Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Law & the Constitution

"The end of every law is the common good of the community that it governs." - Thomas Aquinas, church father and influential thinker in the development of the western legal tradition, in his 'Treatise on Law' in Summa Theologica

"Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  - John Adams, founding father and second President of the United States, to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts on October 11, 1798

If I was a law professor, I would come up with an essay exam based on these two quotations. It would go something like this: "Does the United States Constitution promote the common good of society? If so, must the government enacting laws and enforcing laws be made up of moral  and religious people? You have thirty minutes to answer and discuss. Start writing." That might also be a good exam for a moral philosophy course.


K&T said...

This was a great conversation starter for Tim and I tonight.

yegreat2 said...

Thank you for those quotes. I hear political babble every day at my work, so this is a welcome relief. And those are some beautiful fall pictures of Edinburgh. Look forward to seeing you and Matt in Lynchburg this Christmas.

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