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The Role of Government

"The framers understood natural law and natural rights in a certain way, and it is underpinning of our Declaration [of Independence], which then becomes the foundation for the Constitution. They start with the rights of the individual. And where do those rights come from? They come from God, they're transcendent. And you give up some of those rights in order to be governed. They're inalienable rights. . . . [Y]ou give up only so many [rights] as necessary to be governed by your consent. And hence, limited government, enumerated powers, separation of powers, federalism, judicial review--it all makes sense."

--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas


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