CONSTRUCTION

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CONSTRUCTION, in politics, is the interpretation of the fundamental law of the state. Wherever there is such a fundamental law, a difference of opinion must exist respecting the meaning of certain passages, as no phraseology but the mathematical is capable of perfect precision. Such construction is therefore a copious source of party strife. In several states, there have been parties, which declared war against all construction of the fundamental law, and insisted upon the execution of its obvious meaning, forgetting that this obvious meaning, as they called it, was nothing but their own construction of its provisions. Such difference of opinion must exist in regard to every written code, political or religious. Thus the Protestants declared, at the diet of Augsburg, that they would not allow any construction of the Bible, since its obvious meaning expressed God's will. The construction of the fundamental law, then, wherever persons are united in one society, is of vital importance, and particularly so in politics. If the construction of the constitution, that is, the declaration of its meaning in doubtful points, is unprovided for, and left, as has been the case in several of the modem monarchies, to the executive, liberty may be considered as destitute of any bulwark. The U. States of America are the first state, at least of any magnitude, which has intrusted the construction of the constitution, in erases of dispute between the government and people, to a tribunal provided by the instrument itself. This tribunal is the supreme court of the U. States.