Commentators often advocate that the privileges and immunities language found in the United States Constitution represents authority for some right along the spectrum of natural law, the Bill of Rights, or fundamental law in general. This Article provides contextual background for the argument by examining medieval royal privileges and immunities and tracing the crown’s charter to the American colonies and the United States Constitution. This Article goes beyond merely providing a short background for the use of the language in revolutionary pamphlets and the U.S. Constitution; rather, this Article discusses the concept of royal privileges and immunities and traces its growth in England and influence on the colonies. Along the way, useful comparisons are made between English institutions and American institutions.
Thomas H. Burrell, A Story of Privileges and Immunities: From Medieval Concept to the Colonies and United States Constitution, 34 Campbell L. Rev. 7 (2011).