-- James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, 1829
"It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated."
-- James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, 1829
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
--Benjamin Franklin, Political Observations
"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
Alan Keyes counters 'religious freedom' claim regarding contraceptive mandate
In my WND column last Friday, I pointed out that “every assertion of a fundamental human right necessarily relies in turn upon an assertion about what is right.” Today this fact is more often than not ignored, even by Americans who profess to be ardent defenders of the liberty America’s founders intended to establish and preserve. Madison succinctly summarized the founders’ understanding when he said that “Justice is the end of government, it is the end of civil society. …” But the Declaration of Independence makes clear that the end or aim of the institution of government is to secure God-endowed unalienable rights. (“To secure these rights governments are instituted among men. …”) Justice is thus identified with the security (safe existence) of unalienable rights, because both are identified as the singular end or aim of government. (If A=C and B=C, then A=B.)
This appears even more plainly when we recall that the root of justice (Latin “iustus”) is right (Latin “ius” or “ious”). But in the context of the Declaration’s stated purpose for government, God endows right (i.e., He provides the “income” that establishes it; He determines what goes into it; He is the source of its conceptual substance or meaning). In the Declaration America’s founders declare that the colonies “are, and of right ought to be free and independent States. …” Their free condition is thus identified as a matter or right, a consequence of the substance or meaning which God endows their nature. By invoking their natural right they invoke the authority of the Creator, which is its source and substantiation.
Since the founders’ assertion of freedom invokes the authority of the Creator, the validity of the assertion depends on its conformity with the substance or meaning of right established by that authority. But this dependency has a consequence. It restricts the assertion of freedom within boundaries determined by this conformity to God-endowed right. Freedom is therefore not an unlimited potential for action. The assertion of freedom is valid only for action in conformity with the substance or meaning of right as established (endowed) by the Creator.
By this straightforward logic Abraham Lincoln was bound to conclude that one cannot have the right to do what is wrong. If it is wrong, for instance, to murder innocent people, one cannot claim to do so as a matter of right. If it is wrong, by enslaving them, to violate their God-endowed liberty, one cannot claim to do so as a matter of right.
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National Citizen Constitutionality Review Board
Wake up people. Let's put government back in its constitutional box, before it is too late for us and our posterity.
_"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature."
-- Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772
_The Witherspoon Institute - Public Discourse
Those who oppose judicial supremacy follow in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln himself.
Newt Gingrich’s statements about the judiciary during the December 15, 2011, GOP debate and on Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation the following weekend ignited a firestorm over his view of American constitutionalism that has been smoldering in the media for several months now. His challenge to judicial supremacy—the idea that the Supreme Court has the last word on the meaning of the Constitution—has been much condemned, particularly because Gingrich’s argument also criticizes the declaration of judicial supremacy in the Court’s 1958 desegregation decision, Cooper v. Aaron. Ian Millhiser of Think Progress was quick to accuse the former Speaker of siding with the white supremacists of the 1950s when Gingrich first released his position paper on the judiciary in October.
Although the media’s breathless denunciations suggest otherwise, Gingrich is not the first public figure to challenge the Cooper Court’s assertion of its supremacy over constitutional interpretation. Attorney General Edwin Meese did the same in a 1986 lecture at Tulane University. Meese’s address elicited a similarly angry response from the press, especially from columnist Anthony Lewis, who made Cooper the centerpiece of his appraisal of Meese’s speech. As was the case in 1986, the debate over Cooper in the past few months has been confused, epitomized by the New York Times’ recent suggestion that Gingrich’s critique of Cooper has “disturbing racial undertones.” The Times and others misunderstand the history and law of that famous case. Those who argue that the Supreme Court is not the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution’s meaning need not deny the fact that Cooper was rightly decided; they can and do celebrate the courage of that opinion.
Cooper v. Aaron came to the Supreme Court under extraordinary circumstances, the drama of which is matched by...
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"Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government."