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Tuesday night at the American Philosophical Society, the Temple American Inn of Court and Gray’s Inn of London debated the legality of U.S. Declaration of Independence and whether or not the American colonists had any legal right to succeed from England.

Fortunately for us Americans, it seems we were represented by some of our better lawyers, and the event ended in a vote, which determined the American rebellion was indeed legal.


While the debate may not hold much water, it is evidence that our rebellion against the crown was a very serious act, and although we won the war and have been recognized as an independent nation for over 200 years by the rest of the world, that status is not automatically eternal, and must continue to be defended vigilantly.

From: BBC News

Was the Declaration of Independence legal?

In Philadelphia, American and British lawyers have debated the legality of America’s founding documents.

On Tuesday night, while Republican candidates in Nevada were debating such American issues as nuclear waste disposal and the immigration status of Mitt Romney’s gardener, American and British lawyers in Philadelphia were taking on a far more fundamental topic.

Namely, just what did Thomas Jefferson think he was doing?

Some background: during the hot and sweltering summer of 1776, members of the second Continental Congress travelled to Philadelphia to discuss their frustration with royal rule.

For American lawyers, the answer is simple: “The English had used their own Declaration of Rights to depose James II and these acts were deemed completely lawful and justified,” they say in their summary.

To the British, however, secession isn’t the legal or proper tool by which to settle internal disputes. “What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union? Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right,” they argue in their brief.

A vote at the end of the debate reaffirmed the legality of Jefferson and company’s insurrection, and the American experiment survived to see another day.

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