Apr 18, 2010

Jefferson on legislators and natural rights

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him . . . and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.

~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis W. Gilmer, June 27, 1816.

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