We the People of the United States

View Attributions and the Full Transcript

“Obviously people can say what they want. And they’re certainly free to criticize the
Supreme Court. And if they want to say that its legitimacy is in question they’re free to
do so but I don’t understand the connection between opinions that people disagree
with and the legitimacy of the Court.”

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme

The Declaration of Independence incorporated a doctrine first articulated as “the consent of
the governed” by John Duns Scotus in his Lectura and Ordinatio of the 1290s. That phrasing,
adopted unanimously by the 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress on July the 4th
in 1776, was an unambiguous acknowledgment of the new nation’s cardinal precepts. Their
expanded phrasing further defined government’s legitimacy. The Declaration stated that
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the