“That the people have an original right to
establish, for their future government, such
principles as, in their opinion, shall most
conduce to their own happiness, is the basis, on
which the whole American fabric has been
erected.... The principles, therefore, so
established, are deemed fundamental. And
as the authority, from which they proceed, is
supreme ... they are designed to be
permanent.... The powers of the
legislature are defined, and limited; and
that those limits may not be mistaken, or
forgotten, the constitution is written.”
Justice John Marshall
(1755-1835) US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch.) 137, 176 (1803)
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Irene3n2, Virginia      
Our current crop of legislators seem to believe that their powers are unlimited. Certainly King Barack thinks so.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    There are problems with this quote. First of all is not "their" future government that is at stake, it is our present government. Do only the people who were alive in 1787 have rights and we have none; of course not! And that is why the power to amend the Constitution was provided for. Barack is not King yet, but tonights poll says he is ahead of that other guy by a huge margin. The people are speaking loud and clear already.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Not shooting the messenger, fairly accurate. Waffler of course believes in unlimited mob rule with out the benefit of law. Waffler, of course read the quote wrong again or is just blatantly up to misdirection again.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Why is the 1787 mob better than todays mob, Michael!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, as to the above quote and lawful reality, a mob, is a mob, is a mob. Mobs are unlawful displays of a - 'majority rules' (a democracy for example). If your 1787 reference is to the contributing writers to the Constitution - a mob's definition does not apply. As a very shallow glimpse and interpretation at form (not necessarily law), the above quote references fundamental principles (the comprehensive foundation of truth or doctrine) upon which conventions, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. are used to define related law. The law is natural, unchanging and supreme (man can not legislate gravity, science, fiscal absolutes, etc, out of existence) A mob claims the ability to make law (making the whole a god - able to supersede fundamental principles) The power to Amend the Constitution was not to support the false ideals of a democracy or other mob's stated theocratic canons BUT !, to adjust the scope of defining ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. in their accurately defining the law(s) and fundamental / eternal principles on which they (the laws) were / are based.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Waffler, AGAIN (after a multiple agains) Corporeal man has philosophically structured 3 applications of the the term referenced 'law'. First is natural law. Natural law was from Socrates and before the natural expression of nature (sciences) and man's conduct based on morals. The contributors to the Constitution modified the morality of fundamental principles to that which is absolute - a cause and effect if you will. Law is naturally the true expression of matter (as recognized by science and observation). Common law is an excellent natural law format for determining the law and securing it for freedom's and liberty's realization. Second is 'Legal Positivism', Legal Positivism is a philosophy that what ever man (as a god) says is law, is law, no matter its harmonization with that which is. Waffler, your entire religious, political, and mob mentality perspective is pure Legal Positivism - with no desire or ability to perceive that which is at natural law (for example: theft is theft except when the aloof from We The People government says it owns everything, even the labors of the once noble laborer). Third is 'legal realism'. Legal realism just says the law is what ever you can get a way with (for example: cigarettes are not unhealthy because the last one smoked didn't kill the smoker or judges can rule anyway they want because who is going to do any thing about it).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Waffler, most specifically - to your question. The noble gathering of individuals in 1787 attempted to establish a government of law, as is averse to a government of men. The current mob is an emotional government of men that is diametrically opposed to government of law.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    "Emotional mob" that is what our British cousins called us most of our existence after 1776.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    It should be remembered that the American Revolution was a UNANIMOUS decision of the thirteen States. The Constitution was a rule book for the government, not the people -- it is a charter for government with the People as sovereign, and the government LIMITED to only what powers the People granted -- nothing more. Unfortunately there are a lot of Waffler's out there who worship power and pyramids who would rather find a good pension from a powerful benefactor than respect the rights of the common man.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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