Thomas Jefferson (1746-1826)

I hope our courts will never countenance the sweeping pretensions which have been set up under the words ‘general defence and public welfare.’ These words only express the motives which induced the Convention to give to the ordinary legislature certain specified powers which they enumerate, and which they thought might be trusted to the ordinary legislature, and not to give them the unspecified also; or why any specifications? They could not be so awkward in language as to mean, as we say, ‘all and some.’ And should this construction prevail, all limits to the federal government are done away.