State can draft citizens into military

National Guard members make up 28% of the soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, and more disturbingly 53% of veteran suicides.  Many who joined the National Guard before Sept 11th, 2011 did not expect to ever be deployed overseas.  Similarly, as a non-military member, you might not expect to ever be deployed overseas.  But in fact, the State of New Hampshire can draft you into the National Guard without your consent, and make you subject to U.S. military orders, including deployment in foreign wars.

Here are the most relevant portions of “CHAPTER 110-B THE MILITIA”, the full text is available here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/viii/110-b/110-b-mrg.htm

Section 110-B:1:IV defines the unregulated militia as all able-bodied citizens over 18:

Section 110-B:1 Composition of the Militia. –
IV. The unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied residents of the state who are 18 years of age or older, who are, or have declared their intention to become, citizens of the United States, and who are not serving in the national guard or the state guard.

Section 110-B:3 allows the governor to force these citizens to register, and to forcibly draft them into the national guard:

Section 110-B:3
Registration and Draft of Unorganized Militia. –
I. Whenever it shall be deemed necessary, the governor may direct the members of the unorganized militia to present themselves for and submit to registration at such time and place and in such manner as the governor may prescribe in regulations issued pursuant to this chapter.
II. Whenever it shall be necessary in case of invasion, disaster, insurrection, riot, breach of the peace, or imminent danger thereof, or to maintain the national guard at the number required for public safety or prescribed by the laws of the United States, the governor may call for and accept from the unorganized militia as many volunteers as are required for service in the national guard, or the governor may direct the members of the unorganized militia or such of them as may be necessary to be drafted into the national guard.

Section 110-B:4:III provides misdemeanor punishment for non-compliance:

Section 110-B:4 Notice of Draft; Order. –
III. Any member of the unorganized militia who is ordered to register or to be drafted into the national guard or the state guard under the provisions of this chapter and who fails to appear at the time and place designated in such order shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Section 110-B:5 affirms that when the U.S. requests troops the governor can draft able-bodied citizens:

Section 110-B:5 Militia Call by the United States. –
When the militia of the state is called forth under the constitution and laws of the United States, the governor shall order out for service the national guard or such part thereof as may be necessary; and if the number available be insufficient, the governor may call for and accept from the unorganized militia as many volunteers as are required for service in the national guard, or the governor may direct the members of the unorganized militia or such of them as may be necessary to be drafted into the national guard.

Once drafted you can be placed under the control of the U.S. military:

Section 110-B:6
Ordering National Guard Into Active State Service. –
The governor shall have power …  to order into the active service of the state for such period, to such extent, and in such manner as the governor may deem necessary, all or any part of the national guard. Such power shall include the power to order the national guard or any part thereof to function under the operational control of the United States army, navy or air force commander in charge of the defense of any area within the state which is invaded or attacked or is or may be threatened with invasion or attack.

You can also deployed overseas:

Section 110-B:12 Service Without the State. –
The governor may order the national guard or any part thereof to serve outside the borders of this state or of the United States in order to perform military duty of every description and to participate in parades, reviews, conferences, encampments, maneuvers or other training, and to participate in small arms and other military competitions and to attend service schools. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to members of the national guard while serving outside the state and while going to and returning from such service outside the state in like manner and to the same extent as while serving within the state.

One last disturbing implication is that drafted individuals could then be tried for “offenses” not in public trials by constitutionally guaranteed juries of their peers, but in  closed-door, publically-unaccountable military court-martials.

Section 110-B:39  Military Discipline. –
The system of discipline of the national guard shall conform generally to that of the armed forces of the United States, and all personnel on duty or in active state service shall be subject to the punitive and disciplinary provisions of this chapter. Trial and punishment by civil authorities shall not bar trial and punishment or dismissal from the service by court-martial for any military offense involved. Reductions in rank and pay grade for judicial or non-judicial punishment shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I urge legislators to repeal Section 110-B:3, Section 110-B:4, and Section 110-B:5 as soon as possible to remove the ability of The State of New Hampshire to force citizens into involuntary military service.

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No spitting in public

Here’s a fun little law from 1903 that prohibits spitting in public.

Section 147:18 Expectoration. –
It shall be unlawful for any person to spit upon any sidewalk, in the compact part of any city, village or town, or in any railway station, hall or other public place, or in any street or steam railway car other than smoking cars, except into spittoons or other receptacles provided for that purpose.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/x/147/147-18.htm

While impolite, spitting outside and away from others is no danger to anyone.  Actually spitting on someone is already covered under assault/battery laws.  This is yet another law that goes largely unenforced, only to be dusted off occasionally when cops need a reason to charge someone they don’t like.

Walk this way, or else

In addition to controlling everything involved with vehicles, the state also has many regulations related to walking:

For example, if there is a sidewalk, it is illegal for you to choose to walk in the street instead of on that sidewalk:

Section 265:39 Pedestrians on Roadway. –
I. Where sidewalks are provided it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
II. Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a way shall walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway. Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a way shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway, and if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/265/265-39.htm

Notice how many other conditions they felt the need to regulate: If no sidewalk, you must stay on the shoulder.  If no shoulder, you must stay on the left side of the road.  Most people break these laws all the time without thinking about it.  Of course, cops are not out actively looking to bust people for this law; instead, this a tool they use when they want to harass individuals they do not like and can’t find anything else to charge them for.

We all know you can get a ticket for “running a red light” with your car.  But did you know that you can get a ticket for “walking a red light”, and even a yellow-light?

Section 265:10 Traffic Control Signal Legend. –
II. Steady Yellow Indication.
(b) Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in RSA 265:11, are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.
III. Steady Red Indication.
(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in RSA 265:11, pedestrians facing a steady circular red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.
(e) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal, pedestrians facing a steady red arrow signal indication shall not enter the roadway.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/265/265-10.htm

If there is a “pedestrian control signal”, you better obey it, even if there are no cars in sight.  Just stand there until the machine tells you your desired behavior is acceptable:

Section 265:11 Pedestrian Control Signals. – Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” are in place such signals shall indicate as follows:
II. Don’t Walk–No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signals whether steady or flashing, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the “Walk” signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/265/265-11.htm

Jaywalking is also a ticketable offense in New Hampshire, both for not using crosswalks in areas with pedestrian signals, and for crossing any intersection diagonally:

Section 265:36 Crossing at Other Than Crosswalks. –
III. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
IV. No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by traffic control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/265/265-36.htm

And don’t forget to walk on the right hand side of that crosswalk!  Walking in the center can also get you a ticket:

Section 265:38  Pedestrians to Use Right Half of Crosswalks. – Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable upon the right half of crosswalks.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/265/265-38.htm

I would argue that the only victim who will generally be hurt by unsafe walking is the walker himself.  One may counter with the argument that these laws exist to protect drivers from accidents caused by unsafe pedestrians.   However, if your unsafe behavior causes an accident you can be already be held liable for that;  tacking on a $50 fine for not using a crosswalk does nothing to help those involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident, it only enriches the state.

Can’t sell own body

Despite the title, this post does not regard prostitution, but instead the actual sale of one’s own body or body parts.

CHAPTER 291-A UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT

Section 291-A:16 Sale or Purchase of Parts Prohibited. –

I. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph II, a person that for valuable consideration, knowingly purchases or sells a part for transplantation or therapy if removal of a part from an individual is intended to occur after the individual’s death commits a felony and, notwithstanding RSA 651:2, upon conviction shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, or both.

II. A person may charge a reasonable amount for the removal, processing, preservation, quality control, storage, transportation, implantation, or disposal of a part.

If one truly owns their own body, would they not be able to contract with another to sell it after their death?  Surely, a market exists for cadaver tissue.  In fact, it is quite lucrative, as detailed in this Reason.com article with the subtitle, “Everyone’s making money in the market for body tissue — except the donors”:

Mastromarino had netted $4.6 million in three years of back-room dissections. He paid undertakers $1,000 a pop for providing access to the dead, paid cutters $300 to $500 for extracting the most marketable parts, and, according to his lawyer, managed to take home up to $7,000 per body. (One of Mastromarino’s former employees contends the boss was pulling in double that.)

 http://reason.com/archives/2007/02/07/who-owns-your-body-parts/singlepage

This legislation deprives individuals who do not care what happens to their body post-mortem of significant income.  Conversely, it increases the profitability of tissue harvesting businesses, as they do not have to pay for their “raw material”.  I would not be surprised if any of these companies have lobbied legislators to ensure that selling one’s own body parts is kept illegal.  This law should be repealed, allowing individuals to benefit by receiving their fair share of the profits from the tissue recycling industry.

Interestingly, the particular wording in the NH law: “if removal of a part from an individual is intended to occur after the individual’s death”  would seem to create a loophole wherein it may actually be legal to sell ones non-essential organs, such as a spare kidney or patches of skin.

Different marriage age for gays

New Hampshire should be commended for allowing same-sex marriage, but just how equal are all in their ability to marry one another?  Not in age requirements it seems:

TITLE XLIII DOMESTIC RELATIONS

CHAPTER 457 MARRIAGES

Age

Section 457:4  Marriageable. – No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage that is entered into by one male and one female, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void. No male below the age of 18 and no female below the age of 18 shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage between persons of the same gender, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void.

This law should be changed to remove all references to gender and keep the age consistent regardless of the genders involved.  I have no thoughts on the age limit itself, so I will leave it blank in my proposed change:

Section 457:4  Marriageable. – No person below the age of __ years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void.

Adultery

UPDATE: REPEALED in 2014, 44:1, effective January 1, 2015
Thanks, Rep. O’Flaherty and Rep. C. McGuire!

Adultery is punishable in New Hampshire as a class B misdemeanor crime:

CHAPTER 645 PUBLIC INDECENCY

Section 645:3  Adultery. – A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if, being a married person, he engages in sexual intercourse with another not his spouse or, being unmarried, engages in sexual intercourse with another known by him to be married.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lxii/645/645-3.htm

Private school language restrictions

This law requires all private schools to teach and run their administration solely in English:

Section 189:19  English Required. – In the instruction of children in all schools, including private schools, in reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography, physiology, history, civil government, music, and drawing, the English language shall be used exclusively, both for the purposes of instruction therein and for purposes of general administration. Educational programs in the field of bilingual education shall be permitted under the provisions of this section with the approval of the state board of education and the local school district.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xv/189/189-19.htm

This is a violation of the natural right to conduct one’s private and personal business, including the educational of one’s children, in whichever language desired.

I suspect there would be no significant public objection to replacing “in all schools, including private schools” with “in all state-run schools“.