It is quite plain that the phrase due process of law is historically related to and derived from the phrase "per legem terrae" of Magna Charta, and that the provisions of that fundamental document were intended, and have since been treated as a limitation not on the legislature but upon the executive and the courts. The provision per legem terrae thus means in the English law that the individaul shall not be deprived of his life, liberty or property by arbitrary acts, unsupported by existing law, whether common or statutory, by the King or his courts. But that the law is subject to change at the will of Parliament is not and ha3 not been doubted.30 The property rights of the individual were thus at the time of the adoption of our Constitution, and have since remained, subject to the plenary legislative power of Parliament.

There is thus some historical ground for holding that, in the absence of explicit provision to the contrary, the due process clauses of the federal Constitution were not intended as a restraint, the one upon Congress, and the other upon the state legislatures.