Bryce Taylor – The Unconstitutional Constitution: Re-Examining the Generational Binding of the United States Sovereign

The Constitution is essentially unconstitutional. A binding legal document that is over 200 years old and drafted by a tiny elite. Does the Constitution have any authority, philosophically, legally, to seceding generations?

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison -says laws ought to have a “natural expiration date.” “The earth belongs in usufruct to the living, that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.”

Asks; did Jefferson’s views of the Constitution change after he became president? Jefferson’s question, (of the federalists) “what is to prevent them from creating perpetual debt?”

19th Century’s understanding of natural law/rights. Natural rights “were understood to be subject to natural law.” Natural rights are distinct from acquired rights. “To protect natutral liberty civil law was instituted.”

The Constitution is interpreted between 1790 and 1820s in terms of it’s aplicability to “natural law.”

Lysander Spoooner – an abolitionist lawyer – argued 1: the only authority the Constiitution maintains is between “Man and man and it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most only to be a contract between persons living eighty years ago.”

2: Of those who sigend the Constitution what percentage of the populace did they represent? Eg. blacks, women

He proposes a constitution by which people are willing to be personally responsible.

 

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About livesinliminalspaces

I am a PhD candidate in the School of English, whose research focuses on the effect the urban environment and the cityscape has on the behaviour of marginalised characters in the novels from the Twentieth Century.
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One Response to Bryce Taylor – The Unconstitutional Constitution: Re-Examining the Generational Binding of the United States Sovereign

  1. Pingback: 11.30-13.00: Panel 4b – Politics and Policy: New Perspectives on the American Past « Irish Association for American Studies: Cork 2012

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