North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   The chief purport of the Constitution is to guard
the liberties of the people, and to confide to a deliberative - Page 320
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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 Be Affected.

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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