Tag Archives: Stare Decisis

First Principles: The Constitution’s Meaning Is A Matter of Plain Meaning

“On every question of construction carry ourselves 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, … Continue reading

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First Principles: Government Acts Not Enabled By the Constitution Are Illegal

“[S]hould Congress, under the pretext of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not entrusted to the government, such [acts are] not the law of the land.” –John Marshall, McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819 Back in the day, … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Constitution Is Not Written On Blank Pages

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas, 1803 Every word in the Constitution either means something of particular intent or … Continue reading

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