
states are unlawful, i.e. "laws of no effect". In other words - "LAWS THAT


An area of serious consideration for every police officer, is to understand
that the most important law in our land he has taken an oath to protect,
defend, AND ENFORCE, is not state laws, nor city or county ordinances, but,
that law that supercede all other laws in our nation, - the U.S.
Constitution. If laws in a particular police officer's state, or local
community are in conflict with the SUPREME LAW of our nation, there Is no
question that the officer's duty is to "uphold the U.S. Constitution."

What does this mean to the "patrol officer" who will be the only sworn
"Executive Officer" on the scene, when knowledgeable Citizens raise serious
objections over possession of insurance, drivers licenses and other
restrictions? It definitely means these officers will be faced with a hard
decision. (Most certainly if that decision effects state, city or county
revenues, such as the issuing of citations do.)

Example: If a state legislator, judge or a superior tells a police officer
to proceed and enforce a contradictory, (illegal), state law rather than the
Supreme Law of this country, what is that "sworn officer" to do? Although we
may not want to hear it, there is but one right answer, - "the officer is
duty bound to uphold his oath of office" and obey the highest laws of the

Such a strong honest stand taken by a police officer, upholding his or her
oath of office, takes moral strength of character. It will, without
question, "SEPARATE THE MEN FROM THE BOYS." Such honest and straight forward
decisions on behalf of a government official have often caused pressure to
be applied to force such officers to set aside, or compromise their morals
or convictions.

As a solace for those brave souls in uniform that will stand up for law and
justice, even when it's unpopular, or uncomfortable to do so...let me say
this. In any legal stand-off over a sworn official "violating" or
"upholding" their oath of office, those that would side with the "violation"
should inevitable lose.

Our Founding Fathers assured us, on many occasions, the following: Defending
our freedoms in the face of people that would for "expedients sake," or
behind the guise, "for the safety and welfare of the masses," ignore peoples
rights, would forever demand sacrifice and vigilance from those that desired
to remain free. That sounds a little like - "Freedom is not free!"

Every police officer should keep the following U.S. court ruling, that
was covered earlier, in mind before issuing citations in regard to
"mandatory Iicensing, registration and insurance" - verses - "the right of
the people to travel unencumbered":

INTO A CRIME." - Miller v U.S., 230 F 2d 486. 489.

And as we have seen, "traveling freely," going about ones daily
activities, is the exercise of a most basic right.

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