Thomas-Jean-Jacques Loranger

Thomas-Jean-Jacques Loranger, politician, judge, political theorist (b at Yamachiche, Qué 2 Feb 1823; d at Ste-Pétronille, Qué 18 Aug 1885). Upon completion of his classical education at the Seminary of Nicolet he studied law and was admitted to the bar in Canada East in 1844.

Loranger, Thomas-Jean-Jacques

Thomas-Jean-Jacques Loranger, politician, judge, political theorist (b at Yamachiche, Qué 2 Feb 1823; d at Ste-Pétronille, Qué 18 Aug 1885). Upon completion of his classical education at the Seminary of Nicolet he studied law and was admitted to the bar in Canada East in 1844. After several years of practice in Trois-Rivières and Montréal, he set up, in 1858, a law firm with his 2 brothers, Louis-Onésime and Jean-Marie.

He began his short and stormy political career in August 1854 as a deputy in the Legislative Assembly of the United Canadas. Re-elected in 1857, he became provincial secretary for Canada East. When he broke ranks with the executive by voting against its motion to transfer the capital to Ottawa, he was not reappointed when the Liberal-Conservatives returned to office in August 1858.

Loranger's nationalist sentiments brought him to criticize Cartier for accepting legislative measures that would anglicize French Canadians. In 1862 he broke ranks once again and voted against the militia bill, thereby contributing to the defeat of the administration. He remained a deputy until 9 March 1863 when he was named Superior Court judge, a position which he held until 1879.

Loranger had a very perceptive juridical mind. During the 1850s he contributed his talents to the resolution of the numerous legal problems created by the abolition of the SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM. His interpretation was very favourable to the habitants. While on the bench he wrote a 2-vol Commentaire sur la code civil du Bas-Canada in which he affirmed the Church's claim that it had sole jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to marriage.

While professor of administrative law at Laval U, he helped found a legal journal, Thémis, and proceeded with the arduous work of codifying the statutes of the province of Québec. As one of the first French Canadians to specialize in constitutional law, Loranger applied his nationalist vision to the federal system. In his Lettres sur l'interprétation de la constitution fédérale ... (1883-84), he advanced the compact theory of confederation, a theory which was quickly adopted by the provinces in their struggle for greater autonomy.