United States Declaration of Independence

Excerpt: July 4,1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

32 thoughts on “United States Declaration of Independence

  1. 10

    thank you for the reminder.

  2. 9

    On the whole, modern historians question the categorization of George III as an absolute despot, and England was undergoing an agricultural and industrial revolution foreshadowing the prosperity in the 19th century and showing growing freedom, not despotism. Although satirised as “Farmer George”, he was interested in the development of agriculture and was popular at many periods during his reign. There is no indication that Lord North was intending to reduce the colonists under absolute despotism, merely to recover by taxes the costs of wars a few years earlier and greatly to their advantage.

    1. 9.1

      Not a tyrant? Ha!

      Here are some facts be submitted to a candid world:

      He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

      He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

      He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

      He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

      He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

      He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

      He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

      He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

      He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

      He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

      He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

      He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

      He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

      For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

      For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

      For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

      For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

      For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

      For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

      For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

      For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

      For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

      He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

      He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

      He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

      He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

      He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

      1. 9.1.1

        As I recall the relevant history, it was British concern for the “merciless Indian savages”, who were regarded as included amongst British subjects and were considered deserving of protection that threatened Westward expansion and was a major cause of the conflict.

        1. 9.1.1.1

          Paul, the Indian tribes were used by each of the various power groups for their own purposes.

    2. 9.2

      The victors always rewrite history…

      (But that does not eliminate the potential issues with revisionist accounts, as “over compensation” is always something to be aware of)

      1. 9.2.1

        @ Anon

        Thank you for your kind comment.

        In the long view of history, both countries won, as did the world as a whole. The heirs of Thomas Jefferson include Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt, without both of whom world history would have been incomparably worse.

        It is also worth remembering that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on 4 July 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence.

        The essential decency and magnanimity of John Adams is shown by his defence of the British soldiers involved in 1770 in the Boston Massacre. My personal opinion is that America was extraordinarily fortunate in its generation of Founding Fathers, and that a group of people of such outstanding ability had not been seen in human history since the days of ancient Athens.

        1. 9.2.1.1

          I concur and point out at the same time that the founders were not saints, merely humans with asperiations of something better.

          One of those things that were aspired to was the nature of private personal property of patents. The intersection of innovation and law is what draws my own desire for “something better” and (often) my haranguing against those who appear to have some severe cognitive dissonance in purportedly working to obtain that which they so apparently detest.

  3. 8

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    This is the United States. If these words are not the point of departure of your every argument, you will and should receive scorn, ridicule and protest.

    The United States Government will step in as needed to protect your freedom of speech, but otherwise you should expect nothing but the contempt of your country men. Self-evident means exactly what it says.

    1. 8.1

      Programming is not free speech.

  4. 7

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice;

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    —Sound like any one else you know?

  5. 6

    when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government

    Two thoughts:

    (1) does the despotism really have to be “absolute” before the “duty” arises?

    (2) the important thing is that the overthrow is achieved in a civil fashion.

    1. 6.1

      (1) – No. As is written, one merely needs to have the “evinces a design.”

      (2) – ? Where in the world are you getting this “achieved in a civil fashion” notion?

      First of all, you are without a doubt, the least civil poster in the comment section of this blog.

      Second, while civility may have its place, there is far more benefit in NOT having “civility” (or the call for civility) be used to obscure points, or dissemble on rationales. Here, the second does not excuse your first, as you are not civil in order to be clear. Rather, you are not civil as your first line of empty ad hominem dust kicking.

      In other words, one can be uncivil and still employ critical thinking (and highlight an opposing view for its lack of critical thinking). That is not how you are uncivil. You are uncivil in a more “Trump” just blurt things out without critical thinking manner.

      Third, do you really think that this nation was born in a civil manner? Blood was paid. To think otherwise does a disservice to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

      1. 6.1.1

        (2) – ? Where in the world are you getting this “achieved in a civil fashion” notion?

        Sarcasm, son, at the expense of the shirth0les in DC and the so-called “liberal media” (LOL).

        1. 6.1.1.1

          Ah thanks – but one typically sees the “let’s be civil” motif coming from the politically correct on the left side of the aisle…

  6. 5

    All the rights are public rights subject to removal from an administrative judge as long as the administrative judge cannot proved to have acted arbitrary.

    1. 5.1

      On that quick hypothetical for forum, assume:
      * a patent was canceled by the administrative panel (IPR) via certificate
      * a patent owner receives a judgement in Court that the IPR process that resulted in the certificate failed under due process (for whatever reason)

      Would it follow that the patent canceled by certificate was a taking by the US government under the “public franchise” regime. That is, we know from Oil States that a patent can be taken post issue (reconsidered) via the IPR process by the IPR process and that the taking is by default constitutional. This cancels a patent (now dead, previously there was some recognized property right possessed by the patent owner). The remedy if the taking violated due process seems to be the value of the patent improperly taken. The US government (under the takings clause) seems to be liable for that value. Would any sovereign immunity, precedent, or remedy other than financial remuneration apply if patent owner seeks to be compensated (effectively eminent domain) ?

      I understand a damages phase to determine a value of the “taking” is needed. There would be a big fight as to whether the “value” is low or high. The different standard used by the PTAB verses Court could be patent owners friend for arguing “high” side of the value. Admittedly some will argue the value is just the paid USPTO fees and whatnot. Ignoring the valuation – is the logic of PTO terminates issued patent; due process violated as determined by Court; owner seeks compensation for loss of value of canceled patent from US government … a straight forward legal stance, or are there other known factors ? Curious.

      Thanks – and happy independence day everyone …

      – Brian

      1. 5.1.1

        Brian,

        You have put out a lot there, unfortunately, you have made a lot of little missteps along the way.

        Easiest answer for you though is that the court finding the administrative action to violate the law (your due process item), then that action is void ab initio and your musings on takings is moot.

        1. 5.1.1.1

          Anon,

          Thank you. What you are saying makes sense. If the cancellation action is retroactively voided, then the patents may be revived (possibly). What about term on the patents and infringements in the intern ?

          At the end of the day, if there is a taking, there is a financial incentive for someone to bring the suit. Otherwise, it is harder to get someone to invest in the painful and expensive process to determine a due process violation – the suit bringer would eat the litigation costs and may be left with few/little advantages for the win.

          I find it interesting, because a due process violation would effectively kill the IPR process in general (due to a structural defect and a resulting effect on the gov’t that the gov’t wouldn’t want to endure costs for improperly killing the patent franchise). I know it is a hypothetical, and I appreciate your feedback. Do you have any case-law about the negation of the PTO action ? (I consider it basically like an eminent domain land case, were a land-owner wins, but only after their house is torn down – you can’t really give the land back and make the owner whole). The case posture may be entirely different though. Thoughts?

          1. 5.1.1.1.1

            Brian,

            If the court finds that the administrative action was void ab initio, then there is no need for reinstatement, as the administrative action is as if it never existed.

            Make no mistake, takings are involved.

            But one must be clear as to when and what is being taken**.

            In your post, you indicate a rather “wide-open” notion of due process violations. As such violations may come in different flavors (and carry with that, different effects), it is difficult to provide thoughts that may apply to a singular instance that you may have in mind.

            As to case law for you, sorry, but no, I do not have that handy. Your analogy is interesting, but a little short on carrying over to the patent world (there are no houses to be torn down in a patent sense, given that a patent is not a “positive” right to DO anything, and instead is a negative right to stop others from doing something. A patent does not come with a guarantee of market success (and this is part of what differentiates patents from “true” monopolies).

            **I have outlined previously how the separate legal action of an institution decision (separate from any ensuing decision on the merits) can be seen to be a takings. One has but to consider the sum total of the sticks in the bundle of property rights after grant to the sum total after an institution decision. Of course, takings are permitted under the law, provided that certain protections are in place. The more interesting question is whether the takings that does occur is a proper takings under protections of property that other parts of the Constitution provide. As we have recently seen in the copyright case (the Tams), just because Congress may choose to do something in the IP protection realm, does NOT mean that Congress can violate other protections afforded by other parts of the Constitution.

      2. 5.1.2

        Presumably, claims that are invalid by clear and convincing evidence have no value. Claims that are not invalid by a preponderance of the evidence require no compensation. For the space between, it most likely wouldn’t be worth it because it would require valuing a hypothetical patent infringement suit.

    2. 5.2

      Ha! We must have missed that footnote to the Declaration.

  7. 4

    “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

    Yea, sure. Since eBay, only as long as you’re in China.

  8. 3

    Raise your hand if reading this brings to mind snippets of the Schoolhouse Rock tune.

  9. 2

    it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,

    My, what a dangerous concept.

  10. 1

    Truly one of the greatest achievements of humankind.

    All Americans should recognize and be proud of that achievement.

    1. 1.1

      I’m not clear about what you have in mind as the greatest achievement of humankind.

      Was it the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

      Or was it the throwing off of the colonial Government?

      Whatever. For me, the Rule of Law, and representative democracy, is the greatest achievement. Free and fair elections, at fixed intervals, effective to “throw off” a government that has become oppressive to a majority of the voters.

      Those who established democratic rights could never have imagined the stress testing of the Rule of Law that we see these days. It is incumbent on us all here, to recognise how precious these hard-won rights are, and how the Internet makes it so much easier, around the world today, to bamboozle the voters into surrendering them, softly softly, bit by bit.

      Today’s country, Poland. Its Government just announced that, forthwith, one in three of its appeal court judges will immediately go into forced early retirement. Take that, you pesky and troublesome senior judges.

      1. 1.1.1

        And that is one of the problems of dealing with stacked courts paid for by Google.

        The judges that were appointed by Obama should resign. They are tainted and cannot be trusted to apply the laws of the USA.

        You see that is how you lose democracy. One little step at a time. You get judges purchased by corporations and then the lawyers practicing before them lose respect for the judges. Judges in the USA should stop their judicial activism.

        I’d guess most of the people I know that are lawyers really wouldn’t care that much if there was a mass impeachment of many of the sitting judges. They engender so little respect. That is how democracies are lost.

        Resign Taranto. That would be a great start to fixing the patent system.

        1. 1.1.1.1

          “Judges in the USA should stop their judicial activism.”

          But muh victims doh.

          1. 1.1.1.1.1

            6,

            While “isms” may abound, one need realize that not all common law practice is out of line.

            Such IS out of line – for example – in cases in which the Constitution clearly delegates authority for law writing to a particular branch of the government.

            1. 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “While “isms” may abound, one need realize that not all common law practice is out of line.

              Such IS out of line – for example – in cases in which the Constitution clearly delegates authority for law writing to a particular branch of the government.”

              I’m not sure what you mean. It’s pretty clear that there is delegated authority for law writing to congress in many cases which had some judicial activism going on during the case on behalf of some muh victim or other.

              1. 1.1.1.1.1.1.1

                It’s not clear what it is that you think is unclear.

                Let’s take it a step at a time. Do you know what common law is? Are you aware that common law is not universally allowable? That common law has limits as to when it is proper to use?

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