June 15, 1215 at Runnymede WHEREAS, Magna Carta, or Magna Carta Libertatum, is one of the documents on which the founders of the United States depended in drafting our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution;
WHEREAS, Magna Carta is the foundational document that first sought to protect the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot;
WHEREAS, Magna Carta is presumed to have been drafted by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, to make peace between the unpopular King John and a group of rebel Anglo-Saxon barons;
WHEREAS, Among the protections guaranteed by Magna Carta were the protection of church rights, protection from illegal imprisonment, swift access to justice and limitations on payments to the Crown;
WHEREAS, For its enforcement, Magna Carta established the council of barons, the antecedent of the British Parliament and, thus our United States Congress and state legislatures;
WHEREAS, Magna Carta is the source of our Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, ensuring the individual’s right to due process of law;
WHEREAS, Magna Carta is the source of our Constitution’s Ninth Amendment, ensuring that the rights we already held were not lost unless explicitly curtailed in the new Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Magna Carta gave women the right to inherit property; therefore be it
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee does hereby commemorate on June 15, 1215 the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta;
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee remembers and honors the brave Anglo-Saxons who desired, and successfully demanded of a king, their God-given, inalienable, self-evident rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; and
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee and the leaders of the United States of America promote and defend the ideals of Runnymede with the same steadfast determination as those ancient Englishmen, 800 years ago.
*As adopted by the Republican National Committee on May 15, 2015.