"It is a necessary evil, and the more we rein it in, the happier and freer we shall be." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
"You want people who are moderates, who are not passionate zealots in any particular direction."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
Thomas Jefferson shares his thoughts about the workings of the Supreme Court, allows his personal irritations with the court to show, and explains how he feels the court has drifted from its rightful place in America today.
We answer listener questions in response to episode #1277 Gerrymandering, and then turn to a discussion about an important discovery of an 1805 Lewis & Clark related map. It was found after being stored for 200 years in a French archive. The map and its background story appear in this month’s issue of We Proceeded On, published by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
"You could redistrict so that you could maximize competitiveness. That would be my suggestion: maximize competitiveness."
— Clay S. Jenkinson
On this week’s Thomas Jefferson Hour, we discuss gerrymandering, its origin, how it works in American politics today, and the potential effects it has on our democracy.
"The constitution ... is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please." — Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819
Thomas Jefferson had a unique and slightly odd view of the proper place of the judicial branch in America. He thought of judicial independence as both a strength and a weakness of our system: you want judges that are independent of popular factionalism but you want them to be accountable to the sovereign, to the American people. Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson, discusses his concept of judicial balance, his lifelong displeasure with the Supreme Court, and some of the changes that he thinks should be made. He said of life-tenured judges, 'Few die and none resign.'