To presage, humble, to entangle (in), prey (to), venture, proprietary, stipulation, arbitrary, intricate


TASK I.a)Match the words to their definitions:


1. to presage a.be seized by, caught by, harmed or affected in a bad way by
2. to entangle (in) b.foretell, be a sign of
3. prey (to) c.put or get into difficulties, in unfavorable circumstances
4. venture d.having many complexly interrelating parts or elements
5. humble 6. intricate e.not restrained or limited in the exercise of power f.a material condition or requirement in an agreement; provision
7. arbitrary g.owned or controlled by, held as property
8. proprietary h.an undertaking involving chance, risk, or danger
9. stipulation i.reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission

b) Use the above words to complete the following sentences:

1. An artificially strong euro may strong problems for the country.

2. The refugees fell to criminal gangs.

3. The Court articulated several that had to be met to sustain a political gerrymandering claim.

4. A tax incentive violates the commerce clause when it has the effect of providing lower tax rates to in-state businesses than those imposed on out-of- state .

5. The lawthe interests of church and state by seeking the symbolic and financial support of government to achieve a religious purpose.

6. Holmes was both proud andabout his war service.

7. Theruling in Board of Regents v. Roth subsequent cases that did expand the rights of terminated employees.

8. Federal funding for private universities may come with congressional protecting student rights.

9. The courts have upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty but looking more closely at how it is applied, held that an or discriminatory application would be unconstitutional.

10. The Court ruled that it was not a violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for the state legislature to regulate the price of a necessary good such as milk, as long as the regulation was not or unreasonable.

11. The policy would the nation in conflicts that could easily lead to war.

12. There are few regarding qualifications for becoming a senator, as is the case for representatives.

13. Initially, the father had extensive powers over the family, including the power of life and death; until Justinian's time, the father alone in his familia had capacity.

14. Hylton v. United States case is important historically, as it MARBURY V. MADISON.

15. True rights are 'binding on the world' in the lawyer's traditional phrase.

c) Translate the following sentences:

1. On the other hand, the highly-debated establishment by Congress of a process by which independent special prosecutors could be established to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption in the Executive Branch was sustained by the Court in a opinion that may presage a judicial approach in separation of powers cases more accepting of some blending of functions at the federal level.

2. For the Court, Justice Douglas observed that the interests of a State for purposes of invoking the original jurisdiction of the Court were not to be confined to those which are proprietary but rather embrace the so called quasi-sovereign interests which are independent of and behind the titles of its citizens, in all the earth and air within its domain.

3. However, the States did in a number of instances engage in commercial activities that would be regulated by federal legislation if the enterprise were privately owned; the Court easily sustained application of federal law to these state proprietary activities.

4. Chief Justice Taft uttered some cautionary words to guide trial judges in the utilization of their contempt powers. The power of contempt which a judge must have and exercise in protecting the due and orderly administration of justice and in maintaining the authority and dignity of the court is most important and indispensable. But its exercise is a delicate one and care is needed to avoid arbitrary or oppressive conclusions.

5. That the Fourth Amendment was intended to protect against arbitrary arrests as well as against unreasonable searches was early assumed by Chief Justice Marshall and is now established law.

6. Marshall sold real estate and entered other business ventures to afford his public service and, in order to provide for his family, often turned political office down.

7. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. (Declaration on Independence, 1776)

8. The royal charters that most colonies possessed became the focus of disputes between the colonists and their governments, with the colonials challenging what they saw as arbitrary and unconstitutional exercises of power.

TASK II.Use the following binominals to describe the way colonies were governed:

Customs and usages

Real or personal

Legislative and executive

Powers and duties

Arbitrary and unconstitutional

Moves and countermoves

Incompetence and mismanagement

1.TASK III.a) Compare the meanings of phrasal verbs:

set forth to state, to explain in a clear, organized way = to expound (a plan, a system, principles, ideas, purposes, objectives, etc.) formal use;

set out to give all the details of something or to explain something clearly, especially in writing;

set down to record as a law or regulation, to state in an official document how something must be done; lay down;

set up to make arrangements, preparations, provisions so that something can happen, exist and operate.


b) Use set down, had set up, set out, set forth, set down, set up, set out, sets forthin thefollowing:

1). The newspaper correctly reported that the government an investigation.

2). The first thing to do in the new constitution was to effective central government.

3). The UN Resolution the plan of settlement between the conflicting nations.

4). Your contract will all the terms of your employment.

5).There are laws which attempt to standards whereby the animal is properly protected.

6). It was proposed that passengers rights bein a separate charter.

7). Should legislators adopt the principles in Roth v. United States when many of the justices now rejected that standard? If not, what could they substitute for it?

8). The Court observed: The contract in the pleadings was made for the purpose of instituting this suit.


c) Compare the meanings of phrasal verbs:

call upon to officially ask someone to do something formal use

call for demand that it should be done (action), be held, convened, conducted (conference, meeting, elections, investigation)

d) Use call foror call uponin the following:

1. The Security Council Resolution an immediate cease-fire.

2. The Prime Minister may a new election before the end of the term of office.

3. The Constitutional Convention was to make and propose to the states a new constitution.

4. Thearmy is in a state of readinessincase it should to resolve the ethnic conflict.

5. The weaknesses in the system soon became apparent, and the Congress issued a a convention to meet in May 1787 in Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.

6. New York and Virginia probably would not have agreed to the Constitution without the bill of rights, and Virginia even a second constitutional convention for that purpose.

7. From the very nature of their judicial duties, state judges would be to pronounce the law applicable to the case in judgment.

8. The doctrine of prior restraint was by the Court as it struck down a series of loosely drawn statutes and ordinances requiring licenses to hold meetings and parades and to distribute literature, with uncontrolled discretion in the licensor whether or not to issue them.

9. The New Jersey Plan also the supremacy of the national government, making all state laws subordinate to the laws and directions imposed by the central government.

TASK IV.Match the nouns to their definitions or synonyms:

1.statute a. chamber

2.pronouncement b. the authority to do smth

3.government c. power

4.house d. official appointed to govern the province

5.governor e. declaration

6.authority f. an act of legislature

6.stipulation g. authority; conduct of state affairs

7.mandate h. prerequisite, requirement


TASK V.Combine the verbs and the nouns and use them to describe the colonial governments:

1. to confer

2. to set forth

3. to retain

4. to advise

5. to appoint

6. to grant

7. to select

8. to meet

9. to proclaim

10. to establish

11. to reach

12. to determine

a) a plan

b) qualifications

c) institutions

d) a charter

e) an agreement

f) privileges

g) a governor

h) power

i) a house

j) a form of government

k) rights

l) the limits


TASK VI.Combine the adjectives and the nouns and use them to describe the British administration of colonies:

1) kingly

2) judicial

3) royal

4) common

5) economic

6) a two-house or bicameral

7) the lower

8) real or personal

9) arbitrary and unconstitutional

10) intricate but fierce

11) Parliamentary

12) bureaucratic

a) authority

b) infighting

c) legislature

d) decisions

e) house

f) exercise of power

g) struggle

h) property

i) pronouncements

j) ventures

k) power

l) law


TASK VII. a) Sum up the proper paragraph to describe the following:

British administration of the colonies

New republican constitutions

The role of England's Instrument of Government

Colonial types and governments

From the entire legal framework of a nation to a single document

b) Answer the following questions:

Why do nations need constitutions?

How has the idea of the constitution changed over the centuries?

What role did the Instrument of government play?

What other documents may be regarded as first written constitutions?

When was the first constitution adopted in your country?

Was there only one constitution in your country?


TASK VIII.Consult reference books or Glossary to explain the following notions:

legal framework of a nation

government custom and usage

royal pronouncement

direct royal authority

republican constitution

republican form of government

instrument of government

joint-stock company

proprietary colony

qualified veto power

system of checks and balances

bicameral legislature one-house legislature


TASK IX.Discuss the following passages from Joseph StorysCommentaries on the Constitution (1833):

Plantations or colonies in distant countries are either, such as are acquired by occupying and peopling desert and uncultivated regions by emigrations from the mother country; or such as, being already cultivated and organized, are acquired by conquest or cession under treaties. There is, however, a difference between these two species of colonies in respect to the laws, by which they are governed, at least according to the jurisprudence of the common law. If an uninhabited country is discovered and planted by British subjects, the English laws are said to be immediately in force there; for the law is the birthright of every subject. So that wherever they go, they carry their laws with them; and the new found country is governed by them.

This proposition, however, though laid down in such general terms by very high authority, requires many limitations, and is to be understood with many restrictions. Such colonists do not carry with them the whole body of the English laws, as they then exist; for many of them must, from the nature of the case, be wholly inapplicable to their situation, and inconsistent with their comfort and prosperity. There is, therefore, this necessary limitation implied, that they carry with them all the laws applicable to their situation, and not repugnant to the local and political circumstances, in which they are placed.

Even as thus stated, the proposition is full of vagueness and perplexity; for it must still remain a question of intrinsic difficulty to say, what laws are, or are not applicable to their situation; and whether they are bound by the present state of things, or are at liberty to apply them in future by adoption, as the growth or interests of the colony may dictate. The English rules of inheritance, and of protection from personal injuries, the rights secured by Magna Charta, and the remedial course in the administration of justice, are examples as clear perhaps as any, which can be stated, as presumptively adopted, or applicable. And yet in the infancy of a colony some of these very rights, and privileges, and remedies, and rules, may be in fact inapplicable, or inconvenient, and impolitic. It is not perhaps easy to settle, what parts of the English laws are, or are not in force in any such colony, until either by usage, or judicial determination, they have been recognized as of absolute force.

In respect to conquered and ceded countries, which have already laws of their own, a different rule prevails. In such cases the crown has a right to abrogate the former laws, and institute new ones. But until such new laws are promulgated, the old laws and customs of the country remain in full force, unless so far as they are contrary to our religion, or enact any thing, that is malum in se; for in all such cases the laws of the conquering or acquiring country shall prevail. This qualification of the rule arises from the presumption, that the crown could never intend to sanction laws contrary to religion or sound morals. But although the king has thus the power to change the laws of ceded and conquered countries, the power is not unlimited. His legislation is subordinate to the authority of parliament. He cannot make any new change contrary to fundamental principles; he cannot exempt an inhabitant from that particular dominion, as for instance from the laws of trade, or from the power of parliament; and he cannot give him privileges exclusive of other subjects.

Mr. Justice Blackstone, in his Commentaries, insists, that the American colonies are principally to be deemed conquered, or ceded countries. His language is, "Our American Plantations are principally of this latter sort, [i.e. ceded or conquered countries,] being obtained in the last century either by right of conquest and driving out the natives, (with what natural justice I shall not at present inquire,) or by treaties. And, therefore, the common law of England, as such, has no allowance or authority there; they being no part of the mother country, but distinct, though dependent dominions."

TASK X.Compare the following forms of social agreements:

A.A compact was a mutual agreement or understanding that was more in the nature of a standing rule. If it did not always have the status of law, it often had a similar effect. A compact implied an agreement that in some way affected the entire community or relations between communities. The word's root meaning was knitting together or bringing the component parts closely and firmly into a whole. A compact, therefore, was an agreement creating something that we would today recognize as a community.

Inthe seventeenth andeighteenth centuries, a compact was an agreement between a largegroup ofpeople creating a new community based upon theirown consent.

Locke consistently used compact to describe the Foundation agreement.

If a people in a given situation had to draw up a mutual agreement but found it impossible to obtain the king's official sanction, they could call upon God as a witness to bind those signing until the royal seal could be secured. If a people reached a mutual agreement but they chose to call upon neither God nor the king, they must have for some reason, considered themselves competent to establish the document's force. In this latter instance, legitimacy rested upon the authority of the people, indicating an understanding of popular sovereignty. A compact was just such an agreement. For this reason Blackstone could say: "A compact is a promise proceeding from us, law is a command directed to us." (Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England)

Those in a contractual relationship would be inclined toward legalistic wrangling over the meaning and intent of specific words and phrases. The emphasis upon the letter rather than upon the spirit of the agreement would destroy the sense of community as implied by a compact and would result in something less an association for specific, limited ends. True compacts, without any contractual elements, are communitarian in their orientation, but contractual variants are more legalistic.

The early state constitutions adopted in 1776 could be viewed as compacts, since they usually summarized and codified what the colonists of the respective states had developed over the years.

B.The word charter is derived from the Latin for a papyrus leaf, a writing, a document. Often this legal document or deed, written on a singlepiece of paper, confirmed or ratified grants, sessions, contracts, and other transactions. Or it was a document by the sovereign or the legislature to grant privileges to, or recognize the rights of, an entire people, a certain class, or specific individuals. Such was Magna Carta, a charter of rights for the nobility. In his Leviathan, Hobbes says that charters are not laws but exemptions from the laws. Charters also granted pardon and created or incorporated boroughs, universities, companies, or other organizations. These written instruments or contracts applied especially to documents or deeds relating to the conveyance of property. The word charter was also a linguistic substitute for privilege, immunity, or publicly conceded right. To say that something was chartered was to say that it was founded, privileged, or protected. Charters and letters patent were similar, though the latter could refer to any authoritative document. A charter was invariably a patent, but a patent was not necessarily a charter.In addition, a charter effectively constituted a contract between the authority granting it and the person(s) to whom it was granted. However, unlike a simple contract, a charter often included many general statements. Contract, for example, would not be an appropriate description for a document saying that "andthe proprietors shall establish a government whereby differences among the planters may be settled." Virtually all colonial charters granted bythe king of England had this sentence or one like it, and on its strength the colonists designed their own forms of local government. A true contract could nothave included such ahistorically important provision. The peculiarityof a charter, then, was that itoften contained strong contractual elements linked to many or most of what we would recognize as elements of a founding documentlike a constitution.


TASK XI.Compare the following definitions of constitutionincluding the ones given in the text:


The organic and fundamental law of a nation or state, which may be written or unwritten, establishing the character and conception of its government, laying the basic principles to which its internal life is to be conformed, organizing the government, and regulating, distributing, and limiting the functions of its different departments, and prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of sovereign powers. A charter of government deriving its whole authority from the governed.

In a more general sense, any fundamental or important law or edict; as the Novel Constitutions of Justinian; the Constitutions of Clarendon.


[Latin constitutio system, fundamental principles (of an institution), from constituere to set up, establish] 1: the basic principles and laws of a notion, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it2: a written instrument containing the fundamental rules of a political or social organization esp, cap : the U.S. Constitution.


TASK XII. Contribute to the subject and prepare a talk on one of the following:

Magna Charta of 1215

the Petition of Right of 1628

Instrument of Government of 1653

the Humble Petition and Advice of 1657

the English Bill of Rights of 1689

the Reform Bills of 1832 and 1867

John Jay (17451829)

John Adams (17351826)


TASK XIII. Comment on the following statement by Joseph Story:

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