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And, in news from Runnymede….

magnacarta_2633255kWe can’t let June 15, 2015, go by without noting that it is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Want to know more? You’re in luck! No anniversary of significance (faux or otherwise) passes these days without a comprehensive website devoted to the event. Short of time? The New York Times offers a more succinct discussion (with a bonus pop quiz!). Or check out historian Jill Lepore’s very interesting essay about Magna Carta’s “unusual legacy in the United States.” (Not that it didn’t have an unusual legacy in Britain, as evidenced by Horace Rumpole’s reliance on the Great Charter to defend his right to the comfort of an occassional cheroot.) Happy anniversary, Magna Carta!

UPDATE: Lest we forget, we have our own hometown mural depicting King John’s submission. There’s more on the mural here; and the court system itself has articles on the mural and Magna Carta.

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  • admin June 15, 2015, 5:06 am

    An op-ed in today’s NYT says Americans so revere the document that “Judges, too, cite Magna Carta with increasing frequency, in cases ranging from Paula Jones’s suit against Bill Clinton to the pleas of Guantanamo detainees.” Seems like a “politifact” moment, no? Running the phrase “magna carta” through “all cases” on Westlaw yields 1,336 case hits. While we didn’t screen out cases involving companies named “magna carta,” we have to admit that the number of cites compares favorably to, say, The Communist Manifesto (a mere 81 case hits), but the hit count was less impressive than expected. Nevertheless, we wish the Magna Carta a very happy 800th birthday.

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