Federal Government: Judicial


“As the courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper.” (James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, Vol. VIII, p. 293. October 15, 1788.)

“Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary on the contrary has no influence over either the sword or the purse, no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments. This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power...” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 78. May 28, 1788.)

“Constitutional Law today has become a fraud. A cover for a system of government by the majority vote of a nine person committee of lawyers; unelected and holding office for life.” (Professor Lino A. Graglia)

“It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression…that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of 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 from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” (Thomas Jefferson, Bergh, 15:331. 1821.)

“…the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” (Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.)

“The concentrating of these [legislative, executive, and judicial] in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic government.” (Thomas Jefferson, quoted by James Madison Federalist Papers, No. 48. February 1, 1788.)

“How inappropriate it is to apply a doctrine under which the Supreme Court has a duty to preserve the Constitution inviolate against unauthorized changes by others by perverting that doctrine into one under which the Supreme Court is authorized to do the very thing the doctrine requires it to prevent others from doing.” (Jerome Horowitz, speaking of the doctrine of Judicial Review having power to change the Constitution by interpretation and not through the amendment process. The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, p. 185. 1970.)

“Please understand, a Supreme Court decision is not ‘the law of the land,’ Indeed, it is not a ‘law’ at all. Only legislatures can make laws. A Supreme Court decision is a rule that is binding only on the parties involved in the case; and it is enforceable only on that limited group if the executive and legislative branches choose to enforce it.” (Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, We Hold These Truths, 1976.)

“Clearly, a federal law which is contrary to the Constitution is no law at all; it is null, void, invalid. And a Supreme Court decision, which is not a ‘law,’ has no ‘supremacy’—even if it is faithfully interpreting the Constitution. So it is the height of absurdity to claim that a Supreme Court decision that manifestly violates the Constitution is the ‘supreme law of the land.’” (William Jasper)