“It has been our happiness to believe, that in the partition of powers between the general and State governments, the former possessed only such as were expressly granted, or passed therewith as necessary incidents, while… »
The Supreme Court is but a department of the general government. A department is not competent to do that to which the whole government is inadequate. The general government cannot decide this controversy, and much less can one of its departments. They cannot do it, unless we tread under foot the principle which forbids a party to decide his own cause.
Indeed, Mr. Editor, the great fault of the present time is, in considering the Constitution as perfect. It is considered as a nose of wax, and is stretched and contradicted at the arbitrary will and pleasure of those who are entrusted to administer it. It is considered as perfect, in contravention of the opinion of those who formed it. Their opinion is greatly manifested, in the ample provisions it contains for its amendment. It is so considered in contravention of everything that is human: for nothing made by man is perfect. It is construed to this effect, by the ins, to the prejudice of the outs; by the agents of one government in prejudice of the rights of another; and by those, who, possessing power, will not fail to “feel it, and forget right.”