Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1
John Jay to George Washington8 Aug. 1793Correspondence 3:488--89
We have considered the previous question stated in a letter written by your direction to us by the Secretary of State on the 18th of last month, [regarding] the lines of separation drawn by the Constitution between the three departments of the government. These being in certain respects checks upon each other, and our being judges of a court in the last resort, are considerations which afford strong arguments against the propriety of our extra-judicially deciding the questions alluded to, especially as the power given by the Constitution to the President, of calling on the heads of departments for opinions, seems to have been purposely as well as expressly united to the executive departments.
We exceedingly regret every event that may cause embarrassment to your administration, but we derive consolation from the reflection that your judgment will discern what is right, and that your usual prudence, decision, and firmness will surmount every obstacle to the preservation of the rights, peace, and dignity of the United States.
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay. Edited by Henry P. Johnston. 4 vols. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1890--93.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago