William Blackstone (1723-80).

We’ve enjoyed a slow day in the progression of federal appellate law as it trends ever upward towards its ultimate perfection.  Especially so, Blawgletter holds, in the areas of interest to business trial lawyers. 

Yes, one appeals court did uphold the majesty of the right to jury trial today by reinstating the full amount of a verdict.  Taylor v. Otter Tail Corp., No. 06-2589 (8th Cir. Apr. 10, 2007).  And Blawgletter applauds the court’s wisdom.

But the dearth of business law decisions prompted our mind to wander, as it often does this time of year.  And it drifted back in time to that great English jurist, William Blackstone.  He said, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765), a great many things of supreme interest even today, when legal perfection seems so much nearer to our grasp.  Among them:

In all tyrannical governments, the supreme magistracy, or the right both of making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men; and wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty.

Amen, Brother Blackstone.  Amen.

Barry Barnett

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