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Unformatted text preview: Constitutional Law Prof. Primus Spring 2006 I. Introduction (and Conclusion) a. Basic Documents i. Declaration of Independence (7.4.1776) (P1): 1. Dissolving political bonds to assume separate and equal status to which were entitled, but giving our reasons out of respect for the opinions of mankind. 2. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed and that when they become destructive of these ends the governed have the right to alter/abolish. 3. The reasons: The King has not assented to laws, has not allowed for representative government, has attempted to prevent population of the U.S. by obstructing naturalization, employs judges only at-will, attempted to make the military supreme over civilian govt, has impressed Americans, etc. 4. The British people are enemies in war but friends in peace. 5. The Congress dissolves the colonies allegiance to Britain and proclaims the powers to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce and do sovereign stuff. ii. U.S. Constitution (summarized throughout) b. Theory i. Primus class intro: 1. Constitution = how something is put together (taken as normative). 2. Sovereignty resides somewhere in every govt. In ours, it is in the people the first big innovation of U.S. Con Law. a. The govt does not equal the people, so even all 3 branches together arent sovereign. b. Hence, the government is one if limited , divided , and delegated power/sovereignty. c. Unlike in other places, sovereign and government arent the same. d. Democracy here means the people rule the govt ( not people = the govt). 3. Why have one? Three major reasons: a. To stop abuse of minorities (internal limits on even that). i. Major Q: Why limit what a maj. can do in a democracy? The Countermajoritarian Difficulty. b. In private law language, to get rid of agency problems and keep the principal us in control. c. As a pre-commitment strategy tying ourselves to the mast (The Odyssey). i. This is about time past sanity prevailing over future tumult....
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