The Courts, the Constitution, and Parties: Studies in Constitutional History and Politics

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University of Chicago Press, 1912 - Constitutional history - 299 pages
 

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Page 9 - Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void.
Page 9 - The Constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it. If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law ; if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts on the part of the people to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.
Page 261 - We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other ; and of forming a new Constitution of Civil Government, for ourselves and posterity ; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, DO agree...
Page 266 - Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
Page 197 - ... there can be but one supreme power which is the legislative, to which all the rest are and must be subordinate, yet, the legislative being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them...
Page 217 - No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State governments. From these conventions the constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained...
Page 43 - Nay more, if the whole legislature, an event to be deprecated, should attempt to overleap the bounds prescribed to them by the people, I, in administering the public justice of the country will meet the united powers, at my seat in this tribunal ; and, pointing to the constitution...
Page 232 - The Constitution of the United States then forms a government, not a league; and whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which operates directly on the people individually, not upon the States; they retained all the power they did not grant.
Page 221 - Every state constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner; and the constitution of the United States is likewise a compact, made by the people of the United States to govern themselves as to general objects, in a certain manner.
Page 71 - That it is an essential, unalterable Right in Nature ingrafted into the British Constitution as a fundamental Law, and ever held sacred & irrevocable by the Subjects within the Realm, that what a Man has honestly acquired is absolutely his own, which he may freely give but cannot be taken from him without his Consent...

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