Tom Burrell Liberty and Common Consent

Magna Carta and Due Process of Law

Magna Carta and Due Process of Law: The Road to American Judicial Activism

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Recent Works

Privileges and Immunities and the Journey from the Articles of Confederation to the United States Constitution: Courts on National Citizenship, Substance, and Antidiscrimination, 35 Whittier L. Rev. ---- (2014), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2374985
December 2014
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  • Equality before the Law

    [The principle that all persons by age or sex, birth or color, origin or condition, are equal before the law,] as a broad general principle, such as ought to appear in a declaration of rights, is perfectly sound; it is not only expressed in terms, but pervades and animates the whole spirit of our constitution of free government.  But, when this great principle comes to be applied to the actual and various conditions of persons in society, it will not warrant the assertion, that men and women are legally clothed with the same civil and political powers, and that children and adults are legally to have the same functions and be subject to the same treatment; but only that the rights of all, as they are settled and regulated by law, are equally entitled to the paternal consideration and protection of the law, for their maintenance and security.  What those rights are, to which individuals, in the infinite variety of circumstances by which they are surrounded in society, are entitled, must depend on laws adapted to their respective relations and conditions….

    The proper province of a declaration of rights and constitution of government, after directing its form, regulating its organization and the distribution of its powers, is to declare great principles and fundamental truths, to influence and direct the judgment and conscience of legislators in making laws, rather than to limit and control them, by directing what precise laws they shall make.

    Justice Shaw, Roberts v. City of Boston, 59 Mass. (5 Cush.) 198 (1849).

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    Published on December 27, 2014 · Filed under: Quotes;
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