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writing for godot

The Bill of Attainder Project

Written by Tom Saunders   
Friday, 04 December 2015 04:24
The Bill of Attainder Project (1995-2015)
Tom Saunders, B.A. /B.S. Certified Linguist, Activist

I started the Bill of Attainder Project with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma around 1994-95 after doing a study through the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. I got the cooperation I needed from the Justice Department to show what I wanted. My purpose was to see how "bill of attainder" was generally defined and actually defined in the law.

Robert Sharpe, who headed the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture program at the time, sent me the “United States Code” references concerning bills of attainder. (USC Art. 1, Sec 9-3) The law is determined from this single source of five cases. It is logical to define bills of attainder within this field of the five cases for a legal definition. I first used these five and other common references to define bills of attainder, and found it made little difference from my final one-sentence definition.

The law does not define the phrase bills of attainder with a single-sentence definition. The U.S.C. has excerpts from cases of bills of attainder under the heading of definitions, but no one of these completely defines the phrase. In my opinion Congress cannot protect you from a "thing" it cannot easily define. You cannot protect yourself with rights you cannot define and prove to others. The information in this work is meant to change that shortcoming, but you have to learn the method below.

A simple explanation of a bill of attainder is: “a law that plunders life, liberty, and property.”

A more complex, but correct explanation of bills of attainder is:

"A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without a trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted person's civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself. Bills of attainder were passed in England between about 1300 and 1800 and resulted in the executions of a number of notable historical figures."

The one-line definition I composed for the Bill of Attainder Project is:

"A bill of attainder is a law or legal device used to outlaw people, suspend their civil rights, confiscate property, punish or put people to death without a trial." -- Bill Of Attainder Project, Saunders, 1995, COCR- (CC#93-1-1037)

There is a way to show proof of the right of protection from bills of attainder as a guaranteed Constitutional right. This can be done by anyone showing the logic-based enumeration process using the “American Rights Formula.”

The “American Rights Formula” is a three step method of logic that follows the process of the American system of law, and how the law is made. This method will show proof through an enumeration process that protection from bills of attainder is supposed to be a guaranteed American right. This proof is based upon the algorithm, (A=C), (A=B =B=C) (synthesis- A=B=C) = 1.

The American Rights Formula

The American Rights formula is constructed with the following mathematical algorithm and the three corresponding steps below:

(1st Premise, A= C) (2nd supporting Premise A=B = B=C) (Synthesis A=B=C) = 1

1. Show the computer search for the constitutional ('State and Federal') provisions (Like from the 1st. Amend. or bills of attainder, Art 1.) that describe the specific 'right' you are trying to demonstrate. = (Monad or 1st Premise, A=C)

2. Show any legislative acts relative to your target right. = (Duad as supporting premise, by both the duality of the Senate and Congress, A=B=B=C).

3. Show the judicial decisions (stare decisis) of standards and violations of the American right you are trying to enumerate in a synthesis of all three searches. (Triad Synthesis A=B=C) = 1

Step 1. Citing the Constitution to Reveal Bills of Attainder:

Bills of Attainder are forbidden in Article One, Sec. 9-3, and Article One Sec. 10 forbidding the states to pass a bill of attainder. The Constitutional mandate is:

“No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.”

In American Law bills of attainder are defined in the United States Code, Art. 1. Sec. 9-3 with the five following cases. These cases include the legislative acts and stare decisis of the court. It is from these cases the term bill of attainder can be enumerated into a one-line definition of the term, using all the things a bill of attainder is.

Steps 2.Citing Legislation and 3. Stare Decisis:

U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 448-49 (1956) ''What are known at common law as bills of pains and penalties, are outlawed by the ''bill of attainder'' clause.

Communist Party of U.S. vs. Subversive Activities Control Board (1961). ''The singling out of an individual for legislatively prescribed punishment constitutes a bill of attainder whether the individual is called by name or described in terms of conduct which because of its past conduct operates only as a designation of particular persons.''

U.S. v. Lovett, (1946), Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply to either named individuals or easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment without a judicial trial, are bills of attainder under this clause.

Cummings v. Missouri (1867), states, "A bill of attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment."

Re: Yung See Hee, 36 F. 437, (1888) Supports that the doctrine of pains and penalties as punishment without trial, is inclusive as a bill of attainder. (Source: U. S. Justice Dept.)

Americans currently have less civil protection from bills of attainder than the Apostle Paul had with the Roman Empire. Paul saved his life twice by pointing out to Roman soldiers about to kill him that he was a Roman citizen and was protected by the rule of law. In effect Americans have been reduced to being Subjects by losing the right to be protected from bills of attainder that plunder life, liberty, and property.


The above information solidly and academically explains what a bill of attainder is beyond any reasonable doubt. Much to my disappointment this explanation is not yet common knowledge among people, elected officials, or legal professionals. The bill of attainder clauses in the Constitution may be the most ignored federal Constitutional protections in American history. This is in spite of the provision’s potential to provide and protect citizenship, life, liberty, and property.

I urge anyone reading this document to pass it on to your elected officials and demand your rights by ending the “ignorance and negligence” of not knowing and enforcing the protection from bills of attainder. Do not let your legislator’s ignorance make you a Subject. Let them know you wish your rights of American citizenship restored that protects your citizenship.

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