On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322
"The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury." -- J. Marshall, Marbury v. Madison (1803).
"Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence." --John Jay, Federalist Paper No. 2 (1787).
"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." --Thomas Jefferson, to W. Nichols (1803).