Portrait of James Madison

James Madison on the mischievous effects of mutable government in The Federalist no. 62 (1788)

Found in: The Federalist (Gideon ed.)

James Madison (1751-1836) in The Federalist (1788) Essay 62 outlines some of the "mischievous effects of a mutable government" which constantly changes the law to suit its own needs or the needs of its supporters:

Politics & Liberty

The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood: if they be repealed or revised before they are promulg[at]ed, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.