Thursday, June 21, 2018

Who Owns the Constitution?

The Constitution in its words is plain and intelligible. and is meant for the homebred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow citizens.

The people alone are the absolute owners and uncontrollable movers of such sovereignty as human beings can claim to exercise; subject to the eternal and unchangeable rules of justice, of truth, and of good Faith. The moral law is out of its reach; sovereignty cannot violate that, and be more justified than the humblest individual.

 

Yield away the Constitution and the Union, and where are we? Frittered into fragments, and not able to claim one portion of the past as peculiarly our own! Our Union is not merely a blessing; it is a political necessity. We cannot exist without it. I mean, that all of existence which is worth having must depart with it. Our liberties could not endure the incessant conflicts of civil and conterminous strife; our independence would be an unreal mockery, our very memories would turn to bitterness.

G.M. Dallas, Vice President of the United States, in defense of the Constitution, quoted in The Constitution of the United States of America, with an Alphabetical Analysis, W. Hickey (Philadelphia, PA, T.K. and F.G. Collins, 1835)

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