In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born; that they are not superior to the citizen; that every one of them was once the act of a single man; every law and usage was a man’s expedient to meet a particular case; that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better.
The judiciary as saboteurs
The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet … We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring stride their five lawyers have lately taken. If they do, then … I will say, that ‘against this every man should raise his voice,’ and more, should uplift his arm.
Equal laws protecting equal rights — the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.
Our greatest source of security
If it be asked, ‘What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic?’ the answer would be, an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.
Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many Citizens, because of their respect for what appears to be law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance.
Changing and voluminous laws
The internal effects of a mutable policy are […] calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.
Limiting government power
Government should never be able to do anything you can’t do. If you can’t steal from your neighbor, you can’t send the government to steal for you.
Danger: Government at work
No man’s life, liberty, or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session.
Government must be just
No government is respectable which is not just. Without unspotted purity of public faith, without sacred public principle, fidelity, and honor, no machinery of laws, can give dignity to political society.
The importance of law and justice
For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends.