"But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation."
in the Massachusetts Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, January 23, 1788,
in _Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution,_
Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.2 p.94 (Philadelphia, 1836)
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