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RJ Harris: Repeal Obamacare and Restore Liberty Using Jury Nullification

RJ Harris, an independent candidate for Oklahoma’s 4th congressional district, who had sought the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nomination,  wrote the following about the recent Supreme Court decision on healthcare:

In the very near future you are going to be called to serve on a jury and asked by the government to convict and put in prison one of your fellow Americans for refusing to comply with the mandatory health insurance tax levied against all citizens for nothing more than being alive. By the way, if we can be taxed for merely existing that sounds like SLAVERY to me but I digress. What you may not know is that our Founding Fathers have provided We the People with the ability to VOTE NO against both the law and conviction based purely on our consciences alone.

This citizen action is known as Jury Nullification and it has a long and venerated historical and legal precedent stretching back before the foundations of this Republic and it is codified within the Constitution itself. Jury Nullification is based upon the key concepts that there is no legal ramification for a jurist voting his/her conscience and that the accused cannot be retried once acquitted. Think about the power this leaves in the hands of the People directly. With Jury Nullification then we have been provided with the FINAL DEFENSE of Liberty by way of REFUSING to enforce UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW against our fellow Citizens!

Consider what some of our most august Founders said on this issue themselves. John Adams said: “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty…to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” (Emphasis added) This admonition about voting one’s conscience, even if directed otherwise by the court, is of great importance to us in the modern age because in 1895 the Supreme Court held that courts are not required to inform us of our right or power to nullify bad law before we are asked for a verdict. Since that time, and with an eye towards empowering the government further, most judges have refused to fully inform their juries and have also refused to allow defense counsel to inform the jury of its right and power even when the court has no intention of doing so itself.

Moreover, judges who feel that veneration of the law trumps the Founders design to defend Liberty, have allowed the jury selection process to be used to remove jurists the prosecutor believes are aware of their right and power to nullify. This is accomplished by asking the potential juror, who is sworn to tell the truth, whether he/she can hand down a verdict ONLY IN ACCORDANCE with the facts of the case and at the direction of the court. If that jurist says no, he/she is removed. But what if EVERY potential juror answered no to this loaded question, and responded that they would do as John Adams said because EVERY juror knew his/her rights and power to nullify? Enforcement of Obamacare, the Drug War and the personal income tax would all end tomorrow when juries refuse to uphold them!

Despite what modern courts have attempted to accomplish through mis-information, which is nothing short of the coerced revocation of our Liberty over to the government when the Law and our Founders say exactly the opposite, let us now consider what the very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court had to say about what these robber judges are doing today: “the jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” John Jay (emphasis added). But modern judges HATE this admonition because they will instruct you to ONLY consider the facts and the court’s instructions when voting your verdict BUT NOT the fairness or constitutionality of the law allegedly violated or even your own conscience. You see, the Founders understood that the broken law itself was also on trial along with the accused citizen. Unfortunately though, modern courts ignore this truth because We the People are no longer held by the legal system to be competent to judge the law which is exactly contrary to what Chief Justice Jay has said about our competence and our duty.

But the legal precedents do not end with Chief Justice Jay. One of the first consumption taxes every levied, the Whiskey Tax, was repealed when no jury could be sat which was willing to convict the tax evaders. In the lead up to the Civil War, runaway slaves, and their protectors in the north, where prevented from being returned to bondage or prison by northern juries refusing to convict on the run-away slave laws thereby completely nullifying them. If you had sat on a jury in a case demanding that you return a person to slavery, based ONLY upon the facts of the case and not the conscionability or the constitutionality of the law in question, would you have voted to do so? I sincerely hope, as would have been the hope of every run-away slave, that your answer would have been no, not guilty.

Fellow Patriots, since the Great Political Awakening of 2009 and in the aftermath of the Congress voting for bank bailouts, stimulus packages, nearly insurmountable federal debts and the death of the free market and our Bill of Rights, we have been rallying at our state capitals and on the national mall, forming into Tea Parties or Liberty Activist groups all with the goal of taking back our country from the socialists and restoring our freedom in the process. Yet for many the movement seems to have reached an impasse where ALL THREE branches of the Federal Government continue to tyrannize us with no end in sight nor any apparent means with which to defend ourselves. But my friends THERE IS still a great weapon to use against the government and Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest Founding Fathers, provided us that weapon which is as sharp and politically deadly as the day he uttered these words, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its Constitution.”

So now let me offer you a promise as a 2012 Congressional Candidate followed by my own admonition on how we FIGHT for our Liberty. As Congressman from Oklahoma’s 4th District, I promise to make repealing Obamacare my top priority and I WILL NOT rest until our healthcare freedom and our other economic and individual liberties are restored. Moreover, in the interests of reminding the American People of their right and power to nullify bad law through jury service, I will propose legislation REQUIRING the courts to FULLY inform jurists of their power to judge BOTH the facts of the case and the law in controversy before being asked to deliberate their verdicts. But you don’t need to wait for all of that do you? You can go out today and spread this message to EVERY ONE of your friends and relatives. And with the fire in your and their hearts over the injustice of the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare and the travesty of destroying a family over a couple of joints found in an illegal search WE CAN TOGETHER REF– USE TO ENFORSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S USURPATION OF OUR POWER BY VOTING NOT GUILTY THE NEXT TIME WE SERVE ON ONE OF THESE JURIES!!!

If you are TRULY ready then to fight for Liberty, don’t merely like this post…SHARE IT TO YOUR WALL AND ASK ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. Together we can restore Liberty in THIS generation, not 20 year from now, by reminding all Americans of their rights and power to nullify bad law as jurors. Wake up America; it’s time to fight FOR LIBERTY!


  1. Andy Andy June 30, 2012

    “Austin Battenberg // Jun 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Too bad the Oklahoma LP refused to put him on the list of candidates in the state, so he quit the L”

    What???? I didn’t hear about this. A shame if it is true.

    RJ can’t run as a Libertarian Party candidate in Oklahoma, because the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma does not have ballot access. He’s running as an independent, but he’s still a Libertarian so the LP of Oklahoma ought to list him on their site.

  2. Austin Battenberg Austin Battenberg June 29, 2012

    Too bad the Oklahoma LP refused to put him on the list of candidates in the state, so he quit the LP.

  3. Andy Andy June 29, 2012

    Great article from RJ Harris. This is an example of why I would have voted for him for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination if he would have remained in the race (given the list of declared candidates). I hope that RJ stays around the party for a long time and I wish him well his current race in Oklahoma as well as future endeavors.

  4. Bubbalicious Bubbalicious June 29, 2012

    If that doesn’t work and if the amount is significant, they may charge you with a crime, such as tax evasion.

    Precisely the point where RJ Harris’ comments come in.

    Even a very inefficient IRS would prosecute at least some “tax evaders” for refusing to pay the “tax” (fine for not doing business with government-connected corporations).

    It may be an arbitrarily selected small number of people, or large hordes, but either way there have to be some “teeth” to the edict or it is meaningless trivia – and it isn’t.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp June 29, 2012

    Jill @ 4,

    Yes, the IRS has been overwhelmed for years, but if you look at the direction in which the American “justice” and “administrative law” systems have been moving, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t stop being overwhelmed.

    To put it as succinctly as possible, what if the IRS became more “efficient” — exactly the kind of policy announcement someone like Obama loves to make.

    The current IRS process looks like this:

    The IRS decides you owe it money. It sends you a letter. You either pay, or try to negotiate a settlement, or they send you more letters. Eventually, if they don’t get what they want, they put a lien on your property, and put you on a list to make sure you can’t get a passport and leave the country, and so forth. If that doesn’t work and if the amount is significant, they may charge you with a crime, such as tax evasion. All of this takes years, and involves several IRS employees processing a bunch of paperwork.

    But what if the policy changes to “one letter — 90 days later if the IRS isn’t happy, a warrant is issued for your arrest and you are put in jail. Oh, and bail is set at the amount the IRS claims you owe?”

  6. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt June 29, 2012

    Isn’t the IRS supposed to take care of collecting fines? Good luck for that. That agency has been utterly overwhelmed for years, and even if Obama hires thousands of new people, I don’t see them being able to handle it.

  7. Bubbalicious Bubbalicious June 29, 2012

    And what if someone refuses to pay?

  8. Oranje Mike Oranje Mike June 29, 2012

    My understanding is that those who don’t buy health coverage will be fined $285. I would rank this as “force”. Buy or pay up.

  9. Richard Winger Richard Winger June 29, 2012

    No one can be brought up on criminal charges for not buying health insurance. Furthermore, no one is required to buy health insurance if their income is so low they don’t pay federal income taxes.

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