Jefferson on the Bill of Rights and the Judiciary

In the arguments in favor of a declaration of rights, you omit one which has great weight with me, the legal check which it puts into the hands of the judiciary. This is a body, which if rendered independent, & kept strictly to their own department merits great confidence for their learning & integrity
……………………………. Jefferson, letter to J. Madison, March 15, 1789.

Fortunately we have readers much wiser than Jefferson, who understand that we should not place any confidence in the learning and integrity of the judiciary—unless they come to the conclusions that suit us.


About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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One Response to Jefferson on the Bill of Rights and the Judiciary

  1. tom van dyke says:

    Respectfully submitted. Jefferson had a huge enmity against what the judiciary became.

    “The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law. My construction of the constitution is very different from that you quote.”

    Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819.

    Much more:

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