Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quote of the day

"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions … But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810 (h/t Poliblog)


steeplebob said...

Pocketing this one for my next conversation with a "strict constructionist".

Sheldon said...

Yes, I get so sick and tired of people talking about "the original intent of the Founding Fathers" like it should be some set in stone dogma. Of course the Constitution itself was the result of disagreements, arguments, and compromises among the delegates. There was no unitary coherent "intent of the Founding Fathers".