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To: Sherman Logan

Founder George Mason and others condemned the Constitution and walked out. Mason in particular, stated that it completely overturned English Common Law.

Mason’s resistance is the reason we have the Bill of Rights, drafted as promised immediately after the first Congress was seated. Drafted on Christmas Day, 1789, in fact, and modelled after the Virginia Declaration of Rights, penned by Mason.

To the extent that English Common Law is embodied in our Constitution, these Amendments drafted to placate George Mason represent it. The Constitution as ratified, however does not, as Mason pointed out. Emerich de Vattel was indeed a primary influence upon the framers, and there are copious historical references and cites to back up that claim.

Now, the States were a different matter. Many States were almost entirely creatures of the English Common Law, such as New York. Others, such as Connecticut, Virginia and Georgia, were not. There was a strong Dutch and German influence in many of the colonies, so much so that German at one point vied for English, as a contender for the “national language.”

Our legal heritage is in no way entirely that of the English as a result. And, even if it were, to claim that our Founders, men who risked their lives and their fortunes to rebel against the English, would turn right around and use the very same construct, that of the natural-born subject of the English King, to determine their own citizenship, is irrational.

Vattel covered aspects of law including citizenship law internationally, hence the name of his two volume work, The Law Of Nations.

Blackstone dealt strictly with the English monarchy.

Has the United States ever been a monarchy, in your estimation? No, it has not. Therefore, Blackstone is of very limited utility, in seeking to understand original intent of the Founders.

I’ve been studying this matter for going on two years now, and repeated claims made, as if we’ve remained subjects of the English King all along, are the bizarre ones, not those that acknowledge multiple sources influencing the Founders of what was, after all, the very first modern Constitutional Republic. By the way, the constitutional republic was discussed and outlined at length by none other than ... Emerich de Vattel.

Not Blackstone.


41 posted on 12/27/2009 9:11:56 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry; Sherman Logan
"Vattel covered aspects of law including citizenship law internationally, hence the name of his two volume work, The Law Of Nations.

Blackstone dealt strictly with the English monarchy."

Exactly. Look no further than the Declaration of Independence for crystal clear Vattel influence on the founders (& eventually framers) on the making of our Constitutional Republic (i.e. NOT a monarchy).

46 posted on 12/28/2009 1:17:14 AM PST by rxsid (HOW CAN A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN'S STATUS BE "GOVERNED" BY GREAT BRITAIN? - Leo Donofrio (2009))
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To: RegulatorCountry
Therefore, Blackstone is of very limited utility, in seeking to understand original intent of the Founders.

A good many of the Founders were attorneys. Even those who weren't had studied law, to some extent, as it was considered part of the education of a gentleman.

The law they studied, and in many cases had made their living with, was the common law. It was still in effect in all the states, with exceptions as per specific statues.

Yet you contend that when they wished to use a specific legal term, natural-born citizen, they went outside the common law definition and meaning, substituting a definition from a completely alien system of law, which none of them had ever used before, based on European practice later codified by Napoleon in his Code.

It is also quite strange that the US Supreme Court, in those cases which have some bearing on the term in question, spend a lot of time discussing Blackstone, which they assumed was the default position on the issue, except as modified by statute.

Many States were almost entirely creatures of the English Common Law, such as New York.

Odd you should mention this, as NY used large amounts of civil law, from the Dutch, for issues involving real estate, well into the 19th century. I believe it was the State most influenced by civil law during this time, with the exception of LA. Other states, notably CA, have since been influenced, specifically with regard to the law of marriage and divorce.

http://wiki.lawguru.com/index.php/Common_law

I find those of you who are trying to inject civil law into our Constitution quite amusing. Civil law developed in exactly the opposite way from common law. It grew from edicts imposed from above by absolute rulers. Common law grew from below, developed out of the customs and practices of the people, as laid out over centuries by rulings of judges.

Civil law is in origin despotic, common law is in origin democratic, or at least aristocratic.

Why you want to elevate the stature of a legal system based on edicts imposed by an absolute monarch is quite beyond me.

48 posted on 12/28/2009 7:14:04 AM PST by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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