The following is an explainer letter to Hamilton County district attorney Neal Pinkston, who prosecutes all private people who are made to fall under the Tennessee traffic statutes in Tenn. Code Ann. 55 not by virtue of the words themselves, but the practice of decades of law enforcement that have acted to void, nullify, rescind and delete important property rights in free movement.
Mr. Pinkston is in receipt of my administrative transportation notice, but may not have quite known what to make of the document, which makes no argument but merely rehearses law and court cases about the scope of the statute — particularly suggesting its real limit. Melydia Clewell is the spokeswoman for Mr. Pinkston.
Dear Melydia, You confirmed in conversation Wednesday at the gang indictment press conference that you received my Transportation Administrative Notice on March 26 via email.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
The digital copy is a courtesy duplicate of one I submitted in person and on paper to Daphne Haskett, district attorney receptionist, that same day.
Transportation administrative notice outlines what is a widely ignored or overlooked distinction between transportation and travel in Tenn. Code Ann. 55 and U.S. title 49.
Travel is free under the constitution. A private individual is free to travel in the conveyance and by means of his choice on the public way without the payment of any tax or fee or the requirement to obtain any license or permission.
Transportation, in contrast, is a regulable activity, because the for-profit use of the people’s roads in commerce affects public health, safety and welfare. People involved in transportation are operators and drivers, usually employees, and they are subject to the rules of title 55 that require everyone involved in transportation to have a driver license, insurance and registration of cars or trucks as motor vehicles.
My notice to Mr. Pinkston and other state actors is in the public interest, and seeks to bring an end to injury of noncommercial innocent people who are private users and not involved in transportation. This project is the fruit of my work as a member of the press and intends to bring about a reduction in the number of people cited, arrested and charged under these statutes whose travel activities are not in their purview.
I am particularly concerned about the abuse of many poor and economically marginal people, of Hispanic and other immigrants, African-Americans, orphans, widows and others who are innocent of any wrong, tort or crime yet end up under Mr. Pinkston’s grinding wheel.
I frame my report as notice because this travel-transportation distinction demands the attention of the state and its agents. With notice, one is bound to reform practices or customs that pretend the travel-transportation distinction does not exist, to the injury of Tennessee law, to constitutional government and the free state of Tennesseans.
With notice, how can one in good faith prosecute private individuals — men and women — for exercising their rights, or accuse people of having transportation documents (licenses) out of order (revoked, suspended, canceled, expired or none) when they are not involved in transportation? Notice gives a root and branch review of the scope of the statute — its powers, and its limits.
If the statute is constitutional, it must be allowed by Mr. Pinkston to operate in a way that does not injure God-given constitutionally guaranteed unalienable and inherent rights to travel that pre-existed legislative passage and which notice observes exist today. That recognition should be a policy or framework. If passage of the act was intended by the general assembly in 1938 to prohibit private travel and absorb all travel into transportation, then it is unconstitutional. Respectfully yours, etc.