No one,  we presume,  supposes that  any  change  in  public
     opinion or  feeling, in relation to this unfortunate [black]
     race, in the civilized nations of Europe or in this country,
     should induce  the  court  to  give  to  the  words  of  the
     Constitution a more liberal construction in their favor than
     they were  intended to  bear when  the instrument was framed
     and  adopted.     Such   an  argument  would  be  altogether
     inadmissible in  any tribunal called on to interpret it.  If
     any of  its provisions  are deemed  unjust, there  is a mode
     prescribed in  the instrument  itself by  which  it  may  be
     amended;   but  while  it  remains  unaltered,  it  must  be
     construed now  as it  was understood  at  the  time  of  its
     adoption.  It is not only the same in words, but the same in
     meaning, and  delegates the  same powers  to the government,
     and reserves  and secures  the same rights and privileges to
     the citizen;   and  as long  as it continues to exist in its
     present form, it speaks not only in the same words, but with
     the same meaning and intent with which it spoke when it came
     from the  hands of its framers, and was voted on and adopted
     by the  people of  the United  States.   Any other  rule  of
     construction would  abrogate the  judicial character of this
     court, and make it the mere reflex of the popular opinion or
     passion of  the day.   This  court was  not created  by  the
     Constitution for  such purposes.   Higher  and graver trusts
     have been confided to it, and it must not falter in the path
     of duty.
                            [Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393]
                             [60 U.S. 709 (1856), emphasis added]

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Dred Scott v. Sandford