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  1. #1

    Default Case Law Holding That Driving is a Right, Not a Privilege

    I know that this case exists: Thompson vs Smith Supreme Court; (I just can't locate it) but would someone please help me locate the actual complete case, so that I can read it in it's entirety? Thank you SO MUCH!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Case Law Holding That Driving is a Right, Not a Privilege

    The sites you are reading are referencing, and misinterpreting, this Virginia case from 1930, Thompson v. Smith, 155 Va. 367 (1930).
    Quote Quoting Thompson vs. Smith
    The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day; and under the existing modes of travel includes the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street, or transporting persons or property for hire along the street, which a city may permit or prohibit at will.

    The exercise of such a common right the city may, under its police power, regulate in the interest of the public safety and welfare; but it may not arbitrarily or unreasonably prohibit or restrict it, nor may it permit one to exercise it and refuse to permit another of like qualifications, 378*378 under like conditions and circumstances, to exercise it. Taylor Smith, 140 Va. 217, 124 S.E. 259; Ex parte Dickey, 76 W.Va. 576, 85 S.E. 781, L.R.A. 1915-F, 840; Hadfield Lundin, 98 Wash. 657, 168 Pac. 516, L.R.A. 1918-B, 909, Ann. Cas. 1918-C, 942.

    The regulation of the exercise of the right to drive a private automobile on the streets of the city may be accomplished in part by the city by granting, refusing, and revoking, under rules of general application, permits to drive an automobile on its streets; but such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or revoked, or permitted to be held by some and refused to other of like qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions.
    So even back in 1930, before the modern state-issued license was the standard, the Virginia courts held that it was entirely proper for a unit of government to require driver's licenses and to refuse or revoke them as necessary to ensure the proper conduct of automobiles. The problem in Thompson was that there was no set of rules of general applicability, and instead driver's licenses could be revoked at the sole discretion of the chief of police by whatever standards he chose to apply, and that was an improper delegation of authority. People without driver's licenses are free to use most roads as pedestrians, on bicycles, in taxis....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Case Law Holding That Driving is a Right, Not a Privilege

    The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day; and under the existing modes of travel includes the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street, or transporting persons or property for hire along the street, which a city may permit or prohibit at will.
    ya gotta love a lack of context allowed by selective use of only part of the ruling. Too bad those "freeman" get so excited and wet their pants at that first section and stop reading there missing out on the ultimate statement of the ruling.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Case Law Holding That Driving is a Right, Not a Privilege

    You have to have a license to purchase a weapon in many states. You have a right to bear arms. The license requirements have been upheld in court therefore, yes, you can license a right.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting David6
    View Post
    How can you License a Right?
    are you going to run all over the forum posting this drivel? Try reading this thread in particular first. It will prove the failures in your arguments.

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