The power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.
more John Locke quotes
The dissenter is every human being at those times of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
more Archibald Macleish quotes
Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered.
more Archibald Macleish quotes
If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.
more James Madison quotes
One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one.
more James Madison quotes
The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.
more James Madison quotes
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
more James Madison quotes
There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence.
more James Madison quotes
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
more James Madison quotes
[A]s the Courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them by refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper.
more James Madison quotes
[T]he power to declare war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.
more James Madison quotes
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.
more James Madison quotes
If it be asked what is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution, and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer, the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them; as if the general power had been reduced to particulars, and any one of these were to be violated; the same, in short, as if the State legislatures should violate their respective constitutional authorities. In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.
more James Madison quotes
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
more James Madison quotes
Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents.
more James Madison quotes
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. ... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.
more James Madison quotes
I believe that if the people of this nation fully understood what Congress has done to them over the last 49 years, they would move on Washington; they would not wait for an election... It adds up to a preconceived plan to destroy the economic and social independence of the United States!
more George W. Malone quotes
It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each. So, if a law be in opposition to the Constitution, if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case, so that the Court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the Constitution, or conformably to the Constitution, disregarding the law, the Court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty. If, then, the Courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the Legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.
more John Marshall quotes
The province of the Court is solely to decide on the rights of individuals... . Questions, in their nature political or which are, by the Constitution and laws, submitted to the Executive, can never be made in this court.
more John Marshall quotes
A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.
more Justice John Marshall quotes
By the power to lay and collect imposts Congress may impose duties on any or every article of commerce imported into these states to what amount they please. By the power to lay excises, a power very odious in its nature, since it authorizes officers to examine into your private concerns, the Congress may impose duties on every article of use or consumption: On the food that we eat, on the liquors we drink, on the clothes that we wear, the glass which enlighten our houses, or the hearths necessary for our warmth and comfort. By the power to lay and collect taxes, they may proceed to direct taxation on every individual either by a capitation tax on their heads or an assessment on their property. By this part of the section, therefore, the government has a power to tax to what amount they choose and thus to sluice the people at every vein as long as they have a drop of blood left.
more Luther Martin quotes
Now all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice.
more George Mason quotes
There is danger in the concentration of control in the television and radio networks, especially in the large television and radio stations; danger in the concentration of ownership in the press…and danger in the increasing concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers and by the producers of radio and television programs.
more Eugene McCarthy quotes
Search the Constitution and you will find no power granted to the legislative branch to make laws governing agriculture, housing, medicine, energy, private ownership or weapons, and a great deal more.
more John F. McManus quotes
Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish. Freedom is always wise.
more Alexander Meiklejohn quotes
Freedom is always wise.
more Alexander Meiklejohn quotes
Welcome to the U.S. Capitol: Watch for falling expectations.
more Wiley Miller quotes
[In a republic,] it is not the people themselves who make the decisions, but the people they themselves choose to stand in their places.
more James Monroe quotes
The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature. [If a president is successful in bypassing the Congress] it is evident that the people are cheated out of the best ingredients in the government, the safeguards of peace which is the greatest of their blessings.
more Richard M. Nixon quotes
These things I believe: That government should butt out.
That government should butt out.
That freedom is our most precious commodity and
if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away.
That individual freedom demands individual responsibility.
That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil.
That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid.
That political parties have become close to meaningless.
That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away.
That government should provide for the national defense
and work to insure domestic tranquillity.
That foreign trade should be fair rather than free.
That America should be wary of foreign entanglements.
That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time
with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
That guns do more than protect us from criminals;
more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government.
That states are the bulwark of our freedom.
That states should have the right to secede from the Union.
That once a year we should hang someone in government
as an example to his fellows."

more Lyn Nofziger quotes
Where the meaning of the Constitution is clear and unambiguous, there can be no resort to construction to attribute to the founders a purpose or intent not manifest in its letter.
more Norris v. Baltimore quotes
An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.
more Norton vs. Shelby County quotes
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.
more Theophilus Parsons quotes
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.
more William Paterson quotes
The obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.
more Dr. Ron Paul quotes
The legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion nor touching or abridging the liberty of the press.
more Charles Pinckney quotes
Sovereignty inheres in the right to issue money. And the American sovereignty belongs by right to the people, and their representatives in Congress have the right to issue money and to determine the value thereof. And 120 million, 120 million suckers have lamentably failed to insist on the observation of this quite decided law. ... Now the point at which embezzlement of the nation's funds on the part of her officers becomes treason can probably be decided only by jurists, and not by hand-picked judges who support illegality.
more Ezra Pound quotes
The phase of the usury system which we are trying to analyze is more or less Patterson's perception that the Bank of England could have benefit of all the interest on all the money that it creates out of nothing. ... Now the American citizen can, of course, appeal to his constitution, which states that Congress shall have power to coin money or regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin. Such appeal is perhaps quixotic.
more Ezra Pound quotes
We even had to pass a special law in the Congress just a few weeks ago to allow student prayer groups the same access to school rooms after classes that a Young Marxist Society … would already enjoy.
more Ronald Reagan quotes
Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.
more Ronald Reagan quotes
Are you entitled to the fruits of your labor or does government have some presumptive right to spend and spend and spend?
more Ronald Reagan quotes
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? ... Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
more Ronald Reagan quotes
As we struggle to teach our children … we dare not forget that our civilization was built by men and women who placed their faith in a loving God. If Congress can begin each day with a moment of prayer … so then can our sons and daughters.
more Ronald Reagan quotes
Congress is extraordinarily reluctant to inject itself into foreign policy. It has dumped entirely its constitutional duty for money onto a central bank, and for trade, onto the executive branch. It seems to never know what the CIA and other intelligence agencies are doing. Like the Romans, they no longer talk of the republic or liberty. And like the Romans, the American people, or most of them anyway, don’t seem to care. ... Like the Romans, we no longer have a citizen army but professional legions, and whether they wear jackboots or not, some federal officers seem to regard Americans with about the same compassion as the Praetorian Guard had for the plebes. As in Rome, the air is full of suspicion, intrigues and conspiracies, real or imagined, and the air reeks of greed and opportunism. As those on the Tiber, the rulers on the Potomac have grown suspicious of the people, don’t trust them and, in some cases fear them. And, as in Rome, they grovel in luxury while taking 40 cents on the dollar out of the sweat of working people to pay for corn and circuses to keep the mob satisfied.
more Charley Reese quotes
If we could manage our own finances the way the Congress does the nation’s, we’d all be living in high cotton and eating high on the hog.
more Charley Reese quotes
The Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engages in gestures of superficial equality.
more William H. Rehnquist quotes
A foreigner coming here and reading the Congressional Record would say that the President of the United States was elected solely for the purpose of giving Senators somebody to call a horse thief.
more Will Rogers quotes
Hurray! Congress is to adjourn! Only four more days of Congressional burglary on the Treasury!
more Will Rogers quotes
If we have Senators and Congressmen there that can't protect themselves against the evil temptations of lobbyists, we don't need to change our lobbies, we need to change our representatives.
more Will Rogers quotes
That's what a Congressman or a Senator is for -- to see that too much money don't accumulate in the national Treasury.
more Will Rogers quotes
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