"What is a Constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental law are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the Legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it."
William Paterson
(1745-1806) New Jersey statesman, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 2nd governor of New Jersey (1790-1793)
VanHorne's Lessee v. Dorrance, 1795
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Reader comments about this quote:
That's the way it should be, but liberal supreme courts feel differently.
 -- cal, Lewisville, Texas     
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    Great and excellent idea.

    Too bad we are losing it at rapid speed.
     -- bruski, naples FL     
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    Mr. Paterson's concept was a heart felt hope and understanding for guaranteeing freedom, liberty and inalienable rights to his and all posterity. A 20 / 20 hindsight allows the advantage of viewing a different evolution than he conceptually perceived. The statement here is laced with a truth, then unintended untruths along with vague utterances that can be defined many ways. For example the phrase: "delineated by the mighty hand of the people", is today an egotistical tyrant's sound bite to justify enslaving the masses through an illusion of individual sovereignty at natural law. Though the concept of a limiting Constitution was a novel concept at the time, history has shown how quickly degradation can occur. A constitution is not much else than a founding outline of what rules of order will proceed - the order can be that of liberty or the chaos of totalitarianism. What is "paramount to the power of the Legislature,"? The founding Constitution of the de jure States united has been altered beyond recognition, in essence and reality, revoking any principle of freedom or liberty originally intended.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    A Reckoning is due. America must address the corrupt acts of the past that have now become de facto law. Every check against oligarchy has been challenged, and many have been breached. The takeover has been long and silent. But you can't fool all the people all the time. It may happen here, it may happen somewhere else, but a Reckoning is coming...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- your name, your town     
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