Archive for March, 2011

Laws of God vs the Laws of Man

March 11, 2011

When is a man made law not, in fact, a law?

Amplify’d from

“The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having
the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and
ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the
time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so
branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as
inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the
question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute
not been enacted.
Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow
that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office,
bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and
justifies no acts performed under it ….  A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An
unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid
law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law
of the land, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
— (American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Volume 16, Section 177)

“Unconstitutionality is illegality of the highest order.” –(Board of
Zoning Appeals V. Decatur Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 233 Ind. 83,
117 NE 2nd. 115)

“An unconstitutional statute is an utter nullity, is void from the
date of its enactment, and is incapable of creating any rights.”
–(Probst V. Board of Education Lands and Funds, DC Neb 103 F)

“By the law of the land is most clearly intended the general law; a
law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon enquiry, and
renders judgement only after trial. The meaning is, that every citizen
shall hold his life, liberty and property and immunities under the
protection of the general rules which govern society. Everything which
may pass under the form of an enactment, is not, therefore, to be
considered the law of the land.” –(Webster, Dartmouth College V.
Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 581 [1819])

“Legislative enactments contrary to natural law or natural justice
were regarded as “ipso facto” void and it was declared to be the duty
of all persons to resist their enforcement. The view of the English
Philosopher that “that which is not just is not law and that which is
not law ought not to be obeyed.” –(Sydney, Discourses Concerning
Government, Book III Chapter II)

“As men we have God for our King, and are under the law of Reason:
As Christians, we have Jesus the Messiah for our King, and are under
the law revealed by him in the gospel.” –(John Locke, The
Reasonableness of Christianity)

“My attitude toward government is succinctly expressed by the
following provision taken from the Alabama Constitution: ‘That the sole
object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen
in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the
government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.'”
(Art. I Sec 35) –(Ezra Taft Benson, The proper role of Government,
Conference Report April 1968)

“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 authority, meidately
or immediately, from this original.” –(William Blackstone, 1765,
_Commentaries On The Laws Of England_, Book I, Sec 2, No. 41)

“The origin of justice is to be found in law, for law is a natural
force; it is the mind and reason for the intelligent man, the standard
by which Justice and Injustice are measured . . . but in determining
what Justice is, let us begin with that Supreme Law which had its
origin ages before any written law existed or any State had been
established.” –(Cicero, _Laws_, I, 19)

“My lords, let us consider just law. Does it bring tranquility, good
order, piety, justice and liberty and property to a people? Does it
nourish patriotism and the way of a manly and upright life? Then it is
a good law, and deserves our utter obedience. But if it brings pain,
intolerable burdens, injustice, sleepless anxiety and fear and slavery
to a people, then it is an evil law passes and upheld by evil men, who
hate humanity and wish to subjugate and control it.” –(Cicero, quoted in
A Pillar of Iron, p. 163)

“The essence of law does not depend upon words and clauses, inserted
in a code or statute book, much less upon the conclusion and
explications of lawyers; but upon reason and the nature of things
antecedent to all laws.” –(Trenchard and Gordon, as quoted by Gordon
Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, p. 456)

“The imagining omnipotence that whatever is ordained must be law,
without any exception fo right or wrong, must be restrained within the
bounds of reason, justice and natural equity, and acts therefore which
are contrary to nature, justice, morality, benevolence, are contrary to
reason, and notwithstanding the authority of Kings, Lords, or Commons,
were null, and void, being mere corruptions and not laws.” –(An
unnamed North Carolinian writing in 1787, as quoted by Gordon Wood,
_The Creation of the American Republic_, p. 458)

“It is a monstrous absurdity to suppose, that the law is to be
learnt by a perpetual copying of precedents. For time immemorial can
never give a sanction to what is against reason and common sense.”
–(William Livington, as quoted by Hamlin, _Legal Edition_, p. 159)

“Kings and parliaments did not make law, according to the medieval
tradition; they discovered what was the law and promulgated it.”
–(Clarence B. Carson, _The American Tradition_, p. 40)

“Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of
revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should
be suffered to contradict these. There are, it is true, a great number
of indifferent points, in which both the divine law and the natural
leave a man at his own liberty; but which are found necessary for the
benefit of society to be restrained within certain limits. And herein
it is that human laws have their greatest force and efficacy: for, with
regard to such points as are not indifferent, human laws are only
declaratory of, and act in subordination to the former. To instance in
the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the divine, and
demonstrably by the natural law; and from these prohibitions arises the
true unlawfulness of this crime. Those human laws that annex a
punishment to it do not at all increase its moral guilt, or superadd
any fresh obligation in foro conscientiae (in the court of conscience)
to abstatin from its perpetration. Nay, if any human law should allow
or enjoin us to commit it, we, are bound to transgress that human law,
or else we must offend both the natural and the divine.” –(William
Blackstone, as quoted by Clarence B. Carson in _The American
Tradition_, p. 41)

“We may safely assert . . . that no civil rulers are to be obeyed
when they enjoin things that are inconsistent with the commands of God
. . . all commands running counter to the declared will of the Supreme
Legislator of Heaven and Earth, are null and void; and therefore disobedience to them is a duty, not a crime . . .” –(Jonathan Mayhew,
as quoted by Clarence B. Carson in _The American Tradition_, p. 42)

“When Kings, ministers, governors, or legislators, therefore,
instead of exercising the powers entrusted with them according to the
principles, forms, and proportions stated by the constitution, and
established by the original compact, prostitute those powers to the
purpose of oppression; to subvert, instead of supporting a free
constitution; to destroy, instead of preserving the lives, liberties
and properties of the people; they are no longer to be deemed
magistrates vested with a sacred character, but become public enemies,
and ought to be resisted.” –(John Adams, _The Works of John Adams,
Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, notes
and illustration_, by Charles Francis Adams, 1856; also quoted by
President David O. McKay, Conference Report, Oct 1961)