HAR YARD LA W RE VIE W.
more genuine growth. Indeed, the changes in adopting it were scarcely greater than . took place in England when the Stuarts were sent over the water and William of Orange was made king.
III. A good constitution should definitely apportion the powers of government between the several departments, and draw such clear lines of distinction as to prevent collisions and usurpations. It is in this apportionment that the superior advantages of the written constitution are most conspicuous. Under an unwritten constitution the legislature, whether it be monarch or parliament, is almost necessarily supreme. It makes laws for all, and all must obey them. In the rise of parliamentary authority the parlia- mentary body always determines for itself the limits of its authority, so that its power is bounded only by its discretion. The checks upon it, which the other departments of the government afford, are necessarily feeble, and may be disregarded. If a veto power becomes inconvenient or distasteful it will be abolished, just as in effect it has been abolished in England. Such written declarations of constitutional right as may be made from time to time are but laws, and may be changed at will. In pointed contrast to this is the legislative power under the written constitution, for that power is limited in the very grant, and every attempted law which goes beyond the grant is merely idle words, and may be treated as null by all citizens, whether in public or private station. Moreover, the grant of judicial power to another department is a grant of authority which includes the right to adjudge that to be no law which the legislature has attempted to enact beyond its jurisdiction, and the courts must protect the citizen in disregarding it. The check upon absolutism in government would thus seem to be as complete as human wisdom can make it.
IV. A good constitution should be beyond the reach of tempo- rary excitement and popular caprice or passion. It is needed for stability and steadiness; it must yield to the thought of the people ; not to the whim of the people, or the thought evolved in excitement or hot blood, but the sober second thought, which alone, if the government is to be safe, can be allowed efficiency. And here, again, the superior advantage of the written constitution is manifest. The unwritten is at the mercy of the temporary popular passion, and precedents may grow up from abuses before the sober second thought has come. The written compels delay through the steps it requires to be gone through with, and there