Thomas Jefferson – Letter to Judge William Johnson, (from Monticello, June 12, 1823)
“On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
James Madison – speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, (June 16, 1788)
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
The Founding Fathers were astute students of history. When constructing the Constitution, protecting their posterities’ liberties from the timeless, innate flaws of man and government was their primary objective. Man has and will always covet despotic power at all costs. Historically, government inherently and perpetually grows. As it does, individual liberties diminish.
Coupled with the faulty notion of judicial supremacy, the gradual, loose, “Living Document” interpretations of our Constitution have greatly altered the traditional concepts of individual liberty and constrained government.