The Life of John Marshall: Conflict and construction, 1800-1815

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Página 139 - If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law ; if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts on the part of the people to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.
Página 140 - It would be giving to the legislature a practical and real omnipotence, with the same breath, which professes to restrict their powers within narrow limits. It is prescribing limits, and declaring, that those limits may be passed at pleasure.
Página 120 - The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body.
Página 130 - To this objection, which is of recent date, it is sufficient to observe that practice and acquiescence under it for a period of several years, commencing with the organization of the judicial system, affords an irresistible answer, and has indeed fixed the construction. It is a contemporary interpretation of the most forcible nature. This practical exposition is too strong and obstinate to be shaken or controlled. Of course, the question is at rest, and ought not now to be disturbed.
Página 350 - On the contrary, if war be actually levied, that is, if a body of men be actually assembled for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors.
Página 616 - Blannerhassett's character, that on his arrival in America, he retired even from the population of the Atlantic States, and sought quiet and solitude in the bosom of our western forests. But he carried with him taste and science and wealth; and lo, the desert smiled!
Página 263 - To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
Página 530 - You will be enabled to judge whether the defect was in the testimony, in the law, or in the administration of the law ; and wherever it shall be found, the legislature alone can apply or originate the remedy. The framers of our constitution certainly supposed they had guarded, as well their government against destruction by treason, as their citizens against oppression, under pretence of it, and if these ends are not attained, it is of importance to inquire by what means, more effectual, they may...
Página 120 - A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought of course to be preferred; or in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of...
Página 353 - The people of the country to which we are going are prepared to receive us; their agents, now with Burr, say that if we will protect their religion, and will not subject them to a foreign power, that, in three weeks, all will be settled: The gods invite us to glory and fortune; it remains to be seen whether we deserve the boon.

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