overriding governmental interest

In a prior lesson, we learned that the Amish lose their religious liberty if they get an SSN. They lost their rights to an “overriding governmental interest.”

What other first amendment rights do we lose if we become a ward of the federal government, by getting an SSN?


Keep in mind that there is no law requiring anyone to get a SSN to work in the United States. But once you become a 14th Amendment citizen, you cannot complain.

US Supreme Court in U.S. v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982):

–“not all burdens on religion are unconstitutional. The state may justify a limitation on religious liberty by showing that it is essential to accomplish an overriding governmental interest.”
–“the system requires support by mandatory contributions from covered employers and employees. This mandatory participation is indispensable to the fiscal vitality of the social security system. “[W]idespread individual voluntary coverage under social security . . . would undermine the soundness of the social security program.”
–“When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes that are binding on others in that activity. Granting an exemption from social security taxes to an employer operates to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees. The tax imposed on employers to support the social security system must be uniformly applicable to all, except as Congress explicitly provides otherwise.” Pages 260-261.
–Justice Stevens added: “That formulation of the constitutional standard suggests that the Government always bears a heavy burden of justifying the application of neutral general laws to individual conscientious objectors. In my opinion, it is the objector who must shoulder the burden of demonstrating that there is a unique reason for allowing him a special exemption from a valid law of general applicability. “


This authority is called by various names like “police power”, “compelling state interest”, “overriding governmental interest”, “exigent circumstances”, “clear and present danger doctrine”. Government has a legitimate function that can trump your right to liberty. They can protect an innocent person from grave and immediate danger.


According to the Supreme Court, “… freedoms of speech and of press, of assembly, and of worship may not be infringed on such slender grounds. They are susceptible of restriction only to prevent grave and immediate danger to interests which the state may lawfully protect” (This phrase was used in many Supreme Court decisions to protect your rights. Carrol v. Princess Anne 393 U.S. 175, Thomas v. Collins 323 U.S. 516, West Virginia v. Barnette 319 U.S. 624, in re Brown 9 Cal.3d 612, West’s Constitutional law, key 84, 90, 91 — etc.)


The U.S. Supreme Court gave us a partial definition of Liberty in their decision Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923):

“Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

link: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/262/390.html

AS YOU CAN SEE getting a SSN forfeits your liberty even to “those privileges long recognized … as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

Just as was predicted by the congressional debates on the Social Security Act (in a prior lesson).

Welcome to your Novus Ordo Seclorum.