Excerpt from Legal and Political Hermeneutics, or Principles of Interpretation and Construction in Law and Politics: With Remarks on Precedents and Authorities
October number of 1837, and January number of 1838.viii preface.
Adding some remarks, which appear to me of sufficient importance, to enlarge the chapter on precedents, and to add a new one on authorities. Ihave re-written the whole, as a superficial comparison will show, and here lay the result of my labors before the reader. May it do some good. Whether I have succeeded or not, I believe it will be granted on all hands, that the subject is a very important one, and that in coun tries, as the United States and England, in which civil liberty teaches the citizen to look for one of its great protections in the exact administration of the laws, and a careful avoidance of constant explanation, not interpretation, Of the laws by the Public Power in countries, in which the law is allowed to make its own way, immutable principles and fixed rules for interpreting and construing them, should be generally acknowledged, or if they exist already, in a scattered state, should be gathered and clearly represented, so that they may establish themselves along with the laws, as part and branch of the common law Of free countries.
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