Commentaries on Statute and Constitutional Law and Statutory and Constitutional Construction (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Commentaries on Statute and Constitutional Law and Statutory and Constitutional Construction

IN presenting these Commentaries to the public, I have to admit, that owing to circumstances beyond my control, they are not as full, and complete as I could wished to have made them. Many branches of constitutional law within the appropriate range of my subject, remain untouched, and in many instances, those that have been treated of, necesari ly have been but partially considered. It is to be regret ted, that a subject of so much importance at the present time, had not received the consideration of an abler mind, or that what has been done by me, had not been executed in a better manner. I am conscious of defects in What I have done, but the defects that do exist in this work, so far as constitu tional law is concerned, are supplied to a great extent, by the previous able, and distinguished Commentaries of the late Mr. Justice Story. With such a predecessor on any subject, and especially that of constitutional law, the mind naturally shrinks in distrust of its own powers, to travel even at a remote distance, along the path which has been illuminated and ren dered brilliant by his refined and cultivated intellect. That distrust is heightened, when it is considered, he had great Opportunities to acquire much learning on this subject; hav ing for many years occupied a seat in the highest, and I hes itate not to say, the ablest judicial tribunal, which ever adorn ed the jurisprudence of any nation that too, at a period when the constitutional law of a New World, was the theme of fo rensic discussion, and judicial determination, by a galaxy of forensic and judicial talent, unsurpassed in point of brilliancy.

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