„The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.“

—  Abraham Lincoln, Context: I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient Fugitive Slave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or courts. The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 17, 1859 http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm#2H_4_0043; in "The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, Constitutional Edition", edited by Arthur Brooks Lapsley and released as " The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, by Abraham Lincoln http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm" by Project Gutenberg on July 5, 2009
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Abraham Lincoln93
1809 - 1865
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„So I'm not even sure that he's President of the United States... neither are many of our military people now, who are going to court to ask the question "Do we have to obey a man who is not qualified under the constitution.“

—  Alan Keyes American politician 1950
Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska, February 19, 2009. As transcribed verbatim...jt from MSNBC: Keith Olberman's "Countdown" February 20,09.

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„I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people."“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution... They are not among the powers specially enumerated... Opinion against the constitutionality of a National Bank (1791), also quoted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson "Memorial Edition" (20 Vols., 1903-04) edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, Vol. 3, p. 146

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„Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…“

—  Learned Hand American legal scholar, Court of Appeals judge 1872 - 1961
Context: What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it… What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few — as we have learned to our sorrow. What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. “The Spirit of Liberty” - speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City (21 May 1944).

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„I freely acknowledge myself the servant of the people, according to the bond of service — the United States constitution; and that, as such, I am responsible to them.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Context: A compromise, to be effective, must be made either with those who control the rebel army, or with the people first liberated from the domination of that army, by the success of our own army. Now allow me to assure you, that no word or intimation, from that rebel army, or from any of the men controlling it, in relation to any peace compromise, has ever come to my knowledge or belief. All charges and insinuations to the contrary, are deceptive and groundless. And I promise you, that if any such proposition shall hereafter come, it shall not be rejected, and kept a secret from you. I freely acknowledge myself the servant of the people, according to the bond of service — the United States constitution; and that, as such, I am responsible to them.

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„There is a constitutional right for people to own guns, but there's also a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...“

—  Hillary Clinton American politician, senator, Secretary of State, First Lady 1947
Interview with Steve Harvey, quoted in "Clinton confuses Constitution with Declaration of Independence in gun pitch" http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/02/25/clinton-confuses-constitution-with-declaration-independence-in-gun-pitch.html, FoxNews.com (25 February 2016)

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