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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  • So true:

    “Many years ago Frederic William Maitland poured scorn on what he called ‘aimless medievalism,’ the effort spent on the study of matters historically and ideologically quite irrelevant, if not trivial.  The study of political ideas in the Middle Ages can never incur this charge of antiquarianism, because the governmental and political ideas dominant in the Middle Ages have created the very world which is ours.  Our modern concepts, our modern institutions, our political obligations and constitutional ideas are either direct descendants of those in the Middle Ages, or have grown up in direct opposition to them.”

    Walter Ullmann, Medieval Political Thought 229 (3d ed. 1970).

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  • The Heads of Grievances was the first draft of the Declaration of Rights.  The Declaration was later given statutory form, with a few changes, in the English Bill of Rights.

    1. The pretended power of dispensing or suspending of laws, or the execution of laws by royal prerogative, without consent of Parliament, is illegal.
    2. The commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for ecclesiastical causes and all other Commissioners and Courts of like nature are illegal and pernicious.
    3. Levying money for or to the use of the crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament for longer time, or in any other manner than the same shall be so granted, is illegal.
    4. It is the right of the subject to petition the King; and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.
    5. The Acts concerning the militia are grievous to the subject.
    6. The raising or keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of Parliament, is against the law.
    7. It is necessary for the public safety, that the subjects, which are Protestants, should provide and keep arms for their common defence, and that arms which have been seized and taken from them be restored.
    8. The right and freedom of electing members of the House of Commons, and the rights and privileges of Parliament, and members, as well in the intervals of Parliament as during their sitting, to be preserved.
    9. That Parliament ought to sit frequently, and that their frequent sitting be preserved.
    10. No interrupting of any session of Parliament, till the affairs that are necessary to be dispatched at that time are determined.
    11. That the too long continuance of the same Parliament be prevented.
    12. No pardon to be pleadable to an impeachment of Parliament.
    13. Cities, universities, and towns corporate, and boroughs and plantations to be secured against Quo Warrantos and surrenders, and restored to their ancient rights.
    14. None of the royal family to marry a Papist.
    15. Every king and queen of this realm, at the time of their entering into the exercise of their royal authority, to take an oath for maintaining the Protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of the nation, and that the coronation oath be revived.
    16. Effectual provision to be made for the liberty of Protestants in the exercise of their religion and for uniting all Protestants in the matter of public worship as far as may be possible.
    17. Constructions upon the statutes of treason, and trials and proceedings and writs of error, in cases of treason, to be regulated.
    18. Judges commissions to be made quam diu se bene gesserint; and their salaries to be ascertained and established, to be paid out of the public revenue only, and not to be removed nor suspended from the execution of their office, but by due course of law.
    19. The requiring excessive bail of persons committed in criminal cases, and imposing excessive fines and illegal punishments, to be prevented.
    20. Abuses in appointing sheriffs, and in the execution of their office, to be reformed.
    21. Jurors to be duly impanelled and returned, and corrupt and false verdicts prevented.
    22. Informations in the Court of King’s Bench to be taken away.
    23. The Chancery and other courts of justice, and the fees of office, to be regulated.
    24. That the buying and selling of offices may be effectually provided against.
    25. That upon return of habeas corpuses and mandamus, the subject may have liberty to traverse such return.
    26. That all grants of fines and forfeitures are illegal and void; and that all such persons as procure them be liable to punishment.
    27. That the abuses and oppressions in levying and collecting the hearth money be effectually redressed.
    28. That the abuses and oppressions in levying and collecting the excise be effectually redressed.

    Lois G. Schwoerer, the Declaration of Rights, 1689, appx 2.

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  • For Ipad, Iphone, a $6.99 app called Scanner Pro.
    Dropbox

    I recently bought Adobe Acrobat for its OCR ability.  Wonderful feature.  But Windows does not index the OCR’d PDF.  You can download an Adobe plugin, Ifilter 9.  You have to change a setting in the environment variables, but it isn’t too difficult.

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