story at the Colleyville Courier he wants a federal court in Texas to uphold his right to refuse to provide identification to the police during a traffic stop. Here's reporter Steve Norder's story:
"A man identifying himself by numerous names and declaring himself not subject to state and federal law has asked a federal court to take jurisdiction of his traffic case after he said city police unlawfully tried to coerce him into showing a driver's license. The man, who lists ties to the 'Moorish National Republic,' says in his federal court petition that he is 'free to travel' and that he did not give his express consent to be detained by police. In a financial statement accompanying his petition, he also says he should not have to pay court fees or 'be compelled to fill out any ritualistic forms.'
'Persons and corporations have assets and I am neither,' wrote the man, listing himself as 'I, Me, My, or Myself, also known as James Michael Joseph; house of Tesi El.' He continued: 'I am not saying I do not have property, because I do have property, but the property I have is not an asset, and I have no income or expenses because I am not a US citizen, 14th Amendment citizen, corporation, or other fictitious entity as defined by your current and FRAUDULENT Fourteenth Amendment.'
The man, who also calls himself James M. Tesi, is making the kinds of claims that police nationwide have faced from individuals who say they are sovereigns and not subject to what they describe as man-made law. The groups, like the Republic of Texas, typically pepper courts with various legal-sounding arguments.
Judge Stewart Milner, who presides over Arlington's Municipal Court and is president of the Texas Municipal Courts Association, said that because Tesi has an active case in Arlington, he could not comment directly on him. But he said such arguments are often based on 'bits and pieces' of the law. 'But they don't have a commonality in statutory law,' he said, and years ago appellate courts made definitive rulings against such arguments.
[. . .] The tactics, such as questioning a court's jurisdiction, 'come right out of the sovereign citizens material,' said Mark Potok, director of the Alabama-based Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors and investigates radical U.S. groups. 'They believe they do not have to obey the laws of the federal government, pay taxes or carry a driver's license or register their car.'
[ . . . ]The so-called Moorish Nationals make an additional claim to distinction: They are 'aboriginal and indigenous natural peoples of Northwest Amexem'-- a statement most often made by individuals within the movement claiming to be descendants of African slaves. Tesi, who is said by Colleyville and Arlington police to be Caucasian, lists the Moorish National Republic on his financial affidavit, which also bears an image of the unfinished pyramid and the eye of providence, or the all-seeing eye of God, found on the back of a dollar bill.
Tesi's troubles began in Arlington on Feb. 23, 2010, when he was stopped for driving without a seat belt, according to a police report. He was fined $244.15 but did not pay, so an arrest warrant was issued. In December, Colleyville police stopped Tesi for allegedly speeding on Precinct Line Road. When he would not produce a driver's license, he was arrested on the outstanding Arlington warrant.
[. . . ] The modern variation of the sovereign-citizen movement began in the 1970s and 1980s with the 'posse comitatus' belief, based on common-law theories that there is no legitimate government higher than a county sheriff. "
I've met quite a few guys who profess the sovereign ideas. In fact a dear friend of mine and sometime follower of this blawg is sympathetic to the ideas professed by guys like Tesi. I'm not. I not sympathetic to the ideas, but I try to keep an open mind to the arguments. The "sovereign" perspective puts me in mind of the early commercials for E*trade or one of the other day-trader companies that utilized a slacker spokesman who would claim, "we don't need the government..." Well, bullshit. Watch what happens to investment in a country without the rule of law, without certainty, without enforceable contracts.
Tesi, et al. and their ancestors, and their children and gandchildren, and all the day-traders in the world are only able to function because of the infrastructure that exists because of government. I love the irony inherent inTesi resorting to federal court to get an order declaring his status.