A Look at one of These Important Rights.


Chuck Klein © 2006

There are five provisions under the 1st Amendment, one is:

"Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  

This says the Federal Government (state governments are included under the 14th Amendment) cannot pass a law to keep you from complaining about your government to your government. However, no where in the Constitutional or in any statute is there any requirement for the "government" to answer, react to or otherwise acknowledge your petition.

THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINThis was recently pointed out in a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decision (We the People, et. al., Plaintiffs vs. United States, et. al., Defendants, Civil action No. 04-1211). Here the court ruled that just because the government failed to respond to the plaintiff's complaint it was no reason for the plaintiff to be granted a favorable judgement against the government. Even a DEFAULT judgement is not possible when the government fails to respond to a suit filed in compliance with all laws.

In other words, though one has a right to complain to the government - that right doesn't mean the government has any statutory, constitutional, or even judicial obligation to respond to your "redress of grievance." 

The hard evidence of this elitist attitude is further propagated in the functioning of the Supreme Court. Though they are empowered as the highest court in the land, there is no legal obligation to hear any cases - and they do refuse to hear far more cases than they accept. The justices, being appointed for life, are immune to retribution (yeah, I know they can be impeached, but in reality it just doesn't happen). Whereas, elected officials are, at the least, subject to the ballot box.

In addition, and to add insult to injury, this highest court, being the SUPREME court for which there is no appeal other than legislative, have no obligation to rule upon ALL issues of a case. I offer a personal experience of this selective rulings from the Ohio Supreme Court case, Klein v. Leis. Here, we challenged the right of the state to forbid carrying concealed firearms under the Ohio Constitution which says:

"The people have the right to bear arms for their DEFENSE and SECURITY." (emphasis added)  

THE BADGEThe U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that each word of a statute has a separate meaning and legislatures do not write redundancies into their laws. Using definitions found in common dictionaries, it was clear that carrying for DEFENSE means to carry openly such as in one's hand while under an attack. SECURITY means to be secure and one can't be secure with an exposed firearm that is subject to a thug grabbing it to use against you. Ergo, Ohio intended for one to carry firearms concealed if they wanted to be SECURE. The Ohio Supreme Court ignored - refused to address, comment upon or rule on - this point.

If you ever need to contact a government officials about something they don't want to be contacted about, keep in mind they might have to permit you to "redress your grievances," but they aren't required to reply, much less take any action.

SOLUTION: One method of controlling, at least the judiciary branch, is enactment of Judicial Accountability Initiative Laws