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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sad Day for America

Perhaps we shall all re-read the papers that gave founding to our nation.

The Federalist No. 44 by James Madison

Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. The two former are expressly prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the State constitutions, and all of them are prohibited by the spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. Our own experience has taught us, nevertheless, that additional fences against these dangers ought not to be omitted. Very properly, therefore, have the convention added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal security and private rights; and I am much deceived if they have not, in so doing, as faithfully consulted the genuine sentiments as the undoubted interests of their constituents. The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. They very rightly infer, therefore, that some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Curious -- legality aside, would you have supported paying bonuses to the financial products division? -J

Anonymous said...

Hm. Does that mean that you'd support the law if it was narrowly tailored to affect only the financial division people?

Cat said...

I won't get into details here given the sensitivity. Only that, we are a civil society, let's use common sense and rule of law to right wrongs instead of using pitchforks and torches.