Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Bruce AckermanThere is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed
Bruce AckermanThere is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed.
Lord ActonEverything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
John AdamsEach individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.
John AdamsFacts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John AdamsTherefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge’s] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.
John AdamsThe moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.
John AdamsIt should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.
John AdamsThe dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that.
John AdamsHuman nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?
John Adamsno good government but what is republican...
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
John AdamsIt should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.
John Quincy AdamsLaw logic -- an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.
Samuel AdamsAmong the natural Rights of the Colonists are these: First, a Right to Life; secondly, to Liberty; thirdly, to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best Manner they can. Those are evident Branches of, rather than Deductions from, the Duty of Self-Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.
Samuel AdamsIt does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
Samuel AdamsAnd that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press,  or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
Woody AllenWe stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
American Bar AssociationIt is the duty of the officials to prevent or suppress the threatened disorder with a firm hand instead of timidly yielding to threats…. Surely a speaker ought not to be suppressed because his opponents propose to use violence. It is they who should suffer from their lawlessness, not he.
American Bar AssociationI shall not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land.
American Jurisprudence, 2nd EditionNo one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it.
Henri-Frédéric AmielLiberty, equality -- bad principles! The only true principle for humanity is justice; and justice to the feeble is protection and kindness.
Amos v. MosleyIf the legislature clearly misinterprets a constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.
Susan B. AnthonyIt was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.
Marcus Aurelius AntoninusThe best way of avenging thyself is not to become like the wrong-doer.
Saint Thomas AquinasIn order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign.... Secondly, a just cause.... Thirdly ... a rightful intention.
AristotleFor man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends.
AristotleIt makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man, or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done.
Thurman ArnoldIt is a part of the function of “law” to give recognition to ideas representing the exact opposite of established conduct. Most of the complications arise from the necessity of pretending to do one thing, while actually doing another.
Thurman ArnoldThe spectacle of a judge pouring over the picture of some nude, trying to ascertain the extent to which she arouses prurient interests, and then attempting to write an opinion which explains the difference between that nude and some other nude has elements of low comedy.
Sir Francis BaconOne of the Seven [wise men of Greece] was wont to say: That laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies are caught and the great break through.
Ben H. BagdikianLetting a maximum number of views be heard regularly is not just a nice philosophical notion. It is the best way any society has yet discovered to detect maladjustments quickly, to correct injustices, and to discover new ways to meet our continuing stream of novel problems that rise in a changing environment.
Walter BagehotSo long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.
Alderman Rodney BarketWhat I'd like to see police do is deal with important issues and not these sorts of victimless crimes when society is riddled with problems.
Mayor Marion BarryI promise you a police car on every sidewalk.
Mayor Marion BarryIf you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very, very low crime rate.
John BarrymoreA man must pay the fiddler. In my case it so happened that a whole symphony orchestra often had to be subsidized.
Frederic BastiatThere is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because the law makes them so.
Frederic BastiatIf every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Frederic BastiatEveryone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.
Frederic BastiatLife, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.
On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand
that caused men to make laws in the first place.
Frederic BastiatWhat, then, is the law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. ... since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individual groups. ... But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
Frederic BastiatNo legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic.
Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle
with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).
Frederic BastiatSometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
Frederic BastiatIn short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism -- including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?
Dan BaumThe [Supreme] Court during the past decade let police obtain search warrants on the strength of anonymous tips. It did away with the need for warrants when police want to search luggage, trash cans, car interiors, bus passengers, fenced private property and barns.
Dan BaumThe Supreme Court is steadily eroding the protections against police excess promised by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
Dan BaumIt's gotten to where defense attorneys in federal drug cases can do their clients about as much good as Dr. Kevorkian can do his -- quietly shepherd them through to the least painful end.
Judge David BazelonMembers of society must obey the law because they personally believe that its commands are justified.
Chief Judge David L. BazelonMy own view rests on the premise that nullification can and should serve an important function in the criminal process ... The doctrine permits the jury to bear on the criminal process a sense of fairness and particularized justice ... The drafters of legal rules cannot anticipate and take account of every case where a defendant’s conduct is “unlawful” but not blameworthy, any more than they can draw a bold line to mark the boundary between an accident and negligence. It is the jury -- as spokesmen for the community’s sense of values -- that must explore that subtle and elusive boundary. ... I do not see any reason to assume that jurors will make rampantly abusive use of their power. Trust in the jury is, after all, one of the cornerstones of our entire criminal jurisprudence, and if that trust is without foundation we must reexamine a great deal more than just the nullification doctrine.
Cesare BeccariaThe laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
Cesare BeccariaFalse is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction.
Cesare BeccariaThe punishment of death is the war of a nation against a citizen whose destruction it judges to be necessary or useful.
Cesare BeccariaFor a punishment to be just it should consist of only such gradations of intensity as suffice to deter men from committing crimes.
Cesare BeccariaA principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
Cesare BeccariaFalse is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.
Edward BeecherWe are more especially called upon to maintain the principles of free discussion in case of unpopular sentiments or persons, as in no other case will any effort to maintain them be needed.
Rev. Francis BellamyI pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands;
one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
Isaiah BerlinInjustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance -- these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible.
Georges BernanosJustice in the hands of the powerful is merely a governing system like any other. Why call it justice? Let us rather call it injustice, but of a sly effective order, based entirely on cruel knowledge of the resistance of the weak, their capacity for pain, humiliation and misery.
Georges BernanosThe first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.
Ambrose BierceAs records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind... Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
John Biggs, Jr.Let us revise our views and work from the premise that all laws should be for the welfare of society as a whole and not directed at the punishment of sins.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWhat finally emerges from the ‘clear and present danger’ cases is a working principle that the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before utterances can be punished…It must be taken as a command of the broadest scope that explicit language, read in the context of a liberty-loving society, will allow.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe layman’s constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn’t like is unconstitutional.
Justice Hugo L. BlackFreedom to publish means freedom for all and not for some. Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the constitution but freedom to continue to prevent others from publishing is not.
Justice Hugo L. BlackCompelling a man by law to pay his money to elect candidates or advocate law or doctrines he is against differs only in degree, if at all, from compelling him by law to speak for a candidate, a party, or a cause he is against. The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the Government commands.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe interest of the people lies in being able to join organizations, advocate causes, and make political “mistakes” without being subjected to governmental penalties.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWithout deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
Justice Hugo L. BlackCriticism of government finds sanctuary in several portions of the First Amendment. It is part of the right of free speech. It embraces freedom of the press.
Justice Hugo L. BlackIt is my belief that there are “absolutes” in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be "absolutes.
Justice Hugo L. BlackAnonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
Justice Hugo L. BlackIn my judgment the people of no nation can lose their liberty so long as a Bill of Rights like ours survives and its basic purposes are conscientiously interpreted, enforced and respected so as to afford continuous protection against old, as well as new, devices and practices which might thwart those purposes. I fear to see the consequences of the Court's practice of substituting its own concepts of decency and fundamental justice for the language of the Bill of Rights as its point of departure in interpreting and enforcing that Bill of Rights.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice. I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation.
Justice Hugo L. BlackAn unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
Harry A. BlackmunBy placing discretion in the hands of an official to grant or deny a license, such a statute creates a threat of censorship that by its very existence chills free speech.
Sir William BlackstoneAnd, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense.
Sir William BlackstoneThe public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
Sir William BlackstoneThat the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
Sir William BlackstoneIt is better ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.
Curtis BokIn the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.
Neal BoortzOur founding fathers detested the idea of a democracy and labored long to prevent America becoming one.  Once again -- the word 'democracy' does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the constitution of any of the fifty states.  Not once. Furthermore, take a look at State of the Union speeches.  You won’t find the 'D' word uttered once until the Wilson years.
William E. BorahNo more fatuous chimera has ever infested the brain than that you can control opinions by law or direct belief by statute, and no more pernicious sentiment ever tormented the heart than the barbarous desire to do so. The field of inquiry should remain open, and the right of debate must be regarded as a sacred right.
William E. BorahWithout an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense -- the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independent and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.
James BovardHowever accurate or inaccurate the agency’s numbers may be, tax law explicitly presumes that the IRS is always right -- and implicitly presumes that the taxpayer is always wrong -- in any dispute with the government. In many cases, the IRS introduces no evidence whatsoever of its charges; it merely asserts that a taxpayer had a certain amount of unreported income and therefore owes a proportionate amount in taxes, plus interest and penalties.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisFear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches
and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisExperience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal,
well-meaning but without understanding.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisDecency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisIf there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisWays may someday be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe makers of our constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness... They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisCrime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisAt the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisTo declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisNo danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is an opportunity for full discussion. Only an emergency can justify repression.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisIn the frank expression of conflicting opinions lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action.
Justice William J. BrennanAll ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance – unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment].
Justice William J. BrennanThe Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to “create” rights. Rather they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.
Justice William J. BrennanThe door of the Free Exercise Clause stands tightly closed against any government regulation of religious beliefs as such. Government may neither compel affirmation of a repugnant belief, nor penalize or discriminate against individuals or groups because they hold views abhorrent to the authorities.
Justice William J. BrennanThe concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.
Justice William J. BrennanIf there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
Heywood Hale BrounAppeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will turn vegetarian.
Rome G. Brown[T]he best elements of the national and state bars are seriously and energetically working for practical reforms in legal procedure, in the manner of the selection of judges, and in the prevention of delays and against the miscarriage of justice, and this, too, by feasible and constitutional measures and by every constructive and really progressive method which can be devised; and that the fact that satisfactory remedies have not yet been attained, is not the fault of the bench or of the bar, whose leaders have for years been urging upon the people, through the legislatures, fully formulated and efficient remedial measures. The fault lies with the people themselves, whose direct representatives in the legislatures, national and state, refuse properly to consider and act upon proposed laws of authenticated and undeniable efficacy.
Lenny BruceIn the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls.
Lenny BruceThey call it the Halls of Justice because the only place you get justice is in the halls.
James BuchananWhat is right and what is practicable are two different things.
Pearl S. BuckNone who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
William F. Buckley, Jr.We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
William F. Buckley, Jr.All that is good is not embodied in the law; and all that is evil is not proscribed by the law. A well-disciplined society needs few laws; but it needs strong mores.
William F. Buckley, Jr.Marijuana is not much more difficult to obtain than beer. The reason for this is that a liquor store selling beer to a minor stands to lose its liquor license. Marijuana salesmen don't have expensive overheads, and so are not easily punished.
Justice Warren E. BurgerConcepts of justice must have hands and feet or they remain sterile abstractions. The hands and feet we need are efficient means and methods to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost.
Justice Warren E. BurgerThere can be no assumption that today’s majority is “right” and the Amish or others like them are “wrong.” A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no right or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different.
Justice Warren E. BurgerJudges ... rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times.
Edmund BurkeWhenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Edmund BurkeToleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Edmund BurkeThere is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity -- the law of nature, and of nations.
Edmund BurkeIt is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.
William S. BurroughsOnce the law starts asking questions, there's no stopping them.
Sir Richard Francis BurtonDo what thy manhood bids thee do, From none but self expect applause: He noblest lives and noblest dies Who makes and keeps his self-made laws.
George W. BushToday the Justice Department did issue a blanket alert. It was in recognition of a general threat we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department have acted like this. I hope it is the last. But given the attitude of the evildoers, it may not be.
George W. BushI want him [Saddam Hussein]. I want -- I want justice.
There is an old poster seen out west.
As I recall, it said, Wanted Dead or Alive.
Samuel ButlerAuthority intoxicates,
And makes mere sots of magistrates;
The fumes of it invade the brain,
And make men giddy, proud and vain.
Gaius Julius CaesarAll bad precedents began as justifiable measures.
Edmond Cahn“Due process,” a standard that arose in our system of law and stemmed from the desire to provide rational procedure and fair play, is equally indispensable in every other kind of social or political enterprise.
John C. CalhounTo maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
John C. CalhounA power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.
John C. CalhounStripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government;
a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States,
or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.
William J. CampbellToday the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.
Albert CamusFreedom is not a gift received from the State or leader, but a possession to be won every day by the effort of each and the union of all.
Albert CamusHow many crimes are permitted simply because their authors could not endure being wrong.
Albert CamusAbsolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradiction, therefore it destroys freedom.
Al CaponeWhen I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
Justice Benjamin CardozoOf...freedom [of thought and speech] one may say that it is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.
Justice Benjamin CardozoJustice, though due to the accused, is due the accuser also. The concept of fairness cannot be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep our balance true.
Justice Benjamin CardozoIt is for ordinary minds, not for psychoanalysts, that our rules of evidence are framed. They have their source very often in considerations of administrative convenience, or practical expediency, and not in rules of logic.
Thomas CarlyleEvery human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man.
Jimmy CarterThe law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.
John CaseyThe growth of drug-related crime is a far greater evil to society as a whole than drug taking. Even so, because we have been seduced by the idea that governments should legislate for our own good, very few people can see how dangerously absurd the present policy is.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins.
Raymond ChandlerThe law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
Raymond ChandlerHe didn't know the right people. That's all a police record means in this rotten crime-ridden country.
Samuel ChaseThe jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
Samuel ChaseThe jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
Lydia M. ChildEvery human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.
Shirley ChisholmIt is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
Joseph H. ChoateThe Act of Congress which we are impugning before you is communistic in its purposes and tendencies, and is defended here upon principles as communistic, socialistic - what shall I call them - populistic as ever have been
addressed to any political assembly in the world.
Rufus ChoateAppropriated to justice, to security, to reason, to restraint; where there is no respect of persons; where will is nothing and power is nothing and numbers are nothing, and all are equal and all secure before the law.
Sir Winston ChurchillNever in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Sir Winston ChurchillNever give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Sir Winston ChurchillToday we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: 'We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls.'
Sir Winston ChurchillThe power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.
Sir Winston ChurchillIn wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
Winston ChurchillWe must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, Trial by Jury, and the English common law, find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.
Marcus Tullius CiceroThe more laws, the less justice.
Marcus Tullius CiceroWhen you have no basis for argument, abuse the plaintiff.
Quintus Tullius CiceroDuring war, the laws are silent.
Ramsey ClarkA right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
Justice Tom C. ClarkFrom the standpoint of freedom of speech and the press, it is enough to point out that the state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them... It is not the business of government to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine.
John H. ClarkeIt is not uncommon for ignorant and corrupt men to falsely charge others with doing what they imagine they themselves, in their narrow minds and experience, would have done under the circumstances.
W. K. CliffordIt is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
Bill ClintonIt depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.
Bill ClintonIt depends on what the meaning of the word is. If the– if he– if "is" means is and never has been, that is not– that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.... Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Samuel Taylor ColeridgeEvery reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming.
Anthony CollinsBy freethinking I mean the use of the understanding in endeavoring to find out the meaning of any proposition whatsoever, in considering the nature of the evidence for or against, and in judging of it according to the seeming force or weakness of the evidence.
Charles Caleb ColtonThe victim to too severe a law is considered as a martyr rather than a criminal.
Henry Steele CommagerEvery effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
ConfuciusIf language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
Benjamin ConstantNo duty, however, binds us to these so-called laws, whose corrupting influence menaces what is noblest in our being...
Benjamin ConstantFirst ask yourselves, Gentlemen, what an Englishman, a Frenchman, and a citizen of the United States of America understand today by the word 'liberty'. For each of them it is the right to be subjected only to the laws, and to be neither arrested, detained, put to death nor maltreated in any way by the arbitrary will of one or more individuals. It is the right of everyone to express their opinion, choose a profession and practice it, to dispose of property, and even to abuse it; to come and go without permission, and without having to account for their motives or undertakings. It is everyone's right to associate with other individuals, either to discuss their interests, or to profess the religion which they or their associates prefer, or even simply to occupy their days or hours in a way which is more compatible with their inclinations or whims. Finally, it is everyone's right to exercise some influence on the administration of the government, either by electing all or particular officials, or through representations, petitions, demands to which the authorities are more or less compelled to pay heed. Now compare this liberty with that of the ancients. The latter consisted in exercising collectively, but directly, several parts of the complete sovereignty; in deliberating, in the public square, over war and peace; in forming alliances with foreign governments; in voting laws, in pronouncing judgments; in examining the accounts, the acts, the stewardship of the magistrates; in calling them to appear in front of the assembled people, in accusing, condemning or absolving them. But if this was what the ancients called liberty, they admitted as compatible with this collective freedom the complete subjection of the individual to the authority of the community.
Constitution for the USAWe the People of the united States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Constitution of the Irish Free StateAll lawful authority comes from God to the people.
Constitution of the United StatesNo person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury... nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
U.S. ConstitutionNo person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Thomas CooleyThe right is general.
It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision
that the right to keep and bear arms
was only guaranteed to the militia;
but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent.
The militia, as has been explained elsewhere,
consists of those persons who, under the law,
are liable to the performance of military duty,
and are officered and enrolled for service
when called upon. . . .
[I]f the right were limited to those enrolled,
the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether
by the action or the neglect to act
of the government it was meant to hold in check.
The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is,
that the people, from whom the militia must be taken,
shall have the right to keep and bear arms,
and they need no permission or regulation of law
for that purpose.
Calvin CoolidgeI sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
James Fenimore CooperCommerce is entitled to a complete and efficient protection in all its legal rights, but the moment it presumes to control a country, or to substitute its fluctuating expedients for the high principles of natural justice that ought to lie at the root of every political system, it should be frowned on, and rebuked.
Florida Supreme CourtWe consistently have adhered to the principle that the will of the people is the paramount consideration. Our goal today…[is] to reach the result that reflects the will of the voters…. The laws are intended to facilitate and safeguard the right of each voter to express his or her will in the context of our representative democracy. Technical statutory requirements must not be exalted over the substance of this right.
William CowperTo follow foolish precedents, and wink\\
With both our eyes, is easier than to think.
Patrick CoxThe holier-than-thou activists who blame the population for not spending more money on their personal crusades are worse than aggravating. They encourage the repudiation of personal responsibility by spreading the lie that support of a government program fulfills individual moral duty.
Donald R. CresseyThings in law tend to be black and white. But we all know that some people are a little bit guilty, while other people are guilty as hell.
Oliver CromwellIt will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
John Philpot CurranIt is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt.
Czech ProverbThe big thieves hang the little ones.
Mark Da VeePositive laws are tyrannical. One's individual rights -- whether they be life, liberty, or property -- must be sacrificed by the state in order to fulfill the positive rights of another. For example, if housing is considered a "right," then the state will have to confiscate wealth (property) from those who have provided shelter for themselves in order to house those who have not. ... True justice is realized when our lives, and property are secure, and we are free to express our thoughts without fear of retribution. Just laws are negative in nature; they exist to thwart the violation of our natural rights. Government ought to be the collective organization -- that is, the extension -- of the individual's right of self-defense, and its purpose to protect our lives, liberties, and property.
Mayor Richard DaleyThe police are not here to create disorder. The police are here to preserve disorder.
Clarence S. DarrowThe law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Clarence S. DarrowThere is no such crime as a crime of thought; there are only crimes of action.
Clarence S. DarrowThe objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.
Clarence S. DarrowThere is no such thing as justice -- in or out of court.
Clarence S. DarrowThe objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.
Justice David DavisThe Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people,
equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection
all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances.
No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences,
was ever invented by the wit of man than
that any of its provisions can be suspended
during any of the great exigencies of government.
Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism,
but the theory of necessity on which it is based is false;
for the government, within the Constitution, has all the powers granted to it,
which are necessary to preserve its existence;
as has been happily proved by the result
of the great effort to throw off its just authority.
Voltarine de CleyreMake no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that “freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license,” and they will define freedom out of existence.
Jean de la BruyereA guilty man is punished as an example for the mob; an innocent man convicted is the business of every honest citizen.
François Duc de La RochefoucauldLove of justice in the generality of men is only the fear of suffering from injustice.
Emile de LaveleyeThere is in human affairs one order which is best. That order is not always the one which exists; but it is the order which should exist for the greatest good of humanity. God knows, it and will it: man's duty it is to discover and establish it.
Salvador de MadariagaHe is free who knows how to keep in his own hand the power to decide, at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.
Michel de MontaigneLaws are maintained in credit, not because they are essentially just, but because they are laws. It is the mystical foundation of their authority; they have none other.
Charles de MontesquieuIn the state of nature...all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law.
Charles de MontesquieuThere is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
Charles-Louis De SecondatThere is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
Charles-Louis De SecondatWe ought to be very cautious in the prosecution of magic and heresy. The attempt to put down these two crimes may be extremely perilous to liberty, and may be the origin of a number of petty acts of tyranny if the legislator be not on his guard; for as such an accusation does not bear directly on the overt acts of a citizen, but refers to the idea we entertain of his character.
Charles-Louis de SecondatThere is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
Alexis de TocquevilleWhere are we then? The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate subjection, and the meanest and most servile minds preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principles are the apostles of civilization and intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where nothing is linked together, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a taste for law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?
Alexis de TocquevilleQuand donc je refuse d'obéir à une loi injuste, je ne dénie point à la majorité le droit de commander; j'en appelle seulement de la souveraineté du peuple à la souveraineté du genre humain. Il y a des gens qui n'ont pas craint de dire qu'un peuple, dans les objets qui n'intéressaient que lui-même, ne pouvait sortir entièrement des limites de la justice et de la raison, et qu'ainsi on ne devait pas craindre de donner tout pouvoir à la majorité qui le représente. Mais c'est là un langage d'esclave.
Alexis de TocquevilleIn towns it is impossible to prevent men from assembling, getting excited together and forming sudden passionate resolves. Towns are like great meeting houses with all the inhabitants as members. In them the people wield immense influence over their magistrates and often carry their desires into execution without intermediaries.
Judge Braswell DeanThis monkey mythology of Darwin is the cause of permissiveness, promiscuity, prophylactics, perversions, pregnancies, abortions, pornotherapy, pollution, poisoning and proliferation of crimes of all types.
Declaration of IndependenceThe unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world...
Declaration of IndependenceBut, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Daniel DefoeI hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.
Brannon P. DenningWhen courts fail to engage in oversight or even distort the Constitution to rationalize the ultra vires actions of government, and when academics and political activists aid and abet them in this activity by devising ingenious rationalizations for ignoring the Constitution’s words, they are playing a most dangerous game. For they are putting at risk the legitimacy of the lawmaking process and risking the permanent disaffection of significant segments of the people.
Alan DershowitzImagine a legal system in which lawyers were equated with the clients they defended and were condemned for representing controversial or despised clients.
Alan DershowitzIf we move away from the American tradition of lawyers defending those with whom they vehemently disagree -- as we temporarily did during the McCarthy period -- we weaken our commitment to the rule of law... So beware of an approach which limits advocacy to that which is approved by the standards of political correctness.
Sir Patrick DevlinThe object of any tyrant would be to overthrow or diminish trial by jury, for it is the lamp that shows that freedom lives.
Charles DickensTake nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.
John DickensonIndeed nations, in general, are not apt to think until they feel; and therefore nations in general have lost their liberty: For as violations of the rights of the governed, are commonly not only specious, but small at the beginning, they spread over the multitude in such a manner, as to touch individuals but slightly. Thus they are disregarded. The power or profit that arises from these violations centering in few persons, is to them considerable. For this reason the governors having in view their particular purposes, successively preserve an uniformity of conduct for attaining them. They regularly increase the first injuries, till at length the inattentive people are compelled to perceive the heaviness of their burthens -- They begin to complain and inquire — but too late. They find their oppressors so strengthened by success, and themselves so entangled in examples of express authority on the part of their rulers, and of tacit recognition on their own part, that they are quite confounded: for millions entertain no other idea of the legality of power, than it is founded on the exercise of power.
John G. DiefenbakerFreedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.
Walter F. DoddOur whole political system rests on the distinction between constitutional and other laws. The former are the solemn principles laid down by the people in its ultimate sovereignty; the latter are regulations made by its representatives within the limits of their authority, and the courts can hold unauthorized and void any act which exceeds those limits. The courts can do this because they are maintaining against the legislature the fundamental principles which the people themselves have determined to support, and they can do it only so long as the people feel that the constitution is something more sacred and enduring than ordinary laws, something that derives its force from a higher authority.
Louis DolivetThe United States has no jurisdiction. No representative of administrative, judicial, military, or police authority of the United States may enter that zone without permission of the Secretary-General. In short: as long as the seat of the United Nations remains within the United States, the area occupied by the United Nations is considered as extraterritorial [separate from the United States] with full diplomatic privileges and immunities.
Justice William O. DouglasRestriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
Justice William O. DouglasIt is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
Justice William O. DouglasThe Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.
Justice William O. DouglasThe right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
Justice William O. DouglasThe function of the prosecutor under the federal Constitution is not to tack as many skins of victims as possible against the wall. His function is to vindicate the rights of the people as expressed in the laws and give those accused of crime a fair trial.
Justice William O. DouglasThose in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation.
Justice William O. DouglasBig Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.
Justice William O. DouglasIt is better, so the Fourth Amendment teaches us, that the guilty sometimes go free than the citizens be subject to easy arrest.
Justice William O. DouglasThe struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and…the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression and obedience.
Justice William O. DouglasThe Fifth Amendment is an old friend and a good friend. It is one of the great landmarks in men’s struggle to be free of tyranny, to be decent and civilized.
William O. DouglasThe right to revolt has sources deep in our history.
William O. DouglasHeresy trials are foreign to our Constitution. Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others.
William O. DouglasThe great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution or way of life, or say and do things that make people think.
William O. DouglasAmong the liberties of citizens that are guaranteed are ... the right to believe what one chooses, the right to differ from his neighbor, the right to pick and choose the political philosophy he likes best, the right to associate with whomever he chooses, the right to join groups he prefers ...
William O. DouglasI think that the influence towards suppression of minority views – towards orthodoxy in thinking about public issues – has been more subconscious than unconscious, stemming to a very great extent from the tendency of Americans to conform…not to deviate or depart from an orthodox point of view.
William O. DouglasThe First and Fourteenth Amendments say that Congress and the States shall make “no law” which abridges freedom of speech or of the press. In order to sanction a system of censorship I would have to say that “no law” does not mean what it says, that “no law” is qualified to mean “some” laws. I cannot take this step.
William O. DouglasA people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.
William O. DouglasThe great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution or way of life, or say and do things that make people think.
William O. DouglasIdeas are indeed the most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged.
Frederick DouglassFind out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
John Foster DullesOf all the tasks of government, the most basic is to protect its citizens from violence.
Finley Peter DunneAn appeal is when you ask one court to show its contempt for another court.
John J. DunphyThe concept of a Supreme Being who childishly demands to be constantly
placated by prayers and sacrifice and dispenses justice like some corrupt
petty judge whose decisions may be swayed by a bit of well-timed flattery
should be relegated to the trash bin of history, along with the belief in a
flat earth and the notion that diseases are caused by demonic possession.
Ironically, the case for the involuntary retirement of God may have been
best stated by one Saul or Paul of Tarsus, a first-century tentmaker and
Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, who wrote, 'When I was a child, I spake
as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became
a man, I put away childish things' (I Corinthians 13:11). Those words are
no less relevant today than they were two thousand years ago.
Will DurstCriminal lawyer. Or is that redundant?
Abba EbanHistory teaches us that men and nations only behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Dwight D. EisenhowerWhy are we proud [to be American]? We are proud, first of all, because from the beginning of this Nation, a man can walk upright, no matter who he is, or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend -- or his enemy; and he does not fear that because that enemy may be in a position of great power that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot there without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it.
Dwight D. EisenhowerHere in America we are descended in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.
Michael EllnerEverything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religions destroy spirituality.
W. Vaughn EllsworthPity the poor, wretched, timid soul, too faint hearted to resist his oppressors.
He sings the songs of the damned, 'I cannot resist, I have too much to lose,
they might take my property or confiscate my earnings,
what would my family do, how would they survive?'
He hides behind pretended family responsibility, failing to see that
the most glorious legacy that we can bequeath to our posterity is liberty!
Ralph Waldo EmersonThat which we call sin in others is experiment for us.
Ralph Waldo EmersonIn dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born; that they are not superior to the citizen; that every one of them was once the act of a single man; every law and usage was a man's expedient to meet a particular case; that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better.
Senator Sam ErvinA judicial activist is a judge who interprets the Constitution to mean what it would have said if he, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it.
Grant D. FairleyWhen dealing with a legal matter - always remember that you are your own best advocate. No one will care as much about the case as you do. Use lawyers but remember - you must take primary responsibility for a successful outcome.
Victor FerkissComplete and accurate surveillance as a means of control is probably a practical impossibility. What is much more likely is a loss of privacy and constant inconvenience as the wrong people gain access to information, as one wastes time convincing the inquisitors that one is in fact innocent, or as one struggles to untangle the errors of the errant machine.
David Dudley Field, IIJudges are but men, and are swayed like other men by vehement prejudices.  This is corruption in reality, give it whatever other name you please.
Justice Stephen J. FieldHere I close my opinion. I could not say less in view of
questions of such gravity that go down to the very foundations of the government. If the
provisions of the Constitution can be set aside by an Act of Congress, where is the course
of usurpation to end? The present assault upon capital is but the beginning. It will be but
the stepping-stone to others, larger and more sweeping, till our political contests will
become a war of the poor against the rich; a war growing in intensity and bitterness.
Henry FieldingThere is no zeal blinder than that which is inspired with a love of justice against offenders.
Phillip FinchA criminal trial is not a search for truth. It is much too circumscribed for that. Rather, a trial is a formalized contest for the hearts and minds of a panel of twelve. It is a quest for a verdict in which information is selected and screened (we can almost say “processed”) before it is allowed to reach jurors.
Abe FortasProcedure is the bone structure of a democratic society. Our scheme of law affords great latitude for dissent and opposition. It compels wide tolerance not only for their expression but also for the organization of people and forces to bring about the acceptance of the dissenter’s claim….We have alternatives to violence.
Abe FortasGovernment…may not be hostile to any religion or to the advocacy of no-religion; and it may not aid, foster, or promote one religion or religious theory against another… The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality…
Abe FortasDissent and dissenters have no monopoly on freedom. They must tolerate opposition. They must accept dissent from their dissent. And they must give it the respect and the latitude which they claim for themselves.
Sir John FortescueI should, indeed, prefer twenty men to escape death through mercy, than one innocent to be condemned unjustly.
Jay FoxEvery attempt to gag the free expression of thought is an unsocial act against society. That is why judges and juries who try to enforce such laws make themselves ridiculous.
Anatole FranceThe Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
Felix FrankfurterThe history of liberty has largely been the history of the observance of procedural safeguards.
Felix FrankfurterThe requirement of “due process” is not a fairweather or timid assurance. It must be respected in periods of calm and in times of trouble; it protects aliens as well as citizens.
Felix FrankfurterOurs is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system – a system in which the state must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charge against an accused out of his own mouth.
Felix FrankfurterThe mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind.
Felix FrankfurterIt is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end.
Felix FrankfurterFreedom of expression is the well-spring of our civilization...
The history of civilization is in considerable measure
the displacement of error which once held sway
as official truth by beliefs which in turn have yielded to other truths.
Therefore the liberty of man to search for truth
ought not to be fettered, no matter what orthodoxies he may challenge.
Felix FrankfurterLiberty of thought soon shrivels without freedom of expression. Nor can truth be pursued in an atmosphere hostile to the endeavor or under dangers which are hazarded only by heroes.
Felix FrankfurterA court which yields to the popular will thereby licenses itself to practice despotism, for there can be no assurance that it will not on another occasion indulge its own will.
Justice Felix FrankfurterThe real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes
Benjamin FranklinHistory will also give Occasion to expatiate on the Advantage of Civil Orders and Constitutions, how Men and their Properties are protected by joining in Societies and establishing Government; their Industry encouraged and rewarded, Arts invented, and Life made more comfortable: The Advantages of Liberty, Mischiefs of Licentiousness, Benefits arising from good Laws and a due Execution of Justice, &c. Thus may the first Principles of sound Politicks be fix'd in the Minds of Youth.
Benjamin FranklinOur Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world
nothing is certain but death and taxes.
Milton FriedmanI'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my value system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.
Milton FriedmanHell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
Erich FrommIf you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it.
Robert FrostA jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Dr. Thomas FullerThe more laws the more offenders.
Dr. Thomas FullerThe more laws the more offenders.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiAn eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThere is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiTruth never damages a cause that is just.
James A. GarfieldNext in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.
William Jay GaynorMy dear sir, let me tell you that every citizen has full legal right to arrest anyone whom he sees committing any criminal offense, big or little. The law of England and of this country has been very careful to confer no more right in that respect upon policemen and constables than it confers on every citizen. You have the same right to make an arrest for an offense committed in your presence that any policeman has. But we cannot all be bothering with making arrests, so we employ a certain number of our fellow citizens for that purpose and put blue clothes and brass buttons on them. But their clothes and their buttons add nothing whatever to their right to make arrests without warrant. They still have only the same right which the law gives to all of us. Be so good as to look at section 183 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and be convinced of your powers, and then sail right in as hard and as fast as you want to, being careful, however, only to arrest guilty persons, for otherwise your victims will turn around and sue you for damages for false arrest. Policemen have to face the same risk.
Jean GenetPower may be at the end of a gun, but sometimes it's also at the end of the shadow or the image of a gun.
Edward GibbonWhenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigour of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.
Khalil GibranDo not be merciful, but be just, for mercy is bestowed upon the guilty criminal, while Justice is all that the innocent man requires.
William E. GladstoneNational injustice is the surest road to national downfall.
William GodwinWhenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are those of torpor and imbecility.
Hermann GoeringWhy of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
John GoodwinFreedom of conscience is a natural right, both antecedent and superior to all human laws and institutions whatever; a right which laws never gave and a right which laws can never take away.
Paul GrantVoir dire was supposed to guarantee the defendant a fair and neutral jury, but instead they’re using it to “clean up” the juries (and get rid of) those opposed to the court’s policies. They don’t want an independent jury. They believe it’s their jury. ... [T]he way they’re using voir dire now, starts jurors thinking, “Is there anything that would make me hesitate to convict?”
Judge Joyce Hens GreenAlthough this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats, that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over two hundred years... In sum, there can be no question that the Fifth Amendment right asserted by the Guantanamo detainees in this litigation -- the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law -- is one of the most fundamental rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
A. K. GriffinIf it weren't for lawyers, we wouldn't need them.
Alexander HamiltonThe fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms and false reasonings is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race, and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice.
Alexander HamiltonThe interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought of course to be preferred; or in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.
Alexander HamiltonIf the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its
authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people,
whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have
formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the
Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.
Alexander HamiltonNo legislative act contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy (agent) is greater than his principal; that the servant is above the master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people; that men, acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. It is not to be supposed that the Constitution could intend to enable the representatives of the people to substitute their will to that of their constituents. A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by judges as fundamental law. If there should happen to be a irreconcilable variance between the two, the Constitution is to be preferred to the statute.
Alexander HamiltonThere is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution.
Andrew HamiltonJurors should acquit, even against the judge’s instruction ... if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong.
Judge Learned HandI often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon law and upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no courts to save it.
John Marshall Harlan IIThe constitutional right of free expression... is designed and intended to remove governmental restraints from the arena of public discussion, putting the decision as to what views shall be voiced in the hands of each of us, in the hope that the use of such freedom will ultimately produce a more capable citizenry and more perfect polity and in the belief that no other approach would comport with the premise of individual dignity and choice upon which our political systems rests.
John Marshall Harlan IIPrivacy in one’s associations… may in many circumstances be indispensable to freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs.
John Marshall HarlanIn view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.
John Marshall HarlanI cannot assent to the view, if it be meant that the legislature may impair or abridge the rights of a free press and of free speech whenever it thinks that the public welfare requires that it be done. The public welfare cannot override constitutional privilege.
John Marshall Harlan IIWe cannot sanction the view that the Constitution, while solicitous of the cognitive content of individual speech, has little or no regard for that emotive function which, practically speaking, may often be the more important element of the overall message sought to be communicated.
Jean Harris[The prison guards are] capable of committing daily atrocities and obscenities, smiling the smile of the angels all the while.
B. H. Liddell HartVitality springs from diversity -- which makes for real progress so long as there is mutual toleration, based on the recognition that worse may come from an attempt to suppress differences than from acceptance of them. For this reason, the kind of peace that makes progress possible is best assured by the mutual checks created by a balance of forces-alike in the sphere of internal politics and of international relations.
Friedrich August von Hayek[The] impersonal process of the market ... can be neither just nor unjust, because the results are not intended or foreseen.
Friedrich August von HayekThe system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich August von HayekThe ultimate decision about what is accepted as right and wrong will be made not by individual human wisdom but by the disappearance of the groups that have adhered to the "wrong" beliefs.
Friedrich August von HayekI am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Friedrich August von HayekJustice, like liberty and coercion, is a concept which, for the sake of clarity, ought to be confined to the deliberate treatment of men by other men.
Justice HeathFraud may consist as well in the suppression of what is true as in the representation of what is false. If a man professing to answer a question, select those facts only which are likely to give a credit to the person of whom he speaks, and keep back the rest, he is a more artful knave than he who tells a direct falsehood.
Chris HedgesWe now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.
Heinrich HeineAll special charters of freedom must be abrogated where the universal law of freedom is to flourish.
Robert A. HeinleinI am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Lillian HellmanSince when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?
Ammon HennacyOh, judge, your damn laws: the good people don't need them and the bad people don't follow them so what good are they?
Patrick HenryI have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.
Patrick HenryIs life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
Auberon HerbertPolitics must be the battle of the principles...
the principle of liberty against the principle of force.
George D. HerronThe possession of power over others is inherently destructive both to the possessor of the power and to those over whom it is exercised.
Adolf HitlerWithout law and order our nation cannot survive.
Jimmy HoffaI can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
Abbie HoffmanThe first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
Frank E. HolmanThe president of the American Bar Association begins a nationwide tour, giving speeches on the dangers of Treaty Law: 'The doctrine that the treaty power is unlimited and omnipotent and may be used to OVERRIDE the Constitution and the Bill of Rights...is a doctrine of recent origin and largely derived from Missouri v. Holland.'
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.For my part I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape, than that the government should play an ignoble part.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Whatever disagreement there may be as to the scope of the phrase “due process of law” there can be no doubt that it embraces the fundamental conception of a fair trial, with opportunity to be heard.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country... Only the emergency that makes it immediately dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time warrants making any exception to the sweeping command, 'Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.'
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief, and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement is the speaker’s enthusiasm for the result.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Whatever disagreement there may be as to the scope of the phrase "due process of law" there can be no doubt that it embraces the fundamental conception of a fair trial, with opportunity to be heard.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted with a view to the protection of the colored race, but has been found to be equally important in its application to the rights of all.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe…that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market… That at any rate is the theory of our constitution.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.Liberty is often a heavy burden on a man. It involves the necessity for perpetual choice which is the kind of labor men have always dreaded.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.
Herbert HooverIt [freedom] is a thing of the spirit. Men must be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, to speak without fear. They must be free to challenge wrong and oppression with the surety of justice.
J. Edgar HooverTruth telling, I have found, is the key to responsible citizenship. The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: every single one was a liar.
J. Edgar HooverJustice is incidental to law and order.
J. Edgar HooverI regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
Justice Charles Evans HughesIt is the essence of the institutions of liberty that it be recognized that guilt is personal and cannot be attributed to the holding of opinions or to mere intent in the absence of overt acts.
Justice Charles Evans HughesEmergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the federal government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency.
Justice Charles Evans HughesOur institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion; if they had we might well abandon hope. It is important to remember, as has well been said, 'the essential characteristic of true liberty is that under its shelter many different types of life and character and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed.'
Justice Charles Evans HughesThe Constitution is what the judges say it is.
Justice Charles Evans HughesThe liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our history abundantly attest.
Justice Charles Evans HughesThe greater the importance to safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion.
James P. HughesThe right to comment freely and criticize the action, opinions, and judgment of courts is of primary importance to the public generally. Not only is it good for the public; but it has a salutary effect on courts and judges as well.
Hubert H. HumphreyThe ugliness of bigotry stands in direct contradiction to the very meaning of America.
Hubert H. HumphreyThere are not enough jails, not enough policemen, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people.
Illinois Supreme CourtIt is precisely for the protection of the minority that constitutional limitations exist. Majorities need no such protection. They can take care of themselves.
Andrew JacksonEvery man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add… artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society -- the farmers, mechanics, and laborers -- who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.
Justice Robert H. JacksonWe are not final because we are infallible, but infallible only because we are final.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
Justice Robert H. JacksonI cannot say that our country could have no secret police without becoming totalitarian, but I can say with great conviction that it cannot become totalitarian without a centralized national police.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe most odious of all oppressions are those which mask as justice.
Justice Robert H. JacksonIf there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
Justice Robert H. JacksonOur forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold and independent minds are essential to the wise and considered self-government.
Justice Robert H. JacksonCivil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThose who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only a unanimity at the graveyard.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThere is no such thing as an achieved liberty: like electricity, there can be no substantial storage and it must be generated as it is enjoyed, or the lights go out.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Justice Robert H. Jackson[T]he arguments that have been addressed to us lead me to utter more explicit misgivings about war powers than the Court has done. The Government asserts no constitutional basis for this legislation other than this vague, undefined and undefinable 'war power.' No one will question that this power is the most dangerous one to free government in the whole catalogue of powers. It is usually invoked in haste and excitement, when calm legislative consideration of constitutional limitation is difficult. It is executed in a time of patriotic fervor that makes moderation unpopular. And, worst of all, it is interpreted by judges under the influence of the same passions and pressures. Always, as in this case, the Government urges hasty decision to forestall some emergency or serve some purpose and pleads that paralysis will result if its claims to power are denied or their confirmation delayed.
John JayThe jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.
John JayThe Jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.
Thomas JeffersonA wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;
Thomas JeffersonOn every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
Thomas JeffersonYou seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.
Thomas JeffersonThe several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes [and] delegated to that government certain definite powers and whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. To this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-states forming, as to itself, the other party. The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution the measure of its powers.
Thomas JeffersonOur legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.
Thomas JeffersonHonor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us.
Thomas JeffersonIt is left, therefore, to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges, and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty.
Thomas JeffersonMay [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.
Thomas JeffersonBear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas JeffersonAn equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.
Thomas JeffersonThe republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
Thomas JeffersonThe legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas JeffersonThe judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet... We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring stride their five lawyers have lately taken. If they do, then... I will say, that 'against this every man should raise his voice,' and more, should uplift his arm.
Thomas JeffersonWhy suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties
might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was
shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases
wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that
operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost
prepared to live under its constant suspension.
Thomas JeffersonAn individual, thinking himself injured, makes more noise than a State.
Thomas JeffersonA wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.
Thomas JeffersonI consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas JeffersonThe two principles on which our conduct towards the Indians should be founded, are justice and fear. After the injuries we have done them, they cannot love us ...
Thomas JeffersonGod who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas JeffersonI know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.
Thomas JeffersonConvinced that the republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind, my prayers & efforts shall be cordially distributed to the support of that we have so happily established. It is indeed an animating thought that, while we are securing the rights of ourselves & our posterity, we are pointing out the way to struggling nations who wish, like us, to emerge from their tyrannies also. Heaven help their struggles, and lead them, as it has done us, triumphantly thro' them.
Thomas JeffersonIn questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
Thomas JeffersonBy a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.
Jesus of NazarethStop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.
Jesus of NazarethWoe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Andrew JohnsonOutside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.
Lyndon B. JohnsonYou do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered.
Chief JosephI believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian... we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.
Joseph JoubertThere are some acts of justice which corrupt those who perform them.
Carl Gustav JungEvery form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
Carl Gustav JungWhenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units.
JuniusThe Liberty of the press is the Palladium of all the civil, political and religious rights of an Englishman.
Prof. Sanford H. KadishIt seems as if the Department [of Justice] sees the value of the Bill of Rights as no more than obstacles to be overcome.
Harry Kalven, Jr.Seditious libel is the doctrine that flourished in England during and after the Star Chamber. It is the hallmark of closed societies throughout the world. Under it criticism of government is viewed as defamation and punished as a crime.
Immanuel KantFreedom is independence of the compulsory will of another, and in so far as it tends to exist with the freedom of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of his humanity.
Immanuel KantThe greatest problem for the human species, the solution of which nature compels him to seek, is that of attaining a civil society which can administer justice universally.
John KaplanDrug offenses ... may be regarded as the prototypes of non-victim crimes today. The private nature of the sale and use of these drugs has led the police to resort to methods of detection and surveillance that intrude upon our privacy, including illegal search, eavesdropping, and entrapment.
Indeed, the successful prosecution of such cases often requires police infringement of the constitutional protections that safeguard the privacy of individuals.
John KaplanWe simply do not catch a high enough percentage of users to make the law a real threat, although we do catch enough to seriously overburden our legal system.
Anthony KennedyThe First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.
Robert F. KennedyWhat is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.
Robert F. KennedyThe problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use -- of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.
Robert F. KennedyAll of us will ultimately be judged on the effort we have contributed to building a new world order.
Alan KeyesThe act of voting is one opportunity for us to remember that our whole way of life is predicated on the capacity of ordinary people to judge carefully and well.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law ... That would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.I have a dream that one day
this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
'We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal.' ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it... Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Russell KirkThe aim of any good constitution is to achieve in a society a high degree of political harmony, so that order and justice and freedom may be maintained.
Henry KissingerWe must learn to distinguish morality from moralizing.
Judge Whitman KnappAfter 20 years on the bench I have concluded that federal drug laws are a disaster. It is time to get the government out of drug enforcement.
Alice KollerIt takes a very long time to learn that a courtroom is the last place in the world for learning the truth.
Judge Alex Kozinski[Y]ou wonder why anyone would make the
mistake of calling it the Commerce Clause
instead of the 'Hey, you -can-do-whatever-you-feel-like Clause?'
Robert M. Lafollette, Sr.Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected “radicals” without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity...
Walter Savage LandorMany laws as certainly make bad men, as bad men make many bad laws.
Rose Wilder LaneNothing whatever but the constitutional law, the political
structure, of these United States protects any American from
arbitrary seizure of his property and his person, from the
Gestapo and the Storm Troops, from the concentration camp, the
torture chamber, the revolver at the back of his neck in a
cellar.
Late 16th Century ProverbThe road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Jerome LawrenceI say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish. I warn you that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches — its upholders as well as its defiers.
John LeoYou can't run a society or cope with its problems if people are not held accountable for what they do.
Abraham Lincoln[I]f the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
Abraham LincolnLet it [the Constitution] be taught in schools, seminaries and in colleges; let it be written in primers, in spelling books and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, enforced in courts of justice. In short, let it become the political religion of the nation.
Abraham LincolnIf by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.
Abraham LincolnI have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from ... the Declaration of Independence ... that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.
Abraham LincolnDiscourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.A radical is one who speaks the truth.
Walter LippmannIn a democracy, the opposition is not only tolerated as constitutional, but must be maintained because it is indispensable.
Walter LippmannThe public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.
Walter LippmannIn a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.
John LockeFreedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society and
made by the legislative power vested in it and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.
John LockeWhere there is no law there is no freedom.
John LockeAny single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
John Locke[F]or nothing is to be accounted hostile force, but where it leaves not the remedy of such an appeal; and it is such force alone, that puts him that uses it into a state of war, and makes it lawful to resist him. A man with a sword in his hand demands my purse in the high-way, when perhaps I have not twelve pence in my pocket: this man I may lawfully kill. To another I deliver 100 pounds to hold only whilst I alight, which he refuses to restore me, when I am got up again, but draws his sword to defend the possession of it by force, if I endeavour to retake it. The mischief this man does me is a hundred, or possibly a thousand times more than the other perhaps intended me (whom I killed before he really did me any); and yet I might lawfully kill the one, and cannot so much as hurt the other lawfully. The reason whereof is plain; because the one using force, which threatened my life, I could not have time to appeal to the law to secure it: and when it was gone, it was too late to appeal. The law could not restore life to my dead carcass: the loss was irreparable; which to prevent, the law of nature gave me a right to destroy him, who had put himself into a state of war with me, and threatened my destruction. But in the other case, my life not being in danger, I may have the benefit of appealing to the law, and have reparation for my 100 pounds that way.
John LockeThe Natural Liberty of Man is to be free from any Superior Power on Earth, and not to be under the Will or Legislative Authority of Man, but to have only the Law of Nature for his Rule.
John Locke[W]henever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty ...
Los Angeles TimesBecause law enforcement resources have been concentrated on the street drug trade in minority communities, drug arrests of minorities increased at 10 times the rate of increase for whites.
Thomas Babington MacaulayNone of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.
Thomas Babington MacaulayTo punish a man because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.
Niccolo MachiavelliWhere the very safety of the country depends upon the resolution to be taken, no consideration of justice or injustice, humanity or cruelty, nor of glory or of shame, should be allowed to prevail. But putting all other considerations aside, the only question should be: What course will save the life and liberty of the country?
Robert M. MacIverThe legal code can never be identified with the code of morals. It is no more the function of government to impose a moral code than to impose a religious code. And for the same reason.
Sir James MacKintoshIt is not because we have been free, but because we have a right to be free, that we ought to demand freedom. Justice and liberty have neither birth nor race, youth nor age.
James MadisonWe hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.
James MadisonIt is very certain that [the commerce clause] grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government.
James MadisonThe internal effects of a mutable policy are [...] 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 before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.
James Madison[A]s the Courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them by refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper.
James MadisonWhat becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2nd it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3rd it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.
James MadisonIf this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.
James MadisonGovernment is instituted to protect property of every sort. ... This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.
James MadisonIf it be asked what is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution, and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer, the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them; as if the general power had been reduced to particulars, and any one of these were to be violated; the same, in short, as if the State legislatures should violate their respective constitutional authorities. In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.
James MadisonNo man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.
James Madison[T]he delegation of the government, in [a republic], to a small number of citizens elected by the rest . . . [is] to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Katherine MansfieldTrue liberty can exist only when justice is equally administered to all.
Marbury vs. MadisonAll laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.
John MarshallIt is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each. So, if a law be in opposition to the Constitution, if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case, so that the Court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the Constitution, or conformably to the Constitution, disregarding the law, the Court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty. If, then, the Courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the Legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.
John MarshallThe province of the Court is solely to decide on the rights of individuals... . Questions, in their nature political or which are, by the Constitution and laws, submitted to the Executive, can never be made in this court.
Justice Thurgood MarshallIf the First Amendment means anything,
it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house,
what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought
of giving government the power to control men's minds.
George MasonNow all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice.
George MasonNo free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
Massachusetts Bill of RightsA frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government.
Matthew 20:15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?
Eugene McCarthyThe only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency.
An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
George McGovernThe highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard.
Terence McKennaIf the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.
Justice John McLeanThat distinct sovereignties could exist under one government, emanating from the same people, was a phenomenon in the political world, which the wisest statesmen in Europe could not comprehend; and of its practicability many in our own country entertained the most serious doubts. Thus far the friends of liberty have had great cause of triumph in the success of the principles upon which our government rests. But all must admit that the purity and permanency of this system depend on its faithful administration. The states and the federal government have their respective orbits, within which each must revolve. If either cross the sphere of the other, the harmony of the system is destroyed, and its strength is impaired. It would be as gross usurpation on the part of the federal government, to interfere with state rights, by an exercise of powers not delegated; as it would be for a state to interpose its authority against a law of the union.
Justice John McLeanAll questions of power, arising under the constitution of the United States, whether they relate to the federal or a state government, must be considered of great importance. The federal government being formed for certain purposes, is limited in its powers, and can in no case exercise authority where the power has not been delegated. The states are sovereign; with the exception of certain powers, which have been invested in the general government, and inhibited to the states. No state can coin money, emit bills of credit, pass ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts, &c. If any state violate a provision of the constitution, or be charged with such violation to the injury of private rights, the question is made before this tribunal; to whom all such questions, under the constitution, of right belong. In such a case, this court is to the state, what its own supreme court would be, where the constitutionality of a law was questioned under the constitution of the state. And within the delegation of power, the decision of this court is as final and conclusive on the state, as would be the decision of its own court in the case stated.
H. L. MenckenThe penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
H. L. MenckenI believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
H. L. MenckenThe notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country
more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a
good citizen driven to despair.
H. L. MenckenFor every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.
H. L. MenckenThe whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.
H. L. MenckenLiberty ... was a two-headed boon. There was first, the liberty of the people as a whole to determine the forms of their own
government, to levy their own taxes, and to make their own laws.... There was second, the liberty of the individual man to live his own life, within
the limits of decency and decorum, as he pleased -- freedom from the despotism of the majority.
H. L. MenckenJudge: a law student who marks his own papers.
Mario MerolaPretty soon, there will not be any debate in this city about overcrowded prisons. AIDS will take care of that.
John Stuart MillThe only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.
John Stuart MillThe worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
John Stuart MillProtection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
Henry MillerEverything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
John MiltonNone can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.
John MiltonHere the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
John MiltonWhen complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for.
Jessica MitfordWhen is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
MolièreIf everyone were clothed with integrity,
if every heart were just, frank, kindly,
the other virtues would be well-nigh useless,
since their chief purpose is
to make us bear with patience
the injustice of our fellows.
James MonroeOf the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.
Thomas MooreInjustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
John Viscount MorleyWhen it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.
Norval MorrisThe prime function of the criminal law is to protect our persons and our property; these purposes are now engulfed in a mass of other distracting, inefficiently performed, legislative duties. When the criminal law invades the spheres of private morality and social welfare, it exceeds its proper limits at the cost of neglecting its primary tasks. This unwarranted extension is expensive, ineffective, and criminogenic.
Frank MurphyFreedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion all have a double aspect – freedom of thought and freedom of action.
Edward R. MurrowWe must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular.
A. J. MusteThe survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.
Alfred E. NewmanCrime does not pay...as well as politics.
Huey P. NewtonI expected to die. At no time before the trial did I expect to escape with my life.
Yet being executed in the gas chamber did not necessarily mean defeat.
It could be one more step to bring the community to a higher level of consciousness.
Huey P. NewtonAny unarmed people are slaves, or are subject to slavery at any given moment. If the guns are taken out of the hands of the people and only the pigs have guns, then it's off to the concentration camps, the gas chambers, or whatever the fascists in America come up with. One of the democratic rights of the United States, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, gives the people the right to bear arms. However, there is a greater right; the right of human dignity that gives all men the right to defend themselves.
David A. NicholsAs a first-time drug law offender, I was sentenced to 27 non-parolable years in prison. The amount of time was based on liquid waste found in the garage and unprocessed chemicals. There were no drugs.
Reinhold NiebuhrMan’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reverend Martin NiemoellerIn Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.
Reverend Martin NiemoellerWhen the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Friedrich NietzscheSocialism itself can hope to exist only for brief periods here and there, and then only through the exercise of the extremest terrorism. For this reason it is secretly preparing itself for rule through fear and is driving the word “justice” into the heads of the half-educated masses like a nail so as to rob them of their reason... and to create in them a good conscience for the evil game they are to play.
Lyn NofzigerThese things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.
Charles Eliot NortonThe voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.
P. J. O'RourkeThere is only one basic human right,
the right to do as you damn well please. 
And with it comes the only basic human duty,
the duty to take the consequences.
Oath KeepersDeclaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey.

Recognizing that we each swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and affirming that we are guardians of the Republic, of the principles in our Declaration of Independence, and of the rights of our people, we affirm and declare the following:\\\\

1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.\\
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.\\
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to military tribunal.\\
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.\\
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.\\
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.\\
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.\\
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to "keep the peace" or to "maintain control."\\
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.\\
10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
Phil OchsShow me the prison, Show me the jail,\\
Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale.\\
And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why\\
And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
OuidaPetty laws breed great crimes.
P. D. OuspenskyIn existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently, the biggest crimes actually escape being called crimes.
P. D. OuspenskyThe number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Thomas PaineSociety in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Thomas PaineSociety in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Theophilus ParsonsBut, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation.
Blaise PascalJustice without force is impotent, force without justice is tyranny. Unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.
Blaise PascalThe art of revolutionizing and overturning states is to undermine established customs, by going back to their origin, in order to mark their want of justice.
Alan PatonYou ask yourself not if this or that is expedient, but if it is right.
Dr. Ron PaulYou don't have a right to the fruits of somebody else's labor. You don't have a right to a house, you don't have a right to a job, you don't have a right to medical care. You have a right to your life, you have your right to your liberty, you have a right to keep what your earn. And that's what produces prosperity. So you want equal justice. And this is not hard for me to argue, because if you really are compassionate and you care about people, the freer the society the more prosperous it is, and more likely that you are going to have medical care... When you turn it over to central economic planning, they're bound to make mistakes. The bureaucrats and the special interests and the Halliburtons are going to make the money. Whether it's war, or Katrina, these noncompetitive contracts, the bureaucrats make a lot of money and you end up with inefficiency.
William PennJustice is the insurance we have in our lives, and obedience is the premium we pay for it.
Claude PepperOne has the right to be wrong in a democracy.
PlatoDo not expect justice where might is right.
Pledge of AllegianceI pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Sir Karl PopperWe must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure.
Anne Bowen PoulinIt is clear in our criminal justice system that the jury has the power to nullify -- that is, the power to acquit or to convict on reduced charges despite overwhelming evidence against the defendant. ... In a criminal trial, the court cannot direct a verdict of guilty, no matter how strong the evidence. In addition, if the jury acquits, double jeopardy bars the prosecution from appealing the verdict or seeking retrial. Similarly, if the jury convicts the defendant of a less serious offense than the one charged, the prosecution cannot again try the defendant on the more serious charge. This result occurs regardless of whether the jury consciously rejects the law, embraces a merciful attitude, or is simply confused concerning the law or facts. Thus, nullification -- with or without authority, intended or not -- is part of our system.
Anne Bowen PoulinThe power of nullification plays an important role in the criminal justice system. ... Because an accused criminal is restricted in the defenses he or she can raise, the law recognizes only certain defenses and justification, and correspondingly, limited evidence. The jury’s power to nullify provides an accommodation between the rigidity of the law and the need to hear and respond to positions that do not fit legal pigeonholes, such as claims of spousal abuse before the battered-spouse syndrome received acceptance. Jury nullification permits the jury to respond to a position that does not have the status of a legally recognized defense. The power to nullify guarantees that the jury is free to speak as the conscience of the community.
Ezra PoundSovereignty inheres in the right to issue money. And the American sovereignty belongs by right to the people, and their representatives in Congress have the right to issue money and to determine the value thereof. And 120 million, 120 million suckers have lamentably failed to insist on the observation of this quite decided law. ... Now the point at which embezzlement of the nation's funds on the part of her officers becomes treason can probably be decided only by jurists, and not by hand-picked judges who support illegality.
Lewis F. PowellThe guarantee of equal protection cannot mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else when applied to a person of another color. If both are not accorded the same protection, then it is not equal.
Mario PuzoA lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
Jane Bryant QuinnLawyers [are] operators of the toll bridge across which anyone in search of justice has to pass.
Ayn RandToday, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter _for_ government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection _against_ the government.
Ayn RandIt is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for.
Ayn RandThere's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Jonathan RauchA liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism (no final say); it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.
John RawlsThe only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one, analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.
Ronald ReaganI just wanted to speak to you about something from the Internal Revenue Code. It is the last sentence of section 509A of the code and it reads: 'For purposes of paragraph 3, an organization described in paragraph 2 shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501C-4, 5, or 6, which would be described in paragraph 2 if it were an organization described in section 501C-3.' And that's just one sentence out of those fifty-seven feet of books.
Stanley F. ReedThe nation relies upon public discussion as one of the indispensable means to attain correct solutions to problems of social welfare. Curtailment of free speech limits this open discussion. Our whole history teaches that adjustment of social relations through reason is possible when free speech is maintained.
Charley ReeseSome lawyers and judges may have forgotten it, but the purpose of the court system is to produce justice, not slavish obedience to the law.
Charley Reese[N]o American should retreat an inch on the right of jurors to acquit if they perceive the law or its administration to be unjust.
William H. RehnquistThe Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engages in gestures of superficial equality.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the JudiciaryThe conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
Riley v. CarterEconomic necessity cannot justify a disregard of cardinal constitutional guarantee.
Mike RobbinsOne of the greatest problems that we as a free people face today is that for the past 100 years trial judges in the U.S. have routinely misinformed jurors that they were bound to accept the judge’s opinion of what the law is; which law to apply; and whether or not they had to find a defendant guilty. In so doing these judges have welded shut this all important safety valve, which our Founders so wisely provided our society -- and the result has been an explosive one.
Will RogersI see where they are going to be more strict with these robbers; when they catch 'em from now on, they're going to publish their names.
Will RogersThere is two types of Larceny, Petty and Grand. They are supposed to be the same in the eyes of the law, but judges always put a little extra on you for Petty, which is kind of a fine for stupidness.
Theodore Roosevelt'Liar' is just as ugly a word as 'thief,' because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
Isaac RosenfeldNo man suffers injustice without learning, vaguely but surely, what justice is.
Mayer Amschel RothschildGive me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws.
Andrei SakharovProfound insights arise only in debate, with a possibility of counterargument, only when there is a possibility of expressing not only correct ideas but also dubious ideas.
George SantayanaTo knock a thing down,
especially if it is cocked
at an arrogant angle,
is a deep delight
of the blood.
George SavileWherever a Knave is not punished, an honest Man is laugh'd at.
Justice Antonin ScaliaThere is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.
Justice Antonin ScaliaThe virtue of a democratic system with a [constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech] is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so, and to change their laws accordingly.
Justice Antonin ScaliaThe Declaration of Independence, however, is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution's refusal to "deny or disparage" other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges' list against laws duly enacted by the people.
Justice Antonin ScaliaWe know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government -- even the Third Branch of Government -- the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad... Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
Eric SchaubAmericans find it intolerable that one constitutional right should have to be surrendered in order to assert another. America is the land of the free and home of the brave -- we don't need a Patriot Act, because we are already patriots. We know freedom means responsibility, but I am not sure Congress and its domestic enforcement agencies do. More often than not, new security measures enacted by the government have resulted in more violations of the citizenry than terrorists have ever done. The terrorists want us to be afraid -- well, we are not afraid. Stop wasting dollars on this program -- it is not good for America. To give up essential liberty for a little security provides neither. The right to be left alone from government intrusion is the beginning of all freedoms.
Eric SchaubSome mistakes cannot be redeemed but by forgiveness.
Alan W. ScheflinA juror who is forced by the judge’s instructions to convict a defendant whose conduct he applauds or at the least feels is justifiable, will lose respect for the legal system. . . . A juror compelled to decide against his own judgment will rebel at the system that made him a traitor to himself.
Dr. Laura SchlessingerThe Declaration of Independence...is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution's refusal to 'deny or disparage' other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges' list against laws duly enacted by the people.
Bruce SchneierIt is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state.
Edwin M. SchurThe uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Carl SchurzIf you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.
Second Monument to Shays' RebellionTrue Liberty and Justice may require resistance to law .
John SeldenIf the prisoner should ask the judge whether he would be content to be hanged, were he in his case, he would answer no. Then, says the prisoner, do as you would be done to.
Lucius Annaeus SenecaLaws do not persuade
just because they threaten.
George Bernard ShawImprisonment, as it exists today, is a worse crime than any of those committed by its victims.
George Bernard ShawThe American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.
George Bernard ShawDemocracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard ShawIt is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
Richard Brinsley SheridanGive them a corrupt House of Lords, give them a venal House of Commons, give they a tyrannical Prince, give them a truckling court, and let me have but an unfettered press. I will defy them to encroach a hair’s breadth upon the liberties of England.
Algernon SidneyThe only ends for which governments are constituted, and obedience rendered to them, are the obtaining of justice and protection; and they who cannot provide for both give the people a right of taking such ways as best please themselves, in order to their own safety.
Richard E. Sincere, Jr.In a free society, standards of public morality can be measured only by whether physical coercion -- violence against persons or property -- occurs. There is no right not to be offended by words, actions or symbols.
Jerome H. SkolnickWhether or not legislation is truly moral is often a question of who has the power to define morality.
Adam SmithLittle else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.
Adam SmithEvery man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men.
C. P. SnowNo one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capable of. ... And if he does know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to decide a single human fate.
Jeffrey R. SnyderCrime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.
SolonWe can have justice whenever those who have not been injured by injustice are as outraged by it as those who have been.
Alexander SolzhenitsynI would like to call upon America to be more careful with its trust ... and prevent those ... because of short-sightedness and still others out of self-interest, from falsely using the struggle for peace and for social justice to lead you down a false road. Because they are trying to weaken you; they are trying to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat. ... I call upon you: ordinary working men of America ... do not let yourselves become weak.
Thomas SowellThe question is not what anybody deserves. The question is who is to take on the God-like role of deciding what everybody else deserves. You can talk about 'social justice' all you want. But what death taxes boil down to is letting politicians take money from widows and orphans to pay for goodies that they will hand out to others, in order to buy votes to get re-elected. That is not social justice or any other kind of justice.
Robert D. SpechtUnder any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some ordinance under which you can be booked.
Gerry SpenceWhile birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish.
As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another.
As a warning, it steers us from danger.
As exposition, it teaches.
As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves.
As a protest, it struggles for justice.
As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes.
As an assertion of self, it engenders respect.
As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion.
As a plea, it generates mercy.
As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history.
We must argue -- to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice, to be.
Gerry SpenceA new fascism promises security from the terror of crime. All that is required is that we take away the criminals’ rights – which, of course, are our own. Out of our desperation and fear we begin to feel a sense of security from the new totalitarian state.
Herbert SpencerThe ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
Baruch SpinozaPeace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Baruch SpinozaThe ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develope their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.
Lysander SpoonerIf our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.
Lysander SpoonerVices are not crimes.
Lysander SpoonerVices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.
Lysander SpoonerFor more than six hundred years -- that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or
resisting the execution of such laws.
Charles T. SpradingCustom may suffice as the basis of law, but is inadequate as the basis of justice. Tyranny, not liberty, has been the custom in the past; and so Libertarians reject custom as a guiding principle, just as they reject power or might. They know that justice is not something that was, or is, but that is to be.
Charles T. SpradingAlthough the legal and ethical definitions of right are the antithesis of each other, most writers use them as synonyms.  They confuse power with goodness, and mistake law for justice.
Harold E. StassenGovernment is like fire. If it is kept within bounds and under the control of the people, it contributes to the welfare of all. But if it gets out of place, if it gets too big and out of control, it destroys the happiness and even the lives of the people.
Gloria SteinemLaw and justice are not always the same.
James Fitzjames StephensThe only shape in which equality is really connected with justice is this – justice presupposes general rules. If these general rules are to be maintained at all, it is obvious that they must be applied equally to every case which satisfies their terms.
Justice John Paul StevensJust as the right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of a broader concept of individual freedom, so also the individual’s freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority.
Justice John Paul StevensThe government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion.
Justice John Paul StevensAs a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that governmental regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship.
Justice Potter StewartThe right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less that the right to speak out or the right to travel is, in truth, a “personal” right.
Justice Potter StewartCensorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is the landmark of an authoritarian regime...
Justice Potter StewartThe 4th Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.
Justice Potter Stewart[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve it’s high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding.
Harlan F. StoneThe law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.
Harlan F. StoneIf a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law.
Harlan F. StoneThe law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.
Justice Joseph StoryThis provision (the 4th Amendment) speaks for itself. Its plain object is to secure the perfect enjoyment of that great right of the common law, that a man's house shall be his own castle, privileged against all civil and military intrusion.
Judge SturgessJustice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel.
Supreme Court of the United StatesConstitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.
George SutherlandA free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter ourselves.
George SutherlandDo the people of this land…desire to preserve those [liberties] protected by the First Amendment… If so, let them withstand all beginnings of encroachment. For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanquished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch for a saving hand while yet there was time.
Jonathan SwiftIt is a maxim among lawyers that whatever hath been done before may be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities to justify the most iniquitous opinions, and the judges never fail of directing them accordingly.
Jonathan SwiftLaws are like cobwebs which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
William Howard TaftNext to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
A. J. P. TaylorFreedom does not always win. This is one of the bitterest lessons of history.
Texas Constitution...and in all cases of libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
Justice Clarence ThomasA theory deeply etched in our law [is that] a free society prefers to punish the few who abuse the rights of free speech after they break the law rather than to throttle them and all others beforehand.
Justice Clarence ThomasA good argument diluted to avoid criticism is not nearly as good as the undiluted argument, because we best arrive at truth through a process of honest and vigorous debate. Arguments should not sneak around in disguise, as if dissent were somehow sinister… For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.
E. P. ThompsonJurors have found, again and again, and at critical moments, according to what is their sense of the rational and just. If their sense of justice has gone one way, and the case another, they have found “against the evidence,” ... the English common law rests upon a bargain between the Law and the people: The jury box is where the people come into the court: The judge watches them and the people watch back. A jury is the place where the bargain is struck. The jury attends in judgment, not only upon the accused, but also upon the justice and the humanity of the Law.
Henry David ThoreauUnder a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison ... the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.
Henry David ThoreauUnder a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
Henry David ThoreauLaw never made men a whit more just.
Henry David ThoreauSomehow strangely the vice of men gets well represented and protected but their virtue has none to plead its cause -- nor any charter of immunities and rights.
Henry David ThoreauIs a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David ThoreauIf you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.
Henry David ThoreauAny fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Henry David ThoreauUnjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?
Henry David ThoreauTo speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.
Preamble To The United States ConstitutionWe the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Matthew TobrinerMan’s drive for self-expression, which over the centuries has built his monuments, does not stay within its bounds; the creations which yesterday were detested and the obscene become the classics of today.
Leo Nikolaevich TolstoiThe misapprehension springs from the fact that the learned jurists, deceiving themselves as well as others, depict in their books an ideal of government -- not as it really is, an assembly of men who oppress their fellow-citizens, but in accordance with the scientific postulate, as a body of men who act as the representatives of the rest of the nation. They have gone on repeating this to others so long that they have ended by believing it themselves, and they really seem to think that justice is one of the duties of governments. History, however, shows us that governments, as seen from the reign of Caesar to those of the two Napoleons and Prince Bismarck, are in their very essence a violation of justice; a man or a body of men having at command an army of trained soldiers, deluded creatures who are ready for any violence, and through whose agency they govern the State, will have no keen sense of the obligation of justice. Therefore governments will never consent to diminish the number of those well-trained and submissive servants, who constitute their power and influence.
Laurence Tribe[The Bill of Rights is] designed to protect individuals and minorities against the tyranny of the majority, but it's also designed to protect the people against bureaucracy, against the government.
Benjamin R. TuckerWe enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then a few that punish them.
Bishop Desmond TutuWe must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.' We must remember, my friends, that we have been given a wonderful cause. The cause of freedom! And you and I must be those who will walk with heads held high. We will say, 'We used methods that can stand the harsh scrutiny of history.'
Bishop Desmond TutuIf you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Bishop Desmond TutuStability and peace in our land will not come from the barrel of a gun, because peace without justice is an impossibility.
Mark TwainWe have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerThe average age of the world's greatest civilizations
has been two hundred years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complaceny to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into bondage.
Sun TzuThose who excel in war first cultivate their own humanity and justice and maintain their laws and institutions. By these means they make their governments invincible.
United States v. RobelIt would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense,
we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties ...
which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.
U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25Democracy, n.: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic... negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, [chaos].
U.S. ConstitutionThe right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
U.S. Constitution Article VIThis Constitution... shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby
U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Sec. 2The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
U.S. Constitution, Article VIThis Constitution, ...shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of ColumbiaThe pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of it's prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of MarylandWe recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic of passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.
U.S. Supreme CourtCongress may not abdicate or transfer to others its legitimate functions.
U.S. vs. DoughertyThe pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...
Richard A. ViguerieThe first duty of government is to protect the citizen from assault. Unless it does this, all the civil rights and civil liberties in the world aren't worth a dime.
Frederick M. VinsonThe basis of the First Amendment is the hypothesis that speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, free debate of ideas will result in the wisest governmental policies.
VoltaireLet the laws be clear, uniform and precise; to interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them.
VoltaireIt is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
VoltaireWhat is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly -- that is the first law of nature.
VoltaireWe are all full of weakness and errors, let us mutually pardon each other our follies. It is the first law of nature.
Ludwig von MisesThose who call themselves "liberals" today are asking for policies which are precisely the opposite of those policies which the liberals of the nineteenth century advocated in their liberal programs. The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial -- that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written up in constitutions.
Edward B. WagnerStop wasting jail space on prostitutes, drug users and other victimless criminals. Even if we find it morally acceptable to imprison these people for choices they make regarding their bodies, we must realize that we simply cannot afford to continue clogging the court system and the prison system with these harmless criminals.
Nathaniel WardNo man shall twice be sentenced by Civil Justice for one and the same crime, offense, or trespass.
Earl WarrenThe censor’s sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression.
Earl WarrenLife and liberty can be as much endangered from illegal methods used to convict those thought to be criminals as from the actual criminals themselves.
Earl WarrenMere unorthodoxy or dissent from the prevailing mores is not to be condemned. The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness to our society.
Earl WarrenThe mere summoning of a witness and compelling him to testify against his will, about his beliefs, expressions or associations, is a measure of governmental interference. And when those forced revelations concern maters that are unorthodox, unpopular, or even hateful to the general public, the reactions in the life of the witness may be disastrous.
George WashingtonFew men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
George WashingtonThe executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.
George WashingtonOf all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
George WashingtonA passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one nation the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
George WashingtonThe time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend on God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
George WashingtonOf all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest prop of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge in the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle... Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?
George WashingtonArbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness.
Daniel WebsterThere is no happiness, there is no liberty, there is no enjoyment of life, unless a man can say, when he rises in the morning, I shall be subject to the decision of no unwise judge today.
Daniel WebsterNo government is respectable which is not just. Without unspotted purity of public faith, without sacred public principle, fidelity, and honor, no machinery of laws, can give dignity to political society.
Daniel WebsterHold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.
Daniel WebsterWe may be tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land -- nor, perhaps, the sun or stars. But there is a chart and a compass for us to study, to consult, and to obey. That chart is the Constitution.
Noah WebsterWhen you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, 'just men who will rule in the fear of God.' The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.
Simone WeilThere is one, and only one, thing in modern society more hideous than crime – namely, repressive justice.
Judge Jack B. WeinsteinNullification is but one legitimate result in an appropriate constitutional process safeguarded by judges and the judicial system. When juries refuse to convict on the basis of what they think are unjust laws, they are performing their duty as jurors.
Robert WelchI want for our country enough laws to restrain me from injuring others, so that these laws will also restrain others from injuring me. I want enough government, with enough constitutional safeguards, so that this necessary minimum of laws will be applied equitably to everybody, and will be binding on the rulers as well as those ruled. Beyond that I want neither laws nor government to be imposed on our people as a means or with the excuse of protecting us from catching cold, or of seeing that we raise the right kind of crops, or of forcing us to live in the right kind of houses or neighborhoods, or of compelling us to save money or to spend it, or of telling us when or whether we can pray. I do not want government or laws designed for any other form of welfarism or paternalism, based on the premise that government knows best and can run our lives better than we can run them ourselves. And my concept of freedom, and of its overwhelming importance, is implicit in these aspirations and ideals.
William Allen WhiteYou say that freedom of utterance is not for time of stress, and I reply with the sad truth that only in time of stress is freedom of utterance in danger… Only when free utterance is suppressed is it needed, and when it is needed it is most vital to justice.
Walt WhitmanThe shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint.
The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.
Elie WieselThere may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
George WillThe business of America is not business. Neither is it war. The business of America is justice and securing the blessings of liberty.
Walter E. WilliamsExperts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
Walter E. WilliamsThe path we’re embarked upon, in the name of good, is a familiar one. The unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism, and
Maoism did not begin in the ‘30s and ‘40s with the men usually associated with those names. Those horrors were simply the end result of a long
evolution of ideas leading to the consolidation of power in central government in the name of “social justice.” It was decent but misguided Germans,
who would have cringed at the thought of extermination and genocide, who built the Trojan Horse for Hitler to take over. We Americans
promote disrespect for our Constitution, rule of law and private property in our pursuit of “social justice.” But the scum that rises to the top has an
agenda of command and control that’s leading toward totalitarianism. And, incidentally, it’s no coincidence that most of those at the top are lawyers
-- people with a special, seemingly tutored, contempt for our Constitution and rule of law.
James WilsonEvery prudent and cautious judge ... will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it.
Woodrow WilsonOur object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and self governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.
Frank ZappaIn the fight between you and the world, back the world.
Frank ZappaThe United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Emile ZolaSince they have dared, I too shall dare. I shall tell the truth because I pledged myself to tell it if justice regularly empowered did not do so fully, unmitigated. My duty is to speak; I have no wish to be an accomplice.
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