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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Limits of Judicial Review

"Nor should it ever be lost sight of, that the government of the United States is one of limited and enumberated powers; and that a departure from the true import and sense of its powers is, pro tanto, the establishment of a new constitution. It is doing for the people what they have not chosen to do for themselves(p144). Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness, or juridical research(p157). To resign an exposition so sanctioned, would be to deliver over the country to interminable doubts; and to make the constitution, not a written system of government, but a false and delusive text, upon which every sucessive age of speculatists and statesmen might build any system, suited to their own views and opinions(p378)."
Justice Joseph Story
Commentaries on the Constitution

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