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Reply #48: Actually, it sounds like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and drafters of the 12th Am. [View All]

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #27
48. Actually, it sounds like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and drafters of the 12th Am.
Edited on Thu Dec-04-08 07:15 PM by Land Shark
except for my coining the word "weaponizing" the Constitution for use against the people themselves. (I make a distinction between LAWS, upon which restraints can and do act, like initiatives, and People, especially the People in their collective capacity).

Note that when the people act in an initiative or referendum process they are acting in a LEGISLATIVE capacity, a direct-legislative capacity. That makes the same principles restraining LAWS apply that otherwise restrain Congress's power to act (or the state legislature)

Patrick Henry points to another key difference: who the Constitution restrains, vs. who it SERVES:

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. Patrick Henry

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel." Patrick Henry

" with manly firmness invasions on the rights of the people." Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, 1776. (*) Papers 1:338

"The Constitution is the origin and measure of legislative authority. It says to legislators, thus far ye shall go and no farther. Not a particle of it should be shaken; not a pebble of it should be removed ..." Justice William Patterson

The great check imposed upon Executive power was a popular mode of election; and the true object of jealousy, which ought to attract the attention of the people of every State, is any circumstance tending to diminish or destroy that check. It was also a primary intention of the Constitution to keep Executive power independent of Legislative; and although a provision was made for its election by the House of Representatives in a possible case, that possible case never was intended to be converted into the active rule, so as to destroy in a degree the line of separation and independency between the Executive and Legislative power. <>--Senator Tracy, debate concerning ratification of Amendment XII to the United States Constitution

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