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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 44 of Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett’s must-read 2016 book, Our Republican Constitution (original emphasis):

The political theory announced in the Declaration of Independence can be summed up by the proposition I mentioned above: First come rights then comes government.  According to this view:

  • The rights of individuals do not originate with any government, but preexist its formation.

  • The equal protection of these rights is both the purpose and first duty of government.

  • Even after government is formed, these rights provide a standard by which its performance is measured, and in extreme cases, its systemic failure to protect rights – or its systemic violation of rights – can justify its alteration or abolition.

  • At least some of these rights are so fundamental that they are “inalienable,” meaning they are so intimately connected to one’s nature as a human being that they cannot be transferred to another even if one consents to do so.