Constitution Archives Quiz – Thursday, April 3, 2014


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In her essay on Federalist 48, Janine Turner points out a quote from Thomas Jefferson, as very relevant today. What is the quote?

Extra credit: add your thoughts on how this quote is relevant today!

Answer the question in the “reply” box below the question, after you click “Read Post.”The first to answer wins a copy of Constituting America National Youth Director, Juliette Turner’s Bestselling, Our Constitution Rocks, and is entered in a drawing at the end of the quizfor the Constituting America Goodie Bag!   Only one Our Constitution Rocks will be awarded per person during the course of the contest; previous winners may still enter and be entered for drawing multiple times, but may only win the book once.

2 replies
  1. Marvin Watts
    Marvin Watts says:

    “A great number of laws had been cast violating, without any apparent necessity, the rule requiring that all bills of a public nature shall be previously printed for the consideration of the people; although this is one of the precautions chiefly relied on by the constitution against improper acts of legislature.”

    How is this relevant for today? The people had to wait until the Affordable Care Act became law to find out what was in it. We the people are paying the price. There are regulations in this law that we the people still do not know about. We the people have to become better informed. – See more at:

  2. Jill Mayfield
    Jill Mayfield says:

    “All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation, that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who doubt it, turn their eyes on the republic of Venice. As little will it avail us, that they are chosen by ourselves. An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

    For this reason, that convention which passed the ordinance of government, laid its foundation on this basis, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments should be separate and distinct, so that no person should exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time. BUT NO BARRIER WAS PROVIDED BETWEEN THESE SEVERAL POWERS. The judiciary and the executive members were left dependent on the legislative for their subsistence in office, and some of them for their continuance in it. If, therefore, the legislature assumes executive and judiciary powers, no opposition is likely to be made; nor, if made, can be effectual; because in that case they may put their proceedings into the form of acts of Assembly, which will render them obligatory on the other branches. They have accordingly, IN MANY instances, DECIDED RIGHTS which should have been left to JUDICIARY CONTROVERSY, and THE DIRECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE, DURING THE WHOLE TIME OF THEIR SESSION, IS BECOMING HABITUAL AND FAMILIAR.”

    It is relevant in two ways.

    (1) Our current judiciary is taking on legislative powers by using their decisions to rewrite laws. The proper action of the judiciary should be to simply overturn a law or affirm its constitutionality. The judiciary should not specify exact changes in laws to make them constitutional.

    (2) The president is currently rewriting laws that have passed Congress by issuing executive orders to his agencies charged with enforcing those laws. The proper procedure for changing a law passed by Congress is have a Congressman propose an amendment to the law, and that amendment must go through the normal legislative process and be approved by both houses of Congress.


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