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We Call Ouselves Free?! How Necessity Begets Necessity...

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  • Legalbear
    To close this part of the disclosure: It is contended that the Legislature must judge of the necessity of interposing their despotic authority; it is a right
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 23 9:28 AM
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      To close this part of the disclosure: It is contended that the Legislature must judge of the necessity of interposing their despotic authority; it is a right of necessity upon which no other 316#####316 power in government can decide: That no civil institution is perfect; and that cases will occur, in which private property must yield to urgent calls of public utility or general danger. Be it so. But then it must be upon complete indemnification to the individual. Agreed: But who shall judge of this? Did there also exist a state necessity, that the Legislature, or persons solely appointed by them, must admeasure the compensation, or value of the lands seized and taken, and the validity of the title thereto? Did a third state of necessity exist, that the proprietor must take land by way of equivalent for his land? And did a fourth state necessity exist, that the value of this land-equivalent must be adjusted by the board of property, without the consent of the party, or the interference of a Jury? Alas! How Necessity Begets Necessity. They rise upon each other and become endless. The proprietor stands afar off, a solitary and unprotected member of the community, and is stript of his property, without his consent, without a hearing, without notice, the value of that property judged upon without his participation, or the intervention of a Jury, and the equivalent therefor in lands ascertained in the same way. If this be the Legislation of a Republican Government, in which the preservation of property is made sacred by the Constitution, I ask, wherein it differs from the mandate of an Asiatic Prince? Omnipotence [having very great or unlimited power] in Legislation is despotism. According to this doctrine, we have nothing that we can call our own, or are sure of for a moment; we are all tenants at will, and hold our landed property at the mere pleasure of the Legislature. Wretched situation, precarious tenure! And yet we boast of property and its security, of Laws, of Courts, of Constitutions, and call ourselves free! In short, gentlemen, the confirming act is void; it never had Constitutional existence; it is a dead letter, and of no more virtue or avail, than if it never had been made.  Vanhorne v. Dorrance, 2 U.S. 304, 315-16 (1795). The whole case is in the hyperlink under the case name.

       

       

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