The Chief Purport Of The Constitution Is To Guard
The Liberties Of The People, And To Confide To A Deliberative Body
The Consideration Of All Circumstances By Which Those Liberties May
The President shall command the army; but Congress
shall raise and support the army.
Congress shall declare war.
Congress shall coin money. Congress, by one of its bodies, shall
sanction treaties. Congress shall establish such law courts as are
not established by the Constitution. Under no circumstances is the
President to decree what shall be done. But he is to do those
things which the Constitution has decreed or which Congress shall
decree. It is monstrous to suppose that power over the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus would, among such a people, and under such
a Constitution, be given without limit to the chief officer, the
only condition being that there should be some rebellion. Such
rebellion might be in Utah Territory; or some trouble in the
uttermost bounds of Texas would suffice. Any invasion, such as an
inroad by the savages of Old Mexico upon New Mexico, would justify
an arbitrary President in robbing all the people of all the States
of their liberties! A squabble on the borders of Canada would put
such a power into the hands of the President for four years; or the
presence of an English frigate in the St. Juan channel might be held
to do so. I say that such a theory is monstrous.
And the effect of this breach of the Constitution at the present day
has been very disastrous.
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