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  Attn. Justices: Atlasia v. Southeast (Case Closed)
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Author Topic: Attn. Justices: Atlasia v. Southeast (Case Closed)  (Read 3587 times)
Marokai Backbeat
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« on: April 09, 2009, 06:26:22 pm »
« edited: April 22, 2009, 04:29:34 am by AG Marokai Blue »

I would like to bring to the court's attention the case of 'Atlasia v Southeast'

_____________________________

More information, simply for the court's convenience so we can get started sooner.
(Clarification, I'm suing the government of the Southeast/Governor Duke, not the region itself, if that wasn't obvious.)


The following initiative was passed in the Southeast Region:

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Article 1, Section 5 (Powers of the Senate), Clause 8 of the Constitution of Atlasia states:

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Article 1, Section 7 (Powers Denied to the Regions), Clause 2 of the Constitution of Atlasia states:

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My case is as follows:

As such, I will now be bringing charges to the court against the Southeast Region on the grounds that they have violated Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution of Atlasia with the "Freedom of Currency Amendment."

_____________________________

(I would like it stated that I was unsure how to sue an entire region, compared to previous cases against individuals or groups of people.)
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SPC
Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 01:07:41 am »

If Governor Duke doesn't mind, I would like to serve as his regional government's defense attorney.
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Fmr. Pres. Duke
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 01:32:17 am »

It's fine with me. Good luck arguing your case, Mr. Senator.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 01:50:16 am »

Thank you, Mr. Governor. I will be absent on Friday, so I will probably not be able to argue until Saturday.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 02:45:16 am »

Thank you, Mr. Governor. I will be absent on Friday, so I will probably not be able to argue until Saturday.

I have no objections to this, since I have a pounding headache and can barely breathe at the moment. Sad I should recover somewhat by then.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 10:52:02 pm »

Suing a Region is correct in this circumstance, I believe...

Official Atlasia Supreme Court Release
Nyman, DC

Writ of Certiorari
The Atlasian Supreme Court grants certiorari to hear this case. 

Schedule
The plaintiff has until Wednesday to file his brief.  It is expected no later than 5:00PM EDT on Wednesday, April 15, 2009.

The defendant has an additional forty-eight hours to file his brief.  It is expected no later than 5:00PM EDT on Friday, April 17, 2009.

Amicus Briefs will be accepted until 5pm, Thursday, April 16, 2009, unless the filing party can show sufficient need.

Additional time may be granted to either party upon a showing of sufficient need.  However, the Court wishes to proceed as quickly as possible given the electoral implications of this matter.

A possible period of argument (Q&A) may be scheduled after presentation of the briefs in case any member of the Court has any questions for the parties.

So ordered.

If anyone has questions about how to present a brief, I'll pull up the form.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2009, 12:50:33 am »
« Edited: April 11, 2009, 01:02:45 am by Senator SPC »


If anyone has questions about how to present a brief, I'll pull up the form.

Yeah, since this is my first time arguing before the Supreme Court, this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Smiley

EDIT: Nevermind. Past Wiki entry's have helped me find out that it is in
"statement of facts
question presented
argument
conclusion"

form.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 01:20:28 am »
« Edited: April 15, 2009, 01:22:24 am by AG Marokai Blue »

Atlasia v. Southeast
[Attorney General Marokai Blue, Senator SPC; Arguing]

Statement of Facts

The initiative passed at the center of this case, the "Freedom of Currency Amendment," states:

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April 4th {2:53 PM Eastern Time}: Governor Duke opens the voting booth for three different Southeast voter initiatives. One of these is the "Freedom of Currency Amendment"
April 9th {1:06 AM Eastern Time}: The "Freedom of Currency Amendment" passes 4-1, and is certified by Governor Duke.
April 9th {1:34 PM Eastern Time}: Senators Bacon King, Lief, and HappyWarrior requested my office take a look at the possibility of suing the region of the Southeast over the alleged unconstitutionality of the aforementioned "Freedom of Currency Amendment."
April 9th {7:26 PM Eastern Time}: As I had been considering for some time, I directed the Justice Department to press charges against the government of the Southeast for violating the Constitution of Atlasia, and brought the case to the attention of the court.

Question(s) Presented:

The question at the center of the case is the constitutionality of the Freedom of Currency Amendment passed by the voters of the Southeast, and if it subsequently is to be overturned by the court, as well as the power of all regions to issue or recognize currency outside that which is established by the Senate of Atlasia.

Argument:

The Constitution of Atlasia quite clearly references the federally recognized currency, the Dollar, established by the Senate of the Republic of Atlasia, as the sole currency of the country, and explicitly forbids any regional government from instituting currencies of their own.

Article 1, Section 5, Clause 8, of the Constitution of Atlasia states:
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https://uselectionatlas.org/AFEWIKI/index.php/Article_I_of_the_Second_Constitution#Section_5:_Powers_of_the_Senate

Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution of Atlasia states:
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https://uselectionatlas.org/AFEWIKI/index.php/Article_I_of_the_Second_Constitution#Section_7:_Powers_denied_to_the_Regions

SPC supposedly has "other interpretations" of what is referenced above, though I don't see how one could possibly try to weasel their way out of such clear clauses. Presumably the defense will argue that the Freedom of Currency Amendment is "voluntary" and as such no legal tender is officially recognized.

This is shaky legal reasoning, as having the policy that "voluntary" initiatives skirting legal limits would put other limits on regional power in doubt, such as not entering in formal agreements or pacts with foreign powers. [Which is forbidden in Article 1, Section 7, Clause 8] What if there was no official recognition? What if "observing the agreement" was done voluntarily and off the record? Would that allow regional governments to enter into pacts with foreign powers without the consent of the federal government? Surely not. The same could be said for titles of nobility, or a number of other things, explicitly denied to the regions.

Even if, for the sake of argument, we were to entertain this notion that "voluntary recognition" is not formal recognition of legal tender, the "Freedom of Currency Amendment" still violates the Constitution by taking the Dollar out of circulation and issuing "Dixies" in it's stead, and Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution forbids any region from "issuing" (the Freedom of Currency Amendment refers to this process as "circulating" currency, which has a virtually identical definition to "issue" in verb form) any currency outside of the currency(ies) recognized by the Senate.

Conclusion:

There is no legal rationale for the constitutionality of the "Freedom of Currency Amendment" and as such it should be overturned by the Supreme Court. No region has the power to issue or recognize as legal tender, any other currency but that which is established by the Senate.

I would also request that, should the Court rule against the Southeast on the matter of constitutionality of the "Freedom of Currency Amendment", the power of the regions to issue or recognize any currency other than that which is established by the Senate be clarified as, without a doubt, non-existent.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 10:19:00 pm »

Atlasia v. Southeast
[Attorney General Marokai Blue, Senator SPC; Arguing]

Statement of Facts

On April 8, 2009, the regional government of the Southeast passed the Freedom of Currency Act, which states the following:
"1. Article I, Section XII, shall be added to read the following:
a. The government of the Dirty South shall gradually take Atlasian dollars out of circulation within the Dirty South.
b. The government of the Dirty South shall circulate currency called "dixies," which can be exchangable for a pegged amount of gold at any time.
c. Section 2 will be enforced on a purely voluntary basis, and no legal tender laws will be used to force businesses to accept dixies as currency."


Question(s) Presented:

Can a regional government circulate currency without interfering with the constitutional prohibition on a region either issuing currency or making a currency besides that of the Senate legal tender?

Argument:

Article I, Section 5, Clause 8 of the Constitution gives the Senate the power "to establish coin and currency, which shall be the sole legal tender of the Republic of Atlasia, regulate the value thereof, with respect to other coin and currency." However, there is no mention of making dixies a legal tender in the Freedom of Currency Amendment, and in Section 3, it explicitely says that "Section 2 will be enforced on a purely voluntary basis, and no legal tender laws will be used to force businesses to accept dixies as currency." Thus, this amendment is clearly not in violation of the Senate's sole power to make legal tender, since no legal tender is recognized in this amendment.

Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution states that "No Region may issue Coin or Currency or make any Coin or Currency other than that of the Republic of Atlasia a legal tender." As explained above, the Freedom of Currency Amendment does not make anything legal tender, so that part is not violation. As for the former part, Section 2 of the Freedom of Currency Amendment states that "The government of the Dirty South shall circulate currency called "dixies," which can be exchangable for a pegged amount of gold at any time." Circulate does not necessarily mean issue in this context, since the dixie is being issued by another entity. Thus, since the dixie is being issued by another entity, this amendment is not in violation either.

Since the Freedom of Currency Amendment does not interfere with either of the above prohibitions, Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution establishes that "The powers not delegated to the Republic of Atlasia by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the Regions, are reserved to the Regions respectively, or to the people." Thus, the power to circulate currency other than that of the Republic of Atlasia, so long as it isn't issued by the regions or given legal tender status, is reserved to the regions.

Conclusion:


Since the Freedom of Currency Amendment neither states that the government of the Southeast would issue a new currency nor states that the Southeast would make a currency other than the Atlasian dollar legal tender, the amendment is constitutional and should not be overturned by the Supreme Court. While I would be in agreement with the Attorney General if this amendment issued currency or recognized a currency as legal tender, this amendment does neither.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 11:36:25 pm »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 11:38:24 pm »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?

It does what it says it does. It takes Atlasian dollars out of circulation via exchange and circulates currency issued by someone else.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 11:42:03 pm »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?

It does what it says it does. It takes Atlasian dollars out of circulation via exchange and circulates currency issued by someone else.

And you see no conflict with the Constitution by taking the federally mandated currency out of circulation and recognizing another?
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Purple State
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 11:43:47 pm »

Is the peanut gallery allowed comment? I am unaware of court procedure.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 11:46:06 pm »

Is the peanut gallery allowed comment? I am unaware of court procedure.

Perhaps creating a second thread on the other board for commentary would be an appropriate precaution.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2009, 09:51:18 pm »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?

It does what it says it does. It takes Atlasian dollars out of circulation via exchange and circulates currency issued by someone else.

And you see no conflict with the Constitution by taking the federally mandated currency out of circulation and recognizing another?

There is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting states from taking in federally mandated currency and not spending it. The region isn't "recognizing" another currency in the Constitutional sense, since it is not making it legal tender.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 09:59:36 pm »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?

It does what it says it does. It takes Atlasian dollars out of circulation via exchange and circulates currency issued by someone else.

And you see no conflict with the Constitution by taking the federally mandated currency out of circulation and recognizing another?

There is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting states from taking in federally mandated currency and not spending it. The region isn't "recognizing" another currency in the Constitutional sense, since it is not making it legal tender.

The Dixies will become a de-facto currency, by basically taking away all other options but the Dixies though, will it not?
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2009, 08:53:33 am »

If I may:

What exactly does the bill do then, if we're to accept your reasoning here, Senator?

It does what it says it does. It takes Atlasian dollars out of circulation via exchange and circulates currency issued by someone else.

And you see no conflict with the Constitution by taking the federally mandated currency out of circulation and recognizing another?

There is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting states from taking in federally mandated currency and not spending it. The region isn't "recognizing" another currency in the Constitutional sense, since it is not making it legal tender.

The Dixies will become a de-facto currency, by basically taking away all other options but the Dixies though, will it not?

No, because people are still free to issue their own currency. Additionally, people may choose to use gold or silver directly, or they could use foreign currency if they want.
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bullmoose88
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2009, 01:05:59 pm »

The court has reached a decision.  Justice Spade will read the decision of the court.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2009, 01:27:58 pm »

Justice Sam Spade delivers the opinion of the Court, in which the Chief Justice Bullmoose88 joins.

Introduction

The question before this Court today is whether the Freedom of Currency Amendment passed by the voters of the Southeast Region is repugnant to the Constitution.

For reasons as shall be stated below, we hold that:

(1) Sections 1(b) and 1(c) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment violate the Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 prohibition against Region-issued currency.
(2) No constitutional or statutory provision requires us to find section 1(a) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment invalid or preempted, so we therefore hold it a valid application of Regional police power.


I.
On April 4, 2009, Governor AH Duke opened the voting booth for three different Southeast voter initiatives. One of these was the "Freedom of Currency Amendment".  On April 9, 2009, the Freedom of Currency Amendment passed by a 4-1 margin and was certified by Governor Duke.  Later in that day, the Attorney General brought an action to this Court asserting that the Freedom of Currency Amendment violated the Constitution of Atlasia.  We certified this question and heard arguments for both sides for and against its constitutionality.

Petitioner argues that the Constitution of Atlasia references the federally recognized currency, the Dollar, as established by the Senate of the Republic of Atlasia and the sole currency of this country pursuant to its powers under Article I, Section 5, Clause 8.  It also claims that Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 explicitly forbids any regional government from instituting currencies of their own.

On the other hand, Respondent argues that the currency of “dixies” authorized by the Freedom of Currency Amendment is not legal tender and is enforced on a voluntary basis, such as to avoid conflict with the Senate’s sole power to "establish coin and currency" as the sole legal tender of Atlasia under Article I, Section 5, Clause 8. 

Furthermore, Respondent also urges us to hold that Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 does not apply because the “circulation” of “dixies” within the Southeast Region does not mean that the Southeast “issues” currency, as is forbidden under the Article.  Rather, Respondent asserts that a separate entity, “Atlasian Security Services” will issue the aforementioned “dixies” to the populace.

II.
We think Sections 1(b) and 1(c) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment are easily dispatched by examining the first part of Article I, Section 7, Clause 2.

Section 1(b), the controlling section, states that "The government of the Dirty South shall circulate currency called "dixies".  To “circulate” means “to move around”, “to disseminate” or “to spread widely among persons or place”.  Obviously, in order for Section 1(b) to have any meaning, some object or thing must be “circulated”.  The Freedom of Currency Amendment describes this thing as a “currency” called the “dixie”, which is exchangeable “for a[n] [undefined] pegged amount of gold at any time.”

Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 states, in relevant part, that "No Region may issue Coin or Currency..."  To “issue” means “an act of circulating…” “from a specified source”.  Clearly, to be "circulated" the “dixie” must be “issued” from some source.  The plain text of the Amendment does not state where this source is, and on its face we would assume that this source is the Southeast Region. 

However, counsel for the Southeast Region has averred that Atlasian Security Services will issue “dixies” for the Southeast Region, even though the wording of the Amendment does not give Atlasian Security Services such power nor do any regulations promulgated by the Regional government delegate such authority.

Counsel, in its infinite wisdom, apparently thinks that this distinction between the Southeast Region and Atlasian Security Services actually makes a difference.  We disagree.  While it is clear under the Constitution that the Southeast Region may not issue “dixies” as a currency, if, as counsel asserts, Atlasian Security Services issues this currency pursuant to the Freedom of Currency Amendment, it will do so with the imprimatur of the regional government.  That is sufficient for us to determine that “state action” exists which makes, for all intents and purposes, the act of “issuance” by the Southeast Region or Atlasian Security Services one in the same.

Accordingly, since Section 1(c) cannot function in isolation without the mandate of Section 1(b), we find both clauses to be invalid under Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 as a unconstitutional issuance of “coin or currency” by the Southeast Region.

We note, but do not address at this time, any arguments about whether the “dixie” constitutes “legal tender” so as to violate the second part of Article I, Section 7, Clause 2.  Additionally, we do not address any arguments or statements concerning the application or effect of Article I, Section 5, Clause 8.

III
Section 1(a) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment states that “[t]he government of the Dirty South shall gradually take Atlasian dollars out of circulation within the Dirty South.”

Neither Petitioner nor Respondent provides us with any relevant arguments as to this provision’s legitimacy.  Our search of the Constitution and Statute shows no instance where the federal government has restricted the right of the Regions to take currency out of circulation.  Moreover, we find that this provision can function in isolation without Sections 1(b) and 1(c) and its creation of “dixies” as a currency issued unconstitutionally by the Southeast.  We may question the wisdom of such actions but we are not inclined to overrule the wishes of the citizenry of the Southeast Region.

Consequently, we uphold Section 1(a) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment as a valid application of Regional police power.

We note, in a somewhat related vein, that the federal government has the power to "regulate" the coin and currency of the Republic of Atlasia.  If the federal government were to preempt the Southeast Region's ability to withdraw dollars out of circulation, we would, upon legal action, review that action's constitutionality under the strictures of Article I, Section 5, Clause 8.

Conclusion

In short, we strike down Sections 1(b) and 1(c) of the Freedom of Currency Act as invalid under Article I, Section 7 , Clause 2 of the Constitution and uphold Section 1(a) of the Freedom of Currency Act as a valid exercise of Regional police power.

So ordered.
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opebo
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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2009, 05:45:04 pm »

I concurr in part (part 1) and dissent in part (part 2). 
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bullmoose88
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2009, 05:47:01 pm »

I concurr in part (part 1) and dissent in part (part 2). 

I don't mean to question you, but you're concurring as to the facts (part I) dissenting to the court's striking down of parts of the act (part II) and no opinion on the court leaving other section untouched (part III)?
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afleitch
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2009, 05:52:18 pm »
« Edited: April 19, 2009, 05:54:24 pm by afleitch »

My I ask the court where, legally, this leaves the law on the issue of gift tokens and vouchers by say a bookchain?

EDIT: In a larger sense, also 'scrit', 'notgeld' things like that?
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opebo
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2009, 06:38:51 pm »

I concurr in part (part 1) and dissent in part (part 2). 

I don't mean to question you, but you're concurring as to the facts (part I) dissenting to the court's striking down of parts of the act (part II) and no opinion on the court leaving other section untouched (part III)?

My use of 'part' was referring to these statements, which appear to be divided between a part 1 and a part 2:

(1) Sections 1(b) and 1(c) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment violate the Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 prohibition against Region-issued currency.
(2) No constitutional or statutory provision requires us to find section 1(a) of the Freedom of Currency Amendment invalid or preempted, so we therefore hold it a valid application of Regional police power.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2009, 07:13:16 pm »

I hesitate to try and explain rulings for fear of answering unanswered questions.  But since the ruling is quite narrow in my opinion, I will expand on my personal thoughts a little.

It seems to me that, without any federal statute to the contrary that is valid under the Constitution, there is nothing prohibiting SPC from issuing "dixies" in exchange for dollars through Atlasian Security Services.  ASS is a private enterprise and it is up to other private enterprises to determine whether to accept such "currency", which as afleitch put it, is more akin to a voucher.

It also seems fairly clear to me that, should these "dixies" be accepted as valid payment for services connected with the Regional Authority, that would fall afoul of the Constitution since it functions as a de facto issuance of currency (not to mention making such currency a de facto legal tender). 

The key point here is prohibition of "state action" from the Region itself or any of its tentacles in "issuance" or any related functions that could make such currency a "legal tender".  In other words, to "make" a "legal tender" is the broader prohibition of which "issuance" constitutes a smaller category.  In this case, it was fairly clear that "issuance" came from the Regional authority, even though the statute was incomprehensible (or let's put it this way - Counsel's interpretation was such), so there was no need to go further.

I don't see how any currencies exchanged privately or between non-Regional locales fall under this prohibition concerning the "notgeld" afleitch mentions.  Barter is quite legal.  I am not familiar with "scrit".

Additionally, I believe that we answered no questions concerning the reach of Article I, Section 5, Clause 8 because any potential questions lacked ripeness.  After all, this clause deals with "powers of the Senate", and as far as I can tell, no exercise of these powers were at issue.

I do stress that these views laid out above represent mine and may not represent the others of the Court.
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Purple State
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2009, 09:27:24 pm »

May I derive from your words that SPC's dixie circulation is fine as long as the SE government does not receive or spend them? So the residents of the SE will have an informal currency once Dollars are removed by their government, but the government does not have that same sort of privilege and would be considered bankrupt.
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