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Judge to Sovereign Citizen: ‘The Law Does Not Work That Way’

Jack McCarthy hosts the conservative radio show  ‘Aroostook Watchmen’ and once called for the hanging of the Maine’s Democratic lawmakers for treason. He is also a self-described ‘sovereign citizen’ who claims he is not bound by such things as drivers’ licenses and other government trappings since the legitimate government has been “hijacked” by liberal leaders.

Yet this week, when he tried to explain his anti-license, anti-government stance in a Maine courtroom, he ended up with an earful from the judge instead.

McCarthy had been caught twice – once in 2011 and once in 2012 –  driving on an expired lieense. Refusing to pay the ticket and get a new license, he opted for a jury trial instead.

Since he was at no risk of jail time, one jury was selected to hear both cases against him. He also was not entitled to a public defender and ended up defending himself.

Once in the court room, McCarthy argued that the government was getting too intrusive and had no right to tell him whether or not he could drive a car since he refused to abide by the ‘illegitimate’ laws.

The judge presiding over the case, however, disagreed.

“The judge had to explain to the jury in his instructions that the law essentially doesn’t work that way,” said Assistant District Attorney John Pluto said. “If he was driving on a public road and if he was driving with a license that was expired, then he was guilty of driving without a license.”

Pluto also argued that McCarthy had purposely let his license lapse in order to turn the courtroom into a forum for his beliefs.

If that is the case, though, the jury made it clear that they are not about to buy into his ‘sovereign citizen’ claims.

They took only 15 minutes to decide that like the rest of the people of Maine, McCarthy needed a license to drive.

McCarthy now has the right to appeal the decisions and the sentence – two fines totaling $600 ($200 for the first offense, $400 for the second offense).

It is not clear if he plans to exercise that option.

Photo Credit: Tipping Point

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.