Basic Jurisdictional Principles
A Theological Inventory of American Jurisprudence
Amendments VI-IX
"Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or
‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ . . .  [Y]our heavenly Father knows that you
need all these things. [S]eek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these
things shall be added to you." 1

Amendment VI:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

This amendment is also essentially a set of safeguards installed by the jural society to help it to curb bloodshed without becoming a perpetrator of bloodshed itself. Only a couple of its clauses are objectionable. The clause, "to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor", insinuates that in "criminal prosecutions", giving testimony as a witness is mandatory. Under the bloodshed mandate, providing evidence of a delict, or evidence of innocence of a delict, is certainly a moral obligation for anyone who has such first-hand knowledge. But whether that moral obligation extends into being a human-law obligation depends upon whether such witness has given prior consent to such obligation. It is certainly global moral law to provide such testimony. But because this obligation arises out of the bloodshed mandate’s positive-duty clause, it becomes a human-law obligation only through consent. As long as the law that makes an action criminal defines a malum in se that involves trespass by one against another, and as long as the witness’ testimony is consensual, the subpoena that calls the witness is lawful, and the witness’s cooperation with the court is mandatory. But since our modern secular governments have so many laws against trespass-free mala in se, and against mere mala prohibita; and since these governments don’t acknowledge the fundamentally voluntary nature of such testimony; and since so many of our procedures have been debased in so many other ways, it’s hard to doubt that this amendment is being misused in regard to such subpoena power.

The other clause that’s troublesome is the last, "and to have Assistance of Counsel for his defence." This clause is troublesome because it gives no indication of where such counsel comes from, who pays for it, where the counsel’s allegiances will lie, etc. These days, lawyers are by definition officers of the court. If the court is crooked, then chances are good that such lawyers will also be crooked. Because the laws of these secular governments are so jurisdictionally dysfunctional, having counsel that has allegiances to such dysfunction probably works to the defendant’s disfavor. But if the laws were not jurisdictionally dysfunctional, and if these de facto secular social compacts were thereby de jure, then this last clause would not be so troublesome.

Amendment VII:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

This amendment is also essentially a set of safeguards installed by the secular social compacts to help it to curb bloodshed without becoming a perpetrator of bloodshed itself. The type of "controversy" that this amendment addresses is essentially of two kinds: (i)subtle delicts, which have sometimes been denominated private delicts in American jurisprudence; and (ii)bloodshed ex contractu. There has been a subversion of this amendment by the supreme Court by way of its rules of procedure. In the 1930s and 40s, by way of federal statutes, and by way of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, there was a blending of the common law and equity. There is nothing inherently wrong with trying to merge law and equity, as long as such merger doesn’t obfuscate fundamental principles. But the federal courts made a radical separation between criminal law and civil law. In the process, they assigned historically acknowledged public delicts, like murder, rape, and kidnapping, to be treated as crimes, along with a variety of "victimless crimes". And they assigned private delicts, what we call subtle delicts, to be mixed in with bloodshed ex contractu, calling this glomming of private delicts and contract disputes "civil", under the pretense that they are generally brought by citizens, by a civilis of a civitas. As if that glomming weren’t obscurantist enough, since the 30s, actions brought by administrative courts are generally treated as "civil", further obscuring what’s genuinely damage and what’s genuinely not. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopted in 1938 presumed to blend law and equity, and thereby totally ignore the difference between global and local in personam jurisdictions that exists in Scripture. The reason this merger of law and equity is treacherous is because the total elimination of the distinction between global and local jurisdictions relegates consent to oblivion in the default application of all laws. We find nothing wrong with this amendment on its face. But what the courts have done with it since the amendment’s ratification is a totally different issue. 2



Amendment VIII:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This amendment is also essentially a set of safeguards installed by the jural society to help it to curb bloodshed without becoming a perpetrator of bloodshed itself. As such, we find nothing objectionable about it, at least on its face.

Amendment IX:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

People have unalienable Rights that derive from the fact that all people are created in the "image of God". As the attributes of God are innumerable, the unalienable Rights of human beings are also ultimately innumerable. Even though they are innumerable, secular social compacts, i.e., governments, are created by human beings for the sake of (1)protecting against bloodshed, i.e., against violations of property rights through gross or subtle delicts, where such delicts are obvious through physical evidence; and (2)protecting contractual privileges whose existence is also obvious through physical evidence. It stands to reason: The fact that all such "Rights" and privileges cannot be enumerated should never call the existence of such unenumerated "Rights" into question. To doubt their existence is to doubt that all people are created "in the image of God". To doubt that all people are created in the image of God is to doubt that all people have unalienable Rights. To doubt that all people have unalienable Rights is to allow the abuse of people’s unalienable Rights, willy-nilly. If rights don’t exist, why should anyone care if they get abused? If unalienable Rights don’t exist, then it’s just fine for government to grow into a monolithic nanny state that intrudes itself into every crevice of privacy, and eliminates whatever property it sees fit, whenever it sees fit, including the most personal possessions, the most private organs, and the most precious lives. — The 9th Amendment was once a safeguard against the general government turning into a de facto perpetrator of mass bloodshed. Perhaps it will be again some day.


1Matthew 6:31,32b,33 (NASB)

2For more about this, see Article III (regarding "Federal Rules Act"), URL: ./0_4_1_0_4_Art_III_Sec_2_Cl_1_(Summary).htm​#FedRulesAct.