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Fisher Ames, Justice Hugo L. Black, Robert A. Levy


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"...[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention...

intended our government should be a republic

which differs more widely from a democracy

than a democracy from a despotism.

The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few,

but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy,

for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and

that minority the chief owners of the property

and truest lovers of their country."

-- Fisher Ames

(1758-1808), American statesman, orator and political writer

Source: 1805




"The layman's constitutional view

is that what he likes

is constitutional

and that which he doesn't like

is unconstitutional."

-- Justice Hugo L. Black

(1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice

Source: New York Times, 26 February 1971.




"The fundamental principle is this:

No matter how worthwhile an end may be,

if there is no constitutional authority to pursue it,

then the federal government must step aside and

leave the matter to the states or to private parties.

The president and Congress can proceed only from

constitutional authority, not from good intentions alone.

If Congress thinks it necessary to expand its powers,

the Framers crafted an amendment process for that purpose.

But too often, rather than follow that process,

Congress has disregarded the limits set by the Constitution and

gutted our frontline defense against overweening federal government."

-- Robert A. Levy

(1941- ) Chairman of Cato Institute, author, lawyer


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