Law and Legislation

The – Highest – Law – is – that – contained – in – the – King- James – Version – of – the – Holy – Bible.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.       Isaiah 33:22 (KJV)

Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall  –  legal maxim.

Lawful and Legal

Lawful;   that of Common Law. Law which derives its force and authority from the universal consent and immemorial practice of the people.  It has never received the sanction of the legislative, by any express act, which is the criterion by which it is distinguished from statute law. It has never been reduced to writing; by this expression, however, it is not meant that those laws are at present merely oral, or communicated from former ages to the present solely by word of mouth, but that the evidence of Common Law is contained in our book of Reports, and depends on the general practice and judicial adjudications of our courts –  it is a subject of an embarrassment to courts and the want of general perplexity to the student.  Black’s Law Dictionary ed 1.

Legal – Statue Law, or Ligis Scriptae.  A statute is either general or special, public or private.  A general or public act is an universal rule, that regards the whole community.  Black’s Law Dictionary ed 1.

Law [Common Law] is existent – it was before statue and is superior to statue.  Common law can never be abrogated; every Man is subject to Common Law and it is written on the heart of every Man.

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeh 31:33 KJV

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and theirthoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) Rom 2:15. KJV

Statue are rules which only have the Colour of Law because of the consent of the governed.  The “community” consent to the rule.  Man has a choice to be part of the community and governed or to be self governing.

First, It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people: for it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to that person, or assembly, which is legislator; it can be no more than those persons had in a state of nature before they entered into society, and gave up to the community: for no body can transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no body has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. A man, as has been proved, cannot subject himself to the arbitrary power of another; and having in the state of nature no arbitrary power over the life, liberty, or possession of another, but only so much as the law of nature gave him for the preservation of himself, and the rest of mankind; this is all he cloth, or can give up to the common-wealth, and by it to the legislative power, so that the legislative can have no more than this. Their power, in the utmost bounds of it, is limited to the public good of the society. It is a power, that hath no other end but preservation, and therefore can never* have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects. The obligations of the law of nature cease not in society, but only in many cases are drawn closer, and have by human laws known penalties annexed to them, to inforce their observation. Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.  Second Treatise of Civil Government John Locke (1690) CHAP. XI. Of the Extent of the Legislative Power.

It behoves us to remember that men can never escape being governed. Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others. If from lawlessness or fickleness, from folly or self-indulgence, they refuse to govern themselves, then most assuredly in the end they will have to be governed from the outside. They can prevent the need of government from without only by showing that they possess the power of government from within. A sovereign cannot make excuses for his failures; a sovereign must accept the responsibility for the exercise of the power that inheres in him; and where, as is true in our Republic, the people are sovereign, then the people must show a sober understanding and a sane and steadfast purpose if they are to preserve that orderly liberty upon which as a foundation every republic must rest. Theodore Roosevelt in his address at the opening of the Jamestown Exposition on April 26, 1907, as reported in Presidential addresses and state papers (1910).

Nota Bene

Wherever possible preference is given to the first edition following the legal Maxim; what is first is best. Evidence taken as soon as possible is relied on as opposed to post event script. Likewise, publications generally tend to hold truth in their first publications before being corrupted by further editions. For this reason, earlier editions are preferred to modern corruptions. The King James Bible is a classic example.  Law Dictionaries are another.