“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” Joseph Story, nominated to the Supreme Court by James Madison
such is the quote discovered within Mark Alexander's column, On Presidential Character, From George Washington to ?... @The Patriot Post.
and such is the quote that connects yesterday with today upon this thing called G.
And to that end, this girl merely asks you to read ALL of Alexander's post. In the same vein as gracious minds think alike, Mark answers the question of a president's character far better than me. And sure, it was just a coincidence; but we all know what coincidences really are, now don't we? I just love how we were thinking the same thing on the same day; and what began as a simple examination of sorts somehow turns into an affirmation of presidential torts of last resorts!
And when you're done, just for kicks, GO HERE. This takes you to an entire library of all things Joseph Story! The page hand-picked for you, in the link, offers "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 1833" and begins at the Judiciary, it's organization and powers! Good Good Good stuff.
Here's a wee bit:
Sec. 1570. Two ends, then, of paramount importance, and fundamental to a free government, are proposed to be attained by the establishment of a national judiciary. The first is a due execution of the powers of the government; and the second is a uniformity in the interpretation and operation of those powers, and of the laws enacted in pursuance of them. The power of interpreting the laws involves necessarily the function to ascertain, whether they are conformable to the constitution, or not; and if not so conformable, to declare them void and inoperative. As the constitution is the supreme law of the land, in a conflict between that and the laws, either of congress, or of the states, it becomes the duty of the judiciary to follow that only, which is of paramount, obligation. This results from the very theory of a republican constitution of government; for otherwise the acts of the legislature and executive would in effect become supreme and uncontrollable, notwithstanding any prohibitions or limitations contained in the constitution; and usurpations of the most unequivocal and dangerous character might be assumed, without any remedy within the reach of the citizens. The people would thus be at the mercy of their rulers, in the state and national governments; and an omnipotence would practically exist, like that claimed for the British Parliament. The universal sense of America has decided, that in the last resort the judiciary must decide upon the constitutionality of the acts and laws of the general and state governments, so far as they are cognizance of the judiciary, its judgments must be conclusive; for otherwise they may be disregarded, and the acts of the legislature and executive enjoy a secure and capable of being made the subject of judicial controversy. It follows, that, when they are subjected to the irresistible triumph. To the people at large, therefore, such an institution is peculiarly valuable; and it ought to be eminently cherished by them. On its firm and inde-pendent structure they may repose with safety, while they perceive in it a faculty, which is only set in motion, when applied to; but which, when thus brought into action, must proceed with competent power, if required to correct the error, or subdue the oppression of the other branches of the government. Fortunately too for the people, the functions of the judiciary, in deciding on constitutional questions, is not one, which it is at liberty to decline. While it is bound not to take jurisdiction, if it should not, it is equally true, that it must take jurisdiction, if it should. It cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure, because it approaches the confines of the constitution. It cannot pass it by, because it is doubtful. With whatever doubt, with whatever difficulties a case may be attended, it must decide it, when it arises in judgment. It has no more right to decline the exercise of a jurisdiction, which is given, than to usurp that, which is not given. The one, or the other would be treason to the constitution.
Isn't this just fabulous!
In this era of deciding, or not deciding, the next Supreme Court Justice, let us stop and recognize the supreme essence of the court itself -- it's INDEPENDENCE!
Oh how a certain Joseph Story must be rolling over and over and over again in his grave, bearing witness to this spectacle.
How tragic it is, that we have arrived at the day when the people are "at the mercy of their rulers." For here we are, in the midst of deciding whose ideology will prevail onto the highest court of the land! What a shame! What a shame! Shame on me! Shame on you!
And to be sure -- whether being of a people from the Left or from the Right -- the Supreme Court's evolving decline of pure unadulterated independence of the legislative and executive branches should affect us all in equal portion with equal outrage! [and yet, it doesn't...]
comes from experience,
well, that comes from
Here's one last quote to end the day, and it comes from Samuel Adams, courtesy of Mark Alexander:
“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men. … Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters. … [N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. … Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”...let this thought lead us throughout this day ....and certainly into tomorrow...and even into the next....
We must prevail; we must, as individuals, be mindful, vigilant, and citizens beyond reproach to expect to find the same in "the characters of public men." It's a self-fulfilling prophecy worthy of our duty to God and country and community and family and ourselves. Go ahead and mock the simplicity of it all, if you're so inclined; the thing is, it's just the honest truth.
Make it a Good Day, G