„All government rests upon consent, and consent is not to be had without taking counsel with the most eminent or influential or representative of the governed, and seeking their advice: the act of taking counsel cannot be separated from the act of exercising authority. All government rests also upon upon habit, upon being exercised in the same way or a similar way to that in which the governed remember or believe that it was exercised before. Brute force can break with habit; but as soon as brute force begins to turn into government, it does so by starting to observe habitual modes of behaviour. Habitual forms or institutions for counsel and consent are thus of the essence of government.“

—  Enoch Powell, Introduction to his book The House of Lords in the Middle Ages (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1968), p. xi.
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Enoch Powell
1912 - 1998
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„By the theory of our Government majorities rule, but this right is not an arbitrary or unlimited one. It is a right to be exercised in subordination to the Constitution and in conformity to it. One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights.“

—  James K. Polk American politician, 11th President of the United States (in office from 1845 to 1849) 1795 - 1849
Context: By the theory of our Government majorities rule, but this right is not an arbitrary or unlimited one. It is a right to be exercised in subordination to the Constitution and in conformity to it. One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights. Minorities have a right to appeal to the Constitution as a shield against such oppression. Inaugural Address (4 March 1845)

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„This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it,“

—  John Marshall fourth Chief Justice of the United States 1755 - 1835
Context: This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent to have required to be enforced by all those arguments which it enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge. That principle is now universally admitted. But the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist. 17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316, 405

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„I wish to uphold counsel in the exercise of their discretion.“

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„Congress does act slowly, often without foresight, and in ways detrimental to efficient government. But our entire consitutional scheme of checks and balances is intended to curb swift government action and to subordinate efficiency concerns to safeguard liberty and freedom.“

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