John Marshall: An Address Delivered at the College on February 4, 1901, the Centenary of the Installation of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the United States, Volume 203

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Bowdoin College, 1901 - Judges - 37 pages
 

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Page 24 - So if a law be in opposition to the constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case ; so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.
Page 24 - If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts, and oblige them to give it effect ? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law ? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory; and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on.
Page 31 - This instrument contains an enumeration of powers expressly granted by the people to their government. It has been said that these powers ought to be construed strictly. But why ought they to be so construed? Is there one sentence in the constitution which gives countenance to this rule.' In the last of the enumerated powers, — that which grants, expressly, the means for carrying all others into execution, — congress is authorized "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper
Page 34 - Advert, sir, to the duties of a Judge. He has to pass between the government, and the man whom that government is prosecuting, — between the most powerful individual in the community, and the poorest and most unpopular.
Page 25 - Wheat. 518, announced by this court more than sixty years ago, have become so imbedded in the jurisprudence of the United States as to make them to all intents and purposes a part of the Constitution itself.
Page 31 - No man is desirous of becoming the peculiar subject of calumny. No man, might he let the bitter cup pass from him without self-reproach, would drain it to the bottom.
Page 28 - ... given for these objects, it is supreme. It can, then, in effecting these objects, legitimately control all individuals or governments within the American territory. The constitution and laws of a State, so far as they are repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States, are absolutely void. These States are constituent parts of the United States. They are members of one great empire, — for some purposes sovereign, for some purposes subordinate.
Page 24 - The question whether an act repugnant to the Constitution can become the law of the land is a question deeply interesting to the United States; but, happily, not of an intricacy proportioned to its interest. It seems only necessary to recognize certain principles supposed to have been long and well established to decide it.
Page 16 - If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute! The army is in his hands, and if he be a man of address, it will be attached to him, and it will be the subject of long meditation with him to seize the first auspicious moment to accomplish his design...
Page 32 - to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper" for the purpose. But this limitation on the means which may be used is not extended to the powers which are conferred ; nor is there one sentence in the Constitution which has been pointed out by the gentlemen of the bar, or which we have been able to discern, that prescribes this rule.

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