The Real Foundation of American Law: Natural Law

The Real Foundation of American Law: Natural LawThere can be no doubt about the intention of the Founders regarding the basis of American law. America was founded upon a notion of all law subject to a higher law, that is, natural law.

While there was debate about the content of natural law circulating at the time, sociologist Ellis Sandoz notes that most legal authorities accepted the key text of Sir Edward Coke, the universal tutor of lawyers before the Revolution. Coke plainly and clearly defines this law:

Newsletter Free Subscription“The law of nature is that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction; and this is the Lex aeterna, the moral law, called also the law of nature. And by this law, written with the finger of God in the Heart of man, were the people of God a long time governed before the law was written by Moses, who was the first reporter of the law in the world.”

Ellis Sandoz, A Government of Laws: Political Theory, Religion, and the American Founding, (Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge), p.158.

  • Doug

    Good clarity regarding influence upon, and intention of, our Founders. Would that we all had their moral fortitude.