Sketches of the Lives and Judicial Services of the Chief-justices of the Supreme Court of the United States

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C. Scribner, 1854 - 533 páginas
 

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Página 352 - Certainly all those who have framed written Constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be that an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void...
Página 352 - Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The Constitution is either a superior paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.
Página 352 - To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may at any time be passed by those intended to be restrained ? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation.
Página 398 - We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the government are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we think the sound construction of the Constitution must allow to the national legislature that discretion with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution, which will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people.
Página 443 - The Judicial Department comes home in its effects to every man's fireside : it passes on his property, his reputation, his life, his all. Is it not, to the last degree important, that he should be rendered perfectly and completely independent, with nothing to influence or control him but God and his conscience?
Página 432 - It may well be doubted whether the nature of society and of government does not prescribe some limits to the legislative power; and if any be prescribed, where are they to be found, if the property of an individual, fairly and honestly acquired, may be seized without compensation?
Página 400 - If the States may tax one instrument employed by the government in the execution of its powers, they may tax any and every other instrument. They may tax the mail ; they may tax the mint; they may tax patent rights; they may tax the papers of the custom-house; they may tax judicial process; they may tax all the means employed by the government, to an excess which would defeat all the ends of government. This was not intended by the American people. They did not design to make their government dependent...
Página 410 - The power of congress, then, comprehends navigation within the limits of every State in the Union, so far as that navigation may be, in any manner, connected with " commerce with foreign nations, or among the several States, or with the Indian tribes.
Página 429 - The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community, occupying its own territory, with boundaries accurately described, in which the laws of Georgia can have no force, and which the citizens of Georgia have no right to enter, but with the assent of the Cherokees themselves, or in conformity with treaties, and with the acts of Congress.
Página 391 - ... of the lesser lights in the literary horizon of our country. You may put it out. But if you do so, you must carry through your work ! You must extinguish, one after another, all those great lights of science which, for more than a century, have thrown their radiance over our land.

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