James Iredell

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It would be not only useless, but dangerous, to enumerate a number of rights which are not intended to be given up; because it would be implying, in the strongest manner, that every right not included in the exception might be impaired by the government without usurption; and it would be impossible to enumerate every one.

James Iredell (5 October 175120 October 1799) was one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed by President George Washington and served from 1790 until his death in 1799.

Sourced[edit]

North Carolina's Debates, in Convention, on the adoption of the Federal Constitution (1787)[edit]

Reported in The Debates, Resolutions, and other Proceedings, in Convention, on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, on the 17th of September, 1787 (1830), edited by Jonathan Elliot.

  • The power of impeachment is given by this Constitution, to bring great offenders to punishment. It is calculated to bring them to punishment for crimes which it is not easy to describe, but which every one must be convinced is a high crime and misdemeanor against the government.
    • July 28, 1788, p. 107.
  • It would be not only useless, but dangerous, to enumerate a number of rights which are not intended to be given up; because it would be implying, in the strongest manner, that every right not included in the exception might be impaired by the government without usurption; and it would be impossible to enumerate every one. Let any one make what collection or enumeration of rights he pleases, I will immediately mention twenty or thirty more rights not contained in it.
    • July 28, 1788, p. 150.
  • Had Congress undertaken to guarantee religious freedom, or any particular species of it, they would then have had a pretense to interfere in a subject they have nothing to do with. Each state, so far as the clause in question does not interfere, must be left to the operation of its own principles.
    • July 30, 1788, p. 172.

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