Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post Edition)
links for 2007-04-14

Your One-Stop Source for Edward Coke, C.J. Liberties-of-Englishmen Blogging

"Underbelly" quotes a passage quoted by my great-great-grandfather Roland:

Underbelly: "Fell down all fower"--Woops!: Oops; earlier I recalled that Lord Coke made King James so angry that he “fell down on all fower,” but I couldn’t find the source. Once again, my friend Carlton comes to the rescue—sort of. Turns out it was Coke who fell down, not the King. And the phrase is “flat on all fower.” Apparently the King was pretty chuffed, though:

After which [i.e. after Coke C.J.’s remonstrance] his majestie fell into that high indignation as the like was never knowne in him, looking and speaking fiercely with bended fist, offering to strike him etc. which the Lord Coke perceiving fell flat on all fower; humbly beseeching his majestie to take compassion on him and to pardon him, if he thought zeale had gone beyond his duty and allegience. His Majesty not herewith contented, continued his indignation. Whereupon the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Cookes unckle by marriage, kneeled downe before his Majestie and prayed him to be favorable.

--As quoted in R.G. Usher, "James I and Sir Edward Cooke, "18 Eng. Hist. Rev. 664, 669 (1903), reprinted in William E. Conklin, In Defence of Fundamental Rights at 47 (1979) (Google book link)

Looks like it was I who fell down on this one, and here's hoping Speaker Pelosi stays upright.

And he writes further:

Underbelly: And Speaking of First Principles: When Nancy Pelosi goes to visit the president next week, she might want to haul along a copy of Prohibitions del Roy 12 Coke Rep. 63 (1608), the notes of Sir Edward Coke on a conference with King James I England

Note, upon Sunday the 10th of November, in this same Term [1607--ed.], the King, upon complaint made to him by Bancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning Prohibitions, the King was informed, that when the question was made of what matters the Ecclesiastical Judges have Cognizance, … the King himself may decide it in his Royall person; and that the Judges are but the delegates of the King, and that the King may take what Causes he shall please to determine, from the determination of the Judges, and may determine them himself. And the Archbishop said, that this was clear in Divinity, that such Authority belongs to the King by the Word of God in the Scripture. To which it was answered by me, in the presence, and with the clear consent of all the Judges of England, and Barons of the Exchequer, that the King in his own person cannot adjudge any case, either criminall, as Treason, Felony, &c. or betwixt party and party, concerning his Inheritance, Chattels, or Goods, &c. but this ought to be determined and adjudged in some Court of Justice, according to the Law and Custom of England....

Then the King said, that he thought the Law was founded upon reason, and that he and others had reason, as well as the Judges: To which it was answered by me, that true it was, that God had endowed his Majesty with excellent Science, and great endowments of nature; but his Majesty was not learned in the Lawes of his Realm of England, and causes which concern the life, or inheritance, or goods, or fortunes of his Subjects;... And that the Law was the Golden metwand and measure to try the Causes of the subjects; and which protected his Majesty in safety and peace: With which the King was greatly offended, and said, that then he should be under the Law, which was Treason to affirm, as he said; To which I said, that Bracton saith, Quod Rex non debet esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et Lege.

H/T Carlton for the reference. I am still looking for the part where we are told the King got so mad he "fell down on all fower."