Words of Wisdom from Thomas Jefferson

“Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General [federal] Government.”

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?”

“May that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils [government] to what is best.”

“On every question of construction [constitutional interpretation], carry our-selves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform instead to the probable one in which it was passed.”

“The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in…the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow,) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

“Nothing in the Constitution has given them [Supreme Court Justices] a right to decide for the Executive [President], more than to the Executive to decide for them. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what are not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic [tyrannical] branch.”