The US Border and the 5th Amendment

Those of you who often read this blog will know that I have long been a critic of US Customs and Border Protection. My critique has always been their authority to force people to answer questions in light of the 5th Amendment when entering our country.

Last year I even campaigned for High Sheriff in Coos County, NH and spent considerable time talking about the issue.

Last week I dropped my suit against the United States Government because I’ve been convinced that their legal position is correct.


WHEN YOU ARE AT THE BORDER DEALING WITH US CUSTOMS YOU ARE NOT IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU >MUST< DISCLOSE EVERYTHING YOU'VE DONE WHILE OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY OR YOU CAN AND WILL FACE SERIOUS LEGAL PENALTIES. IF YOU CITE MY CASE OR ACTIVISM AT THE BORDER AS A REASON NOT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS I WILL HELP THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IF THEY CHOOSE TO PROSECUTE YOU FOR NOT ANSWERING QUESTIONS.

The lower (or any) border of the United States is just that: a special zone where the 5th Amendment doesn’t apply.

US CBP and US Attorney in AZ: My sincere apologies for the legal headaches I caused with this issue. I was wrong.

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13 Comments

  1. Who are you and what have you done with Bradley Jardis?

  2. Rights given to us by our “creator” have zones. Laughable logic, but interesting.

  3. Seriously, is he being sarcastic or what?

  4. “I’ve been convinced that their legal position is correct.”

    That’s unclear. Does that mean merely that you believe the law is what they say it is, or does it also mean that you support that law, and that you agree it’s what the law ought to be and that you believe that the law ought not to be changed?

  5. Will you also help them give prostate exams to 8 year olds?

  6. Ah, I see. People have rights everywhere except on these imaginary lines in the dirt.

  7. Is this for real?

  8. I fairly sure that he believes that it is unjust. I’m not sure whether or not he believes that it is “correct” that the 5th doesn’t apply at the borders.

  9. Well Fuck you then.

  10. If that’s true, then why is he dropping the case? If his reason were that he doesn’t have the resources, doesn’t want to put himself through the anguish of a protracted legal process, or simply has other things he would rather be doing with his time, then any one of those would be a legitimate reason to drop the matter and move on with his life.

    But he didn’t say that. He said, “I’ve been convinced that their legal position is correct.” You say that, “he believes that it is unjust.” Those are inconsistent positions. Based on the foregoing, clearly one of two things must be true: either you (PeaceRequiresAnarchy) are incorrect, or else Mr. Jardis is irrational or dishonest about his motivations.

    That said, I stand ready with an open mind to be corrected about this admittedly cloudy situation.

  11. “He said, “I’ve been convinced that their legal position is correct.” You say that, “he believes that it is unjust.” Those are inconsistent positions.”

    They’re not necessarily inconsistent. By “their legal position is correct” he does not necessarily mean that the law is what it should be, but rather just that they are right about what the law is according to them. Perhaps he thought that according to their rules, the 5th Amendment should apply even at the border, but now he realizes that their own rules does not guarantee this. He may still believe that it’s unjust that people don’t have 5th Amendment protection at the border, but he may still recognize that according to the government’s rules there’s no guarantee to the rights of the 5th at the border.

    Having said all of this, his whole post still seems sort of sarcastic to me. I would like to hear him elaborate on what he means by it.

  12. It appears that you do not understand the meaning of “unjust.” If the authorities were acting according to the established rule of law then by definition they were not behaving in an “unjust” manner. Perhaps you are confusing the concept of “unjust” with “unfair.” “Unjust” requires breaking the existing rule of law. But “unfairness” can occur even where the rule of law is followed, if the law is unfair, immoral, or otherwise bad. But because “justice” is defined as acting in accordance with the rule of law, by definition no law can be unjust, and the defendants in this case were either complying with the law, or else they were acting unjustly, but by definition the could not have done both.

  13. Semantic debates tend to be pretty pointless, but I’ll say this. If that were the most popular definition I would say it was a poor one and would continue to use the term differently. However, I don’t think that’s even the main definition of the term. According to Dictionary.com, the definition of unjust is “1. not just; lacking in justice or fairness: unjust criticism; an unjust ruler.”

    How could there be an unjust ruler, if what is just is defined by what the law is and the ruler is the one who makes the law? The phrase “unjust ruler” is not typically used to describe a ruler who breaks his own law that he created, but rather a ruler who creates and enforces unfair laws. This Dictionary.com definition appears to mean something closer to “unfairness” than what you say is the definition of unjust.

    Anyway, allow me to point out why I don’t think the definition you offer is very good. First, could you clarify what you mean by “the established rule of law”? Do you mean whatever law tends to get enforced?

    If so, what would you If so, what would you say is unjust when there were multiple people enforcing different laws that contradicted each other. For example, imagine Person A is being enslaved by Person B. Person B commands Person A to do something and threatens A at gun point if he disobeys. Person A disobeys and Person B shoots and kills person A. Presumably you would say it was “unjust” for the enslaved person to disobey the command, since the command was presently “the established rule of law” in the scenario. However, imagine that Person C then came along and punished person B for enslaving A. Would you still say that it was unjust for Person A to disobey B’s commands? Or would this not be the case since C punished B for enslaving A?

    Once you clarify this I will be able to point out for you why your definition is problematic.

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