Blackstones Commentaries

Asking Questions: Everyone is talking about Bills of Particulars, Privacy Act Requests and Freedom on Information Act requests. Each of these are questions asked to government officials or other agencies when they infringe on the lives of the people. If agencies want to accuse someone of a crime or civil penalty, they must answer the questions put before them by the people they are accusing. The question keeps coming up, "Why should they respond?" The answer given is usually, the Statutes say they must, the U.C.C. says they have to, Title Five of the United States Code requires it, etc. But, I think it is more than that. This article is designed to give you the background on why they must answer.

I have heard people talk about Blackstoneís Commentaries in the past, but until I picked up those volumes I lacked a level of understanding in every principle of law. Iíve heard it said many times that our rights do not come from the Constitution, our rights come from God, now that concept lives in all of my understanding. It is back to that old thing -- "Know who you are!"

Blackstone was a Judge in England, and he may have had political ideas that disagree with ours, (He believed a King was the only way to go!) but he taught the inspiration of the law. I think you will agree when you have read his books. I want to share with you writings from Blackstoneís Commentaries.

Blackstoneís Commentaries, Section the Second, Of the Nature of Laws in General.

"Law, in itís most general and comprehensive sense, signifies a rule of action; and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus we say, the laws of motion, of gravitation, of optics, or mechanics, as well as the laws of nature and of nations. And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey."

Blackstone explains that the law is what it is. You cannot change gravity, motion or mechanics. The superior being, God, determined that they would be a certain way and that is what they are. Notice the inferior is bound to obey the superior. The inferior has no choice.

"Thus when the supreme being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, he impressed certain principles upon that matter out of nothing, he impressed certain principles upon that matter, form which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be. When he put that matter into motion, he established certain laws of motion, to which all moveable bodies must conform. And, to descend from the greatest operations to the smallest, when a workman forms a clock, or other piece of mechanism, he establishes at hi own pleasure certain arbitrary laws for itís direction; as that the hand shall describe a given space in a given time; to which law as long as the work conforms, so long it continues in perfection, and answers the end of itís formation. "If we farther advance, from mere inactive matter to vegetable and animal life, we shall find them still governed by laws; more numerous indeed, but equally fixed and invariable. The whole progress of plants, from the seed to the root, and from thence to the seed again; - the method of animal nutrition, digestion, secretion, and all other branches of vital economy; - are not left to chance, or the will of the creature itself, but are performed in a wondrous involuntary manner, and guided by unerring rules laid down by the great creator." Blackstone said the continuation of life itself is a law that cannot be changed unless death occurs.

"This then is the general signification of law, a rule of action dictated by some superior being; and, in those creatures that have neither the power to think, nor the will, such laws must be invariably obeyed, so long as the creature itself subsists, for itís existence depends on that obedience. But laws, in their more confined sense, and in which it is our present business to consider them, denote the rules, not of action in general, but of human action or conduct: that is, the precepts by which man, the noblest of all sublunary beings, a creature endowed with both reason and freewill, is commanded to make use of those faculties in the general regulation of his behavior."

In this respect Blackstone makes it sound as if man can chose to obey the law of the creator or not, but read on and he explains that the creature must obey the creator as he is an entirely dependent being! Man depends on his maker for everything! It is when man begins to depend on the State that his creator changes, and his rules become the rules of the State."

Man depends on the creator for the breath in his lungs, the blood in his veins, the food to put in his mouth. All the essentials for life, come from God.

"Man, considered as creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of hi conduct; not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute upon his maker for every thing, it I necessary that he should in all points conform to his makerís will.

"This will of the maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.

"Considering the creator only as a being of infinite power, he was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws he pleased to his creature, man, however unjust or severe. But as he is also a being of infinite wisdom, he has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due; to which three general precepts Justinina has reduced the whole doctrine of law."

Isnít it appropriate that Blackstoneís teachings begin with the knowledge of who God is, and how he acts. Blackstone considers these principles of law to be not only basic, but eternal and immutable. And, the reason people have these laws is because they are alive, not dead entities. Notice, these laws are not laws to control man, they are laws that man has rights. Another mirror effect. We donít have rights and the law protects them. The law is our rights.

"But if the discovery of these first principles of law of nature depended only upon the due exertion of right reason, and could not otherwise be obtained than by a chain of metaphysical disquisitions, mankind would have wanted some inducement to have quickened their inquiries, and the greater part of the world would have rested content in mental indolence, and ignorance itís inseparable companion. As therefore the creator is a being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness, he has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter to inquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own self-love, that universal principle of action. For he has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot induce the latter. In consequence of which mutual connection of justice and human felicity, he has not perplexed the law of nature with a multitude of abstracted rules and precepts, referring merely to the fitness or unfitness of things, as some have vainly surmised; but has graciously reduced the rule of obedience to this one paternal precept, Ďthat man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness.í This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law. For the several articles into which it is branched in our systems, amount to no more than demonstrating, that this or that action tends to manís real happiness, and therefore very justly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destructive of manís real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it."

Blackstone goes not to show that this is international law.

"This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. it is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately, or immediately from this original.

"But in order to apply this the particular exigencies of each individual, it is necessary to have recourse to reason: whose office it is to discover, as was before observed, what the law of nature directs in every circumstance of life; by considering , what method will tend the most effectually to our own substantial happiness. And if our reason were always, as in our first ancestor before his transgressions, clear and perfect, unruffled by passions, unclouded by prejudice, unimpaired by disease or intemperance, the talk would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this. But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error."

The progression of the law

The Law of Nature (As prescribed by the Creator)

The Revealed Law (The Scriptures)

Human Laws (Dependent upon the Law of Nature and the Revealed Law)

Legislative Laws (For controlling matters indifferent to humans)

The Law of Nations

Municipal Law

"This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of divine providence; which, in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reason, hat been pleased, at sundry times and in divers manners, to discover and enforce itís laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found in the holy scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to manís felicity. But we are not from thence to conclude that the knowledge of these truths was attainable by reason, in itís present corrupted state; since we find that, until they were revealed, they were hid from the wisdom of ages. As then the moral precepts of this law are indeed of the fame original with those of the law of nature., so their intrinsic obligation is of equal strength and perpetuity. Yet undoubtedly the revealed law is of infinitely more authenticity than the moral system, which is framed by ethical writers, and denominated the natural law. Because one is the law of nature, expressly declared so to be by God himself; the other is only what, by the assistance of human reason, we imagine to be that law. If we could be as certain of the latter as we are of the former, both would have an equal authority: but, till then, they can never be put in any competition together.

"Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these. There are, it is true, a great number if indifferent points, in which both the divine law and the natural leave a man at his own liberty; but which are found necessary for he benefit of society to be restrained within certain limits. And herein it is that human laws have their greatest source of efficacy; for, with regard to such points as are not indifferent, human laws are only declaratory of, and act in subordination to, the former. To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by divine, and demonstrably by the natural law; and from these prohibitions arises the true unlawfulness of this crime. Those human laws that annex a punishment to it, do not at all increase itís moral guilt, or superadd any fresh obligation in soro (foro) conscientiae to abstain fro itís perpetration. Nay, if any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law, or else we must offend both the natural and the divine. But with regard to matters that are in themselves indifferent, and are not commanded or forbidden by those superior law; such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the inferior legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose, and to make that action lawful which before was not so.

"If man were to live in a state of nature, unconnected with other individuals there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature, and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist: for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is the author of our being. But man was formed for society; and, as is demonstrated by the writers on this subject, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to do it. However, as it is impossible for the whole race of mankind to be united in one society, they must necessarily divide into many; and form separate states, commonwealths, and nations, entirely independent of each other, and yet liable to a mutual intercourse. Hence arises a third kind of law, to regulate this mutual intercourse, called "the law of nations;" which, as none of theses states will acknowledge a superiority in the other, cannot be dictated by any; but depends entirely upon the rules of natural law, or upon mutual compacts, treaties, leagues, and agreements between these several communities: in the construction also of which compacts we have no other rule to resort to, but the law of nature; being the only one to which all the communities are equally subject: and therefore the civil law very justly observes, that quod natrualis ratie inter omnes homines constituit, vocatur jus gentium.

"Thus much I though it necessary to premise concerning the law of nature, the revealed law, and the law of nations, before I proceed to treat more fully of the principal subject of this section, municipal or civil law; that is, the rule by which particular districts, communities, or nations are governed; being thus defined by Justinian, "jus civile eft Ďquod quisque sibi populus constituit.í I call it municipal law, in compliance with common speech; for, though strictly that expression denotes the particular customs of one single municipium or free town, yet it may with sufficient propriety be applied to any one state or nation, which is governed by the same laws and customs.

"Municipal law, thus understood, is properly defined to be "a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme Ďpower in a state, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong." Let us endeavor to explain itís several properties, as they arise out of this definition.

The law says that man depends of God for all things. It continues that it is therefore a law that man should have the things that sustain life. The law also says that it is obedience to God and dependence on God that gives man happiness. Anyone who takes manís life, or happiness is breaking the law. So, when one person wants to invade the life and happiness of another, they are wanting breaking the law and must show cause as to why they should be allowed or be punished themselves.

Now for the question, "Why should the accusers answer the Bills of Particulars, Privacy Act Requests and Freedom of Information Act Requests?" In light of Blackstoneís Commentaries, the accuser should answer because ... "The Accused is Alive". Life is a law, not a right. Manís happiness is a law, not a right. To break those laws is a crime. If someone wants to break the law, they better have a reason that supersedes the law to life and happiness. Looking back at our chart, you will notice there is one category of law, Legislative Law, that controls things that do not effect manís life or happiness. Those laws only apply to dead entities or corporations. They do not control people. If you donít believe me, look in the legislative law and find out. Look at the definition of "person" and the definition of "whoever". The statutes read ... "No person shall" ... and ... "Whoever violates this statute". When you look up the definition of person and whoever you will find that they are a corporation, partnership, association .. you may even find they are an individual or human being. In Ohio "whoever" includes all persons, natural and artificial; partners; principals, agents, and employees: and all officials, public or private.

It is easy to understand that man is not a corporation, partnership or association, but what about an individual? The I.R.S. defines and individual as a taxpayer, and Words and Phrases defines an individual in many ways including a corporation made up of only one person. And that leaves human beings. The answer is given to us, but it is not throwing up a red flag saying, "If you are not incorporated the statutes do not apply to you!" Each statute will have cases notes that interpret the meaning of that statute. In Ohio persons are defined as corporations, partnerships, associations, and individuals. One of the interpretive cases was Village of Bridgeport v. Fraternal Order of Eagles, 125 N.E. 2d, 202. The Fraternal Order of Eagles was an association, but they were not an incorporated association. Remember associations fall under the definition of person. The Fraternal Order of Eagles were being sued by the Village of Bridgeport because they were gambling, and were not licensed by the Village to do so. The Fraternal Order of Eagles responded to the allegations by saying the statute does not apply to us because we are not incorporated. The court ruled that in construing statutes, the primary duty is to give effect to intentions of the Legislature, as determined from language employed and apparent purpose to be subserved, and such construction adopted which permits statutes and its various parts to be construed as a whole and not to give effect to paramount object to be attained. This case was a note specifically attached by reference to the statute that defines "whoever". The case concluded that because the Fraternal Order of Eagles was not an incorporated association, the statute did not apply to them. So when a statute defines person as a corporation, partnership, individual, or even human being: If those entities are not incorporated the statute does not apply to them.

In every case that comes before the court, the accused is either represented by an attorney, pro-se, pro-per or representing themselves. The courts presume that everyone before the court is incorporated, or licensed by the State in everything they do. According to law, a corporation must be represented by an attorney to come into court. That is because they are not real living people, they are entities that have no capability of speaking. The court has to have an attorney to speak to it for the entities that fall under its jurisdiction. That is why you will be asked to confess that you are there, pro-se, pro-per, representing yourself, or represented by an attorney. If you are representing yourself, you, the living human being, are representing the incorporated person.

If it is an incorporated person that the government agent is accusing, there is no law of life and happiness. Life and happiness do not apply to incorporations. They are dead things, not living. Therefore the statutes do not violate any laws or rights when they are applied to incorporations, or creations of the state. It is only when they are applied to living people that life and happiness become an issue.

When the situation is created that an agent of government approaches a living being with an accusation, that living beingís life and happiness are in jeopardy. All of the principles of due process kick into play and that living being has a right to know who his accuser is, what the nature and the cause of the accusation is, and on and on.

Then, the agency making the presentment must answer before it continues. The statutes that define Bills of Particulars require agencies to answer before the prosecute. The Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act require agencies to respond to requests. Those statutes do not bind living people as to getting answers to the questions, but do required the agencies to act. Even the Uniform Commercial Code in section 3-501 requires agencies to answer questions upon presentment. It is an unwritten law, that has been written into many different written laws and regulations.

That is the power of asking questions.