|"The city, and all the places in which the union shall have this exclusive jurisdiction, will be immediately under one entire government, that of the federal head, and be no part of any state, and consequently no part of the United States. The inhabitants of the federal city and places, will be as much exempt from the laws and control of the state governments, as the people of Canada or Nova Scotia will be. Neither the laws of the states respecting taxes, the militia, crimes of property, will extend to them; nor is there a single stipulation in the constitution, that the inhabitants of this city, and these places, shall be governed by laws founded on principles of freedom. All questions, civil and criminal, arising on the laws of these places, which must be the laws of congress, must be decided in the federal courts; and also, all questions that may, by such judicial fictions as these courts may consider reasonable, be supposed to arise within this city, or any of these places, may be brought into these courts. By a very common legal fiction, any personal contract may be supposed to have been made in any place. A contract made in Georgia may be supposed to have been made in the federal city; the courts will admit the fiction. . . . " Federal Farmer (Richard Henry Lee, or Melancton Smith, 1787, or 1788)
“These courts will be, in themselves, totally independent of the states, deriving their authority from the United States, and receiving from them fixed salaries; and in the course of human events it is to be expected, that they will swallow up all the powers of the courts in the respective states."
Robert Yates, 1787
A legal fiction is so many things to so many people. Which thing is a legal fiction in the reference made by a Federal Farmer?
When someone commands another to obey, and do so without question, it can be said that the one issuing the dictatorial order is a sovereign. If that is a working definition of a sovereign, then the one receiving the order, that is to be obeyed without question, is either another sovereign or not. If the receiver of the order is a sovereign, then a choice can be made by the sovereign, either to obey or instead to issue a counter order.
What happens when a group issues an order? Can a group be a sovereign, and therefore can a group issue an order that must be obeyed without question?
Here is where the term legal fiction can be held to an accurate accounting. The group is comprised of many individuals, all of which are fully capable of dreaming up orders, and all are capable of claiming that each order must be obeyed without question, and each individual in the group can agree that the group is sovereign, while each individual in the group refuses to admit that each individual is a sovereign. Why would someone ever confess to being a sovereign, when the order being issued may result in very costly damages to innocent people?