Blackstone's Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws, of the Federal Government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia : with an Appendix to Each Volume, Containing Short Tracts Upon Such Subjects as Appeared Necessary to Form a Connected View of the Laws of Virginia as a Member of the Federal Union, Volume 1
Tucker, St. George. Blackstone's Commentaries. With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws, of the Federal Government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In Five Volumes, with an Appendix to Each volume, Containing Short Tracts upon Such Subjects As Appeared Necessary to Form a Connected View of the Laws of Virginia As a Member of the Federal Union. Philadelphia: William Young Birch and Abraham Small, 1803. Five volumes. Reprinted 1996 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. With a New Critical Introduction by Paul Finkelman and David Cobin. LCCN 96-12566. ISBN 1-886363-15-3. Cloth. $450. * The first extended treatment of the subject, Tucker's Blackstone is a key resource for understanding how Americans viewed English common law in the years following the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Based on his lectures at the College of William and Mary, Tucker interprets Blackstone's often antidemocratic viewpoint in the American context. A strong proponent of the First Amendment, he elaborates a theory of freedom of speech and press that is more expansive than in the English tradition. "Tucker's Blackstone became a standard reference work for many American lawyers unable to consult a law library, especially those on the frontier. It is impossible to measure its impact on American law, but it is clear that sales were strongest in Virginia, as could be expected; it was also widely used in Pennsylvania and South Carolina." Bryson, The Virginia Law Reporter Before 1800 102. Tucker's Blackstone has been cited in numerous cases by the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to discern the original intent of the Constitution. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library 87. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books relating to America 5696. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5318. A monumental work of continuing relevance, this reprint edition is prefaced by a new critical introduction by Professors Paul Finkelman and David Cobin.
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Page 41 - Commentaries remarks that this law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this, and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their validity, and all their authority, mediately and immediately, from this original...
Page 130 - Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the judicial to the legislative power. It only supposes that the power of the people is superior to both; and that where the will of the legislature declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the people declared in the constitution, the judges ought to be governed by the latter, rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental.
Page 129 - A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention...
Page 162 - That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.
Page 165 - ... delegate ; and the delegates of a state or any of them, at his or their request, shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such...
Page 167 - In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases before mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
Page 69 - No state without the Consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King prince or state...
Page 128 - The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like.