Tag Archives: Law

First Principles: Laws Are Made For Men of Ordinary Understanding To Be Construed By Ordinary Rules of Common Sense

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at … Continue reading

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First Principles: To Understand the Constitution and Law Generally Determine the Intent of the Lawmakers

“The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers.” – Thomas Jefferson (1808)    

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First Principles: Laws Should Be Few; Fixed and Easy To Understand

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws … undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Duty of Judges Is to Interpret and Apply Law and Not To Create Law

“Every prudent and cautious judge … will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it.” – James Wilson (1742-1798)      

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First Principles: The Constitution Is the Standard For Construction of Law

“The Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution.” – Alexander Hamilton (1788)    

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First Principles: A Judge, Particularly A Supreme Court Justice, Should Be of Particular Merit, Character and Ability

“Judges, therefore, should be always men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness, and attention. Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man, or … Continue reading

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First Principles: Careful Discussion of Proposed Legislation Is the Proper Way To Legislate

“In planning, forming, and arranging laws, deliberation is always becoming, and always useful.” – James Wilson (1791)          

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Thought For the Day: The Role of the Prosecutor Is To Vindicate the Rights of the People and Give A Fair Trial

“The function of the prosecutor under the federal Constitution is not to tack as many skins of victims as possible against the wall. His function is to vindicate the rights of the people as expressed in the laws and give … Continue reading

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First Principles: A Law Must Have Universal Operation On All Members of A Community To Preserve Liberty

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” – Benjamin Rush (1788)       … Continue reading

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First Principles: Without Law, Liberty Becomes Licentiousness

“Without law, liberty … loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” – James Wilson (1790)      

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