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Your right to petition and how to use it

The Right to Petition. The First Amendment gives the people the right “… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” “Redress” means remedy. This right is not limited to citizens as are some other rights, e.g., the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment relates to citizens. The Right to Petition belongs to all people in the United States.

What is the proper format? There is no mandatory format. It can be hand printed if it is legible.

Where Can We Use the Right to Petition? Our Supreme Court says “… the right to petition extends to all departments of the Government. The right of access to the courts is indeed but one aspect of the right of petition. See Johnson v. Avery, 393 U. S. 483, 485; Ex parte Hull, 312 U. S. 546, 549.” (California Motor Transport Co. v. Trucking Unlimited, 404 US 508, 510 – Supreme Court 1972.) If you have a grievance with your school district, or the police, or the county board of supervisors, city council, or any other department of government, you have the right to petition for a redress (remedy).

Let’s see how we might frame a petition to demand that a government body perform its obligations:

Under my right to petition (First Amendment; California Motor Transp. Co., 404 U.S. at 510), I hereby petition the House of Representatives (House) timely and forthrightly to perform its duty to inform the public (Watkins v. United States (1957) 354 U.S. 178, 200) as to the House’s inability to perform its Constitutional obligation of oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by failure to compel the FBI to produce records about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s server and emails.

The above is just one use of our right to petition. You can probably find many more ways. In the meantime, keep up the good fight for your rights.

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