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Constitutions Quotes

A Constitution should be short and obscure.

Author: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Profession: French General, Emperor

There is a hearty Puritanism in the view of human nature which pervades the instrument of 1787 It is the work of men who believed in original sin, and were resolved to leave open for transgressors no door which they could possibly shut.

Author: James Bryce


Our constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.

Author: Gerald R. Ford (1913)

Profession: Thirty-eighth President of the USA

The words of the Constitution are so unrestricted by their intrinsic meaning or by their history or by tradition or by prior decisions that they leave the individual Justice free, if indeed they do not compel him, to gather meaning not from reading the Constitution but from reading life.

Author: Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965)

Profession: Austrian-born American Law Teacher, Judge

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Author: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Profession: American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat

Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.

Author: Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

Profession: American Statesman

The Constitution is a figment of your imagination, held up to make people believe they have rights. I don't believe anybody in this country has rights.

Author: Ice-T

Profession: American Rap Musician

It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention.

Author: Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)

Profession: Thirty-sixth President of the USA

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.

Author: Henry Kissinger (1923-)

Profession: American Republican Politician, Secretary of State

The first principle of a civilized state is that the power is legitimate only when it is under contract.

Author: Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)

Profession: American Journalist

A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.

Author: Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

Profession: American Essayist and Historian

Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.

Author: Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

Profession: American Essayist and Historian

The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both.

Author: James Madison (1751-1836)

Profession: American Statesman, President

A constitution that is made for all nations is made for none.

Author: Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821)

Profession: French Diplomat, Philosopher

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.

Author: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

Profession: Thirty-second President of the USA