Lysander Spooner’s “No Treason.” The Georgia SCV’s 10 Law Suits Defending Confederate Monuments and the First Amendment: Synopses and Updates

Lysander Spooner's No Treason.
The Georgia SCV's 10 Law Suits
Defending Confederate Monuments and the
First Amendment:
Synopses and Updates

 

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was a "Champion of Liberty, a lawyer, abolitionist, entrepreneur, legal theorist and scholar" according to the plaque on his birthplace in Athol, Massachusetts. He's known for setting up a post office to compete with the government but it was shut down. He is author of a number of famous works including No Treason., and The Unconstitutionality of Slavery. He is still influential in libertarian circles and was cited in two United States Supreme Court Cases recently. Justice Antonin Scalia cited him in District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down Washington, DC's ban on handguns in 2008. Justice Clarence Thomas cited him in McDonald v. Chicago, a 2009 firearms case.

The beginning of Spooner's No Treason., No. 1 is an outstanding summary of the North's reason for fighting the War Between the States, and it definitely was not slavery. Massachusetts-born Spooner would know. He states as one possibility that "the lusts of fame, and power, and money" was why the North fought, and, of course, that is absolutely correct. They were fighting for their tariff money, paid mostly by the South but spent mostly in the North. They were fighting for the bounties, subsidies and monopolies voted in Congress by the Northern majority for their businesses despite the South generating all the wealth of the nation with King Cotton and other Southern commodities.

They were fighting also because they thought they could win easily with four times the white population of the South, maybe 100 times the arms manufacturing capability, an army, navy, merchant marine; there were zero marine engine factories in the South while there were 19 in the North. Lincoln also had access to the unlimited immigration of the wretched refuse of the world to feed his armies while his navy blockaded Southern ports. At least 25% of the Union Army were new immigrants and many had been paid bounties to join after they arrived on ships hungry, broke, with only the clothes on their backs.

Yet it still took four years and 750,000 deaths, over a million wounded and the whole region laid waste for Lincoln's armies of invasion to subjugate the South. That's what happens when you fight men and women who were as committed to independence as our Founding Fathers. For the South, 1861 was 1776 all over.

In the year leading up to South Carolina's secession on December 20, 1860, the most widely quoted phrase in the secession debate in the South came from the Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

As Alexis de Tocqueville said in Democracy in America, if any one state became powerful enough to take over the government, they would make the rest of the country subservient and tributary to their wealth and power. That is exactly what happened and was exactly the goal before it happened.

The human lust for money, power and control is universal, as a South Carolina document acknowledged in December, 1860:

[W]hen vast sectional interests are to be subserved, involving the appropriation of countless millions of money, it has not been the usual experience of mankind, that words on parchments can arrest power.

[From The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States]

The Georgia Division, SCV, has 10 excellent law suits going on, mostly against cities, counties, and public officials who have voted to break the law and remove Confederate monuments, but some involve protecting First Amendment rights.

The synopses and updates on each of the Georgia law suits are INSPIRING and fascinating. They show great determination to hold corrupt public officials accountable.

Finally, we get to kick some ass!

They need money so please donate. Here's how you get back at the mob that has been tearing down sacred monuments to war dead, and get back at corrupt public officials who are part of the mob and think they are above the law. [Click the Donate to the Georgia SCV Heritage Defense Legal Fund link at the very end of this post to help!]

Below is a press release from January 25, 2021 discussing the war they are waging in Georgia for the honor of Confederate soldiers who died and were maimed protecting Georgia and the South when Lincoln's hordes invaded.

The Georgia folks got a constitutional amendment on the ballot in the last election to repeal sovereign immunity and it passed overwhelmingly, so corrupt city and county officials can now be held accountable and not get away with hiding behind sovereign immunity.

Every state in the country ought to get rid of sovereign immunity so that groups and citizens have standing to sue cities, counties AND individual councilmen and women. That will get their attention and be good for government at all levels.

A few victories like that, the word gets around (we will SPREAD it around with vigor!) and the removal of monuments will be stopped dead in its tracks, forever.

We can then increase the building of new monuments so future generations will know our glorious American, Southern history.

We also need to focus on shaming characterless legislators who would even consider removing monuments from battlefields. We should appeal to veterans and veterans groups.

The fight over the U. S. Army base names in the South such as Fort Benning and Fort Bragg needs to continue with research on how the bases came to be named as they are. There is no question it was a grand gesture of reconciliation by our newly reunited country and as such are important statements as they are.

They have nothing to do with white supremacy as the dope Elizabeth Warren, one of the most characterless people in Congress who gamed the affirmation action system for years pretending to be an Indian, says. She knows nothing about history and could care less about American military honor.

If there are any old laws and some way we can sue to stop the base name changes, we should.

Maybe some old agreements are in place between the states where the bases are located and the Federal Government that would give us a chance. Maybe the state attorneys general or governors can help.

It is going to take two years, supposedly, to change the base names and all the streets, buildings, military assets such as ships and weapons named for Confederates, and to remove all Confederate monuments. If Republicans were in power, we could maybe do something with next years NDAA.

I do not think we should give up on the bases. We need more research. This is a ridiculous waste of millions of taxpayer dollars to change the names of 100 year old bases from where we won two World Wars. Surely veterans groups would be incensed and join us.

Please let me know of other law suits defending monuments and other situations going on around the country. Please write me anytime.

Publishing the beginning of Lysander Spooner's excellent No Treason. followed by the synopses of the Georgia SCV law suits protecting monuments, shows what the North was fighting for, which was not to end slavery. It was for their own wealth and power. Over 750,000 died so Yankees could enrich themselves and control the rest of the country.

Southerners were fighting for independence and the principles of the Founding Fathers. Basil Gildersleeve, the greatest American classical scholar of all time, was a Confederate soldier from Charleston, South Carolina. He sums up our reason for fighting in his book, The Creed of the Old South:

All that I vouch for is the feeling: . . . there was no lurking suspicion of any moral weakness in our cause. Nothing could be holier than the cause, nothing more imperative than the duty of upholding it. There were those in the South who, when they saw the issue of the war, gave up their faith in God, but not their faith in the cause.

The Georgia SCV synopses and updates follow Spooner, along with a Donate to the Georgia SCV Heritage Defense Legal Fund link.]

 

No Treason.
No. 1

by Lysander Spooner.

(Boston: Published by the Author,
No. 14 Bromfield Street. 1867.)

Introductory

The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded.

On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.

The principles, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.

Lysander Spooner, author of No Treason., The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, and many other important works.
Lysander Spooner, author of No Treason., The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, and many other important works.

No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it be really established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle --- but only in degrees --- between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.

Previous to the war, there were some grounds for saying that --- in theory, at least, if not in practice --- our government was a free one; that it rested on consent. But nothing of that kind can be said now, if the principle on which the war was carried on by the North, is irrevocably established.

If that principle be not the principle of the Constitution, the fact should be known. If it be the principle of the Constitution, the Constitution itself should be at once overthrown.

I.

Notwithstanding all the proclamations we have made to mankind, within the last ninety years, that our government rested on consent, and that that was the only rightful basis on which any government could rest, the last war has practically demonstrated that our government rests upon force --- as much so as any government that has ever existed.

The North has thus virtually said to the world: It was all very well to prate of consent, so long as the objects to be accomplished were to liberate ourselves from our connexion with England, and also to coax a scattered and jealous people into a great national union; but now that those purposes have been accomplished, and the power of the North has become consolidated, it is sufficient for us --- as for all governments --- simply to say: Our power is our right.

In proportion to her wealth and population, the North has probably expended more money and blood to maintain her power over an unwilling people, than any other government ever did. And in her estimation, it is apparently the chief glory of her success, and an adequate compensation for all her own losses, and an ample justification for all her devastation and carnage of the South, that all pretence of any necessity for consent to the perpetuity or power of the government, is (as she thinks) forever expunged from the minds of the people. In short, the North exults beyond measure in the proof she has given, that a government, professedly resting on consent, will expend more life and treasure in crushing dissent, than any government, openly founded on force, has ever done.

And she claims that she has done all this in behalf of liberty! In behalf of free government! In behalf of the principle that government should rest on consent!

If the successors of Roger Williams, within a hundred years after their State had been founded upon the principle of free religious toleration, and when the Baptists had become strong on the credit of that principle, had taken to burning heretics with a fury never before seen among men; and had they finally gloried in having thus suppressed all question of the truth of the State religion; and had they further claimed to have done all this in behalf of freedom of conscience, the inconsistency between profession and conduct would scarcely have been greater than that of the North, in carrying on such a war as she has done, to compel men to live under the support a government that they did not want; and in then claiming that she did it in behalf of the principle that government should rest on consent.

This astonishing absurdity and self-contradiction are to be accounted for only by supposing, either that the lusts of fame, and power, and money, have made her utterly blind to, or utterly reckless of, the inconsistency and enormity of her conduct; or that she had never even understood what was implied in a government's resting on consent. Perhaps this last explanation is the true one. In charity to human nature, it is to be hoped that it is.

. . .

Here is the end of No Treason. by Lysander Spooner:

George the Third called our ancestors traitors for what they did at that time. But they were not traitors in fact, whatever he or his laws may have called them. They were not traitors in fact, because they betrayed nobody, and broke faith with nobody. They were his equals, owing him no allegiance, obedience, nor any other duty, except such as they owed to mankind at large. Their political relations with him has been purely voluntary. They had never pledged their faith to him that they would continue these relations any longer than it should please them to do so; and therefore they broke no faith in parting with him. They simply exercised their natural right of saying to him, and to the English people, that they were under no obligation to continue their political connexion with them, and that, for reasons of their own, they chose to dissolve it.

What was true of our ancestors, is true of revolutionists in general. The monarchs and governments, from whom they choose to separate, attempt to stigmatize them as traitors. But they are not traitors in fact; inasmuch as they betray, and break faith with, no one. Having pledged no faith, they break none. They are simple men, who, for reasons of their own --- whether good or bad, wise or unwise, is immaterial --- choose to exercise their natural right of dissolving their connexion with the governments under which they have lived. In doing this, they no more commit the crime of treason --- which necessarily implies treachery, deceit, breach of faith --- than a man commits treason when he chooses to leave a church, or any other voluntary association, with which he has been connected.

This principle was a true one in 1776. It is a true one now. It is the only one on which any rightful government can rest. It is the one on which the Constitution itself professes to rest. If it does not really rest on that basis, it has no right to exist; and it is the duty of every man to raise his hand against it. . . .

 

The Georgia SCV's 10 Law Suits
Defending Confederate Monuments and the First Amendment:
Synopses and Updates
GA-Div-Press-Rel-1-25-21--75K
Georgia Division Pending Litigation
City of Cuthbert, Randolph County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

On December 14, 2020 the City of Cuthbert City Council voted to remove the Randolph County Confederate Monument. The Georgia Division will be filing for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and filed a lawsuit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1. All the City Council members will be listed individually as defendants.

Status:

On January 19, 2021 the Georgia Division filed for a Temporary Restraining Order and filed a lawsuit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1against the City of Cuthbert and the City Council Members as individuals. We are currently awaiting a court date.

City of Brunswick, Glynn County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

On November 18, 2020 the City of Brunswick City Council voted to remove the Glynn County Confederate Monument. The Georgia Division has filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and filed a lawsuit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1. All the City Council members will be listed individually as defendants.

Status:

The city of Brunswick file a motion to dismiss our case. Then offered an temporary motion to stay to place a hold on any action to remove the monument. The SCV agreed to the terms of the motion to stay and the Superior Court Judge issued a consent order.

Newton County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the Newton County Confederate Monument. The Georgia Division filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and filed a lawsuit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1. While the Newton County Superior Court Judge did not issue a TRO, he ruled that nothing would happen to the Confederate Monument until the final ruling was issued.

As expected, the Newton County Superior Court Judge John Ott issued an order in favor of the County Commission’s action stating that the doctrine of sovereign immunity applied. The Georgia Division, SCV immediately filed a motion to appeal. The next day the County Commissioner Chairman attempted to have the Confederate Monument removed. This action, violation of the understanding reached at the earlier hearing, prompted Judge Ott to issue an Order to stay and forbid the removal of the Confederate Monument until the final decision is made.

Status:

The Georgia Court of Appeals has set a court date on April 13, 2021 and has agreed to hear oral arguments.

Rockdale County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

Chairman Oz Nesbitt, Jr., Chairman of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners made an “executive decision” to remove the Rockdale County Confederate Monument. No formal discussion or vote was obtained from the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners. The Monument was removed that night under the cover of darkness. Georgia Division filed a suit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 in Rockdale County Superior Court. We have sued the Chairman both as an individual as well as Chairman of the Commission.

Status:

Rockdale County Superior Court issued a ruling in favor of the county on the basis of sovereign immunity. The Georgia Division has filed the case to be heard by the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Georgia Court of Appeals set the date of January 11, 2021 for the SCV to file their pleadings to the Court of Appeals, and it was filed on January 7, 2021. We are currently waiting on a ruling from the Georgia court of Appeals.

Henry County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the Henry County Confederate Monument. The Georgia Division filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and filed a lawsuit for the actions proposed in violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1.

The Henry County Superior Court Judge did not issue a TRO. He accepted the County’s defense based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The Georgia Division filed a motion to reconsider after finding a lease agreement between the County and City showing the property where the Monument was standing was leased by the City of McDonough. Therefore, the County had no standing to remove the Monument.

Status:

Henry County Superior Court issued a ruling in favor of the county on the basis of sovereign immunity. The Georgia Division has filed the case to be heard by the Georgia Court of Appeals. Our Attorney is currently working on the pleadings for the Georgia Court of Appeals.

City of Athens/Clarke County - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

City of Athens Clarke County Consolidated Government (ACCG) stood by and permitted "mostly peaceful protestors" to vandalize the 1871 Clarke County Confederate Monument located at the intersection of Broad Street and College Avenue. The ACCG voted to remove the Confederate monument to an obscure location in Clarke County at the end of a dead-end, rubbish-strewn road. They claim the move is necessary for a pedestrian walk-widening project that has been the works since 2019. The plans received under an open records request clearly shows that proposed relocation of the Confederate monument was not considered until May 2020. The Georgia Division filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and filed a lawsuit for ACCG’s violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1. The Superior Court of Clarke County denied the Georgia Division a TRO based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Status:

The Georgia Division lawsuit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 is awaiting a court date. The Georgia Division filed an amendment adding the mayor and city commissioners to the lawsuit as individual defendants.

Gwinnett County - Motion to intervene

Synopsis:

The Gwinnett County Solicitor Brian Whiteside filed a lawsuit claiming the that the Gwinnett County Confederate Monument at the old historic County Courthouse was a "nuisance" and is a public safety issue and could cause injury or even death. The Georgia Division and the Major William E Simmons Camp #96 filed a motion to intervene to be a party to the suit.

Status:

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge issued a ruling in favor of the SCV to grant the motion to intervene. Currently, the Camp and Gwinnett County are negotiating a settlement.

City of Alpharetta - Old Soldiers Day Parade- 1st Amendment violation

Synopsis:

The Georgia Division filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The TRO was denied by Judge William Ray and Georgia Division then filed a suit against the City of Alpharetta for violation of their 1st amendment rights.

The City's defense was that since the City was the primary sponsor the parade was considered to be “governmental speech” and therefore not a First Amendment violation. The City argued that permitting the Confederate Battle Flag in the City-sponsored parade might cause viewers to believe the City was endorsing the Confederacy or the SCV. The SCV provided proof the VFW was the primary sponsor and there were other participants in the parade. The Democratic party of Fulton County was one such group. It displayed a banner. Other businesses advertised their trade with signs and banners. The SCV argued that the City was not concerned about endorsing the Democratic Party or these businesses and was therefore censoring the SCV for its viewpoint.

Judge William Ray again ruled against the Georgia Division citing that the parade was governed by the concept of governmental speech. The SCV has filed a motion for reconsideration with the United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia based on the issue of forum analysis.

Status:

Judge William Ray ruled against the motion to reconsider. The Georgia Division has filed an appeal with the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Walker Chandler has filed an entry of appearance and pleadings with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

City of Columbus - Linwood Cemetery - O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 violation

Synopsis:

General Henry Benning Camp #517 entered into an agreement formally adopted by resolution with the Mayor and City Council of the City of Columbus on October 4, 1994. The SCV was permitted to erect two 35 foot flag poles flying the Confederate Battle Flags in the Confederate Sections of the Linwood Cemetery. Sometime in 2016 the Battle Flags were removed and replaced with 1st National Flags. The Camp made various attempts to resolve the issue with the Mayor by rotating the flags with the many different flags of the Confederacy, but the Mayor refused. The Camp then placed, as clearly permitted under the Agreement, a Battle Flag back on one pole. The Mayor and Council responded by having the Memorial Flag poles cut at the base, destroying and removing them.

Status:

Georgia Division filed a suit for violation of O.C.G.A. § 50-3-1 in Muscogee County Superior Court, awaiting a court day to be set. The Georgia Division filed an amendment adding the mayor and city commissioners to the lawsuit as individual defendants.

Cotriss Case - 1st Amendment violation

Synopsis:

Silvia Cotriss was a police sergeant with the Roswell city police. She was fired for flying a Confederate Battle Flag in front of her home. A black pharmacist complained because she had a city police car parked at her home. According to her attorney, the car was in the shop on the day in question. She sued based on the city firing her when she was exercising her 1st amendment rights at her home.

The case went before United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia and Judge William Ray ruled against her.

Status:

The case was appealed and now is awaiting a ruling from the US 11th circuit court of appeals. The SCV has assisted in expenses in this vital case. If upheld, the precedent could be set that no Confederate heritage supporter has a right to a government job.

 

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