"You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis (September 28, 1820).
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Reader comments about this quote:
It seemed like an oligarchy when Earl Warren and Warren Burger ran the Supreme Court.
 -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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     -- Allen, DC      
    As usual, Jefferson was right. It's sad to note that we've come from giants like Washington and Jefferson to pygmies like Carter, the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    The courts and congress are stacked with partisan politicians that have been groomed by the establishment's money masters to transfer the power and property of the people to a globalist oligarchy. To legitimize the servitude of all nations to an unpayable debt is the goal.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- dick, fort worth      
    An exquisite rendering of reality by the estimable Mr. Jefferson.

    The aggrandizement of the judiciary is, necessarily, inimical to Republican government, constituting, as it does, an unscrupulous means by which an infinitesimal minority is able to usurp power and gain the mastery of the majority.

    Effectively, a coup d'etat, by other means.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    We hold this truth to be self evident.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    That our government has a system of checks and balances wherein ultimate power, ostensibly, devolves to the citizenry is at best awkward and slow in resolution. Elements of principle which should be referred to the ballot are not due to their so-called complexity and necessary resolution as "law" requiring expertise; of one sort or another. The supreme court is charged with "interpreting" the Constitution, or determining whether a given law is in compliance with its articles. Those decisions are supposedly couched as a matter of "law" which is framed both in principle and "technically". A major question exists whether the Amendments are an integral part of the Constitution body to be approached in the same substance as its basic articles. In other words: when amending a body of law is that act limited to changing the basic articles or creating additional ones? Where does the 14th amendment fit into the primary articles such that it amends (either adds to or changes the basic elements of) any particular one. No human document (including biblical complications) is free from political interpretation. Man is language (Heidegger) and language is the instrument of political intent. Thus, we "stack" the court. It is not correct, in theory, to do so because the primary charge of any judge is both fairness and impartiality. Once one dons the robe all bias must be excluded from his or her engagement; in theory.
     -- John Shuttleworth, NYC     
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    We the People, in the USA as also worldwide have a unique opportunity to draw water from the "well of the wise" concerning our defence of the Individual sovereign. To edify and not destroy the individual sovereign is this power projected, upon our Form of Free Government. Even when corruption fills the halls of justice and bias force is practised at every turn, the True Spirit of Liberty cries out from the mouths of the oppressed. Their ears opened in such seasonable times as these. Enlightenment through Understanding, that which is the written word.
    "The altenate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetuated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of the Individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who would labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, Ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for Property, for Reputation, for Life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the Oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, Reason and Experience forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that Virtue or Morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The Rule, Indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of Free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric ? Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institution for general infusion of Knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be Enlightened." General and First President, George Washington, Farewell Address.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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    There are not enough stars to completely cover all the likes I would delightfully give to this quote of the very wise and astute Thomas Jefferson.
     -- Mary - MI     
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