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Legislators are persons who write and pass laws, especially those who are members of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people. Legislatures may be supra-national (for example, the European Parliament), national (for example, the United States Congress), regional (for example, the National Assembly for Wales), or local (for example, local authorities).
- I did not obey your instructions. No. I conformed to the instructions of truth and Nature, and maintained your interest, against your opinions, with a constancy that became me. A representative worthy of you ought to be a person of stability. I am to look, indeed, to your opinions,—but to such opinions as you and I must have five years hence. I was not to look to the flash of the day. I knew that you chose me, in my place, along with others, to be a pillar of the state, and not a weathercock on the top of the edifice, exalted for my levity and versatility, and of no use but to indicate the shiftings of every fashionable gale.
- Edmund Burke, speech at Bristol, previous to the election (September 6, 1780); in The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 2, p. 382.
- In all forms of government the people is the true legislator.
- Edmund Burke, "Tract on the Popery Laws," chapter 3, part 1; in The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 6, p. 320.
- The legislator is an indispensable guardian of our freedom. It is true that great executives have played a powerful role in the development of civilization, but such leaders appear sporadically, by chance. They do not always appear when they are most needed. The great executives have given inspiration and push to the advancement of human society, but it is the legislator who has given stability and continuity to that slow and painful progress.
- James William Fulbright, "The Legislator," lecture delivered at the University of Chicago in 1946; in Robert B. Heywood, The Works of the Mind, edition for the University's Committee on Social Thought (1947), p. 119.
- Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?
- Il y a moins de différence entre deux députés dont l'un est révolutionnaire et l'autre ne l'est pas, qu'entre deux révolutionnaires, dont l'un est député et l'autre ne l'est pas.
- Translation: Two deputies, one of whom is a radical, have more in common than two radicals, one of whom is a deputy.
- Robert de Jouvenel, La République des Camarades (1914), part 1, chapter 1, p. 17.
- I have spoken of one basic characteristics of true legislators. Another very remarkable feature, on which it would be easy to write a book, is that they are never what are called scholars: they do not write, they act on instinct and impulse more than on reasoning, and they have no other means of acting than a certain moral force that bends men's wills like grain before the wind.
- Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1796), ch. VI
- Why so many laws? Because there is no legislator. What have these so-called legislators done in six years? Nothing, for to destroy is not to make.
- It is hard to imagine the unbelievable spectacle of a nation giving itself three constitutions in five years. A real legislator does not fumble around; he says fiat and the machine goes.
- Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1796), ch. VII
- The art of the legislator is not to make a people free, but free enough.
- Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1796), ch. VIII
- Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.
- Earl Warren, Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 562 (1964).