August 2, 2011 - Highway

Terms cont'd…
Their Way or the Highway?
Abandoning assumption, we look at a few law dictionaries for a definition of 'highway' that would or should use in a court of law. We find the following:

HIGHWAY. A free and public road, way, or s t r e e t ; one which every person has the right to use… Sometimes it signifies right of free passage, in the abstract, not importing anything about the character or construction of the way. Thus, a river is called a "highway;" and it has been not unusual for congress, in granting a privilege of building a bridge, to declare that it shall be a public highway. Black's Law Dictionary 2nd ed.


(...As a side, we again find a connection in this term to that of maritime interests—a river is called a highway. Is it a coincidence that highways have islands, bridges, etc. Remember that Admiralty Law or law of the sea give almost unbridle authority to the captain of the ship to execute law as is necessary in each situation.) 

Common highway. By this term is meant a road to be used by the community at large for any purpose of transit or trafficBlack's Law Dictionary 2nd ed.

There are two distinct uses for the highways transit (the movements of people) and traffic (commerce, trade, business)

highway. 1. Broadly, any main route on land, on water, or in the air. 2. A free and public roadway or street that every person may use. Black's Law Dictionary 9th ed.

In an earlier blog (July 8, 2011) I presented definitions of Inalienable such as:

INALIENABLE. Not subject to alienation; the characteristic of those things which cannot be bought or sold or transferred from one person to another, such as rivers and public highways, and certain personal rights; e. g., liberty. Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd & 4th.

Public highways, as a free and public road, are list as the inalienable right of the public.

So, then what does 'public' mean? ...

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