That it will have this tendency may be expected, and for that reason I feel an urgency to note what I deem an error in it, the more requiring notice as your opinion is strengthened by that of many others. You seem, in page 84 and 148, to Consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions — a very, dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of, an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem; and their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments coequal and co-sovereign with themselves.Thus we see the power claimed for the Supreme Court by Judge Douglas, Mr. Jefferson holds, would reduce us to the despotism of an oligarchy. Now, I have said no more than this-in fact, never quite so much as this-at least I am sustained by Mr. Jefferson. Let us go a little further. You remember we once had a National Bank. Some one owed the bank a debt ; he was sued and sought to avoid payment, on the ground that the bank was unconstitutional. The cast went to the Supreme Court, and therein it was decided that the bank was constitutional. The whole Democratic party revolted against that decision. General Jackson himself asserted that he, as President, would not be bound to hold a National Bank to be constitutional, even though the court had decided it to be so. He fell in precisely with the view of Mr. Jefferson, and acted upon it under his official oath, in vetoing a charter for a National Bank.
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