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Midterm

POLB30H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Amnesty Law, Tort Reform, United States V. The Amistad


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB30H3
Professor
Margaret Kohn
Study Guide
Midterm

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POLB30 Fall 2016
1
Law, Justice and Rights Midterm
Common law: the part of law that is derived from custom judicial precedent rather than
statutes
La Amistad case: Drew from Pikes teat, but it was recognized that the
Africans were not property. They drew from the Adams-Onis treaty. When La
Amistad came into Long Island, however, the Court believed it to be in the
possession of the Africans on board, who had never intended to become slaves.
Therefore, the Adams-Onís Treaty did not apply, and the President was not required
to return the Africans to Africa.
Precedent: an earlier case, action or law that is regarded as an example or guide to be
considered in subsequent similar circumstances
La Amistad case: Pikes teat as da to e used a peedet fo the
defense of the Spanish. However, Adams argued that they were not applicable
because the treaty only referred to property, and not to people.
Pikes teat: A teat is a foal ageeet eteen two or more countries.
This treaty requires signatures to restore property belonging to citizens of foreign
countries.
The Spanish claimed that the African slaves were their property and the Africans
were seen as merchandise, but Baldwin proved the documentation was insufficient
because the Africans were not from Cuba (they were kidnapped from Sierra Leone)
and John Adams proved their right to own lives.
Right to resistance: the right to refuse to comply to something
La Amistad case: Baldwin proved that the captives of La Amistad were kidnapped
Africans-illegally taken from their homeland and imported into Cuba. This meant
that they were entitled to resist their captors by any means necessary. They acted in
self-defense.
Theory of Obligation: We should follo ad oe las, ee if e dot like the
but if those laws threaten our life or the lives of others, then we are no longer
obligated to obey-this theory explains the reason as to why the Africans had the
right to resist
Right to have rights: the right to be legally recognized as a person, the right of all individuals
to e a ee of a ouit so that ee idiiduals asi ights ae poteted  suh
community to which they belong
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POLB30 Fall 2016
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La Amistad case: In John Quincy Adams argument in la Amistad case, he stated that
ee a has a ill ad a pupose, ad ot the istuet of aothe as eed.
You should be able to defend your own rights. Every man has the right to secure his
own rights. He claimed that everyone had the right to justice and that justice was
the constant and perpetual will to secure everyone his own right.
Natural law: Natural law are principles that are derived from reason
A body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct
Example: you should not kill innocent people
A philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human
nature and can be universally understood through human reason.
Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze both social and
personal human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior.
Universal law based on human rights, divine commandments and reason (ethical
justification)
La Amistad Case: Slavery is in violation of natural law: The Africans aboard the ship
killed the chef and the crew, thus committing murder. However, Baldwin intended to
prove that the captives of La Amistad were kidnapped Africans-illegally taken from
their homeland and imported into Cuba. This meant that they were entitled to resist
their captors by any means necessary. The Spanish [Ruiz and Montes] had papers
proving that the Africans were their property, but Baldwin argued that the Africans
ee ot slaes idigeous to Cua. The filed a lasuit fo the apties feedos
on the grounds of humanity and justice: slavery violated natural law, providing its
victims with the inherent right to self defense.
Every man is free in the state of nature
Legal Positivism: the la is the la =the itte la ust take peedee oe oalit
or what some call natural law
Opposite of natural law
The "source" of a law is by some socially recognized legal authority. The "merits" of
a law are a separate issue: it may be a "bad law" by some standard, but if it was
added to the system by a legitimate authority, it is still a law.
Correct decisions can be deduced from predetermined legal rules without reference
to social considerations
Moral judgments, unlike statements of fact, cannot be established or defended by
rational argument, evidence, or proof
La Amistad case: The Spanish traders and Thomas Gedney (Lieutenant that gave
sympathy to them) wanted the Amistad to land in Connecticut where slavery was
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POLB30 Fall 2016
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technically still legal there (so when they are tried, they have a legal defense)
because they were first apprehended in Long Island, New York where slavery was
illegal
Jurisdiction: the official power of the court to make a formal judgment or decision in cases
and issue orders. Sometimes it also refers to a territory within which a court or government
agency may properly exercise its power
La Amistad case: The Spanish claimed that it was up to their court to decide on this
case
Prima facie [based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved
otherwise] looked like the Africans aboard the ship were Spanish slaves
The slaves were technically not the property of the US since the Spanish landed
thee aidetall
The attorney general agreed with them- the cargo and vessel should be returned to
the Spanish ambassador
The U“ ee told ot to look ito the ase deepl eause it ast thei teitoial
jurisdiction
a) Original Jurisdiction/Primary Jurisdiction
Atile 3 of the U“ ostitutio: The supee out shall hae oigial jurisdiction in
all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in
which a state shall be a party. In all other cases, the Supreme court shall have
appellate jurisdiction.
Original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time
Marbury v Madison case: Marbury brought his case directly to the Supreme court
and demanded for a writ of mandamus for his commission. The chief of justice john
Marshall declared that what Madison did was illegal and correctible. However, the
supreme court did not have original jurisdiction over the case because it only applied
to affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which the
state shall be a party. By extending the Court's original jurisdiction to include cases
like Marbury's, Congress had exceeded it authority. When an act of Congress is in
conflict with the Constitution, it is the obligation of the Court to uphold the
Constitution because, by Article VI, it is the "supreme law of the land."
Courts use the primary jurisdiction doctrine to balance the relationship between
courts and administrative agencies when their jurisdictions overlap-basically
deciding who has original jurisdiction over a case
Marbury v. Madison case: Marbury brought his case to the attention of the
Supreme court, in which the Congress addressed it, but could not grant the
commission because that would overlap the decision of the executive courts, and
exceed their original jurisdiction.
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