"To render the magistrate a judge of truth, and engage his authority in the suppression of opinions, shews an inattention to the nature and designs of political liberty."
Robert Hall
An Apology for the Liberty of the Press, 1793
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Reader comments about this quote:
We need a time out from knocking Judges. It sometimes seems like the politics of destruction is all that the quotes are about. How about some things that are constructive for a change.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waff, how about this for "constructive", vote out the libs in November and replace with some real Americans who have respect for the Constitution.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Waffler never ceases to amaze me with his worship of authority and his disdain for the principled common man.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    That Judges are in fact, lawyers deemed knowledgable enough to weigh the facts under law, etc. It's gonna' be a cold day in hell, before opinion is suppressed. "The easiest thing for a person to give, is an opinion". ~ Lao Tze
     -- Jamie, Nelson     
    A funny experience / example: I have a friend that defended himself in a tax matter. The jury found him not guilty and the judge put him in jail for contempt of court.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike why was he in contempt of court? I told a judge once that he did not go by the law (and I was right) and was nearly arrested for interfering with justice. Most judges are very arrogant and think way too much of themselves. If there's a judge out there you may be the exception.
     -- RBESRQ     
    I agree with Waffler. I think we need to build some new court houses with new judges....on the site where the old ones used to stand. Constructive enough for ya Waffler? ;)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Robert, your experience pretty well summed my friends experience. My friend is very sharp and let no occasion pass without comment. His objections were frequent and worth passage through folk lore. He slipped in jury nullification and the difference between not guilty and innocent (in between a lot of prosecution objections and judge threats). The judge sternly scolded the jury and told them to disregard my friend's comments and closing and only follow his instructions. During the trial, my friend on more than one occasion, spent time, at the fed's expense, for contempt. I don't remember the exact exchange at the end (-; the jury actually declared my friend innocent with prejudice - can you imagine - there was some immediate discussion between the prosecution and the judge ;-) but the judge was lecturing my friend and when he was done, my friend asked, something to the effect, of what part of the Australian outback did he learn law. I think he served 90 days, mostly in a van, being moved around so no one could find him to do a habeas corpus. Ahhh, that there were more people like my friend.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Robert, we still joke about my friend and when we meet some one new, we introduce my friend as the only guy we know that won the case and went to jail anyway.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Habeus corpus...didn't we used to have a right like that? Imagine that; actually having to produce evidence in order to jail someone. Of course it's more convenient and efficient not to have to bother with it. Come to think of it, juries are quite a bother too. For that matter trials take up way too much time. Just trust the judge. He'll know what to do.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Mike, I love your friend's retort -- mine would have been the Gobi Desert.
     -- RBESRQ     
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