“There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray.”~ Thomas Jefferson
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – Thomas Jefferson.
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” –Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791. ME 8:276
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384 Thomas Jefferson
“The system of justice will either protect citizens from tyranny or be one means by which tyranny is exercised over them. A just society rests upon an equal application of the law to each and every citizen; it protects the rights of individuals regardless of the inconveniences caused thereby. It is of inestimable importance to the happiness and security of the people that justice be administered strictly, according to the established forms of the law.” Thomas Jefferson
“The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” –Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy, “Political Economy,” 1816. ME 14:465
“It is the duty of the General Government to guard its subordinate members from the encroachments of each other, even when they are made through error or inadvertence, and to cover its citizens from the exercise of powers not authorized by law.” –Thomas Jefferson: Official Opinion, 1790. ME 3:88
“Were it made a question, whether no law, as among the savage Americans, or too much law, as among the civilized Europeans, submits man to the greatest evil, one who has seen both conditions of existence would pronounce it to be the last; and that the sheep are happier of themselves, than under care of the wolves.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XI, 1782. ME 2:129
“Law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” –Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819.
“Justice is the fundamental law of society.” –Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. ME 14:490
“An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 1807. ME 11:341
“It is certainly for the good of the whole nation to assimilate as much as possible all its parts, to strengthen their analogies, obliterate the traits of difference, and to deal law and justice to all by the same rule and the same measure.” –Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812. ME 18:80
“As [Emerich de] Vattel says himself… ‘All the tranquility, the happiness and security of mankind rest on justice, on the obligation to respect the rights of others.’” –Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on French Treaties, 1793. ME 3:239
“Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its administration.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801. ME 3:321