Remnant "Parts of" the "Common Law" is/are LAW today
- Subject: Remnant "Parts of" the "Common Law" is/are LAW todayIn New York State, the "LAW" is what the People of the State Declare the Law shall be. In the State's Constitution, it is written:Section 14“Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-five, and the resolutions of the congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the legislature of this state as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations as the legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this constitution, are hereby abrogated.” http://www.theroc.org/activism/ny.htm[Note: Not every statute "modifies" the Common Law. Some state statutes merely "Codify" rules of Common Law; The Federal Government has NO Constitutional Authority to Modify the Common Law of the States except where the Enumerated Powers of the Federal Government apply, or the Amendments declare such a change.]
The New York State Constitution's Bill of Rights declares that "parts" of the Common Law are and continue to be the "LAW" of New York except such as are changed by the legislature.
In 1777, the state's first Constitution declared:
"ARTICLE XXXV. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this state, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this state, shall, from time to time make concerning the same. That such of the said acts, as are temporary, shall expire at the times limited for their duration respectively."
Property Rights Law, including the Land-owners right to Self-Defend his Premises, were established in and by the Common Law long before there were any state statutes defining the Law of Justification. See "Rights of NY Landowners To Use Force" at www.billstclair.com/ferran
See also Barker v. People 20 Johns. R. 457 N.Y. 1823 http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendVIIIs18.html
People v. Ruggles 8 Johns. R. 290 N.Y. 1811 http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions62.html
"the framers of the constitution intended only to banish test oaths, disabilities and the burdens, and sometimes the oppressions, of church establishments; and to secure to the people of this state, freedom from coercion, and an equality of right, on the subject of religion. This was no doubt the consummation of their wishes. It was all that reasonable minds could require, and it had long been a favorite object, on both sides of the Atlantic, with some of the most enlightened friends to the rights of mankind, whose indignation had been roused by infringements of the liberty of conscience, and whose zeal was inflamed in the pursuit of its enjoyment. That this was the meaning of the constitution is further confirmed by a paragraph in a preceding article, which specially provides that "such parts of the common law as might be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of christians, or their ministers," were thereby abrogated. The legislative exposition of the constitution is conformable to this view of it. Christianity, in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is not unknown to our law. The statute for preventing immorality (Laws, vol. 1. 224. R. S. 675, s. 69, et seq.) consecrates the first day of the week, as holy time, and considers the violation of it as immoral. This was only the continuation, in substance, of a law of the colony which declared, that the profanation of the Lord's day was "the great scandal of the christian faith." The act concerning oaths, (Laws, vol. 1. p. 405. [2 R. S. 407, s. 82,]) recognises the common law mode of administering an oath, "by laying the hand on and kissing the gospels." Surely, then, we are bound to conclude, that wicked and malicious words, writings and actions which go to vilify those gospels, continue, as at common law, to be an offence against the public peace and safety. They are inconsistent with the reverence due to the administration of an oath, and among their other evil consequences, they tend to lessen, in the public mind, its religious sanction." http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions62.html
"SECTION 13. [Common law continued in force.] Such parts of the common law as are now in force in the territory of Wisconsin, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall be and continue part of the law of this state until altered or suspended by the legislature." http://my.execpc.com/~fedsoc/wi-con14.html
West Virginia Constitution reads: "Except as otherwise provided in this article, such parts of the common law, and of the laws of this state as are in force on the effective date of this article and are not repugnant thereto, shall be and continue the law of this state until altered or repealed by the Legislature." http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~jelkins/crimlaw/notes/year-day-rule.html
In Liberia, a land settled by Ex-Slaves from America, there is this provision in their 1839 Constitution:
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF LIBERIA
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Colonization Society, January 5, 1839.
"The present criminal laws in force in the several colonies or settlements now forming the Commonwealth of Liberia, and such others as may, from time to time, be enacted, shall constitute the criminal code of the Commonwealth. Such parts of the common law as set forth in Blackstone's Commentaries, as may be applicable to the situation of the people, except as changed by the laws now in force, and such as may hereafter be enacted, shall be the civil code of law for the Commonwealth. " http://www.toptags.com/aama/docs/libcon.htm or http://www.onliberia.org/con_1839.htm
Some of the Common Law is actually the recitation of "Ancient Statutes" which are no longer cited as the source of the rule:
"It may be remarked here, that ancient English statutes, from their antiquity and from long usage, were cited as common law; and though our ancestors, upon their emigration, brought with them such parts of the common law of England, and the English statutes, as were applicable and suitable to their exchanged and new situation and circumstances, yet most assuredly the common law and statutes, the subject-matter of this fourth section, formed no part of their selection."