"I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments."
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
speech in the Congress of the United States, June 17, 1789
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Reader comments about this quote:
One of the well thought out aspects at a fledgling attempt to secure natural law, liberty and justice for all.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
    It is only in the presence of Virtue, in the attendant absence of ambition, that power can be rightly delegated and exercised.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 5
     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    The fact that Madison can't answer his own question demonstrates that the Constitution is not perfect. Governing has always been a racket to 'rule' and an imperial quest for power. The Constitution was supposed to be a rule book for the government so that they could never assume dominance over the people.

    But KNOWLEDGE of how to live free is absolutely essential to a free republic. And if the people lose the knowledge of how to be responsible for oneself, to raise a family, live in a community, produce, trade, play, sing, dance ... -- they become serfs on their own land. And since Education today promotes a culture of passengers on a bus rather than owners of race cars, little by little the people are being conditioned into beasts of burden for the ruling class.

    The responsibility still rests with the individual to keep his government in check -- of course, it helps if you have others of like mind with you.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
     -- Jim K, Austin      
     Very well stated, your words are absolutely inspiring and you are right. The fact that he couldn't even answer his own question really does demonstrate that the United States constitution is not perfect and to be honest that is completely fine.
     -- rj     
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