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Lecture 3

Complete Lecture 3 Notes

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Political Science
POLI 2327
All Professors

9/10/13 Lecture 3 • Rule of Law o “An empire of laws, not men” – John Adams o “When they are making laws not designed to bind themselves…” – John Dickinson • Law in its nature is something that is applied to everybody equally o Equally as in no matter who they are/characteristics but also extends to the ruled/ruler  Everybody is treated the same no matter who they are – principle of equality under law • Rule of Men = someone in power can act arbitrarily/ treats people not equally o Opposite/lack of Rule of Law • Burden of justifying unequal treatment is because it has a broader public purpose • Strike down laws not intended for public purpose but that give specific people a leg up/special privileges o Ongoing rhetoric of equal treatment  Public authority should be used to benefit the government, not a special interest • Violation of “Due Process” means it doesn’t follow the Rule of Law American Revolution • Lots of ways to look at the Revolution o Revolution as a constitutional dispute within the English constitutional system • Everyone in the colonies were Englishmen o Relationship between English and the colonies and the English and the mainland • Also about fidelity of fundamental law to English constitution o Colonists came to believe that conduct of the English towards them violated the English Constitution • Many people believe that America has had 3 Constitutions: o Constitution from establishment of America to the Civil War o Civil War to the New Deal o New Deal onward • Others look at it as One Constitution going through time • Different forms of colonies: corporate, royal, proprietary o Each had different motivations for going to America – God and money • Each of the colonies had direct relationship with London but no formal direct relationship between each other • French and Indian war occurred, and the English spent an enormous amount of money protecting the colonies and were broke o Wanted colonists to pay for their protection  tax them!  These taxes were passed by parliament and the Americans in their colonies did not vote for any members of Parliament • Beginning of the problems and raised questions of constitutional law • Are there any limits on power of parliament to do what it wants? o Is the Constitution being violated?  If there is a violation, who gets to remedy it? • William Blackstone wrote Commentaries on Law o Theory of Parliamentary supremacy  “what the parliament doth, no force on Earth can undo”  Is it flawed? • Issue of representation • Dr. Benhaw’s Case o Judge in England said that the actions of the Parliament are limited by the common law  Common law = comes out of England. When talking about the world, places that used to be English colonies inherited common law system. Grew up through triadic disputes (A sues B and judge decides the case). Add up decisions for hundreds of years and end up with a system of rules. All based on concrete experience rather than philosophy.  Civil Law = comes out of Roman and French law. Come out of something like a Napoleonic Code. Smart lawyer
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