Jefferson disregarded his constitutional doubts, signed the proposed treaty [The Louisiana Purchase --mpa], and sent it to the Senate for ratification. In justifying his actions, he later wrote: "[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means." -- WikipediaFound in an interesting post at Mark Alger's Baby TrollBlog.
That's very much the point I was making in The United Federation of Planets, in far fewer words.