„I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.“

—  Thurgood Marshall, ThurgoodMarshall.com, Speeches. Constitutional Speech http://www.thurgoodmarshall.com/speeches/constitutional_speech.htm (May 6, 1987)
Thurgood Marshall foto
Thurgood Marshall1
přísedící soudce Nejvyššího soudu Spojených států 1908 - 1993
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„Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits. The framers created our constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty“

—  Clarence Thomas Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1948
Context: The Court's decision today is at odds not only with the constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits. The framers created our constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty. Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a 'liberty' that the framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government. This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it. Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf (26 June 2015).

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„The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction.“

—  James Russell Lowell American poet, critic, editor, and diplomat 1819 - 1891
Context: The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction. But this has been generally the slow result of growth, and not the sudden innovation of theory; in fact, they had a profound disbelief in theory, and knew better than to commit the folly of breaking with the past. They were not seduced by the French fallacy that a new system of government could be ordered like a new suit of clothes. They would as soon have thought of ordering a new suit of flesh and skin. It is only on the roaring loom of time that the stuff is woven for such a vesture of their thought and experience as they were meditating. They recognized fully the value of tradition and habit as the great allies of permanence and stability. They all had that distaste for innovation which belonged to their race, and many of them a distrust of human nature derived from their creed.

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„As I understand the various opinions today: One Justice holds that two-parent notification is unconstitutional (at least in present circumstances) without judicial bypass, but constitutional with bypass […]; four Justices would hold that two-parent notification is constitutional with or without bypass […]; four Justices would hold that two-parent notification is unconstitutional with or without bypass, though the four apply two different standards […]; six Justices hold that one-parent notification with bypass is constitutional, though for two different sets of reasons […]; and three Justices would hold that one-parent notification with bypass is unconstitutional […]. One will search in vain the document we are supposed to be construing for text that provides the basis for the argument over these distinctions and will find in our society’s tradition regarding abortion no hint that the distinctions are constitutionally relevant, much less any indication how a constitutional argument about them ought to be resolved. The random and unpredictable results of our consequently unchanneled individual views make it increasingly evident, Term after Term, that the tools for this job are not to be found in the lawyer’s – and hence not in the judges – workbox. I continue to dissent from this enterprise of devising an Abortion Code, and from the illusion that we have authority to do so.“

—  Antonin Scalia former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1936 - 2016
On whether a state law may require notification of both parents before a minor can obtain an abortion; Hodgson v. Minnesota (1990, concurring in the judgment and dissenting in part), 497 U.S. 417 http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/497/417.html, No. 88-605 ; decided June 25, 1990

Robert E. Lee foto

„The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for 'perpetual Union,' so expressed in the preamble“

—  Robert E. Lee Confederate general in the Civil War 1807 - 1870
Context: I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for 'perpetual Union,' so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. It is idle to talk of secession: anarchy would have been established, and not a government, by Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and all the other patriots of the Revolution. … Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me. I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind. If the Union is dissolved and the Government disrupted, I shall return to my native State and share the miseries of my people, and, save in defense will draw my sword on none. Letter to his son http://radgeek.com/gt/2005/01/03/robert-e-Lee-owned-slaves-and-defended-slavery/, G. W. Custis Lee (23 January 1861).

George William Curtis foto

„Out of the chaos that followed the so-called final settlement of the slavery question in 1850 arose the great political antislavery party, whose vital force is in the conscience of its supporters, whose central idea is the original American principle, the equality of human rights, and whose unswerving policy is the planting of the government ineradicably upon that principle. It is a party of ideas and interests combined. It holds with Jefferson that God has no attribute which can take part with slavery. It looks anxiously with Washington for the means by which it can be abolished. It seeks with the framers of the Northwest Ordinance to exclude it from the territories, because it is at war with the essential principles of the government and with the expressed intention of the Constitution.“

—  George William Curtis American writer 1824 - 1892
I confess I secretly suspect the Republicanism of an orator who is more anxious to show his hearers that he respects what he calls the rights of slavery than that he loves the rights of man. If God be just and the human instinct true, slavery has no rights at all. It has only a legalized toleration. Have I a right to catch a weaker man than I, and appropriate him, his industry, and his family, forever, against his will, to my service? Because if I have, any man stronger than I has the same right over me. But if I have not, what possible right is represented by the two thousand million dollars of property in human beings in this country? It is the right of Captain Kidd on the sea, of Dick Turpin on the land. I certainly do not say that every slave-holder is a bad man, because I know the contrary. The complicity of many with the system is inherited, and often unwilling. But to rob a man of his liberty, to make him so far as possible a brute and a thing, is not less a crime against human nature because it is organized into a hereditary system of frightful proportions. A wrong does not become a right by being vested.

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„When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly.“

—  Bill Clinton 42nd President of the United States 1946
Context: When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly. That is, when we set up this country, abuse of people by Government was a big problem. So if you read the Constitution, it's rooted in the desire to limit the ability of — Government's ability to mess with you, because that was a huge problem. It can still be a huge problem. But it assumed that people would basically be raised in coherent families, in coherent communities, and they would work for the common good, as well as for the individual welfare. Television interview on MTV's Enough is Enough (19 April 1994) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=49995

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“