The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Law

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In order for one to understand American Constitutional law, one must first look to the Constitution; and therefore, look to the federal government established in the Constitution. The federal government is purposefully divided into three branches: the legislative branch that makes the laws, the judicial branch that interprets the laws, and the executive branch that puts the laws into effect. Article VI, Clause 2, sets up the Constitution as “the supreme Law of the Land;” and therefore, legislators, judges, and presidents must comply with the standards set in the Constitution. Judges, then, have the function to interpret what the Constitution means and have the responsibility to ensure laws adhere to the Constitution. Thereby, the Constitution coupled with the Supreme Court justices’ interpretation makes Constitutional Law. However, one must look further than the established government and the Constitution to understand American Constitutional Law. Not only must one have and understanding of the Constitution itself, but also have an understanding of the Declaration of Independence; which if the base for the Constitution and government. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of how correctly understanding the principles of the Declaration of Independence are essential to understanding the American Constitution. Trying to understand the Declaration of Independence can quickly become one of the most difficult tasks that a person can set for him. Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand the principles inherent in it; for in them lay the grounds for which the American Constitution. The Declaration, singularly, has a significant impact depending on its interpretation. To say the least, a numerous of American le... ... middle of paper ... ...f Lincoln, ed. Paul N. Angle (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 241 – 242. Lincoln’s reference was to Prov. 25:11. Michael P. Zuckert, “Self-Evident Truth and the Declaration of Independence,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Summer, 1987), 319. Sanford Levinson, “Self-Evident truths in the Declaration of Independence,” Texas Law Review, Vol. 57 (1979): 856. Eva Brann, "Concerning the Declaration of Independence,” The College (of John's College) Vol. 28 (1973): 13. Zuckert, “Self-Evident Truth,” 320 – 321. Leonard R. Sorenson, “Strauss, Anastaplo, and Crosskey on ‘One Hard Nut to Crack’: The Declaration of Independence,” Perspectives on Political Science, Vol. 36, No. 4. (Fall, 2007), 222. Mortiner J. Adler, Six Great Ideas (New York: Touchtone, 1997), 140 – 141. Sorenson, “Strauss, Anastaplo, and Crosskey,” 223.
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