As she spoke of me, I made it true.

Warning: The following document contains hazardous information.

If you are or have ever been a citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America, or are in regular contact with any person who is physically present in or regularly does business in the United States, do not proceed. Contact Foundation Legal Services to receive a suitability determination before proceeding. Failure to receive a suitability determination prior to reading this file may result in Class-A amnesticisation.

Item#: 5170
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Of Law there can be no less acknowledged
than that her seat is the bosom of God,
her voice the harmony of the world.

Special Containment Procedures: No American citizen, permanent resident or other person present in the special territorial or maritime jurisdiction of the United States or any of its states or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or any of its states is to be given access to this document or any other information relating to SCP-5170 unless specifically determined by Foundation counsel to be immune to the jurisdiction of SCP-5170 in any way, shape or form. No Foundation personnel outside of the United States are to be transferred to the United States or engage in business relationships with any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or any of its states. Any American personnel with below level 3 clearance showing interest in American law will be evaluated for overseas transfer.

News coverage of SCP-5170-A's decisions are to be heavily restricted through dissemination of broadcasting guidelines which emphasize the political aspect of SCP-5170-A's decisions, deemphasize their legal reasoning and do not mention its name, position or court in any way.1 All non-field Class C personnel and above not assigned to the SCP-5170 Mitigation Unit are to be made completely unaware of any decisions made by SCP-5170-A. Field personnel will be treated with targeted amnestics upon return from field duty if they have been exposed to SCP-5170-A in any way.

Class B personnel officially recognized as diplomatic and consular staff from the Republic of ████████ are to be stationed in each city where a federal circuit or district court sits to provide objective assessments of SCP-5170-A's decisions. Since In re Purported Diplomats, No. 31-cv-██████ (S.C. 2031)2, this procedure is no longer effective in its original form and will be discontinued. Only 'bona fide' embassies and consulates established for an independent purpose, voluntarily providing information, can be used to observe SCP-5170 directly without becoming subject to its jurisdiction. Twenty-three diplomats have agreed to share information with the Foundation as part of Project Callahan.

Given SCP-5170's pervasive nature, true containment is not possible at this time without the complete destruction of the legal profession and judiciary in the United States, as amnestic medications which remove knowledge of SCP-5170 also remove knowledge of basic legal concepts which are impossible to re-learn without being re-infected. Due to SCP-5170's incredibly strong memetic effect, seemingly unbound by any physical constraints, it is impossible to tell if its 'jurisdiction' is a true limitation or is in fact simply a red herring: SCP-5170 may have ordered the execution of millions of people that we may simply be rationalizing or failing to perceive. As such, research remains an extremely high priority.

Given the overwhelming threat that SCP-5170 poses to baseline reality, all committees and projects related to SCP-5170 are subject to the direct oversight and supervision of O5-4.

Description: SCP-5170 is the name of an anomalous, highly contagious memetic/anti-memetic phenomenon given consistent form by a collective delusion. This phenomenon consists of three parts: the existence of a person, SCP-5170-A, its law clerks who memorialize its decisions, SCP-5170-B, and its powers to see its judgments through and maintain credibility as a judge, SCP-5170-C.

SCP-5170-A is a nonexistent person named Josephus Blake. The extent to which SCP-5170 maintains a separate awareness in excess of the awareness others have of it is unknown. In 2029, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Judicial Compensation Act, which created the United States Special Circuit Court and consolidated a large part of federal civil and criminal procedure. Subsequently, the President recommended and the Senate appointed SCP-5170-A as its sole Special Circuit Judge for life. The Congressmen who sponsored and voted on the legislation recall being lobbied to pass said legislation by a person named Josephus Blake, but either do not remember why they did it or did not realize that the Judicial Compensation Act, which was primarily intended to increase the compensation and number of federal judges, created the Special Circuit Court.

As sole Special Circuit Judge, SCP-5170-A may represent the United States in a prosecutorial capacity, act as judge in the cases it litigates when it is representing the United States, may temporarily or permanently substitute any local, state or federal judge, in any case3, serves for life, is not legally obligated to recuse itself from any matter and cannot be impeached.4 Its decisions cannot be reviewed by any superior court. Individuals afflicted with SCP-5170, which presently constitutes the entire American judiciary, legal profession and any person having any contact with the judicial system sufficient to discover the existence of the Special Circuit5, will believe that SCP-5170-A is a person who actually exists, despite the fact that it has never been seen, that no pictures, video or even physical descriptions of it exist, and the fact that it has no coherent jurisprudential philosophy. Individuals who are truly immune to the jurisdiction of the United States or any of its states, such as diplomats, certain consular staff and foreign heads of state who are visiting the United States, can be convinced of SCP-5170-A's nonexistence. Foundation operatives brief such individuals on this phenomenon on a case-by-case basis.

SCP-5170-B is the means by which SCP-5170-A puts its 'will' into writing. SCP-5170-B are SCP-5170-A's law clerks, which usually number between three hundred and three hundred and eighty people. Instances of SCP-5170-B are categorized by yearly cohort; the current cohort is SCP-5170-B-4, numbering three hundred and forty-seven people. Instances of SCP-5170-B display no anomalous effect with the exception of their infection with SCP-5170.

SCP-5170-C consists of SCP-5170's compulsive effects. Formerly a property of the settlements and judgments which resulted from SCP-5170's earliest detected iteration (SCP-5170-D), its dual possession of prosecutorial and judicial powers has significantly increased both its scope and threat. This meme is subdivided into two parts:

  • SCP-5170-C-I. Within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or any of its states, and in relation to SCP-5170's subject-matter jurisdiction, no command given by SCP-5170-A can be willfully disobeyed by any person charged with enforcing the law.6 In theory, commands will only be obeyed when SCP-5170 has had both personal and subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a case, though it interprets its jurisdiction widely.
  • SCP-5170-C-II. The laws, decisions and other anomalous events surrounding SCP-5170-A will appear entirely normal. This has a considerably more muted effect on individuals not currently present in the United States7 nor presently subject to its extraterritorial jurisdiction8. Although people affected by SCP-5170-C-II may express either positive or negative reactions to its decisions, engage in in-depth analysis in which they disagree with its decisions and even concoct various strategies to attempt to avoid its intervention, they do not dispute SCP-5170-A's constitutional right to issue them. Courts will issue decisions treating its decisions as settled precedent, and do not challenge them unless a change in statutory law occurs, though they may sometimes attempt to reason 'around' the decision.9 When informed of the anomalous nature of SCP-5170, individuals will simply rationalize or forget about what they've been told about it, even individuals who are aware of anomalous beings in general.

SCP-5170 was thought to no longer be active in 2028, when its prior effects, limited to various civil matters filed by an attorney named Josephus Blake and his law firm, ceased entirely. However, this entity had in fact filed lobbying disclosures with the federal House of Representatives and Senate under the name of a shell LLC owned in name by an employee of SCP-5170-A's law firm (former SCP-5170-B) and had been engaging actively in high-profile funding campaigns on behalf of various senators and representatives, despite being nonexistent. The extremely unusual nature of the Judicial Compensation Act of 2029 was immediately noticed upon first appearing in the news by Senior Researcher █████ ███ of the Mongolian Foundation.

SCP-5170-A routinely issues various writs, orders and injunctions (a complete list of which is available in the Foundation Reporter starting at 23 Fd. Rptr. p. 1), which are referred to as SCP-5170-1 through SCP-5170-█████████. The vast majority of these orders tend to be in relation to minor procedural matters10; even its procedural decisions can result in significant upheaval.11 However, SCP-5170's decisions can and have resulted in major changes in state or federal law. Interviews of attorneys and self-represented parties in which SCP-5170-A has 'intervened' reveal a split picture: while the prevailing party's counsel in any intervention tends toward a median of 3.5 on the Kincaid-Bradley Idealism Scale12, non-prevailing parties have a median of 2.9. In no case did an individual with a lower KB score prevail in an intervention, regardless of legal merit.13 It is unknown whether SCP-5170 makes decisions based off of which party's counsel is more idealistic, if SCP-5170 simply targets cases in which the more idealistic counsel shares its opinion, or SCP-5170 itself originates from the collective hopes of counsel who are more idealistic.

SCP-5170 has made evictions nearly impossible to carry out in under a year14, allowed class action lawsuits to proceed even when class members have waived their right to pursue one15 and made it considerably easier to sue state governments as well as the federal government.16 SCP-5170's decisions have had an extreme impact on American society, affecting issues as fundamental as rent, medical care, automobile manufacturing, oil and natural gas extraction, children's toys, gas and electricity, firearms and ammunition, police brutality, immigration policy and U.S. and global equity markets. A particularly notable trend, though not directly traceable to a specific compulsive effect, has been a three-fold increase in the number of lawsuits filed each year. This appears to account for the significant amount of plaintiff-friendly decisions that SCP-5170 has set forth throughout its tenure as Special Circuit Judge.

Addendum 5170-a - Procedure C-X120 Wotan

At present, it is impossible to directly communicate, capture or otherwise interfere with SCP-5170-A, primarily due to the fact that it does not exist as a physical, dimensional or spiritual entity. Various attempts, including capturing and interrogating instances of SCP-5170-B, directing radio waves at buildings in which instances of SCP-5170-C are working, and filing documents in cases in which SCP-5170-A has intervened, have at best resulted in single-line orders to show cause; repeated violations will cause minor monetary sanctions. (No, there's no redacted horror story - however radical SCP-5170's conception of the Constitution is, it doesn't seem to want to inflict cruel or unusual punishment on others.) From this, we can derive that SCP-5170 will not communicate with anyone unless it is related to an active case or controversy, and then only in relation to that specific case.

The fact that it communicates at all raises an interesting point: while we thought it was a person, SCP-5170-A consistently followed court orders (though not always statutes and not ever ethical guidelines). Our hypothesis is that the compulsion SCP-5170 induced goes both ways. This leads to the most obvious conclusion: it may be possible to communicate with this entity, if it indeed is an entity, and even control it, by suing it. The primary issue with this plan has been finding an appropriate forum: it is impossible to sue SCP-5170-A in an international court, as it does not recognize the right of any foreign court to subject it to process, and although it does not intervene in its own judicial proceedings, no cause of action could scratch it. And how on earth would we serve it?

But there's a way, and I have no idea if it will work. It's possible SCP-5170-A will simply issue an injunction and put it to an end.17 It's a technicality, at best. There's a kind of court which isn't a court, whose judges are not judges; not even an Article I court. Service? No problem. Notices to appear can be mailed. It won't stick either way, but it doesn't have to.

And ██████18 owes us a favor.

Acting General Counsel Melissa Williams19
January 4, 2034

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Notice to Appear

In removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act:
In the Matter of Josephus Blake

☐ 1. You are an arriving alien.
☒ 2. You are an alien present in the United States who has not been admitted or paroled.
☐ 3. You have been admitted to the United States, but are removable for the reasons stated below.

The Department of Homeland Security alleges that you:

1. You are not a citizen or national of the United States.
2. You arrived in the United States at or near CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO, on or about January 13, 1999.
3. You were not then admitted or paroled after inspection by an Immigration Officer.

On the basis of the foregoing, it is charged that you are subject to removal from the United States pursuant to the following provision(s) of law:

212(a)(6)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, in that you are an alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrived in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General.

YOU ARE ORDERED to appear before an immigration judge of the United States Department of Justice at:

1901 South Bell Street, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22202

On ██/██/████ at ██:██ p.m. to show why you should not be removed from the United States based on the charge(s) set forth above.

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