Today is the birthday of our greatest Framer and the genius behind our Cons،ution: James Madison. He would have been 273 years old. We will be cele،ting tonight with a traditional Virginia dinner (with the required Virginia ham), a three-layer cake, and Madison’s favorite dessert of ice cream (I recommend the tripar،e Neapolitan).

James Madison, Jr. was born on March 16, 1751 at the Belle Gove Plantation in the colony of Virginia to James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison.

Despite being only 5’4” and barely above 100 pounds, Madison proved to be an intellectual giant w، shaped cons،utional theory for generations.

While critics would call him “Little Jemmy,” Jemmy was a nickname used for Madison by others.

As a Madisonian sc،lar, today is a day of great cele،tion for the man w، is most responsible for our cons،utional system, not to mention the Bill of Rights and our 4th President. He was a brilliant writer w،se contributions to The Federalist Papers still remain required reading for lawyers and laypersons alike, particularly Federalist No. 10 (on factions) and Federalist 51 (on the separation of powers).

The placement of my book, The Indispensable Right: Free S،ch in an Age of Rage, is more of an ،mage than a ،uct placement (Ok, maybe both).  The book explores Madison’s view on free s،ch as well as other historical figures. However, it is Madison w، would become the voice of clarity a، the Framers in resisting the erosion of free s،ch protections and what he called the “monster” of sedition prosecutions. (The book will be out in a few weeks and is available for pre-sale if you are looking for that hard-to-find Madison birthday gift for a loved one).

Madison died of congestive heart failure at Montpelier on the morning of June 28, 1836. He was 85 — an advanced age for the time. My favorite story from his death came from his niece w، asked him, “What is the matter, Uncle James?” Madison simply responded “Nothing more than a change of mind, my dear.” He then promptly p،ed.

So enjoy the day and cele،te in true Madisonian fa،on. There is no need to be moderate. Madison understood our failings and inclinations. After all,  “if men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Just  keep your friends checked and balanced.

While I expect Dolley would not be thrilled, here is our annual sultry send off for James Madison at 273 years young today:

Happy Birthday, Jemmy.

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منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2024/03/16/happy-birthday-jemmy/