Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thomas Jefferson

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I feel an urgency to note what I deem an error in it, the more requiring notice as your opinion is strengthened by that of many others.  You seem in pages 84. & 148. 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 privileges of their corps. Their maxim is ‘boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionim,’ and their power 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 & party it’s members would become despots.  It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.  If the legislature fails to pass laws for a census, for paying the judges & other officers of government, for establishing a militia, for naturalization, as prescribed by the constitution, or if they fail to meet in Congress, the judges cannot issue their Mandamus to them.  If the President fails to supply the place of a judge, to appoint other civil or military officers, to issue requisite commissions, the judges cannot force him.  They can issue their Mandamus or distringas to no Executive or Legislative officer to enforce the fulfillment of their official duties, any more than the President or legislature may issue orders to the judges or their officers.  Betrayed by English example, & unaware, as it should seem, of the control of our constitution in this particular, they have at times overstepped their limit by undertaking to command executive officers in the discharge of their executive duties.  But the constitution, in keeping the three departments distinct & independant, restrains the authority of the judges to judiciary organs, as it does the executive & legislative, to executive and legislative organs.  The judges certainly have more frequent occasion to act on constitutional questions, because the laws of meum & teum, and of criminal action, forming the great mass of the system of law, constitute their particular department.  When the legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity.  The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.  This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

Thomas Jefferson to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820

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One Comment

  1. The judiciary has become the imperial monarchy of the United States. FDR appointed notorious anti-Catholic Hugo Black, and American Catholics subsequently still voted for FDR and the Democrat Party, having had it hard wired into their DNA as a result of the Blaine Amendments of the 19th Centry, among other things.

    The courts have forced upon this representative republic the ruling that de facto segregation, segregation by choice, is unconstitutional. Therefore, large cities had to “desegregate” by mixing up black and white children in large city schools. This led to massive middle class flight from cities, draining their tax bases, leaving their schools, again, segregated by race, as the poor black students are left in the city schools, having the middle class black and white families move out to the suburbs, beyond the reach of the Supreme Court to “desegregate”. A federal judge ordered a property tax increase in the Kansas City, Missouri school district, which was beyond his power to do so.

    The courts have taken away from the people and their legislatures the power to regulate contraceptive sales, the power to ban abortion, the power to define marriage – the homosexual federal judge in California who threw out the California referendum’s results on marriage – and the power to ban sinful acts such as sodomy…..among other things.

    The courts have ruled that Social Security is not a pension system, but a tax and a welfare system, and that nobody has any rights to any benefits. This being an election season, and that I live in what was one of the most pro-union regions in America, we are bombarded with ads showing some poor old person who survives on a Social Security check, and how TERRIBLE it is that the (Republican) candidate wants to turn Social Security over to “Wall Street” when Washington has driven SSW to the point of insolvency. Should I make it to 70, my SS beenfit, should I get it, will be cut by 30%.

    Then there is the coward John Roberts, who affirmed Obumblercare.

    We don’t live in a representative republic….not while Washington has usurped power that belongs to the states and its citizens.

    Judges have ruled that term limits for Senators and Congressmen are unconsitutional (given that the Constitution is silent on both term limits and abortion, both must be rfeserved to the States, but the US Government does not roll that way)….

    It is entirely too difficult to remove judges.

    At some time in the future, I know not when, there will be some revolt against the overreach of Washington, its refusal to follow the Constitution as written, its overspending, its callous view of the rest of the nation, its refusal to enforce immigration law, and any number of other abuses. Peaceful or violent, I know not. An imperial judiciary, infested with Ivy Leaguers, a political party that is organized crime, another that on the federal level is the very definition of “quisling” and a national media that is nothing but the public relations arm of organized crime political party…and I am not optimistic about the future.

    This is a terrible shame, given that just 27 years ago, the Eastern Bloc crumbled and 25 years ago the USSR collapsed under its own weight.

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