gave up a right, responsibility or duty
reducing or restricting
set free or released
the process of adapting or adjusting to someone or something
agree without protest
being attached as a follower
postpone action of a convened legislative body until another time specified
Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction
maritime—related to the sea or sailing—and admiralty jurisdiction covers things done upon and relating to the sea, lakes and rivers. These include transactions relating to commerce and navigation, as well as damages and injuries. Formerly these laws were administered by admirals, which explains their name.
to seek to obtain; to aim at; aspire to
a formal legal declaration by a person who declines to take an oath for reasons of conscience (compare to oath)
tie or obligation of a person to his king or government
a government official of the highest rank sent by one nation to live in another nation as its representative
being wiped out completely
to make a request to a higher court asking that a case be reheard or reviewed; 2) to make an urgent request
relating to appeals, which are reviews of lower court decisions by a higher court
formal request to an authority; the act of making such a request
divided and allocated
1) money set aside for a particular use; 2) assigning for a particular use
1) not based on a known reason or rule; at the whim of someone else, such as a tyrant; 2) absolute or unrestricted
places for making or storing weapons and other munitions.
a section or part of a written document such as a constitution, treaty or contract
agreement or consent
1) in general; 2) in complete detail or fully
the loss of a person’s civil rights and property because he has been sentenced to death or outlawed
punished by attainderpunished by attainder
money given to allow the temporary release of a person from jail and to guarantee the person will return at a certain date. If the person fails to return, the money is given up.
things that bind or unite
causing good to be done
1) a proposed law presented for discussion and approval; 2) a list of items. The Bill of Rights lists 10 basic rights.
Bill of Attainder
a law passed against a person, pronouncing him guilty, without trial, of an alleged crime (especially treason) and punishing him by death and depriving him of his civil rights and his property
Bill of credit
rewards offered to people by the government for performing certain acts. During the Civil War, a cash bounty was offered to men for enlisting in the army.
people closely united or associated
“Britain” and “Great Britain” mean the island where England, Scotland and Wales are located, and since 1707 also refers to the political union of England, Scotland and Wales
free from prejudice; fair or impartial
punishable by death
a tax, fee, or charge of the same amount for
matters to be decided (in a court of law)
declarations made in writing and signed by the person and intended to verify a fact
make a declaration in writing
the action of transferring the title or ownership of something to another owner
a document which outlines the conditions under which a colony is organized
the senior judge of the Supreme Court
1) relating to a person as a member of a community. It comes from a Latin word meaning “city.”; 2) relating to the community, or to the policy and government of the citizens
the liberty of persons in a society. Society restrains “natural liberty” for the safety of its citizens. So “liberty” in a civilized society has as part of its definition the control of the individual to the extent that the individual may not harm or hinder the liberty of another individual. Unnecessary restraint of natural liberty when an individual’s actions do not threaten the public good is oppression and therefore not liberty. See also natural liberty, liberty
1) a group of people who settle in a place away from their native land, but remain under the political control of their native land; 2) the land settled by these people.
Commander in chief
supreme commander of the armed forces
1) a written document given to a person
authorizing him to perform certain duties; 2) the act of
giving a commission to a person
that body of rules, principles and customs which have been received from our ancestors, and recognized by courts. It is different from “statutory law,” which is laws made by legislatures. It applies to disputes between private parties in non-criminal matters. The phrase “at common law” means according to common law.
contract or treaty
a legal document ordering a person to appear in court
to make a final determination
existing at the same time
a group of independent nations or states joined together. The Confederation was the word that referred to the United States before the Constitution was adopted.
1) a body of persons with the power to make laws. The U.S. Congress is composed of the Senate and House of Representatives.; 2) a meeting of individuals who will deal with matters for their common good
relationship by descent from the same ancestor; relationship by blood; kinship; close relationship
a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern
1) an agreement that sets in place a system of fundamental principles for the government of rational and social beings; 2) a system of fundamental rules, principles and laws that establishes the form of government in a state or country; 3) a document in which these fundamental laws and principles are written; 4) the state of being; or the way a thing is composed or made up
The word comes from “constitute,” which means to fix or establish. So, our Constitution fixes or establishes what our government is and what it does.
forces or compels
interpreted or explained
a person appointed by his government to live in a foreign country and serve his own country’s business interests, and citizens in that foreign country
to cause to assemble
meeting of delegates or representatives for consultation on important issues
Corruption of blood
a blood relative or family member of a person guilty of treason is held guilty of his or her relative’s treason. In times prior to this, sometimes a traitor’s family members were also punished.
1) confidence which people place in the ability of a nation, company or individual to repay borrowed money; 2) a reliance on the truth of something said or done
set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions
a public announcement. Declaration comes from a Latin word meaning “make quite clear.”
to state that a person or thing exists in a certain way
a government run directly by the people. “Demos,” a Greek word for “the people”, combined with “cracy,” a Greek word meaning “to rule,” to form democracy. A small town could have a democracy where each person voted on all matters concerning the town, but with millions of people in the United States, it was considered much more practical to have a “republican” form of government where the people vote for representatives who then vote on their behalf.
a place where anything is kept for safekeeping
a tyranny; or unjust and oppressive government
pass to a body or person at a lower level (said of duties and responsibilities)
repudiate or condemn
education and instruction
regard as being of little worth
to deal with conclusively, or settle
made willing; inclined
an area of a country or city
refers to one’s own country
Due process of law
the regular administration or course of the law
1) a payment due to the government, especially a tax imposed on imports, exports, or manufactured goods; 2) that which a person owes to another; that which a person is bound by any natural or moral obligation to do or perform
someone who elects: a) a qualified voter or b) a person who votes at the Electoral College for president and
“college” means an organized group with particular aims, duties and privileges. “Electoral” means relating to elections or electors. The term “Electoral College” designates the group of people that elects the president and vice president
the action of freeing from slavery
issue formally and with authority; put into circulation (emit currency)
the gain from employment or position; payment received for work; salary, wages, fees, etc.
provided with a quality or power
obligations by agreement or contract
have, possess and use with satisfaction
involving in difficulties or complicated circumstances that are difficult to get out of
establishing the number of something
fairness or justice. Equity is a system of rules that supplements and replaces laws in the United States when such laws are inadequate for fair settlement. It is based on principles of reason and fairness that allow the law to be adjusted to special circumstances. Originally, courts of equity were different from courts of law. Today, most states have combined the equity and law courts into one court system.
set up on a permanent basis
shows or indicates
Ex Post Facto
after the fact. An ex post facto law is one which applies to actions committed before the law was passed. Taken from a Latin phrase meaning “from a thing done afterward.”
a tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of various commodities within a country, such as liquor, tobacco, etc.
created (He has excited domestic insurrections)
the putting into operation
refers to the branch of government that administers laws and government affairs
currently there are fifteen executive departments, such as the Departments of Defense, Commerce and Agriculture. The principal officers of these departments are called secretaries and, along with the vice president, make up the president’s “cabinet” or group of advisors.
performance of duties
proper under the circumstances
belief; confidence; trust
weaken by harassing
the system of national government that deals with matters that individual states have in common (even though the individual states have their own state governments) is called the “federal system.” The federal government is also called the national government, the government of the United States, or the central government.
The word “federal” comes from a Latin word, which means “league.” “League” means an alliance between states for their mutual aid and defense; a national agreement. A key element is their agreement. “Federal” means a league of states that have agreed to cooperate with each other for a specific purpose or purposes. Hence, we have our federal government of the United States, which is the central or national government. This federal government is made from the agreement of the states to cooperate with each other.
a major crime such as murder, arson, rape, etc.
a giving up of something as a penalty, such as losing one’s property as a payment for a crime
feared or dreaded
able to think or act without restriction; independent
someone who is not a slave
concerning all or most people
1) the action of controlling or regulating a nation; 2) the fundamental system by which a country is ruled
The word “government” comes from “govern,” which means to direct or control the actions and conduct of men, either by established laws or by the will of the ruler.
a grand jury is a jury that investigates allegations of a crime and issues indictments if it finds there is sufficient evidence against the person or persons
foundation; that which supports anything
Latin for “you are ordered to have the body.” A writ of habeas corpus is a legal document ordering a person to be brought before a court; specifically, an order requiring that a detained person be brought before a court at a stated time and place to decide the legality of his detention or imprisonment.
that agreeable state of being in which desires are gratified; the enjoyment of pleasure without pain; good fortune. It comes from a root meaning “chance” and “good fortune.” So the right to the “pursuit [from the Latin ‘follow forward’] of happiness” contains the idea that you are free to follow a path that leads to good fortune—whatever goal that represents for you.
great or punishable by death
the open ocean not under the jurisdiction of a country
a group of people elected to make laws. It is part of the legislative branch of government. Congress is made up of two separate branches called “houses.” One house is named the House of Representatives, with its members usually called “representatives”; the other house is the Senate and its members are called “senators.”
charging the holder of a public office with misconduct. Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives makes a written charge against an official (the impeachment) and then, after impeachment, the Senate sits as a court, hears evidence and gives a verdict.
drive or urge forward
a tax, especially a tax on imported goods
as a result
relating to or including all members
a formal written charge against one or more people presented to a court
too valuable or precious to be properly measured or estimated
one which is punishable by imprisonment or death
government officials of lower rank than ambassadors, Supreme Court judges, etc.
someone or something used as a means for accomplishing a specific purpose
violent uprising against authority or government
provided with something
a slave-like condition. Sometimes British criminals were sold to American colonists to labor for them during the term of their sentence.
refers to judges, courts or their functions
dealing with courts of law
1) the power to make, declare or apply the law; 2) the power to govern
honest; conforming to moral and proper principles of social conduct
1) behavior or treatment based on what is morally right or fair; 2) the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this; 3) a judge on the Supreme Court
relationship by blood
imposed a burden or penalty
rules established by governments for regulating people’s actions.
Law of nations
rules that regulate dealings between nations coming from principles of justice, customs or agreements between nations
Laws of Nature
nature is the entire universe; or the creator of all things or the operation of the power that creates all things. The Laws of Nature include the idea of unchanging moral principles that form the basis for human conduct.
to set or impose (to lay and collect taxes)
the power to make laws
a group of persons given the power and responsibility to make laws for a country or state. The Parliament in Great Britain and the federal Congress in the United States are both legislatures.
Letters of Marque and Reprisal
government documents authorizing an individual to arm a ship and capture enemy merchant ships and cargo. Letters of marque and reprisal are no longer used.
making (levying war)
1) free from the arbitrary [based on random choice or personal whim] control of others; 2) release or freedom from slavery, imprisonment or other restrictions. It comes from a root word meaning “belonging to the people, free” and also “to grow up, rise.” See also natural liberty, civil liberty
the condition in which a plant’s, an animal’s or a human being’s natural functions and motions are performed. In humankind, that state of being in which the spirit, intellect and body are united we identify as life. The source of the word “life” goes back to a meaning of “to be.” So when we say “life” we are speaking about our right to be and to regulate or conduct our own existence.
places of storage or military supply depots
the quality of being noble and generous in one’s conduct and rising above pettiness or meanness
1) inches, feet, yards, acres, etc.; 2) actions to
body of soldiers organized from the civilian population in times of emergencies. When they are not needed for military duties, they pursue their usual occupations.
mistaking the true meaning
offenses less serious than crimes
imitating reality but not real
produced by nature; natural
the power to act as one thinks fit without any restraint or control except from the laws of nature
giving to a person of foreign birth the rights of citizenship in a new country
remaining from an amount of money after all deductions have been made
without being affected by the particular factor mentioned
a formal declaration with an appeal to God for the truth of what is being declared
a particular duty or employment
1) people appointed to positions of authority in a government; 2) people appointed to positions of rank and authority in the armed services
the authority to try a case from
people appointed to positions of responsibility in the government
Other public ministers
government officials representing their own government in another country and ranking below an ambassador
“overt” means open or public. An “overt act” is a legal term meaning an actual open and outward action taken to further a crime. For example, thinking about pulling out a gun and robbing someone would not be an overt act, but actually pulling out a gun and robbing someone would be.
lessening or setting aside the punishment for
a group of people that make the laws for a country
that quiet, order and security which is guaranteed by the laws
the group of persons who make up a nation
made a formal request
relating to government or public affairs
1) a tax per “head”; 2) a tax on each person collected before they may vote. The old English meaning of “poll” was a person’s “head.”
roads over which mail is carried
all of a person’s descendants; all future generations or future mankind
1) influential countries; 2) rights or authorities
to injure, or harm because of some action
a report made by a grand jury of an offense that the grand jury observed or learned during their investigations
President pro tempore
a senator who presides over the U.S. Senate in the absence of the vice president. The vice president of the United States is the official presiding officer of the Senate, but in modern times generally presides over the Senate only on ceremonial occasions or when a tie-breaking vote is needed.
a state election to choose candidates for public office. The word “primary” means first. These elections are followed by the election where the final choice is made.
a valid reason in presuming someone is guilty of some illegal act
that which is yielded
1) make available for use; 2) make adequate preparation; enable or allow
“provided” is used in legal documents to introduce a condition or requirement
God or the protective care of nature as a
the carrying out of something in the way that is expected or required
the minimum number of members of an assembly required to be present to make the actions of that assembly valid
to give formal approval to something
suspension of business
correctness of behavior
the setting right of what is wrong; satisfaction or compensation for a wrong or injury
the correction of anything corrupt
legislatures. They are composed of representatives of the people who meet and make laws. The House of Lords and the House of Commons in Great Britain and the Senate and the House of Representatives in the United States are representative houses.
postponements of punishments
a form of government in which supreme power rests with all the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected president rather than a king or queen
required or necessary
formal statement of opinion or intention by
1) that positive view or honor in which we hold the good qualities of others; 2) in view of; considering, regarding
separately or individually
reports on the count of votes at polling places
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
the name of four early settlements in what is now Rhode Island
1) a power or privilege which correctly belongs to one by law, nature or tradition; 2) verb to relieve from wrong; restore to normal or correct condition; 3) of right as a result of having a moral or legal claim
1) location or site; Washington, D.C. is the seat of the national government; 2) a place in an elected legislature or other body
to make certain, to make safe, to guard effectively from danger
IOUs, such as savings bonds issued by the U.S. government
producing certainty or clear conviction upon direct observation
individual, separate or distinct. The several states would be the separate, individual states, such as New York, Virginia, Georgia, etc.
engaged in its business
the officer presiding over a lawmaking body, such as the House of Representatives
remaining permanently in existence
signed at the end of a document
able to be tolerated
tolerance; endurance, such as of pain or misery
the right to vote
the duration, act, manner, or right of holding something, such as an elected office or other position
by or through that
short duration; not lasting
a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject
examine according to law, as in a court
oppressive or unjust government
not capable of being sold, separated or
not making a distinction among or between
1) a group of independent states joined together for some specific purpose; 2) the United States of America
the wrongful or forceful taking of a right
place in the control of a person or group
a contraction of a Latin word meaning “that is to say”
ounces, pounds, etc.
prosperity and happiness
actions, deeds, achievements
a formal legal document ordering some action
Writ of Habeas Corpus
see habeas corpus
Writs of election
formal written documents ordering elections