Reading a recent press release from the FBI regarding the case of Bernard von NotHaus being convicted of the crime of minting his own money, I realized that this case is an interesting study in the application of the Constitution.
As you will note, the federal government relies on Article 1, Section 8, clause 5 to reserve to the government the right to coin money, and as the basis for bringing the conviction against Mr. NotHaus. Now the next phase of the government’s efforts, the forfeiture of Mr. NotHaus’ assets comprising 16,000 pounds of precious metals in the form of coinage, begins.
U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins (Western district, North Carolina) is quoted as stating that Mr. NotHaus’ activities are a “unique form of domestic terrorism”: a singularly weighty charge, and one that she directly states “challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”
So, here’s the call: the Institute for Principled Policy is calling for short papers, under 1600 words, that will argue for the Consitutionality, or lack thereof, of either Mr. NotHaus’ actions in creating and circulating the “Liberty Dollars”, or of the government’s actions in convicting Mr. NotHaus, including the forfeiture action. Please make your submission to the Institute by no later than April 15th.
Sharpen your pencils (or spray the dust from under your keys), and put on your Constitutional thinking caps. Essays judged to be Constitutionally sound by the Institute’s review board will be published on the site.