that it has been passed by the Legislature, and the courts are given power to treat a statute as invalid in order that they may thwart the popular will in cases where that will conflicts with the provisions of the Constitution. Now, the Constitution is always older than the law in question, and may be more ancient by a century, so that the court, in deciding that a law is unconstitutional, declares, in effect, that the present wishes of the people cannot be carried out, because opposed to their previous intention, or, perhaps, to the views of their remote ancestors. Of course all our constitutions have a safety-valve in the power of amendment, so that any of them can be changed by a sufficient proportion of the voters, if they persist long enough in the same opinion; but this, while modifying, does not do away with the fact that it is often the duty of our courts to defeat the immediate wishes of a majority of the people. Stated in such a form, the power of our judiciary is certainly very startling; and it is even more surprising that a power so extensive should have been placed in the hands of a small number of men, chosen exclusively from one profession, and that among a people who are jealous of the influence of all associations and professions, and who are impatient of authority of every kind. The truth is that our fathers, while admitting the right of the majority to govern within certain limits, believed that there were principles more important than the execution of the popular will, and rights which ought not to be violated by the impulse and excitement of a majority; and the constitutional provisions established by them remain in force to-day, because we still believe in the sacredness of the principles which they preached. These principles stand on the same ground as moral precepts. The restraints they place upon us are not always agreeable, but we continue to uphold them, because we believe in their inherent righteousness and in their importance to the well-being of the world. The duty of watching over and guarding these fundamental principles, — these legal morals, if I may be allowed the term, — of developing, explaining, and defending them, rests with the legal profession; and if this is true, it is surely difficult to overestimate the responsibility of lawyers in America.
I have said that the constitutional principles taught by our fathers retain their force to-day because we still believe in them; but the statement may, perhaps, require some explanation. For a long time the Constitution of the United States was the object of what had been called a fetish worship; that is, it was regarded