An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





A constitution should be short and obscure.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, 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.


James Bryce


The Constitution gives every American the inalienable right to make a damn fool of himself.


John Ciardi (1916-1986, American teacher, poet, writer)


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


Gerald R. Ford (1913-, American President (38th))


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.


Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965, 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.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, 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.


Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804,  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.


Ice-T (1959-, American rap musician)


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


Henry Kissinger (1923-, American Secretary of State)


A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.


Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859, American essayist and historian)


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


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.


Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859, American essayist and historian)


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


James Madison (1751-1836, American statesman, president)


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


Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821, French diplomat, philosopher)


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


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945, American President (32nd))


The American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


There is a higher law than the Constitution.


William Seward (1801-1872, American politician)


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