Sketches of the Lives, Times and Judicial Services of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States: Jay, Rutledge, Ellsworth, Marshall, Taney, Chase, and Waite

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W. C. Little & Company, 1882 - 740 páginas
 

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Página 408 - Certainly all those who have framed written Constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be that an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void...
Página 408 - The Constitution is either a superior paramount law unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative Acts, and like other Acts is alterable when the Legislature shall please to alter it. If the former part of the alternative be true then a legislative Act contrary to the Constitution is not law. If the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts on the part of the people to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.
Página 500 - It may well be doubted whether the nature of society and of government does not prescribe some limits to the legislative power; and if any be prescribed, where are they to be found, if the property of an individual, fairly and honestly acquired, may be seized without compensation?
Página 464 - If the States may tax one instrument employed by the government in the execution of its powers, they may tax any and every other instrument. They may tax the mail ; they may tax the mint; they may tax patent rights; they may tax the papers of the custom-house; they may tax judicial process; they may tax all the means employed by the government, to an excess which would defeat all the ends of government. This was not intended by the American people. They did not design to make their government dependent...
Página 464 - ... real property within the State, nor to a tax imposed on the interest which the citizens of Maryland may hold in this institution, in common with other property of the same description throughout the State. But this is a tax on the operations of the bank, and is, consequently, a tax on the operation of an instrument employed by the government of the Union to carry its powers into execution. Such a tax must be unconstitutional.
Página 408 - The powers of the legislature are defined and limited, and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may at any time be passed by those intended to be restrained...
Página 462 - We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the government are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we think the sound construction of the constitution must allow to the national legislature that discretion, with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution, which will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people.
Página 477 - ... that narrow construction which would cripple the government, and render it unequal to the objects for which it is declared to be instituted, and to which the powers given, as fairly understood, render it competent ; then we cannot perceive the propriety of this strict construction, nor adopt it as the rule by which the constitution is to be expounded...
Página 572 - ... enterprising, continually advancing in numbers and wealth, new channels of communication are daily found necessary, both for travel and trade, and are essential to the comfort, convenience and prosperity of the people. A state ought never to be presumed to surrender this power, because, like the taxing power, the whole community have an interest in preserving it undiminished. And when a corporation alleges that a state has surrendered for...
Página 408 - It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.

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