Surprising Court Loss for Woman Who Challenged State’s Authority to Require Driver’s License

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Laura West was arrested in Kansas in June after a state trooper stopped her, apparently for speeding, and found she did not have a license or valid registration.  She also refused to cooperate with the trooper, who said that it took him 45 minutes to get her to even step out of her van. West took the case to trial, where she defended by saying that the state in fact had no authority to require her to have a driver’s license.  West and her partner are apparently part of a group called the "Freedom Flag Fellowship," members of which believe (among many other things) that the federal government has no valid authority but is instead a foreign corporation that has invaded America.

According to the FFF, each person born in any of the 50 states is "sovereign" and neither the federal or state authorities have any power over them, at least if one properly declares sovereignty according to the appropriate procedures, which as far as I could tell were derived vaguely from international and/or maritime law:

[L]ook at the courtroom in this context, as a vessel. The courthouse is in fact a foreign port, and the courtrooms are, by the “doctrine of the four cornering” dry docked Vessels of the United States where, if you board the master’s ship (cross the bar/rail) without correcting for the name, declaring your sovereignty, and your country of origin by your flag you are captured by his crew and you are under his command by “tacit admission”.  [Emphasis in original.]

So just don’t "board the master’s ship" without announcing yourself as a sovereign, and you are free to go at will, oppressed no more.  (The quote above is from the FFF website, which seems to be written by West’s partner, who according to the newspaper article is Mr. "J.M. Sovereign Godsent.")

This particular master, Judge Robert Fairchild, refused to recognize West’s flag.  West stuck with the nautical theme in her defense (she represented herself), saying that she was not so much driving a car on the highway as she was navigating her "private vessel" on a religious mission.  Judge Fairchild ordered her to get a driver’s license if she wanted to pilot through Kansas, and gave her a year of probation and a $220 fine.

West says she will appeal to a higher (but still fictional) court.

Link: Lawrence Journal-World
Link: Freedom Flag Fellowship