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Quotations

Article V - Founders, Framers, and Presidents quotes

“If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way in which the Constitution designates.” “The Constitutional door is open for such amendments as shall be thought necessary by nine(two-thirds of the) states.”

–George Washington


The warmest friends and the best supporters the Constitution has, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but they found them unavoidable, and are sensible, if evil is likely to arise therefrom, [that] the remedy must come hereafter; for in the present moment it is not to be obtained. And as there is a constitutional door open for it, I think the people (for it is with them to judge) can, as they will have the advantage of experience on their side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments which are necessary [as] ourselves. I do not think we are more inspired, have more wisdom, or possess more virtue than those who will come after us.”

–George Washington


“It would be improper to require the consent of the National Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse consent…”

–George Mason (June 11, 1787, from notes of the debates in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as reported by James Madison)


“the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, in the second, ultimately on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive.”

–George Mason (September 15, 1787, from notes of the debates in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as reported by James Madison)


“It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by experience on one side, or on the other.”

James Madison(Federalist 43)


“By the fifth Article of the plan, we may safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”

–Alexander Hamilton (Federalist 85)


“The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress, or of two-thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force.”

–Thomas Jefferson (from his letter to Justice William Johnson Monticello June 12, 1823)


“Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed, be found not to secure government and rights of the states, against usurpations and abuses on the part of the United States, the final resort within the purview of the Constitution, lies in an amendment of the Constitution, according to a process applicable by the states.”

–James Madison (from his letter to Edward Everett Aug 28, 1830)



“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it…While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse.”

–Abraham Lincoln (from his first inaugural address - March 4, 1861)


“Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can demand a convention to propose amendments that can and will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government.”

–Dwight Eisenhower (commencement address at Defiance College, Ohio, 1963)


The Constitution provides for both methods and the Convention is a safety valve giving the people a chance to act if Congress refuses to.”

–then Governor Ronald Reagan (in his radio address on 2/13/79)


Ronald Reagan

“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an Anti-communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” - Ronald Reagan

“I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” - Ronald Reagan


documents/quotes/quotes.txt · Last modified: 2018/05/28 13:26 by Oliver Wolcott