-- [a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. --
This is what happens when people start losing their capacity to comprehend te written language.
Thomas Jefferson was talking about CITIZENS, king, not the govenment. Strict adherence to the Constitution is the obligation of those that took an OATH to respect it and OBEY it. That is what we're talking about, not what citizens should be doing.
Oh, another result of the "Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem".