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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Alexander Hamilton on the National Debt

From a letter to the Senate from 1795. This letter was quoted by the Supreme Court in Perry v. United States:

"[W]hen a government enters into a contract with an individual, it deposes, as to the matter of the contract, its constitutional authority, and exchanges the character of legislator for that of a moral agent, with the same rights and obligations as an individual. Its promises may be justly considered as excepted out of its power to legislate, unless in aid of them. It is in theory impossible to reconcile the idea of a promise which obliges, with a power to make a law which can vary the effect of it.'

The Perry Court made the clear that the principle enunciated by Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment predated that clause.

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on May 10, 2023 at 07:01 PM | Permalink


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