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I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them.
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The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws . . . The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his Apostles . . . This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.
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Any change of government which has to be introduced should be one which men, starting from their existing constitutions, will be both willing and able to adopt, since there is quite as much trouble in the reformation of an old constitution as in the establishment of a new one, just as to unlearn is as hard as to learn.
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It will be remembered, that a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is solemnly enjoined by most of the state constitutions, and particularly by our own, as a necessary safeguard against the danger of degeneracy, to which republics are liable, as well as other governments, though in a less degree than others.
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Men that look no further than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick; but I that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that fabric hangs, do wonder that we are not always so; and considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God that we can die but once.
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It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.
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I am of the opinion that all who can should vote for the most intelligent, honest, and conscientious men eligible to office, irrespective of former party opinions, who will endeavour to make the new constitutions and the laws passed under them as beneficial as possible to the true interests, prosperity, and liberty of all classes and conditions of the people.
Robert E. Lee
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That which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government, and yet in our own day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state, will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution.
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Cease to brag to me of America, and its model institutions and constitutions. America, too, will have to strain its energies, crack its sinews, and all but break its heart, as the rest of us have had to do, in thousand-fold wrestle with the Pythons, and mud-demons, before it can become a babitation for the gods.
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There are dull and bright, sacred and profane, coarse and fine egotists. It is a disease that, like influenza, falls on all constitutions. In the distemper known to physicians as chorea, the patient sometimes turns round, and continues to spin slowly in one spot. Is egotism a metaphysical varioloid of this malady?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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The ancients of the ideal description, instead of trying to turn their impracticable chimeras, as does the modern dreamer, into social and political prodigies, deposited them in great works of art, which still live while states and constitutions have perished, bequeathing to posterity not shameful defects but triumphant successes.
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The Holy Scriptures...can alone secure to society order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability, and usefulness.....Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.
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Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny, " Paul said. "They're organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.
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Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny," Paul said. "They're organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.
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History is rich with adventurous men, long on charisma, with a highly developed instinct for their own interests, who have pursued personal power - bypassing parliaments and constitutions, distributing favours to their minions, and conflating their own desires with the interests of the community.
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The idea that the object of constitutions is not to confirm the predominance of any interest, but to prevent it; to preserve with equal care the independence of labour and the security of property; to make the rich safe against envy, and the poor against oppression, marks the highest level attained by the statesmanship of Greece.
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None but a people advanced to a high state of moral and intellectual excellence are capable in a civilized condition of forming and maintaining free governments, and among those who are so far advanced, very few indeed have had the good fortune to form constitutions capable of endurance.
John C. Calhoun
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Whether our feet are compressed in iron shoes, our faces hidden with veils and masks; whether yoked with cows to draw the plow through its furrows, or classed with idiots, lunatics and criminals in the laws and constitutions of the State, the principle is the same; for the humiliations of the spirit are as real as the visible badges of servitude.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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State constitutions typically provide that the state first has to service its debt, then make it pension payments, and then pay for services. What we don't know is whether that order will be enforced. And ultimately, the busted state is going to be looking to the federal government for a bailout. Think Greece, but on a much bigger scale.
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That's beautiful: the hurrah game! well "" it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go fling, of the American atmosphere "" belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.
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The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it would be well to provide in our constitutions that there shall always be a twelve-month between the ingross-ing a bill & passing it: that it should then be offered to its passage without changing a word: and that if circum-stances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it should take two thirds of both houses instead of a bare majority.
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Allow a government to decline paying its debts and you overthrow all public morality-you unhinge all the principles that preserve the limits of free constitutions. Nothing can more affect national prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possibly the incurring of any new debt.
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Reading is the subtle and thorough sharing of the ideas and feelings by underhanded means. It is a gross invasion of Privacy and a direct violation of the Constitutions of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Age. The Teaching of Reading is equally a crime against Privacy and Personhood. One to five years on each count.
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You must purge yourself before finding faults in others. When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake. This is the way to take judgment and to turn it into improvement. Do not look at others' bodies with envy or with superiority. All people are born with different constitutions. Never compare with others. Each one's capacities are a function of his or her internal strength. Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.
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Constitutions of civil government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs. Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from an estimate of its immediate necessities.
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It is (our) duty . . . to pay especial attention to the principles of government which shall be inculcated therein (at the University), and to provide that none shall be inculcated which are incompatible with those on which the Constitutions of this State, and of the United States were genuinely based, in the common opinion; and for this purpose it may be necessary to point out specially where these principles are to be found legitimately developed.
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If what was said in the Ethics is true, that the happy life is the life according to virtue lived without impediment, and that virtue is a mean, then the life which is in a mean, and in a mean attainable by every one, must be the best. And the same principles of virtue and vice are characteristic of cities and of constitutions; for the constitution is in a figure the life of the city.
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From the very beginning, our state and national constitutions and laws have laid great emphasis on procedural and substantive safeguards designed to assure fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him.
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Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of economic freedom. Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter.
Ludwig von Mises
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We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
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As a matter of law the states recognized no constraints on their legislative scope other than those that were self-imposed. Even where particular state constitutions paid ideological lip service to constraints deriving from religious or natural law doctrines, they reserved to some constitutionally-defined body or person the right to interpret these doctrines.
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Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.
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That we suffer so much today under whatsoever flag we live is proof positive that constitutions and laws, when framed by the early advocates of human liberty, never included and were never intended for us as a people. It is only a question of sheer accident that we happen to be fellow citizens today with the descendants of those who, through their advocacy, laid the foundation for human rights.
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The EU Constitution is something new in human history. Though it is not as eloquent as the French and U.S. constitutions, it is the first governing document of its kind to expand the human franchise to the level of global consciousness. The language throughout the draft constitution speaks of universalism, making it clear that its focus is not a people, or a territory, or a nation, but rather the human race and the planet we inhabit.
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He, who for an ordinary cause, resigns the fate of his patient to mercury, is a vile enemy to the sick; and, if he is tolerably popular, will, in one successful season, have paved the way for the business of life, for he has enough to do, ever afterward, to stop the mercurial breach of the constitutions of his dilapidated patients. He has thrown himself in fearful proximity to death, and has now to fight him at arm's length as long as the patient maintains a miserable existence.
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All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate, wherever possible, in the administration of civil affairs; must constantly exert the utmost vigilance and energy to prevent the usages of liberty from going beyond the limits fixed by God's law. All Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of states and legislation to be modeled on the principles of the true Church.
Pope Leo XIII
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Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness or judicial research. They are instruments of a practical nature, founded on the common business of human life, adapted to common wants, designed for common use, and fitted for common understandings.
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Good constitutions are formed upon a comparison of the liberty of the individual with the strength of government: If the tone of either be too high, the other will be weakened too much. It is the happiest possible mode of conciliating these objects, to institute one branch peculiarly endowed with sensibility, another with knowledge and firmness. Through the opposition and mutual control of these bodies, the government will reach, in its regular operations, the perfect balance between liberty and power.
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The honest and serious student of American history will recall that our Founding Fathers managed to write both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution without using the term 'democracy' even once. No part of any of the existing state Constitutions contains any reference to the word. [The men] who were most influential in the institution and formulation of our government refer to 'democracy' only to distinguish it sharply from the republican form of our American Constitutional system.
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Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: 'We the people.' 'We the people' tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. 'We the people' are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do. 'We the people' are free.
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For if there are (at a venture) seventy-six different times all ticking in the mind at once, how many different people are there not - Heaven help us _ all having lodgement at one time or another in the human spirit? Some say two thousand and fifty two. So that it is the most usual thing in the world for a person to call, directly they are alone... Come, come! I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another. But it is not altogether plain sailing either... these selves of which we are built up, one on top of another, as plates are piled up on a waiter's hand, have attachments elsewhere, sympathies, little constitutions and rights of their own... so that one will only come if it is raining... another if you can promise it a glass of wine - and so on...
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The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought, of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial-that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written up in constitutions.
Ludwig von Mises
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We plant a tree that won't be big enough to climb until we're too old to climb trees, we write constitutions to protect the rights of people who won't be born for another hundred years and may not be worth the trouble anyway, and we try to take care of our sick, though we all suffer from a disease for which there is no cure and no hope for one. We will not last and we know we will not - and still we write, carve, build, paint and plant to last. We are, it seems to me, very, very brave.
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It is urged that the use of the masculine pronouns he, his, and him in all the constitutions and laws, is proof that only men were meant to be included in their provisions. If you insist on this version of the letter of the law, we shall insist that you be consistent and accept the other horn of the dilemma, which would compel you to exempt women from taxation for the support of the government and from penalties for the violation of laws. There is no she or her or hers in the tax laws, and this is equally true of all the criminal laws.
Susan B. Anthony
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The curse of mortality. You spend the first portion of your life learning, growing stronger, more capable. And then, through no fault of your own, your body begins to fail. You regress. Strong limbs become feeble, keen senses grow dull, hardy constitutions deteriorate. Beauty withers. Organs quit. You remember yourself in your prime, and wonder where that person went. As your wisdom and experience are peaking, your traitorous body becomes a prison.
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