Are the Ten Commandments the foundation of the Anglo-American
JMHACLJ at aol.com
JMHACLJ at aol.com
Sat Dec 18 05:47:31 PST 2004
In a message dated 12/17/2004 6:57:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu writes:
> The foundation of American law, especially the *moral* foundation, begins
> with the Declaration of Independence, and continues at least through the
> adoption of the Bill of Rights. The Americans of 1776-1791 were clearly rejecting
> a great deal of their English heritage, including and established Church, an
> official religion, and the assumption that "God" made laws. "Governments are
> instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the
> Governed," as Jefferson noted. Chief Justice Moore put up the Ten Commandments
> monument in Alabama because he claimed there was a high law which he had to
> obey. That may his personal theology, but it not the basis of our law.
When did the state constitutional provisions adopting the common law of
England, as it existed on a specified date, as the decisional law of the State get
struck down by someone's Establishment Clause challenge?
Paul ignores substantial elements of the thinking that undergirded the duty
to revolt. The revolution was justified because, as Englishmen, their right
to be represented was being denied to them (see the Declaration's
specifications; the first six wrongs committed against the colonies involve denying
representation or burdening its effective use). While the colonists clearly broke
with the Parliament and the Crown, they did not utterly abate their affiliation
with their own law and their own history. True the product included the
ultimate devise of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but those were the
subsequent developments of a new Nation seeking an effective form of governance.
The Declaration, on the other hand, demonstrates why Englishman everywhere,
even in colonial lands, are not subject to denial of representation, etc.
Jim "And you were there" Henderson
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