Integrity Legal

21st February 2011

In a peculiar series of events, it would appear that some of the various United States are pondering the re-introduction of precious metals as a means and method of paying State government fees and other fees related to matters arising in an intrastate context. It would appear as though the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking the lead in this matter by proposing measures which could eventually lead to the State government adopting precious metals as the means of payment for State government services.

To quote directly from Jason Hamlin on the website marketoracle.co.uk:

In what could be the financial shot heard around the world, the state of Virginia is considering the establishment of a joint subcommittee to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency such as gold or silver to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.

This blogger found the proposed Virginia legislation using the Virginia.gov website. In order to understand where the States derive their authority to adopt precious metals for purposes of intrastate governmental fees it may be best to quote language from the proposed legislation directly from the Virginia.gov website:

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States in Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71, 76-78 (1869), and Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 706 (1884), has ruled that the States may adopt whatever currency they desire for the purposes of performing their sovereign governmental functions, even to the extent of adopting gold and silver coin for those purposes while refusing to employ a currency not redeemable in gold or silver coin that Congress has designated “legal tender”;

Those who understand the United States Constitution will no doubt be aware of the fact that the power to regulate intrastate affairs matters is not derived from the Federal government (nor the Supreme Court), but from the inherent sovereignty of the States themselves. The Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter is used to provide laypeople with insight regarding the Supreme Court’s position on this issue. As of yet, this legislation is still pending. However, those interested in this matter are well advised to check out the links above to find out more about the actual provisions of this legislation and the ramifications thereof.

It would appear that Virginia is not the only American State to ponder the adoption of precious metals as an alternative payment method for intrastate matters. Recently it came to this blogger’s attention that the state of Utah has seen similar proposed legislation. To quote directly from an article by Alex Newman on the website thenewamerican.com:

Under the proposed legislation, introduced late last year for the upcoming legislative session, the state government would be authorized to collect and return taxes and fees in precious metals. Additionally, Utah’s government could use gold and silver in connection with any intrastate transaction. But of course, it would be entirely up to citizens whether they preferred to use precious-metals coins or U.S. dollars…

In 2009, Federal legislation (H.R. 4248: Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009) was introduced by Representative Ron Paul which would have provided more currency options to those in the jurisdiction of the United States of America. However, this legislation failed to be enacted. To quote directly from govtrack.us:

This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven’t passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session.

As the United States of America is composed of 50 sovereign States as well as the Federal government the Federal legislature would be required to pass legislation regarding currency usage for matters falling under the Federal bailiwick, but State matters are dealt with exclusively by State legislatures. Clearly, the ultimate outcome for State legislation such as that noted above has yet to be determined. However, it would appear that there is more support for adopting precious metals for payment of government fees at the State level compared to the Federal level. That said, the future of both issues is uncertain.

Should legislation similar to that noted above be adopted by one or more of the United States, then this could have tremendous implications for the political-economies that compose the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or are geographically located within Greater Asia. Companies from Asia doing business in the USA may need to make some currency adjustments should business interests compel presence in a State which has adopted specie or precious metals as a method of paying State government costs and fees.

For related information please see: Stock Exchange Mergers


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.