Regarding Patrick s comments about the Treaty of Peace, which officially ended the Revolutionary War in September 1783, and about the U.S. Constitution, I seeMessage 1 of 3 , Sep 17, 2010View Source
Regarding Patrick's comments about the Treaty of Peace, which officially ended the Revolutionary War in September 1783, and about the U.S. Constitution, I see the need to make a point:
> And are we SUPPOSED to totally IGNORE the FACT that the operation of a TREATY can NOT LEGALLY OVERRULE the CONSTITUTION as well?
> The second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States declares that 'this Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.
OK - but - the Constitution wasn't signed until 1787, wasn't ratified until 1789, the Bill of Rights wasn't ratified until 1791 & the end of 1791 is generally accepted as the time that the Constitution including the Bill of Rights actually came into effect. That was over 8 years after the peace treaty was signed (in Paris, France), so that treaty could not possibly be "made in pursuance of" the Constitution, which didn't even exist @ the time. In other words, the treaty was binding BEFORE the Constitution was ever written, let alone adopted.
And notice a very important part of Article I, Section 10:
No State shall . . . pass any . . . law impairing the obligation of contracts.
See also, Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 (1819) - a U.S. supreme court case which held (in part) that:
The charter granted by the British Crown to the trustees of Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, in the year 1769, is a contract within the meaning of that clause of the Constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 10, which declares that no state shall make any law impairing the obligation of contracts. The charter was not dissolved by the Revolution.
An act of the State Legislature of New Hampshire altering the charter without the consent of the corporation in a material respect, is an act impairing the obligation of the charter, and is unconstitutional and void.
Now I am not making the "We are still Brits" argument, but part of the "deal" which ended the Revolutionary War & is incorporated into the Constitution was that contracts & debts which existed before the War were still valid, British subjects who owned property in the U.S. got to keep it, etc.
I very seriously doubt that anyone can come up with a valid claim for "pounds sterling" owed on a debt from well over 200 years ago, or that a British subject owns land in the U.S. that hasn't been documented with a "chain of custody" since the U.S. came into existence as a nation, but technically, the possibility exists.
On a related note, I looked into a situation for a lady several years ago who couldn't afford to fight the battle to get her house back, but I certainly believe she had a case. She'd lost the house to her ex-husband in a very nasty divorce (he could afford a better lawyer than she could), but the house was left to her by her grandmother, who helped build it with her grandfather - and I don't mean they hired a contractor - they & other family members built it themselves in the 1920's. On land her grandparents bought from other family members & paid for in full with gold & silver, has NEVER had a mortgage on it & the chain of custody is documented back to BEFORE the Revolutionary War.
So her claim was pretty simple - my grandmother left me this house in her (uncontested) Will & the (uncontested) documented chain of custody of the land goes back about 250 years - that should be my house / land, not my ex-husband's. I don't know if her divorce attny. brought all that up, but if he didn't he sure should have. I didn't get a transcript of the divorce proceedings, I just looked into the property ownership / chain of custody issue - which is an "open and shut" case in my book.
And I'll add that in the area where I live there are roads & little towns named for families who settled here in the 1740's & some of their direct descendants still live here. Want to claim a debt their ancestors owe in "pounds sterling", or that the land that's been in their family for over 250 years actually belongs to someone else? I don't think you'd get very far with claims like that!! And I've never heard of anybody trying to make one.
~ ~ ~