If the roads, the railways, the banks, the insurance offices, the great joint-stockcompanies, the universities, and the public charities, were all of them branches of government; if, in addition, the municipal corporations and local boards, with all that now devolves on them, became departments of the central administration; if the employees of all these different enterprises were appointed and paid by the government, and looked to the government for every rise in life; not all the freedom of the press and popular constitution of the legislature would make this or any other country free otherwise than in name.john stuart mill
Like all other contracts, wages should be left to the fair and free competition of themarket, and should never be controlled by the interference of the legislature.David Ricardo
During my tenure of power, myearnest wish has beento impress the people of this country with a belief that the legislature was animated bya sincere desire to frame its legislation upon the principles of equity and justice? Deprive me of power tomorrow, but you can never deprive me of the consciousness that I have exercised the powers committed to me from no corrupt or interested motives, from no desire to gratifyambition, or to attain any personal object.Sir Robert Peel
Now an' then an innocent man is sent t' th' legislature.kin hubbard
The military forces of a free country may be considered under three general descriptions — 1. The militia. 2. the navy — and 3. the regular troops — and the whole ought ever to be, and understood to be, in strict subordination to the civil authority; and that regular troops, and select corps, ought not to be kept up without evident necessity. Stipulations in the constitution to this effect, are perhaps, too general to be of much service, except merely to impress on the minds of the people and soldiery, that the military ought ever to be subject to the civil authority, &c. But particular attention, and many more definite stipulations, are highly necessary to render the military safe, and yet useful in a free government; and in a federal republic, where the people meet in distinct assemblies, many stipulations are necessary to keep a part from transgressing, which would be unnecessary checks against the whole met in one legislature, in one entire government. — A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, and render regular troops in a great measure unnecessary. The powers to form and arm the militia, to appoint their officers, and to command their services, are very important; nor ought they in a confederated republic to be lodged, solely, in any one member of the government. First, the constitution ought to secure a genuine and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms; and that all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenceless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments in the community to be avoided. I am persuaded, I need not multiply words to convince you of the value and solidity of this principle, as it respects general liberty, and the duration of a free and mild government: having this principle well fixed by the constitution, then the federal head may prescribe a general uniform plan, on which the respective states shall form and train the militia, appoint their officers and solely manage them, except when called into the service of the union, and when called into that service, they may be commanded and governed by the union. This arrangement combines energy and safety in it; it places the sword in the hands of the solid interest of the community, and not in the hands of men destitute of property, of principle, or of attachment to the society and government, who often form the select corps of peace or ordinary establishments: by it, the militia are the people, immediately under the management of the state governments, but on a uniform federal plan, and called into the service, command, and government of the union, when necessary for the common defence and general tranquility. But, say gentlemen, the general militia are for the most part employed at home in their private concerns, cannot well be called out, or be depended upon; that we must have a select militia; that is, as I understand it, particular corps or bodies of young men, and of men who have but little to do at home, particularly armed and disciplined in some measure, at the public expence, and always ready to take the field. These corps, not much unlike regular troops, will ever produce an inattention to the general militia; and the consequence has ever been, and always must be, that the substantial men, having families and property, will generally be without arms, without knowing the use of them, and defenceless; whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it. As a farther check, it may be proper to add, that the militia of any state shall not remain in the service of the union, beyond a given period, without the express consent of the state legislature.richard henry lee
Roe v. Wade was wrong because it 'usurped the power of the legislatures,' Bush said. 'I felt like it was a case where the court took the place of what legislatures should do in America,' he said. But Bush refused to say how he felt each state should act. Instead, he said that when it comes to legalizing abortion, 'it should be up to each legislature.'George W. Bush, Boston Globe, p. A12 (Jan 22, 2000).
The 19th of May, 1780, was a remarkable day. Candles were lighted in many houses; the birds were silent and disappeared, and the fowls retired to roost. The legislature of Connecticut was then in session at Hartford. A very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand. The house of Representatives, being unable to transact their business, adjourned. A proposal to adjourn the Council was under consideration. When the opinion of Colonel Davenport was asked, he answered, "I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought."Timothy Dwight, in Connecticut Historical Collectons 2d ed (1836) compiled by John Warner Barber, p. 403
In their desire to check dishonest and reckless trading Courts must be careful not to put tighter fetters on companies than the Legislature has authorised.Lindley, J., Verner v. General and Commercial Investment Trust (1894), L. R. 2 Ch. 267.
With us, our Priests are Administrators of all Business, Art, and Science; Directors of Trade, Commerce, Generalship, Architecture, Engineering, Education, Statesmanship, Legislature, Morality, Theology; doing nothing themselves, they are the Causes of everything worth doing, that is done by others. Although popularly everyone called a Circle is deemed a Circle, yet among the better educated Classes it is known that no Circle is really a Circle, but only a Polygon with a very large number of very small sides. As the number of the sides increases, a Polygon approximates to a Circle; and, when the number is very great indeed, say for example three or four hundred, it is extremely difficult for the most delicate touch to feel any polygonal angles. Let me say rather, it WOULD be difficult: for, as I have shown above, Recognition by Feeling is unknown among the highest society, and to FEEL a Circle would be considered a most audacious insult. This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference.edwin abbot
It can be of no weight to say, that the courts, on the pretence of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature. This might as well happen in the case of two contradictory statutes; or it might as well happen in every adjudication upon any single statute. The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise Will instead of Judgment, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body. The observation, if it proved any thing, would prove that there ought to be no judges distinct from that body.Alexander Hamilton
There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No Legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the Representatives of the People are superior to the People themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. If it be said that the Legislative body are themselves the constitutional judges of their own powers, and that the construction they put upon them is conclusive upon the other departments, it may be answered, that this cannot be the natural presumption, where it is not to be collected from any particular provisions in the Constitution. It is not otherwise to be supposed, that the Constitution could intend to enable the Representatives of the People to substitute their will to that of their constituents. It is far more rational to suppose, that the Courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the People and the Legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the Courts. A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the Judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular Act proceeding from the Legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the People to the intention of their agents. Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the Judicial to the Legislative power. It only supposes that the power of the People is superior to both; and that where the will of the Legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the People, declared in the Constitution, the Judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental. [...] whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the Judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.Alexander Hamilton
In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture of heterogeneous powers: the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man: not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war a physical force is to be created, and it is the executive will which is to direct it. In war the public treasures are to be unlocked, and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions, and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.Alexander Hamilton
With regard to the construction of statutes according to the intention of the legislature, we must remember that there is an essential difference between the expounding of modern and ancient Acts of Parliament. In early times the legislature used (and I believe it was a wise course to take) to pass laws in general and in few terms; they were left to the Courts of law to be construed so as to reach all the cases within the mischief to be remedied. But in modern times great care has been taken to mention the particular cases in the contemplation of the legislature, and therefore the Courts are not permitted to take the same liberty in construing them as they did in expounding the ancient statutes.kenyon, lloyd, 1st baron kenyon
The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature. But the Doctrines lately advanced strike at the root of all these provisions, and will deposit the peace of the Country in that Department which the Constitution distrusts as most ready without cause to renounce it. For if the opinion of the President not the facts & proofs themselves are to sway the judgment of Congress, in declaring war, and if the President in the recess of Congress create a foreign mission, appoint the minister, & negociate a War Treaty, without the possibility of a check even from the Senate, untill the measures present alternatives overruling the freedom of its judgment; if again a Treaty when made obliges the Legislature to declare war contrary to its judgment, and in pursuance of the same doctrine, a law declaring war, imposes a like moral obligation, to grant the requisite supplies until it be formally repealed with the consent of the President & Senate, it is evident that the people are cheated out of the best ingredients in their Government, the safeguards of peace which is the greatest of their blessings.james madison
Behold you, then, my dear friend, at the head of a great army, establishing the liberties of your country against a foreign enemy . May heaven favor your cause, and make you the channel through which it may pour its favors. While you are exterminating the monster aristocracy, and pulling out the teeth and fangs of its associate, monarchy, a contrary tendency is discovered in some here. A sect has shown itself among us, who declare they espoused our new Constitution, not as a good and sufficient thing in itself, but only as a step to an English constitution, the only thing good and sufficient in itself, in their eye. It is happy for us that these are preachers without followers, and that our people are firm and constant in their republican purity. You will wonder to be told that it is from the eastward chiefly that these champions for a king, lords and commons come. They get some important associates from New York, and are puffed up by a tribe of agitators which have been hatched in a bed of corruption made up after the model of their beloved England. Too many of these stock-jobbers and king-jobbers have come into our legislature, or rather too many of our legislature have become stock-jobbers and king-jobbers. However, the voice of the people is beginning to make itself heard, and will probably cleanse their seats at the ensuing election.james madison
Courts are the mere instruments of the law, and can will nothing. When they are said to exercise a discretion, it is a mere legal discretion, a discretion to be exercised in discerning the course prescribed by law; and, when that is discerned, it is the duty of the Court to follow it. Judicial power is never exericised for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the Judge; always for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the Legislature; or, in other words, to the will of the law.john marshall
Whether a law be void for its repugnancy to the Constitution, is, at all times, a question of much delicacy, which out seldom, if ever, to be decided in the affirmative, in doubtful case. ... But it is not on slight implication and vague conjecture that the legislature is to be pronounced to have transcended its powers, and its acts to be considered as void. The opposition between the Constitution and the law should be such that the judge feels a clear and strong conviction of their incompatibility with each other.john marshall
My old suggestion that public offices be filled by drawing lots, as a jury box is filled, was probably more intelligent than I suspected. It has been criticized on the ground that selecting a man at random would probably produce some extremely bad State governors. [...] But I incline to believe that it would be best to choose members of the Legislature quite at random. No matter how stupid they were, they could not be more stupid than the average legislator under the present system. Certainly, they'd be measurably more honest, taking one with another. Finally, there would be the great advantage that all of them had got their jobs unwillingly, and were eager, not to spin out their sessions endlessly, but to get home as soon as possible.h. l. mencken
Though in a state of society some must have greater luxuries and comforts than others, yet all should have the necessaries of life; and if the poor cannot exist, in vain may the rich look for happiness or prosperity. The legislature is never so well employed as when they look to the interests of those who are at a distance from them in the ranks of society. It is their duty to do so: religion calls for it; humanity calls for it; and if there are hearts who are not awake to either of those feelings, their own interests would dictate it.Lord Kenyon, Rex v. Rusby (1800), Peake's N. P. Cases 192; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 198-199.
Jackie Biskupski is running for a seat in the Utah Legislature, and she's attracting a lot of attention because she's a lesbian. Her Republican opponent, Dan Alderson, is a staunch Mormon, and is running a negative ad campaign calling her lifestyle abnormal and deviant. His six wives agree.Rick Mercer, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, October 12, 1998
And as it is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State ceding it; as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights, and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it; as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession; as they will have had their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them; as a municipal Legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them; and as the authority of the Legislature of the State, and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it, to concur in the cession, will be derived from the whole people of the State, in their adoption of the Constitution, every imaginable objection seems to be obviated.James Madison, on the planned federal district which would serve as the seat of the United States government, Federalist 43.
Acts of Parliament are the works of the legislature, and the publication of them has always belonged to the King, as the Executive Part, and as the Head and Sovereign.Lord Mansfield, Millar v. Taylor (1768), 4 Burr. Part IV. 2404.
What the legislature has not expressly enacted, the Judges ought not to presume that it intended.Lord Chelmsford, Mordaunt v. Moncreiffe (1874), L. R. 2 Sc. & D. 387.
To abolish a well-established rule of law because it is a bad rule, is the business of the legislature.Stephen, J., Reg. v. Coney and others (1882), 15 Cox, C. C. 59.
When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen 's constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.William Orville Douglas, in The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life, Vol. 1: The Odyssey of the ..., p.52
In effect, to follow, not to force the public inclination; to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community , is the true end of legislature.Edmund Burke, in Political Representation in the Later Middle Ages: Marsilius in Context, p.17
The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people's hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice .John Adams , in The New-York magazine; or, Literary repository, p.85
I don't think you can make a lawyer honest by an act of legislature. You've got to work on his conscience. And his lack of conscience is what makes him a lawyer.Will Rogers, in Law and the Web of Society, p.39
We're in the hands of the state legislature and God, but at the moment, the state legislature has more to say than God.Edward Koch, in 449 Stupid Things Democrats Have Said, p.127
I like the power given the Legislature to levy taxes, and for that reason solely approve of the greater house being chosen by the people directly.Thomas Jefferson, in Origins of Legislative Sovereignty and the Legislative State, Volume 1; Volume 6, p.316