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Meet The Group Threatening Americans’ Freedom You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Uniform Law Commission has become increasingly more radical, regularly pushing policymakers to adopt legislation that undermines the rights of individuals.

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If you were to ask 20 of your smartest friends, co-workers, and family members what they know about the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), it’s unlikely any of them would have much, if anything, to say. Most Americans have never heard of the ULC, even though the organization has become one of the country’s most influential groups.

If you were to call your state lawmakers, however, you’d likely get an entirely different reaction. Virtually every legislator in America is familiar with the ULC, and most — Democrats and Republicans alike — have a positive opinion of the group. That’s largely because the ULC has a long history of working closely with legislators to develop and revise the Uniform Commercial Code, a complex state law passed in all 50 states.

The purpose of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is to ensure that commercial and financial activities are regulated as similarly as possible throughout the United States. Without the UCC, conducting business in multiple states would be extremely difficult and costly.

Because the Uniform Commercial Code is so complicated, legislators have trouble understanding and altering it. They depend on the Uniform Law Commission, which is mostly composed of lawyers and academics, as well as the ULC’s partner organizations, to help them. As a result, the ULC has become so important to state lawmakers that it receives much of its funding from state appropriations. That means you, the taxpayer, are footing the bill for the ULC.

For much of the 20th century, the ULC played an important, nonpartisan, uncontroversial role in helping states adopt uniform laws. But in recent decades, the group has become increasingly more radical. It now regularly pushes policymakers to adopt legislation that undermines the rights of individuals and enhances the power of governments, large corporations, and financial institutions.

Take, for example, the disturbing model bill titled the Public-Health Emergency Authority Act (PHEAA). The ULC drafted and formally approved PHEAA in 2023, and it’s now asking legislators to pass it into law.

In the event that a “public health emergency” breaks out in the future, the PHEAA would effectively turn governors across the country into all-powerful quasi-dictators.

Under the ULC’s public health emergency bill, governors would have the right to seize control of virtually every part of their citizens’ lives. They could, for instance, regulate the “zoning, operation, commandeering, management, or use of buildings, shelters, facilities, parks, outdoor space, or other physical space, and the management of activities in those places.”

They would also have the authority to single-handedly regulate public-health-related “testing, isolation, quarantine, movement, gathering, evacuation, or relocation of individuals.”

Governors could further kill, relocate, and manage plants and animals in the state, as well as suspend “a provision of any statute, order, rule, or regulation if strict compliance would hinder efforts to respond to the public-health emergency or pose undue hardship or risk.”

The ULC would also grant governors the right to conduct unlimited “surveillance, monitoring, or assessment of the public-health emergency or any of its effects.”

And although the ULC’s bill suggests establishing a time limit on the initial duration of a declared “public health emergency,” its bill would also allow governors to renew an emergency with minimal oversight from legislatures, and to do so for an infinite number of times.

Emergency power isn’t the only troubling part of the ULC’s agenda.

In the 1990s, the ULC convinced lawmakers in every state to adopt a new draft of the Uniform Commercial Code. The revised UCC significantly reduced individuals’ property rights by changing rules governing the ownership and management of securities.

Stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, and other common investments are classified as securities, including many of the investments held in retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs.

Under the ULC’s amendments passed in the 1990s, most individuals and pensions no longer directly own their investments. Instead, ownership belongs to their bankers, brokers, or, in the vast majority of cases, the custodians holding securities on behalf of brokers or banks.

Under this model, brokers and banks were able to take their clients’ investments, pool them together, and then take advantage of those investments by including them in their financial arrangements. This has empowered Wall Street and financial institutions to profit substantially from their clients’ wealth, all without most people having any idea how their investments are being used.

The ULC also convinced lawmakers to change the Uniform Commercial Code so — if a broker, such as Fidelity or Merrill Lynch, were to go bankrupt — brokers and financial institutions would typically be the first in line to collect payment on their debts. Individual investors and pensions were effectively pushed to the back of the line, putting them in grave danger of sustaining significant losses in a future financial crash.

The ULC not only wrote and promoted the model legislation that led to these changes in the 1990s, it has also been actively fighting recent attempts by some state lawmakers to give priority back to individual investors suffering from the bankruptcy of a broker. It seems the ULC is only interested in helping Wall Street and too-big-to-fail banks, not individuals and pension funds.

Additionally, the ULC has been the primary supporter of making alterations to state legal codes so that it would be easier for financial institutions to use a traceable, programmable, controllable central bank digital currency, should the federal government ever create one.

As all of these examples clearly illustrate, the ULC is not, as its advocates often claim, a non-ideological organization focused exclusively on convincing states to pass uncontroversial legislation about commercial law. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

The ULC is one of the most influential advocates of freedom-killing legislation in America today, and anyone who says otherwise has either failed to study the ULC carefully or, even more disturbingly, supports its outrageous policy proposals.


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