Does Belief Prove the Constitution, Legal Codes Apply to Anyone?

Had a chat recently with a fellow redditor in the r/shitstatistssay subreddit (ironically) regarding the applicability of the United States Constitution, or any government constitution or legal code for that matter. As shown below, all the evidence offered in support of this claim are beliefs and opinions. That’s all these people can every offer, faith. Constitutions and legal codes don’t actually apply to anyone, but plenty of powerful people believe they do and use that belief to make peaceful life difficult for others. If you challenge this, you “can’t be serious”, he says. Also this gem if circular reasoning: “if you are a citizen of the US, then the Constitution applies to you.” This is the shared quote that spurred my initial comment:

Steve Insigne Mifsud: You consent to income tax when you sign the papers accepting your job. The whole ‘taxation is theft’ argument is just anarchist nonsense.

Enjoy!


Skyler: This assumes without evidence that the income tax code (and constitution) applies to anyone.

Cato208: If you live in the US, then it apples under the 16th amendment to the Constitution.

Skyler: What evidence do you have that the Constitution applies just because of physical location?

Cato208: Well, given that the Constitution is the highest law of the land, I’ve got about 300 years of precedent supporting that notion. So, considerable evidence.

Skyler: How does “the highest law of land” prove it applies to anyone? What does that even mean?

Cato208: It means if you are a citizen of the US, then the Constitution applies to you. It is the basis on which the sovereign government that occupies this land adheres to as “the law.” Every court organized under the US government derives it’s power from this document. If you were born in the US, you are automatically a US citizen, subject to its laws. If you want to become a US citizen from abroad, then you consent either explicitly or implicitly to these laws. The “law” comes from a variety of different sources, but each of these sources are adherent to the Constitution. Either way, if you are here, then the law, thus the Constitution, applies to you. If you want a more detailed explanation of “the highest law of the land,” then I suggest you take a constitutional law course, as I have done, and virtually every judge and legislator has done.

Skyler: How would I know if I were a citizen if you haven’t provided any evidence the constitution applies in the first place? You keep assuming what you need to prove.

Cato208: I seriously can’t tell if you’re trolling or you actually don’t/can’t understand. Edit: You should clarify if you’re talking about in general, or by constitutional provision. It should be explicitly clear in the latter case that it applies if you are a US citizen.

Skyler: To call me a citizen is to assume that the Constitution, which outlines what a citizen is, applies to me, or to anyone, because of our physical location. Rather than making assumptions, why don’t you provide evidence to support that claim.

Cato208: You… you can’t be serious. Let me ask you something, if the constitution doesn’t apply to you, do you believe it’s laws do? Edit: guess I should also ask if you reside within the boundaries of the US.

Skyler: I am physically located in the Salt Lake valley. What evidence do you have that the Constitution applies to me just because I’m physically located in the Salt Lake valley? Burden of proof is on the person making the claim of jurisdiction, is it not? Seriously, what evidence do you offer to prove this claim as true? Let’s start there before moving on to legal codes created pursuant to the Constitution.

Cato208: Yeah, this is one of my ways of eliciting my evidence. If you believe the constitution does not apply to you, then do you or do not follow its laws? Do you believe you’re bound by them?

Skyler: Am I? Do you have any evidence that I am? What I believe is irrelevant to whether or not you have any facts proving your claim. People believe the Earth is flat. Is there evidence to the contrary? Yes. Do you have any evidence that the Constitution applies to anyone just because of their physical location? If you did, you’d probably have presented it by now. Right?

Cato208: I mean now you’re avoiding the question. Do you mind answering it so I can continue with my argument? If you believe the laws don’t apply to you, do you follow the speed limit? I see you’re a door dash driver, do you spit in peoples food? If not, why not? The laws don’t apply to you, so other than ethically why follow them? You’ve already inferred the constitution doesn’t apply because it’s a document that has “no proof” other than itself. I’m trying to get you to realize that because you live in the US the Constitution applies. If you have an issue with it, tell the government that you don’t believe it applies to you. When you do this, let me know what they say. For now, I’d like you to continue and answer my question.

Skyler:

I’m trying to get you to realize that because you live in the US the Constitution applies.

Do you have an evidence that doesn’t rely on anyone’s belief? Do you have any facts to support this claim? Or do you only have opinions? What people believe, including me, or you, or the people who call themselves the Federal Government is irrelevant and immaterial to the challenge. We can address all of this after you provide factual evidence proving your claim is true, that the Constitution applies to anyone. You’ve had several opportunities now to provide this evidence, and have not. What can we conclude from that?

Cato208: In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez 8 in 1990, the Court said that “the people” refers to those “persons who are part of a national community,”9 or who have “substantial connections” to the United States.10 The touchstone was not citizenship, but the extent of one’s connection to this country. This definition of “the people” applied consistently throughout the Bill of Rights, the Court said.11 In District of Columbia v. Heller12 in 2008, the Court approvingly quoted Verdugo-Urquidez’s definition, and similarly suggested that the term “the people” has a consistent meaning throughout the Constitution.13 But Heller also said that “the people” “refers to all members of the political community.”

The above cases point to the meaning of citizenship and its application to those residing within the geographic. My direct evidence, other than what is cited above, is that if you live in the United States, tell me what happens if you kill someone. Hell, even if you are not a citizen, if you kill someone here in the US, then under the laws of the land, you’ll be tried for murder. Factually, you’ll be arrested and tried for murder. If you do this, please please please make the same claim you are making to me, that might even give you an insanity defense, when you try and argue that the Constitution doesn’t apply to you and then ask the state for their proof that it does.

There, I have provided you with court opinions from the highest court in the land, that serves the sovereign which governs the respective land, what defines citizenship. Additionally, I have run you through the ramifications of compliance and non-compliance with the law of the place you are living in. You live in Utah, assuming you are here legally or were born here, you are a citizen. As such, the Constitution applies to you.

Skyler: More opinions, then? So you don’t have any factual evidence that the Constitution applies to me, or you, or anyone? Just people’s beliefs and opinions? Am I reading you correctly?

Cato208: I actually don’t have enough crayons to explain this to you. As such, good luck with what you believe in. Now, you’ll walk away from this claiming “victory” because according to you, I have “not produced any evidence,” despite the fact that I have and that I have demonstrated how the Constitution of the United States of America applies to a delivery driver residing in Utah, and backed that up with what most people (at least the ones with the guns) believe to be evidence. This is a flawed belief, but it does neither me, nor you to try and get you to understand why. At that point, we clearly differ.

Let us then let the subsequent readers (and not troll accounts) judge who has prevailed in their argument. Good day to you, and please don’t forget my silverware!

Skyler:

I have demonstrated how the Constitution of the United States of America applies to a delivery driver residing in Utah

You haven’t. You’ve provided ample evidence of peoples’ belief that the Constitution applies, but have failed to provide any evidence that the Constitution actually applies to anyone, anywhere.

Plenty of people believe the Bible is the word of God. Plenty of people believe the Quran is the word of God. Plenty of people believe the earth is flat.

Are those beliefs evidence that those books are the word of God and that the earth is flat? Based on your logic, it would seem so. Good day to you, too.

Cato208: You’re a moron, and also blocked lmao


Clearly, Cato208 could provide no facts or evidence to support his assertion that the Constitution applies to anyone based on their physical location. The most he could provide are beliefs and opinions. Is that enough? Should that be enough? Is all we need to prove our rules apply to others, justifying our use force against them when they break our rules, a matter of belief and opinion? Is that rational? Is that ethical? Is that right? Cato208 seems to think so. I feel sorry for him. All any lunatic needs to convince Cato208 that he must comply with his will is belief, apparently.

Or, we recognize that these lunatics only have their faith that their constitutions and legal codes apply to us, and deal with them accordingly. There’s no point in sharing in their delusion; doing so will only serve the lunatics, as it has for centuries, unfortunately.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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Alex Knight
Alex Knight
7 months ago

And, Skyler, whenever you contemplate whether or not there will ever be a voluntary society, realize that the above is what we’re up against. That’s your average Joe or Jane, right there.

Alex Knight
Alex Knight
7 months ago

Well, self-styled, evidently….but still, wow. Just when I thought my cynicism was maxed out.