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The Magna Carta of John is cited as one of the cornerstones of the British Constitution.  It is rarely mentioned that not only it was written and issued with great fanfare at Runnymede in 1215; it was also re-issued in 1225.  Why?  About that, I know nothing.

What was changed?  The crossouts were the deleted words from the 1215 version; the revision substituted the underlined text.

No freemenfree-man shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseiseddispossessed, of his free tenement, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed,; nor will we go uponcondemn him, nor send uponwill we commit him, except to prison, excepting by the lawfullegal judgment of his peers, or by the lawlaws of the land. To no onenone will we sell, to no onenone will we refuse ordeny, to none will we delay, right or justice.

The longest part of a sentence introduced states:

or dispossessed, of his free tenement, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed

The four concepts offered are:

  1. Dispossessed of his free tenement
  2. or liberties
  3. or free customs
  4. or be outlawed

The various unimpressive dissents in Obergefell v. Hodges are no more anchored to solid ground than is the majority opinion.  The originalists, Scalia and especially Thomas, appeal to an originalism that is far more constricted than the Magna Carta of 1225.  Perhaps the first version was more their taste; but 1225 is quite a long time ago, too, by American standards.

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