Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Jefferson on government
If there's a wall of separation between church and state, the Supreme Court also doesn't have the final authority to interpret the Constitution.
"You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy," Jefferson wrote in an 1820 letter to a friend who was thinking too much of the early court's authority.As seen here.
"Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control," Jefferson continued. "The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots."