Tag Archives: James Wilson

First Principles: Government Should Be Formed To Secure and Enlarge the Exercise of the Natural Rights of Its Members

“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of … Continue reading

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First Principles: Without Liberty, Law Becomes Oppression

“Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” – James Wilson (1790)      

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First Principles: Human Life From First Stirring In the Womb to Its Close Is Protected By the Common Law

“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Governing Maxim In Interpreting the Law Is To Discover the Meaning of Those Who Made It

“The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is, to discover the meaning of those, who made it. The first rule, subservient to the principle of the governing maxim, is, to discover what the law was, before … Continue reading

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First Principles: Religion and Law Are Twin Sisters

“Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Defense of Oneself and Others Is the Primary Law Of Nature and Cannot Be Abrogated

“The defense of one’s self, justly called the primary law of nature, is not, nor can it be abrogated by any regulation of municipal law. This principle of defense is not confined merely to the person; it extends to the … Continue reading

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First Principles: Legitimate Government Seeks To Secure and Enlarge the Exercise of Natural Rights of Its Members

“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Duty of Judges Is to Interpret and Apply Law and Not To Create Law

“Every prudent and cautious judge … will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it.” – James Wilson (1742-1798)      

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First Principles: It Is Preposterous To Attempt Separating the Law of Nature From the Law of Revelation

“The law of nature and the law of revelation are both Divine: they flow, though in different channels, from the same adorable source. It is indeed preposterous to separate them from each other.” – James Wilson, of the Law of … Continue reading

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First Principles: It is Our Duty To Resist Wrongful Force Exerted For Bad Purposes

“Has force, exerted for the purposes of malevolance, a right to command? Can it impose an obligation to obey? No. Resistance to such force is a right, and, if resistance can prove effectual, it is a duty also.” – James … Continue reading

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