Justice Charles Evans Hughes Quote

“The Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

~ Justice Charles Evans Hughes

Ratings and Comments

cal, lewisville, tx

In Texas we still elect all our judges by popular vote. Judges just have too much to do with lawmaking to be appointed.

J. B. Wulff, Bristol

Spoken like an umpire!

David Lyons, Seguin, Texas

It does not take a Supreme Court Justice to know the intent of the framers of the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. All it takes is knowing the arguments and discussions in how it all came about between 1776 and 1787. The Constitution is NOT a "living" document as some would assert. Believing it to be so opens serious erosions based on ideology and partisan politics!

Waffler, Smith

The Constitution is not suppose to be what the Judges say it is but what the people say it is. We say what the Constituion is by the Amendment Process. Now that is not to say that interpretations must be made for new and strange situations and law. Of course the framers never envisioned government involvement or disenvolvement in the abortion issue. In their day I don't know how abortion was induced or done (I assume it was but am not sure) but it was kept quite, private, and out of the hands of government. Not we have politicized and made the issue one of public opinion and Constitutional law. The so called privacy issue.

J Carlton, Calgary

Disagree. The Constitution is what the "Constitution" says it is. Judges are too subject to the political will of the day.

Mike, Norwalk

Editor, my earlier post seems to have vanished. Neither Hughes or Waffler's comments are correct. The Constitution is what its founders and the Constitution says about the Constitution, according to the law of nature and nature's God and justice.

  • Reply
Anon    6/3/09

Spoken like an "arrogant" umpire. And what judges was he speaking of? Exclusively SCOTUS judges or any judge?

Justin, Elkland,

Waffler is right that the governed dictate what the Constitution is or means. It is a compact between free men or it is an old yellow piece of paper. We temporarily entrust a few, including judges, to apply the Constitution when the terms of the agreement are in dispute. In the case of Roe vs. Wade the supreme court sought to usurp the rights of the states, as it has so many times in the past, depriving millions of Americans the right of self-governance.

Anon, Benson

A distressing quote. Arrogant and incorrect. The constitution should not subject to being bent and twisted by revisionist judges. Liberty and freedom are at peril if such is allowed.

KrlyQ, Irving, TX

It's this thinking that has led us to despotism in this country.

Chris Paxton, Scottsdale

Arrogance,hubris,ignorance!!! This quote could have just as easily made today, by any of our many revisionist judges, who are doing their part to destroy our republic and ignore the constitution!

grace, va
  • Reply
grace, va    6/4/09

Truth and law are not relative. Words only mean anything if the meaning associated with the words is respected and not altered. As soon as the meaning is changed, the words are nothing. This is the power of activist, modern-interpretations. They devalue.


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