Ok, after doing a little more research I came across exactly the sort of detail I was looking for. At first I thought I would start poring through case histories but decided I would likely be reinventing the wheel. What I realized was that it would be great if I could find a respected constitutional expert discussing the relevant points versus having to examine 200 plus years of court history. So I started thinking who that expert might be and for me there's one person who stands above the rest, Dr. Edwin Vieira Jr. Within a half an hour of having this thought I was watching this video, uploaded on the 9th of April:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mI8Lek60_w&feature=relmfu
Here are some specific points he makes relative to this discussion;
2:44 "the plan is basically an attempt to create an alternative competitive currency so that you will have federal reserve currency continuing to circulate to the extent that it will, but on the other hand people can use an alternative"
3:15 "on the other hand an average person could certainly use an alternative currency because in the united stated federal reserve notes are not required to be used as money"
3:50 "most people don't however (use alternative currencies) because there's a lack of knowledge of the existence of that alternative"
4:00 "the third (Congress being the first, the people being the second) alternative is the middle level which is the state government"
10:05 "in point of fact federal reserve notes do not have to be accepted if you've made your contract payable in some other medium of exchange. And in fact the federal title 31 of the United States code that you just mentioned has a provision section 5118 dii which specifies that
12:29 "so if the state chooses to use some alternative currency for those purposes (state collections) the supreme court has already said that's protected by the constitution"
34:39 "the state has the constitutional power to do it (adopt alternative currencies), the state has the duty to perform this function"
So, for me the issue is well settled. There IS a right to use bitcoin in the US both at the individual and state levels. Dr. Vieira suggests an emphasis on the state level approach because he feels there is no mechanism to implement it at the individual level. I think he may be unaware of bitcoin as it does provide this individual mechanism. Taking that additional detail into account I'm going to agree with everything he says but add that while approaching the issue at the state level is a good approach that we could augment our efforts with bitcoin at the personal level. Both if these working together will increase the chance of adoption. If anyone disagrees with his assessment you'll have to take it up with him and the court of public opinion. Thanks again for all the input.