Our Founding Fathers

Our Founding Fathers' Positions on Issues in the News Today

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In response to the Bush administration's belief that spying on Americans is within their constitutional rights

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in the landmark case of
Little vs. Bareme that while the president could, as commander in chief, do
whatever he wished to defend the country, once the Congress acted, his
powers would be limited by that act of Congress. Marshall ruled that the
president (John Adams) had therefore exceeded his powers and ordered the
ship returned to its owners. That constitutional ruling has been the law of
the land for 201 years. (and as the congress told Bush he could not spy on
americans therefore he is not allowed to)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it." George Washington

"The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure." George Washington

"What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." James Madison