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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4184. JUDICIARY (Federal), Dangerous Decisions.—
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4184. JUDICIARY (Federal), Dangerous Decisions.—

At the establishment of our Constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed
to be the most helpless and harmless
members of the government. Experience,
however, soon showed in what way they were
to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency
of the means provided for their removal
gave them a freehold and irresponsibility
in office; that their decisions, seeming
to concern individual suitors only, pass
silent and unheeded by the public at large;
that these decisions, nevertheless, become
law by precedent, sapping, by little and little,
the foundations of the Constitution, and
working its change by construction, before
any one has perceived that that invisible and
helpless worm has been busily employed in
consuming its substance. In truth, man is
not made to be trusted for life, if secured
against all liability to account.—
To A. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 322.
(M. 1823)