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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Edward AbbeyA patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
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.
John AdamsThey define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.
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 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 AdamsLaws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.
John AdamsIt may perhaps be a Sufficient Recommendation of this Article to say that it was introduced by Mr Charles Pinkney of South Carolina, and he ought to have the Glory of it. But I confess I never understood it, and I believe no other Man ever did or ever will. A Republican Government is a Government of more than one. The Word Republick has been used, it is true by learned Men to Signify every actual and every possible Government among Men, that of Constantinople as well as that of Geneva. But the most accurate Writers distinguish Republicks from Despotisms and Simple Monarchies, and call every Government by that name in which more than one Person is concerned in the Sovereignty, and in this Sense the Kingdoms of Sparta Poland and England were Republicks as truely as Saint Marino. Venice Holland and other States were universally called Republicks both by the Learned and unlearned; yet the People in these States had certainly no more Liberty than those of England or France. The most Accurate distinction then has been between free Republicks and Republicks which are not free. It is not even said in our Constitution that the People shall be guarranteed in a Free Republican Government. The Word is So loose and indeffinite that Successive Predominant Factions will put Glosses and Constructions upon it as different as light and darkness, and if ever there should be a Civil War which Heaven forbid, the conquering General in all his Tryumphs may establish a Military Despotism and yet call it a constitutional Republic as Napoleon has already Set him the Example. The only Effect of it that I could ever See, is to deceive the People: and this practice my heart abhors my head disapproves, and my Tongue my Pen have ever avoided.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England ... inconsistent with that right.
John Adamsno good government but what is republican...
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
John AdamsEvery citizen must look up to the laws, as his master, his guardian, and his friend; and whenever any of his fellow citizens, whether magistrates or subjects, attempt to deprive him of his right, he must appeal to the laws; if the aristocracy encroach, he must appeal to the democracy; if they are divided, he must appeal to the monarchical power to decide between them, by joining with that which adheres to the laws; if the democracy is on the scramble for power, he must appeal to the aristocracy, and the monarchy, which by uniting may restrain it. If the regal authority presumes too far, he must appeal to the other two. Without three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other, and compare each other's conduct with the laws, it will be impossible that the laws should at all times preserve their authority, and govern all men.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England inconsistent with that right.
John AdamsIf Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington knew what a republic was, the British constitution is much more like a republic than an empire. They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. If this definition is just, the British constitution is nothing more or less than a republic, in which the king is first magistrate. This office being hereditary, and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives, is no objection to the government's being a republic, as long as it is bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.
John AdamsLaws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.
John Quincy AdamsBut the indissoluble link of union
between the people of the several States of this confederated nation
is, after all, not in the RIGHT, but in the HEART. If the day
should ever come (may Heaven avert it !) when the affections of
the people of these States shall be alienated from each other, when
the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collision
of interests shall fester into hatred, the bonds of political association -
will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the
magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies ; and
far better will it be for the people of the disunited States to part
in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint.
Then will be the time for reverting to the precedents
which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution,
to form again a more perfect Union, by dissolving that which
could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited
by the law of political gravitation to the center.
John Quincy AdamsThe laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.
John Quincy AdamsLaw logic -- an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.
Samuel AdamsThe liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
Samuel AdamsIn short, it is the greatest Absurdity to suppose it in the Power of one or any Number of Men, at the entering into Society, to renounce their essential natural Rights or the Means of preserving those Rights, when the grand End of civil Government, from the very Nature of its Institution, is for the Support, Protection and Defense of those very Rights: The principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property.
Samuel AdamsThe Legislative has no Right to absolute arbitrary Power over the Lives and Fortunes of the People: Nor can Mortals assume a Prerogative not only too high for Men but for Angels, and therefore reserv’d for the Exercise of the Deity alone.
Samuel AdamsAll Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intolerable Oppression, civil or religious, to leave the Society they belong to and enter into another. When Men enter into Society, it is by voluntary Consent, and they have a Right to demand and insist upon the performance of such Conditions and previous Limitations as form an equitable original Compact.
Samuel AdamsIf men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
Samuel AdamsWere the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all?
Jonathan H. AdlerThrough the rapid proliferation of laws reaching every corner of human existence, “the government is manufacturing more criminals now than ever before.” The list of illegal activities includes more minutiae than one would think possible. Beer-makers are barred from listing alcohol content on bottles, and liquor distilleries cannot advertise on TV. Filling one’s own prairie pothole can land a property owner in jail, as can protecting private property from unlawful intruders. Placing handbills in neighbors’ mailboxes is strictly prohibited, and attempting to sell nectarines of an improper size is a federal offense. Companies are no longer allowed to give salaried professionals partial days off without pay, and in Texas it is a crime to call oneself an interior designer without the government’s permission. It is perhaps easier to recount all that remains legal than all that is now prohibited.
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 (Second)Daniel Webster, James Otis, and Sir Edward Coke all pointed out that the mere fact of enactment does not and cannot raise mere statutes to the standing of law. Not everything can be considered 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.
Fisher AmesI am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but ... I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it.
Henri-Frédéric AmielThe test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms.
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.
Hannah ArendtTotalitarianism begins in contempt for what you have. The second step is the notion: “Things must change—no matter how, Anything is better than what we have.” Totalitarian rulers organize this kind of mass sentiment, and by organizing it articulate it, and by articulating it make the people somehow love it. They were told before, thou shalt not kill; and they didn’t kill. Now they are told, thou shalt kill; and although they think it’s very difficult to kill, they do it because it’s now part of the code of behavior. They learn whom to kill and how to kill and how to do it together. This is the much talked about Gleichschaltung—the coordination process. You are coordinated not with the powers that be, but with your neighbor—coordinated with the majority. But instead of communicating with the other you are now glued to him. And you feel of course marvelous. Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.
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.
Richard ArmeyThe people themselves, not their government, should be trusted with spending their own money and making their own decisions.
Richard Armey[T]he tax code has been piling up, year after year, a symbol of everything gone wrong in America, of arrogant rulers and lost freedom, just waiting for us to pick the whole thing up and heave it away. It has to happen. Free people can put up with such laws only for so long.
Richard ArmeyGovernment is saying to the average citizen every January 1: 'For the next five months you’ll be working for us, for goals we shall determine. Is that clear? After May 5 you may look after your own needs and ambitions, but report back to us next January. Now move along.' ... If nearly half of what you make is spent by someone else, that means that half your work time is spent working for someone else. Call me a radical, but I think that comes dangerously close to being a form of indentured servitude.
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.
Lawrence AusterOnce the government becomes the supplier of people's needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right.
Dwight E. AvisLet me point this out now. Your income tax is 100 percent voluntary tax, and your liquor tax is 100 percent enforced tax. Now, the situation is as different as night and day. Consequently, your same rules just will not apply...
Sir Francis BaconA just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.
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.
Joseph BanisterThe Internal Revenue Service is everything the so-called tax protesters said it was; nonresponsive, unable to withstand scrutiny, tyrannical, and oblivious to the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.
William BarclaySelf-defense is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself.
Dave BarryThe best way to understand this whole issue is to look at what the government does: it takes money from some people, keeps a bunch of it, and gives the rest to other people.
Mayor Marion BarryWhat right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?
Frederic BastiatSometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim -- when he defends himself -- as a criminal.
Frederic BastiatWhen law and morality contradict each other,
the citizen has the cruel alternative
of either losing his moral sense
or losing his respect for the law.
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 BastiatWhen plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic BastiatActually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything -- form, face, energy, movement, life -- from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere -- in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome -- the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.
Frederic BastiatAll you have to do, is to see whether the law takes from some what belongs to them in order to give it to others to whom it does not belong. We must see whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen and to the detriment of others, an act which that citizen could not perform himself without being guilty of a crime. Repeal such a law without delay. ... [I]f you don’t take care, what begins by being an exception tends to become general, to multiply itself, and to develop into a veritable system.
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 BastiatMen naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter -- by peaceful or revolutionary means -- into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.
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 BastiatAs long as the law may be diverted from its true purpose -- that it may violate property instead of protecting it -- then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting to gain access to the legislature as well as fighting within it.
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 BastiatLife, faculties, production -- in other words, individuality, liberty, property -- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation and are superior to it.
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 BastiatThus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.
Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.
Frederic BastiatThe mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its purpose is to protect persons and property.... If you exceed this proper limit -- if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, or artistic -- you will then be lost in uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it on you.
Dan BaumThe country's first drug ban explicitly targeted the opium of "the heathen Chinee." Cocaine was first banned in the south to prevent an uprising of hopped-up "cocainized Negroes.
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.
Thomas F. BayardReligious liberty is the chief cornerstone of the American system of government, and provisions for its security are embedded in the written charter and interwoven in the moral fabric of its laws. Anything that tends to invade a right so essential and sacred must be carefully guarded against, and I am satisfied that my countrymen, ever mindful of the suffering and sacrifices necessary to obtain it, will never consent to its impairment for any reason or under any pretext whatsoever.
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.
David L. BazelonNullification is not a "defense" recognized by law, but rather a mechanism that permits a jury, as community conscience, to disregard the strict requirements of law where it finds that those requirements cannot justly be applied in a particular case.
Rev. Henry Ward BeecherLiberty is the soul's right to breathe and, when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight.
Paul BegalaStroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.
Bell v. HoodHistory is clear that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted to secure certain common law rights of the people, against invasion by the Federal Government.
Jeremy BenthamAmong the several cloudy appellatives which have been commonly employed as cloaks for misgovernment, there is none more conspicuous in this atmosphere of illusion than the word Order.
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.
Black's Law DictionaryA national government is a government of the people of a single state or nation, united as a community by what is termed the 'social compact,’ and possessing complete and perfect supremacy over persons and things, so far as they can be made the lawful objects of civil government. A federal government is distinguished from a national government by its being the government of a community of independent and sovereign states, united by compact.
Henry Campbell BlackLiberty, whether natural, civil, or political, is the lawful power in the individual to exercise his corresponding rights. It is greatly favored in law.
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. 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. BlackI am for the First Amendment from the first word to the last. I believe it means what it says.
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. BlackThe layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
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. 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.
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 BlackstoneThat the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
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.
Michael BoldinSome people are calling for the federal government to restrict the right to keep and bear arms of people who are on the federal government’s terrorism watch list. This is not only unconstitutional, but sets an extremely dangerous precedent for all our rights. If the federal government can take away someone else’s right to defend themselves simply because it has unilaterally decided to place them on a secret, wildly inaccurate list that’s virtually impossible to be removed from, eventually, some bureaucrat is going to find some way to put you on that list for another reason.
Michael BoldinWhatever power you give politicians and bureaucrats to use against other people will eventually be used by future politicians and bureaucrats against you.
Napoleon BonaparteNot one cent should be raised unless it is in accord with the law.
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.
Robert Bork[A] society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.
Robert BorkI don't think the Constitution is studied almost anywhere, including law schools. In law schools, what they study is what the court said about the Constitution. They study the opinions. They don't study the Constitution itself.
Boston Evening Post[It is] a natural Right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of rights, to keep arms for their own defense; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of Society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
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.
Linda BowlesThe government expands at will, based on what might be charitably called flimsy constitutional reasoning and less charitably and more accurately called arrogant judicial tyranny. Government authority these days rarely comes from the Constitution as written but from the last carefully crafted misinterpretation of it. This is called legal precedent.
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. BrandeisThe government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes -- would bring terrible retribution.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis'Stare decisis' is usually the wise policy.... [b]ut where correction through legislative action is
practically impossible, this Court has often overruled its earlier decisions...
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. BrandeisCrime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
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. BrandeisIt is one of the happy incidents of the federal system, that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.
Robert BriffaultAbsolutism is a guarantee of objectionable morals in the same way that absolutism in government is a guarantee of objectionable government.
Justice Janice BrownThe quixotic desire to do good, be universally fair and make everybody happy is understandable [...]
There is only one problem with this approach. We are a court.
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.
James BuchananWhat is right and what is practicable are two different things.
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. Burger... ours is a sick profession marked by incompetence, lack of training, misconduct and bad manners. Ineptness, bungling, malpractice, and bad ethics can be observed in court houses all over this country every day ... these incompetents have a seeming unawareness of the fundamental ethics of the profession. ... the harsh truth is that ... we may well be on our way to a society, overrun by hordes of lawyers, hungry as locusts, and brigades of judges in numbers never before contemplated.
Justice Warren E. BurgerJudges ... rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times.
James BurghAll lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
Edmund BurkePeople crushed by law have no hope but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous...
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.
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.
Samuel ButlerAuthority intoxicates,
And makes mere sots of magistrates;
The fumes of it invade the brain,
And make men giddy, proud and vain.
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.
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 CamusHow many crimes are permitted simply because their authors could not endure being wrong.
Candidus[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.
Al CaponeWhen I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
G. R. CappYou cannot become a truly effective advocate unless you know all sides of your subject thoroughly, opposing arguments as well as your own.
Richard CarlileFree discussion is the only necessary Constitution -- the only necessary Law of the Constitution.
William Carr...no nation which signs this [UN] Charter can justly maintain that any of its acts are its own business, or within its own domestic jurisdiction, if the security council says that these acts are a threat to the peace.
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.
William CashConsidering that senior officials at the Internal Revenue Service are fully aware of the fact that there is no law currently in existence making a U.S. citizen liable for or required to pay either the income tax or the social security employment tax, only a truly generous citizen would, upon discovering this, continue to voluntarily donate these taxes to the government by allowing them to be withheld from his paycheck on a 100% voluntary W-4 withholding agreement. But, then again, the IRS would be dead in the water without the "voluntary (and docile) compliance" of employers and employees and has said so all along.
Carrie Chapman CattThere are two kinds of restrictions on human liberty -- the restraint of law and that of custom. No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Domingo CavalloEach peso [or dollar] is a contract between the government and the peso holder. That contract guarantees that each peso -- as a unit of value that the holder has worked hard to get -- will be worth as much tomorrow as today. If the government breaks the contract, it's breaking the law. The only role of government in the economy should be to guarantee the integrity of market transactions.
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.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonHe is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonAny one of the strange laws we suffer is a compromise between a fad and a vested interest.
Chinese ProverbLaws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.
Stephen ChippendaleThe federal criminal code currently includes more than 3,000 offenses and hardly a congressional session goes by without an attempt to add new sections.
Chisholm v. GeorgiaIn the United States, Sovereignty resides in the people, who act through the organs established by the Constitution.
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 ChurchillIf you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.
Sir Winston ChurchillYou don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.
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.
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 CiceroWe are in bondage to the law in order that we may be free.
Marcus Tullius CiceroThere exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
Marcus Tullius CiceroLiberty consists in the power of doing that which is permitted by the law.
Marcus Tullius CiceroWhen you have no basis for argument, abuse the plaintiff.
Quintus Tullius CiceroDuring war, the laws are silent.
Justice Tom C. ClarkNothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.
William Kingdon CliffordAll our liberties are due to men who, when their conscience has compelled them, have broken the laws of the land.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Frank I. CobbThis is revolution in reaction, as well as in radicalism, and Toryism speaking a jargon of law and order may often be a graver menace to liberty than radicalism bellowing the empty phrases of the soapbox demagogue.
Cockrum v. StateThe right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.
Samuel Taylor ColeridgeEvery reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming.
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.
Committee on American CitizenshipLawyers are being graduated from our law schools by the thousands who have little knowledge of the Constitution. When  organizations seek a lawyer to instruct them on the Constitution, they find it nearly impossible to secure one competent.
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 United StatesThe United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.
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. ConstitutionThe United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government...
Samuel CookeFidelity to the public requires that the laws be as plain and explicit as possible, that the less knowing may understand, and not be ensnared by them, while the artful evade their force.
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.
Calvin CoolidgeIt is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.
Calvin CoolidgeWe do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.... If the foundation is firm, the superstructure will stand.
Calvin CoolidgeA wholesome regard for the memory of the great men of long ago is the best assurance to a people of a continuation of great men to come, who shall be able to instruct, to lead, and to inspire. A people who worship at the shrine of true greatness will themselves be truly great.
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.
Thomas CooperThe law, unfortunately, has always been retained on the side of power; laws have uniformly been enacted for the protection and perpetuation of power.
Abraham CowleyThe liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.
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.
Steven CrowderIt's important to understand that the idea of political correctness, from its inception, was designed as a political weapon to silence voices of dissent ... today’s social media outrage can be tomorrow’s laws.
Steven CrowderThis is why political correctness, or Cultural Marxism,… lends itself so fashionably to easy labels. Transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, bigoted, Uncle Tom, white privilege, mainsplaining. All of these are slapped on people with "politically incorrect" opinions in an attempt to silence you...
Hate speech is inextricably tied to political correctness, or Cultural Marxism, and that creates intellectual conformity -- or intellectual authoritarianism. And that’s where you start to see things like “safe spaces” or “trigger warnings” or speakers banned from campus, or people with unpopular opinions banned from social media.
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.
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.
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. DarrowThere is no such thing as justice -- in or out of court.
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.
John De ArmondYou know your country is dying when you have to make a distinction between what is moral and ethical, and what is legal.
Joseph de MaistreEvery nation gets the government it deserves.
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.
Michel de MontaigneThere is no man so good that if he placed all his actions and thought under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
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 SecondatUseless laws weaken necessary laws.
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 TocquevilleIt [government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
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 TocquevilleAfter having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
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...
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.
Lawrence DennisIt comes as news to most people to learn that practically all important ethical teachers -- Moses, Aristotle, Jesus, Mohammed, and Saint Thomas Aquinas, for instance -- have denounced lending at interest as usury and as morally wrong.
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.
John F. Di LeoOur Founders warned us that all republics have eventually fallen into tyranny -- the only difference being the relative timeline of each republic's descent. ... From the summer of 1787 when our Framers deliberated over their magnificent Constitution, we have recognized that the clear statement and equal application of the Law is among the most critical duties of any government. If we allow ourselves to lose this, we may as well be back in ancient Rome, subject to the whim of every petty tyrant in the taxing bureau or the zoning board. For it doesn't matter whether the regulator's foot is shod in a jack boot or a Roman sandal; if he can hold you down with that boot upon your neck, then we are no longer in the America that our Founding Fathers intended for us.
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.
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.
Brian DohertyIt’s never more important to move slowly and carefully before granting the state new powers than in the wake of tragedies.
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. DouglasWhen a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.
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. 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. 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.
Frederick DouglassWhat shall be done with the four million slaves if they are emancipated? ... Primarily, it is a question less for man than for God -- less for human intellect than for the laws of nature to solve. It assumes that nature has erred; that the law of liberty is a mistake; that freedom, though a natural want of the human soul, can only be enjoyed at the expense of human welfare, and that men are better off in slavery than they would or could be in freedom; that slavery is the natural order of human relations, and that liberty is an experiment. What shall be done with them? Our answer is, do nothing with them; mind your business, and let them mind theirs. Your doing with them is their greatest misfortune. They have been undone by your doings, and all they now ask, and really have need of at your hands, is just to let them alone. They suffer by every interference, and succeed best by being let alone.
Lt. Lowell DuckettGun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It's quicker to pull your Smith and Wesson than to dial 911 if you're being robbed.
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.
Will DurantIn my youth, I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.
Will DurstCriminal lawyer. Or is that redundant?
John EhrlichmanYou want to know what this was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
Albert EinsteinThe prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.
Albert EinsteinLaws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Albert EinsteinAs far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Dwight D. EisenhowerWe have never stopped sin by passing laws; and in the same way, we are not going to take a great moral ideal and achieve it merely by law.
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 EmersonThe less government we have the better - the fewer laws and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal government is the influence of private character, the growth of the individual.
Ralph Waldo EmersonEvery actual state is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.
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.
Ralph Waldo EmersonGood men must not obey the laws too well.
Rahm EmmanuelWe're bending the law as far as we can to ban an entirely new class of guns.
Rahm EmmanuelYou never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
Richard A. EpsteinThe New Deal is inconsistent with the principles of limited government and with the constitutional provisions designed to secure that end.
Edward EverettThe man who stands upon his own soil, who feels, by the laws of the land in which he lives,--by the laws of civilized nations,--he is the rightful and exclusive owner of the land which he tills, is, by the constitution of our nature, under a wholesome influence, not easily imbibed from any other source.
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.
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.
Stanley FishDespite the apparent absoluteness of the First Amendment, there are any number of ways of getting around it, ways that are known to any student of law. In general, the strategy is to manipulate the distinction between speech and action which is at bottom a distinction between inconsequential and consequential behavior.
Shelia FitzpatrickThe mission of the Gestapo expanded steadily as, from 1933 onward, “political criminality” was given a much broader definition than ever before and most forms of dissent and criticism were gradually criminalized. The result was that more “laws” or lawlike measures were put on the books than ever.
Andrew FletcherLet me write the songs of a nation - I don't care who writes its laws.
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.
Sir John FortescueI should, indeed, prefer twenty men to escape death through mercy, than one innocent to be condemned unjustly.
Sir Michael FosterBankers have no right to establish a customary law among themselves, at the expence of other men.
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 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.
Judge David FranklandA statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties. Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information. ... The [Illinois Eavesdropping Statute] includes conduct that is unrelated to the statute’s purpose and is not rationally related to the evil the legislation sought to prohibit. For example, a defendant recording his case in a courtroom has nothing to do with an intrusion into a citizen’s privacy but with distraction. ... The court finds the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the defendant as the statute is violative of substantive due process.
Benjamin FranklinHistory affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy… These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.
Benjamin FranklinAll the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation
of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his
natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all
Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the
Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore
by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick
shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society
on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can
have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin FranklinThe ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. ... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed...
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.
Benjamin FranklinFreedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
Kane & Miller FriedenthalThe right of juries to decide questions of law was widely accepted in the colonies, especially in criminal cases. Prior to 1850, the judge and jury were viewed as partners in many jurisdictions. The jury could decide questions of both law and fact, and the judge helped guide the decision-making process by comments on the witnesses and the evidence. Legal theory and political philosophy emphasized the importance of the Jury in divining natural law, which was thought to be a better source for decision than the “authority of black letter maxim.” Since natural law was accessible to lay people, it was held to be the duty of each juror to determine for himself whether a particular rule of law embodied the principles of the higher natural law. Indeed, it was argued that the United States Constitution embodied a codification of natural rights so that “the reliance by the jury on a higher law was usually viewed as a constitutional judgment.”
David FriedmanThe direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations.
Milton FriedmanNothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
Milton FriedmanI think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one. If there’s something wrong, pass a law and do something about it.
Milton FriedmanLegalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and also the quality of law enforcement. Can you conceive of any other measure that would accomplish so much to promote law and order?
Milton FriedmanEvery friend of freedom... must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.
Robert FrostA jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Justice Melville Weston FullerThe framers of the constitution employed words in their natural sense; and, where they are plain and clear, resort to collateral aids to interpretation is unnecessary, and cannot be indulged in to narrow or enlarge the text; but where there is ambiguity or doubt, or where two views may well be entertained, contemporaneous and subsequent practical construction is entitled to the greatest weight.
Dr. Thomas FullerThe more laws the more offenders.
Dr. Thomas FullerThe more laws the more offenders.
Rick GaberFree enterprise capitalism exists only when people in the private sector are free to pursue their own interests without direction from government. When politicians start passing laws to tell them what to do, or bureaucrats start issuing edicts to tell them what to do, it is no longer capitalism; it's fascism.
Rick GaberEnron, of course, is exactly the kind of corporation which could not exist in pure capitalism. As a creature, in effect, of politicians, it was deliberately converted from a small pipeline company into an international conglomerate by conniving scoundrels who designed it from the beginning to use the power of their politician-friends to give it government contracts, subsidies, monopoly powers, and favorable regulations to force prospective customers to do business with them, essentially at gunpoint. Obviously, this is fascism, not capitalism, and what you get more and more of when you work to transform what was once the rule of clear-cut law into the rule of men (especially agenda-driving, nuance-inventing judges and lawyers).
Rocco Galati19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society.
Galileo GalileiIn questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThere is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.
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.
Henry GeorgeIt is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.
Georgia, Declaration of RightsThe jury in all criminal cases, shall be the judges of the law and the facts.
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.
Ray GiffordIndeed, the ABA [American Bar Association] is truly a creature of these post-modern times. Its governing members view the political sphere and judicial sphere as one in the same, and worship raw power as the ultimate and only currency in social transactions. The modern ABA thus has embraced an ideology that views the rule of law as a mere extension of politics, and in a self-fulfilling confirmation of that view, conflates law and politics with unashamedly liberal policy prescriptions.
Ruth Bader GinsburgIf I resign any time this year, he [President Obama] could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. ... [A]nybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided.
Sen. John GlennAmericans just want us to... not be concerned if they can be constitutionally justified... Why, if we had to do that we could not pass most of the laws we enact around here.
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.
Justice Arthur GoldbergIt is fundamental that the great powers of Congress to conduct
war and to regulate the Nation's foreign relations are subject to the
constitutional requirements of due process. The imperative necessity
for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the
gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional
history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that
there is the greatest temptation to dispense with fundamental
constitutional guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit
governmental action.
Emma GoldmanOrder derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet that is the only "order" that governments have ever maintained.  True social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests.  In a society where those who always work never have anything, while those who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of interests is non-existent; hence social harmony is but a myth.... Thus the entire arsenal of governments - laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, prisons - is strenuously engaged in "harmonizing" the most antagonistic elements in society.
Barry GoldwaterI have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution ... or have failed their purpose ... or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
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.
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.
Paul GreenbergFor the average American family, filling out a tax form has become like attacking a puzzle to which, often enough, there is no right answer. But we're all supposed to swear, on penalty of perjury, that we've done our best to find it.
Alan GreenspanAs long as we issue fiat currency, I see no alternative to a legal tender law.
A. K. GriffinIf it weren't for lawyers, we wouldn't need them.
Charles Haines[T]he courts in the United States are continually called upon to deal with questions that are purely political and governmental; to enter, partially at least, into the realm of legislation; and to discuss questions of political, economic, and social theory.
Alexander HamiltonThere is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.
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 HamiltonIf it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.
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 HamiltonWise politicians will be cautious about fettering the government
with restrictions that cannot be observed, because they know that
every break of the fundamental laws, though dictated by necessity,
impairs that sacred reverence which ought to be maintained in
the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country.
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.
Andrew HamiltonI know, may it please your honour, the jury may do so; but I do likewise know they may do otherwise. I know they have the right, beyond all dispute, to determine both the law and the fact; and where they do not doubt the law, they ought to do so. This of leaving it to the judgment of the Court whether the words are libelous or not in effect renders juries useless (to say no worse) in many cases.
Judge Learned HandAnyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.
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.
Learned HandWhat do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws 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… What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few -- as we have learned to our sorrow. What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias...
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.
Friedrich August von HayekIt used to be the boast of free men that, so long as they kept within the bounds of the known law, there was no need to ask anybody's permission or to obey anybody's orders. It is doubtful whether any of us can make this claim today.
Friedrich August von HayekFrom the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.
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 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 HayekBy giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.
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.
Robert A. HeinleinBeing intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
Robert A. HeinleinThe two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty". Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute, get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.
Lillian HellmanSince when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?
Ernest HemingwayEveryone has his own conscience, and there should be no rules about how a conscience should function.
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?
Ammon HennacyAn anarchist is anyone who doesn't need a cop to tell him what to do.
Patrick HenryLet Mr. Madison tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse.
HeraclitusThe people must fight for their laws as for their walls.
Frank HerbertLaws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit.
This is the fine point on which all legal professions of history have based their job security.
Frank HerbertThe convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy.
Charlton HestonPolitical correctness is simply tyranny with manners.
Robert HiggsDemocrats and Republicans alike support the "War on Drugs." Federal, state, and local police make more than a million drug arrests
yearly. Drug cases clog the courts. More than 60% of federal prison cells and about 30% of state prison cells hold drug offenders. No-knock drug
raiders nullify the Fourth Amendment every day. Yet illicit drugs continue to pour onto the market, and they are readily available throughout the
land. Looks like another failed policy. But politicians say more money will win the war. For fiscal 1996, President Clinton has requested a record
$14.6 billion for this exercise in futility. State and local government will also spend huge sums. Who benefits? Posturing politicians and puritanical
zealots, of course, but also the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, Coast Guard, FBI, and the rest of the drug warriors. Police love
the drug war, because the forfeiture laws it inspired allow them to seize and keep private property with impunity. Corrupt cops get fabulous bribes,
and corruption therefore runs rampant.
George Stillman HillardIf liberty with law is fire on the hearth, liberty without law is fire on the floor.
HillelWhat is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow; that is the whole Law: all the rest is interpretation.
Adolf HitlerWithout law and order our nation cannot survive.
Adolf HitlerA decision of the Fuhrer in the express form of a law or decree may not be scrutinized by a judge. In addition, the judge is bound by any other decision of the Fuhrer, provided that they are clearly intended to declare law.
Thomas HobbesUnnecessary laws are not good laws, but traps for money.
Eric HofferThe basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
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.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.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.The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky, but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign that can be identified; although some decisions with which I have disagreed seem to me to have forgotten the fact.
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.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.The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi-sovereign that can be identified.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.
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.
Jacob G. HornbergerContrary to everything our rulers tell us, and everything that our schoolteachers are teaching the children of this nation, the biggest threat to the lives and well-being of the American people lies not with some foreign government. The biggest threat to the American people today lies with the United States government. And while gun ownership stands as a barrier to potential, Nazi-like behavior, the long-term solution is to dismantle, not reform, the iron fist of the welfare state and the controlled economy. This includes the end (not the reform) of the IRS, the DEA, the BATF, the SEC, the FDA, HUD, the departments of HHS, Labor, Agriculture, and Energy, and every other agency that takes money from some and gives it to others or interferes with peaceful behavior. It entails the repeal of all laws that permit such conduct. And it means the privatization of most of the bureaucrats who work for the U.S. government.
House Concurrent Resolution 64Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that it should be a fundamental objective of the foreign policy of the United States to support and strengthen the United Nations and to seek its development into a world federation ...with defined and limited powers adequate to preserve peace and prevent aggression through the enactment, interpretation, and enforcement of world law...
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 HughesThe Constitution is what the judges say it is.
Hubert H. HumphreyThere are not enough jails, not enough policemen, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people.
Aldous HuxleyIdealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
Stephen HymerThe advantage of national planning is its ability to remove the wastes of oligopolistic anarchy, i.e. meaningless product differentiation and an imbalance between different industries within a geographical area. It concentrates all levels of decision making in one locale and thus provide each region with a full complement of skills and occupations. This opens up new horizons of local development by making possible the social and political control of economic decision-making. Multinational corporations, in contrast, weaken political control because they span many countries and can escape national regulation.
Indiana Code(i) A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:
(1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
(2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
(3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.
Daniel K. InouyeThere exists a shadowy government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.
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 choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.
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. JacksonThe day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion, it will cease to be free for religion.
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.
Jeff JacobyThe First Amendment says nothing about a right not to be offended.
The risk of finding someone else's speech offensive
is the price each of us pays for our own free speech.
Free people don't run to court -- or to the principal --
when they encounter a message they don't like.
They answer it with one of their own.
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 JeffersonThe price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas JeffersonWere parties here divided merely by a greediness for office,...to take a part with either would be unworthy of a reasonable or moral man.
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 JeffersonI will now tell you what I do not like. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations. ... Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
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 JeffersonAt the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.
Thomas JeffersonNo 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.
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 JeffersonIf the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth, prevail over fanaticism.
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 JeffersonBelieving with you that religion is a matter which lies solely
between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for
his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government
reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that
their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus
building a wall of separation between church and State.
Thomas JeffersonAn equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.
Thomas Jefferson[W]hensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
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 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 JeffersonCongress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.
Thomas JeffersonEvery government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Thomas JeffersonI hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our Government to trial, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Thomas JeffersonLaws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.
Thomas JeffersonAn individual, thinking himself injured, makes more noise than a State.
Thomas JeffersonThe error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. ... Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.
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 majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
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 JeffersonThe mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
Thomas JeffersonIt is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.
Thomas JeffersonI think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.
Thomas JeffersonRightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Thomas JeffersonA bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should to rest on inference.
Thomas JeffersonThe majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
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 JeffersonLaws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves.
Thomas JeffersonLaws provide against injury from others, but not from ourselves.
Thomas JeffersonI view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice.
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.
Dr. Samuel JohnsonIn questions of law or of fact conscience is very often confounded with opinion. No man’s conscience can tell him the rights of another man; they must be known by rational investigation or historical inquiry.
Chief JosephLet me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself -- and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
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.
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.
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 function of the true state is to impose the minimum restrictions and safeguard the maximum liberties of the people, and it never regards the person as a thing.
Immanuel KantEveryone may seek his own happiness in the way that
seems good to himself, provided that he infringe not such freedom
of others to strive after a similar end as is consistent with
the freedom of all according to a possible general law.
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.
Peter Alan KaslerIt is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent.
Jack KempTaxes on capital, taxes on labor, inflation, bureaucratic regulation, minimum wage laws, are all - to different degrees - unnecessary slices of the wedge that stand between an individual's effort and reward for that effort.
Kentucky Revised StatutesThe Governor is hereby authorized to enlist, organize, maintain, equip, discipline and pay when called into active field service a volunteer state defense force other than the National Guard...
Kentucky Supreme CourtBut to be in conflict with the constitution, it is not essential that the act should contain a prohibition against bearing arms in every possible form—it is the right to bear arms in defence of the citizens and the state, that is secured by the constitution, and whatever restrains the full and complete exercise of that right, though not an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution. If, therefore, the act in question imposes any restraint on the right, immaterial what appellation may be given to the act, whether it be an act regulating the manner of bearing arms or any other, the consequence, in reference to the constitution, is precisely the same, and its collision with that instrument equally obvious. ... The right existed at the adoption of the constitution; it had then no limits short of the moral power of the citizens to exercise it, and it in fact consisted in nothing else but in the liberty of the citizens to bear arms. Diminish that liberty, therefore, and you necessarily restrain the right; ... For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing [of] concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former is unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise.
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.One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws, but conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.There comes a time when a moral man can't obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust.
Kingsley v. MerrilA long and uniform sanction by law revisers and lawmakers, of a legislative assertion and exercise of power, is entitled to a great weight in construing an ambiguous or doubtful provision, but is entitled to no weight if the statute in question is in conflict with the plain meaning of the constitutional provision.
Henry KissingerThe illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
Judge Whitman Knapp[A]fter 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. ... If the possession or distribution of drugs were no longer a Federal crime, other levels of government would face the choice of enforcement or ... decriminalizing. ... The variety, complexity and importance of these questions make it exceedingly clear that the Federal Government has no business being involved in any of them. What might be a hopeful solution in New York, could be a disaster in Idaho, and only State legislatures and city governments, not Congress, can pass laws tailored to local needs. ... It [Congress] should repeal all Federal laws that prohibit or regulate their distribution ...
Charles KochUnfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles.
Charles KochFar from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs -- even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.
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 KozinskiThe Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Peter KropotkinThe law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and could be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority, but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror.
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.
Lao-TzuThe more laws and restrictions there are, the poorer people become.
Lao-TzuWithout law or compulsion, men would dwell in harmony.
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.
Richard Henry LeeIt is true, the yeomanry of the country possess the lands, the weight of property, possess arms, and are too strong a body of men to be openly offended—and, therefore, it is urged, they will take care of themselves, that men who shall govern will not dare pay any disrespect to their opinions. It is easily perceived, that if they have not their proper negative upon passing laws in congress, or on the passage of laws relative to taxes and armies, they may in twenty or thirty years be by means imperceptible to them, totally deprived of that boasted weight and strength: This may be done in great measure by congress.
Robert W. LeeIt is becoming increasingly apparent that many—arguably most—of the problems that plague our nation have been aggravated rather than alleviated by federal intervention. In one area after another, massive infusions of tax dollars have been squandered on false solutions which, when they fail to achieve their stated objectives, are cited to justify even more spending on other futile schemes that result in bigger government. Examples include programs and laws supposedly intended to reduce racial animosity which have instead heightened race-related tensions; welfare schemes that, rather than reducing poverty, have enticed millions of Americans to become dependent on Washington for their daily bread; federal funding (and control) of education, which has spawned a monumental education crisis; a “war” on drugs which has done little to curb drug traffic, but which has eroded many personal liberties; a health-care finance system that has deteriorated as government meddling and regulation have increased; and a masochistic immigration policy larded with false "solutions" that, while failing to stop the inflow of illegal aliens, have paved the way for further government intrusion into the lives of nearly all Americans.
Robert A. LevyThe fundamental principle is this: No matter how worthwhile an end may be, if there is no constitutional authority to pursue it, then the federal government must step aside and leave the matter to the states or to private parties. The president and Congress can proceed only from constitutional authority, not from good intentions alone. If Congress thinks it necessary to expand its powers, the Framers crafted an amendment process for that purpose. But too often, rather than follow that process, Congress has disregarded the limits set by the Constitution and gutted our frontline defense against overweening federal government.
C. S. LewisTwo wars necessitated vast curtailments of liberty, and we have grown, though grumblingly, accustomed to our chains. The increasing complexity and precariousness of our economic life have forced Government to take over many spheres of activity once left to choice or chance. Our intellectuals have surrendered first to the slave-philosophy of Hegel, then to Marx, finally to the linguistic analysts.

As a result, classical political theory, with its Stoical, Christian, and juristic key-conceptions (natural law, the value of the individual, the rights of man), has died. The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good -- anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name 'leaders' for those who were once 'rulers'. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, 'Mind your own business.' Our whole lives are their business.

I write 'they' because it seems childish not to recognize that actual government is and always must be oligarchical. Our effective masters must be more than one and fewer than all. But the oligarchs begin to regard us in a new way.
Abraham LincolnA prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham LincolnPublic sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who molds opinion is greater than he who enacts laws.
Abraham LincolnProhibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
Abraham LincolnMy paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
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.
John V. LindsayThose who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.
Walter LippmannIn a democracy, the opposition is not only tolerated as constitutional, but must be maintained because it is indispensable.
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 Locke[Individuals] have a right to defend themselves and recover by force what by unlawful force is taken from them.
John LockeWhere there is no law there is no freedom.
John LockeThe power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.
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 LockeThe people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves.
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 LockeAnd because it may be too great a temptation to human frailty, apt to grasp at power, for the same persons, who have the power of making laws, to have also in their hands the power to execute them, whereby they may exempt themselves from obedience to the laws they make, and suit the law, both in its making, and execution, to their own private advantage, and thereby come to have a distinct interest from the rest of the community, contrary to the end of society and government: therefore in wellordered commonwealths, where the good of the whole is so considered, as it ought, the legislative power is put into the hands of divers persons, who duly assembled, have by themselves, or jointly with others, a power to make laws, which when they have done, being separated again, they are themselves subject to the laws they have made; which is a new and near tie upon them, to take care, that they make them for the public good.
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 LockeSelf-defence is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself...
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 ...
F. J. LucasWithin seven centuries, [the ancient Greeks] invented for itself, epic, elegy, lyric, tragedy, novel, democratic government, political and economic science, history, geography, philosophy, physics and biology; and made revolutionary advances in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, oratory, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, anatomy, engineering, law and war... a stupendous feat for whose most brilliant state Attica was the size of Hertfordshire, with a free population (including children) of perhaps 160,000.
Nelson Lund[T]he police do not and cannot protect law-abiding citizens from criminal violence. ... This thought may not occur to wealthy people who can shelter themselves in low-crime enclaves and who care not at all about their less fortunate neighbors. But no one knows it better than the police, who scrupulously preserve their own right to carry firearms on and off duty (and often after they retire as well) even while some of them advocate disarming those whom the police cannot protect.
Lord George LyttletonTo argue against any breach of liberty from the ill use that may be made of it, is to argue against liberty itself, since all is capable of being abused.
Tibor MachanIf welfare and equality are to be primary aims of law, some people must necessarily possess a greater power of coercion in order to force redistribution of material goods. Political power alone should be equal among human beings; yet striving for other kinds of equality absolutely requires political inequality.
Niccolo MachiavelliBecause just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws, so the laws, if they are to be observed, have need of good morals.
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.
James MadisonI acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments.
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 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 MadisonThe powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.
James Madison[A]ll power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.
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 MadisonA government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust.
James MadisonEach State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution
James MadisonIt will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?
James MadisonIn the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.
James MadisonEqual laws protecting equal rights -- the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.
Marisa ManleyBanking laws backfire, too. The savings and loan crises developed because in the early 1980s Washington increased deposit insurance to $100,000 at no cost to individual savers. This encouraged them to put their money wherever it would earn the highest interest, regardless of how unsound a bank’s lending policies might be. The result, of course, was the debacle whose costs soared into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Such costs should have been borne by those who chose to take the risks. Instead they were imposed on innocent taxpayers who never put any money in an S&L.
Alf Mapp, Jr.No age is unique in producing privileged persons who can happily dichotomize condemnation of their society and enjoyment of its fruits. The eighteenth century had its landau liberals as the nineteenth would have its carriage Communists.
Marbury vs. MadisonAll laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.
Peyton Conway MarchThere is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.
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 John MarshallA legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.
Justice John MarshallState inspection laws, health laws, and laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c. are not within the power granted to Congress. ...
Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.
No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress, and, consequently, they remain subject to State legislation.
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.
Massachusetts Declaration of RightsThe liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state; it ought not, therefore, to be restricted in this commonwealth.
Robert K. MassieOne of the things that really bothers me is that Americans don't have any sense of history. The majority of Americans don't have any idea of where we've come from, so they naturally succumb to the kind of cliche version that Ronald Reagan represented.
Bert MastersonSomebody recently figured out that we have 35 million laws to enforce the ten commandments.
Jonathan MayhewNo taxation without representation.
Jonathan MayhewTo say that subjects in general are not proper judges (of the law) when their governors oppress them and play the tyrant, and when they defend their rights ...is as great a treason as ever a man uttered... (more)
Donald S. McAlvaneySwitzerland, on the other hand, insists that every male of military age must keep a powerful, fully automatic assault rifle in his home. Every home must be armed -- by law -- and some even keep mortars. Yet Switzerland has one of the most law-abiding citizenry, the lowest crime rate, and least violence of any country in the free world. And it has remained free for over a thousand years. Compare it to New York and Washington where handguns are completely banned. In fact, in Washington, Chief of Police Maurice Turner recently said that the District of Columbia gun ban law had completely failed, and he has called for armed citizen's police auxiliary to help restore order.
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.
John F. McManusSearch the Constitution and you will find no power granted to the legislative branch to make laws governing agriculture, housing, medicine, energy, private ownership or weapons, and a great deal more.
Margaret MeadThe contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequences of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society.
H. L. MenckenThe truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.
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. MenckenIt is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.
H. L. MenckenNo one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. When the secular is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea, and not infrequently it is downright idiotic.
H. L. MenckenWhenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel.
H. L. MenckenGovernment is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.
H. L. MenckenNo one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. Whenever the secular arm is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea, and not infrequently it is downright idiotic.
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. MenckenThe state remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
H. L. MenckenJudge: a law student who marks his own papers.
John Stuart MillThe worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
John Stuart MillA State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands -- even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
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.
Joel MillerLaws do not curb the lawless. After all, that's why we call them 'lawless.'
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.
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.
J. P. MorganCapital must protect itself in every way... Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.
Michael MoriartyNational Health? Socialized pension funds? State-controlled television? Search and seizure laws? Forfeiture laws? If we're not living in the Soviet Union of the United States we certainly have returned to 1776 and 'taxation without representation.'
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.
Vinnie MoscaritoloIf we can just pass a few more laws, we could all be criminals!
Mugler v. KansasThe courts are not bound by mere forms, nor are they to be misled by mere pretences. They are at liberty — indeed, are under a solemn duty — to look at the substance of things, whenever they enter upon the inquiry whether the legislature has transcended the limits of its authority. If therefore, a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is a palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution.
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.
Benito MussoliniFascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power.
Huey P. NewtonBefore 1776 America was a British colony. The British Government had certain laws and rules that the colonized Americans rejected as not being in their best interests. In spite of the British conviction that Americans had no right to establish their own laws to promote the general welfare of the people living here in America, the colonized immigrant felt he had no choice but to raise the gun to defend his welfare. Simultaneously he made certain laws to ensure his protection from external and internal aggressions, from other governments, and his own agencies. One such form of protection was the Declaration of Independence, which states: '... whenever any government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.' Now these same colonized White people, these bondsmen, paupers, and thieves deny the colonized Black man not only the right to abolish this oppressive system, but to even speak of abolishing it.
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.
Robert NisbetVery commonly in ages when civil rights of one kind are in evidence – those pertaining to freedom of speech and thought in, say, theater, press, and forum, with obscenity and libel laws correspondingly loosened – very real constrictions of individual liberty take place in other, more vital areas: political organization, voluntary association, property, and the right to hold jobs, for example.
Lyn NofzigerThe reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country. A better educated electorate might change the reason many persons vote. If children were forced to learn about the Constitution, about how government works, about how this nation came into being, about taxes and about how government forever threatens the cause of liberty perhaps we wouldn't see so many foolish ideas coming out of the mouths of silly old men.
Grover NorquistThe Democratic Party is made up of trial lawyers, labor unions, government employees, big city political machines, the coercive utopians, the radical environmentalists, feminists, and others who want to restructure society with tax dollars and government fiat.
Eleanor Holmes NortonThe essence of a free life is being able to choose the style of living you prefer free from exclusion and without the compulsion of conformity or law.
Norton vs. Shelby CountyAn unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.
George O'NeilWhen we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.
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.
Walter OlsenThe paternalist project for our civil courts runs something as follows. After the revolution -- which perhaps has already taken place—the average citizen will enjoy a vast array of wonderful new rights to sue other people. You will be empowered to haul your neighbors and fellow citizens to court if you feel they have fallen short of good faith and fair play. You will be entitled to sue them for unlimited damages, punitive as well as compensatory, even over behavior that had previously been thought not subject to liability at all. Everyone will be under a vague but stringent obligation to look out for your safety and welfare, enforceable by legal action. You will enjoy a cornucopia of contention opportunities, a smorgasbord of suing options, a Lotus-land of litigability.
George OrwellIf large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.
George OrwellThe ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.
George OrwellIf large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.
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 PaineThe supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them...
Thomas PaineArms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.
Justice Theophilus ParsonsIf a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states, then the juror has accepted
the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered
a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty.
Justice Theophilus ParsonsIf a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states, then the juror has accepted
the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered
a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty.
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.
William PatersonWhat is a Constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental law are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the Legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it.
St. PaulFor, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Ron PaulAmerican voters should understand that Congress will always find a way to spend every last dollar sent to Washington. Remember, politicians get votes by promising everything to everyone, always at the expense of some other invisible taxpayers. …The federal government cannot maintain a budget surplus any more than an alcoholic can leave a fresh bottle of whiskey untouched in the cupboard.
Shirley PetersonEight decades of amendments... to (the) code have produced a virtually impenetrable maze... The rules are unintelligible to most citizens... The rules are equally mysterious to many government employees who are charged with administering and enforcing the law.
Daniel PillaCongress has doubled the IRS budget over the past 10 years -- making that agency one of the fastest growing non-entitlement programs. It has increased its employment by 20 percent. The IRS’s powers to investigate and examine taxpayers transcend those of any other law enforcement agency. Virtually all of the constitutional rights regarding search and seizure, due process, and jury trial simply do not apply to the IRS.
Charles PinckneyThe legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion nor touching or abridging the liberty of the press.
Everett PiperHistory has taught us time and again that political power always raises its angry fist when timeless principles are lost. We know that without the scale of "self-evident truths" grounded in the "laws of nature and nature's God," every culture eventually finds itself subject to the rule of the gang or the tyranny of the individual. Recognizing this, scholars of all ages have confidently given their hearts and minds to the words, "You shall know the truth and the
truth shall set you free.
William PittThe poorest man may in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
PlatoOne of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
PlatoGood people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
John Norton PomeroyThe object of this clause [the right of the people to keep and bear arms] is to secure a well-armed militia.... But a militia
would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons. To preserve this privilege, and to secure to
the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that
government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms.
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.
Pierre-Joseph ProudhonLaws: We know what they are, and what they are worth!  They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government.
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 RandIndividual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
Ayn RandDo you think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power the 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.
Ayn RandWhen you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed.
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 RandThere's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any 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. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system.
Ayn RandWhen you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.
Ayn RandIt is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for.
Ayn RandThe difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.
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.
Ayn RandDo you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading
is done, not by consent, but by Compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing --
when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by
work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming
self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make
terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
Ayn Rand...and we must consider," Austen Heller was saying unemotionally, "that
since--unfortunately--we are forced to live together, the most important thing
for us to remember is that the only way in which we can have any law at all is
to have as little of it as possible. I see no ethical standard to which to
measure the whole unethical conception of a State, except in the amount of time,
of thought, of money, of effort and of obedience, which a society extorts from
its every member. Its value and its civilization are in inverse ratio to that
extortion. There is no conceivable law by which a man can be forced to work on
any terms except those he chooses to set. There is no conceivable law to prevent
him from setting them--just as there is none to force his employer to accept
them. The freedom to agree or disagree is the foundation of our kind of
society--and the freedom to strike is a part of it. I am mentioning this as a
reminder to a certain Petronius from Hell’s Kitchen, an exquisite bastard who
has been rather noisy lately about telling us that this strike represents a
destruction of law and order.
Ronald ReaganIf history teaches us anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly.
Ronald ReaganAn informed patriotism is what we want.
Ronald ReaganIf you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals -- if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
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.
Ronald ReaganWhen you start talking about government as 'we' instead of 'they,' you have been in office too long.
Ronald ReaganRepublicans believe the best way to assure prosperity is to generate more jobs. The Democrats believe in more welfare.
Ronald ReaganExtreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business, frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite.
Ronald ReaganFor too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people.
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.
Thomas B. ReedOne of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
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.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds[T]he people as ultimate sovereigns, retain the ultimate power -- and even the duty -- to overthrow any government that fails to respect their authority.
Rhode Island Declaration of Rights Article I, Section IThe constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.
Keith RichardsI've never had a problem with drugs.  I've had problems with the police.
Riley v. CarterEconomic necessity cannot justify a disregard of cardinal constitutional guarantee.
Georges RipertThe man who lives under the servitude of laws takes, without being aware of it, the soul of a slave.
Georges RipertWe continue to claim that nobody is supposed to ignore the law. But we must give some credit to those who know it.
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.
Pat RobertsonI spent three years getting my law degree at Yale Law School. From the moment I enrolled, I was assigned huge, leather-bound editions of legal cases to study and discuss. I read what lawyers and judges, professors and historians said about the Constitution. But never once was I assigned the task of reading the Constitution itself...Over the last decade, however, I have become a student of the Constitution, searching each line for its meaning and intent. Studying the Constitution is like studying the Bible. It is amazing how much more you will learn when you quit studying about it and pick it up to read it for yourself.
Lew RockwellIf something is wrong for you or me, it is also wrong for the cop, the soldier, the mayor, the governor, the general, the Fed chairman, the president. Theft does not become acceptable when they call it taxation, counterfeiting when they call it monetary policy, kidnapping when they call it the draft, mass murder when they call it foreign policy. We understand that it is never acceptable to wield violence nor the threat of violence against the innocent, whether by the mugger or the politician.
Lew RockwellEven though they are a relatively recent policy development, civil rights laws are considered necessary to insure rights for blacks. But they are, in fact, among the most draconian forms of intervention into the free market. They attack the essence of private property, the ability to exercise control over it. Such laws have resulted in lessened economic freedom, lowered prosperity, heightened social tension, and more trouble for the groups the laws are supposed to help. ... A Korean grocer may want to employ only Korean clerks, a magazine for black professionals only black editors and writers, and a German restaurant only German cooks and waiters. An employer may think that Iraqi-Americans have been unfairly treated and want to favor them. A women’s health club may want only women customer’s and a men’s bar may want only men. There is nothing wrong with any of these behaviors, although civil rights laws seek to end them. In addition to violating the free labor contract, civil rights laws guarantee everyone the right of “access” to “public accommodations” like restaurants, movie theaters, and shops. In fact, what the civil rights laws call public is really private. These businesses are established by private entrepreneurs with private money. The owners should no more be required to serve everyone who comes into their place than they are required to invite everyone to their home for dinner. A large downtown restaurant is as private as a small house in the country. The real difference between private and public is one of ownership, not function or location.
Will RogersI'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat.
Will RogersThe difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.
Will RogersThere is good news from Washington today. The Congress is deadlocked and can't act.
Will RogersThe minute you read something that you can't understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.
Jon RolandThe test for whether one is living in a police state is that those who are charged with enforcing the law are allowed to break the laws with impunity.
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.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Murray N. RothbardIt is not the business of the law to make anyone good or reverent or moral or clean or upright.
Mayer Amschel RothschildGive me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws.
Jean-Jacques RousseauMan was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
John RuskinWise laws and just restraints are to a noble nation not chains, but chains of mail, -- strength and defense, though something of an incumbrance.
Bertrand RussellWe may define a Puritan as a man who holds that certain kinds of acts, even if they have no visible bad effects upon others than the agent, are inherently sinful, and, being sinful, ought to be prevented by whatever means is most effectual - the criminal law if possible, and, if not that, then public opinion backed by economic pressure.
Bertrand Russell "The laws in question can, therefore, only be justified by the theory of vindictive punishment, which holds that certain sins, though they may not injure anyone except the sinner, are so heinous as to make it our duty to inflict pain upon the delinquent. This point of view, under the influence of Benthamism, lost its hold during the nineteenth century. But in recent years, with the general decay of Liberalism, it has regained lost ground, and has begun to threaten a new tyranny as oppressive as any in the Middle Ages.
Debra SaundersIf politicians don't respect the law, why should citizens respect politicians?
John Godfrey SaxeLaws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.
Justice Antonin ScaliaNowhere else in the Constitution does a 'right' attributed to 'the people' refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention 'the people,' the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset... The Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms... The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.'
Justice Antonin ScaliaAs long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.
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 SchaubStanding up to a tyrant
has always been illegal and dangerous.
There is no guarantee but one --
to not live like a slave,
nor to die like one.
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.
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.
Rick ScottIt is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law. It is at just such times that the constitutional right to self-defense is most precious and must be protected from government overreach.
Second Monument to Shays' RebellionTrue Liberty and Justice may require resistance to law .
Lucius Annaeus SenecaLaws do not persuade
just because they threaten.
Hans F. SennholzSound money and free banking are not impossible; they are merely illegal. Freedom of money and freedom of banking...are the principles that must guide our steps.
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.
Nelson ShieldsI'm convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest. Of course, it's true that politicians will then go home and say, 'This is a great law. The problem is solved.' And it's also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-control issue for a time. So then we'll have to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen that law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States -- is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal.
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.
Mark SkousenToday’s political leaders demonstrate their low opinion of the public with every social law they pass. They believe that, if given the right to chose, the citizenry will probably make the wrong choice. Legislators do not think any more in terms of persuading people; they feel the need to force their agenda on the public at the point of a bayonet and the barrel of a gun, in the name of the IRS, the SEC, the FDA, the DEA, the EPA, or a multitude of other ABCs of government authority.
Adam SmithThe proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.
Adam SmithPeople of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be enforceable, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.
Adam SmithThe natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security is so powerful a principle that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.
Jeffrey R. SnyderIf you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?
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.
Jeffrey R. SnyderAs the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people... The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.
Jeffrey R. SnyderAs the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people.
Joseph SobranIf Communism was liberalism in a hurry, liberalism is Communism in slow motion.
Joseph SobranPoliticians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money --- only for wanting to keep your own money.
Joseph SobranLiberals have a new wish every time their latest wish is granted. Conservatives should make them spell out their principles and ideals. Instead of doing this, conservatives allow liberals to pursue incremental goals without revealing their ultimate destination. So, thanks to the negligence of their opponents, liberals control the terms of every debate by always demanding 'more' while never defining 'enough.' The predictable result is that they always get more, and it's never enough.
Thomas SowellWhen your response to everything that is wrong with the world is to say, 'there ought to be a law,' you are saying that you hold freedom very cheap.
Thomas SowellOne of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.
Thomas SowellWe enjoy freedom and the rule of law on which it depends, not because we deserve it, but because others before us put their lives on the line to defend it.
Thomas SowellIf you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.
Thomas SowellSocialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
Thomas SowellNo matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: 'But what would you replace it with?' When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?
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.
Baruch SpinozaLaws which prescribe what everyone must believe, and forbid men to say or write anything against this or that opinion, are often passed to gratify, or rather to appease the anger of those who cannot abide independent minds.
Lysander SpoonerThe 'nations,' as they are called, with whom our pretended ambassadors, secretaries, presidents, and senators profess to make treaties, are as much myths as our own. On general principles of law and reason, there are no such 'nations.' ... Our pretended treaties, then, being made with no legitimate or bona fide nations, or representatives of nations, and being made, on our part, by persons who have no legitimate authority to act for us, have intrinsically no more validity than a pretended treaty made by the Man in the Moon with the king of the Pleiades.
Lysander SpoonerIf a jury have not the right to judge between the government and those who disobey its laws, the government is absolute, and the people, legally speaking, are slaves.
Lysander SpoonerAnd the so-called sovereigns, in these different governments, are simply the heads, or chiefs, of different bands of robbers and murderers.
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.
Leland StanfordThe production of wealth is the result of agreement between labor and capital, between employer and employed. Its distribution, therefore, will follow the law of its creation, or great injustice will be done.
Elizabeth Cady StantonTo make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.
State v. Board of ExaminersDisobedience or evasion of a constitutional mandate may not be tolerated, even though such disobedience may, at least temporarily, promote in some respects the best interests of the public.
Gloria SteinemLaw and justice are not always the same.
Howard SternWhen you think about it if somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner, let’s say in Massachusetts, why all of a sudden when he crossed the border is he an outlaw?
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 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.
Max StirnerThe state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime.
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.
J. A. StormerThe pretence is made that to do away with right and wrong would produce uncivilized people, immorality, lawlessness, and social chaos. The fact is that most psychiatrists and psychologists and other respected people have escaped from moral chains and are able to think freely.
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.
Supreme Court of the United StatesConstitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.
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.
Judge Diane Schwerm SykesThe Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny. Illinois has criminalized the nonconsensual recording of most any oral communication, including recordings of public officials doing the public’s business in public and regardless of whether the recording is open or surreptitious. Defending the broad sweep of this statute, the State’s Attorney relies on the government’s interest in protecting conversational privacy, but that interest is not implicated when police officers are performing their duties in public places and engaging in public communications audible to persons who witness the events. Even under the more lenient intermediate standard of scrutiny applicable to content-neutral burdens on speech, this application of the statute very likely flunks. The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests; as applied to the facts alleged here, it likely violates the First Amendment’s free-speech and free-press guarantees.
Cornelius TacitusThe more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
Cornelius TacitusFormerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws.
Cornelius TacitusCorruptissima re publica plurimae leges. (The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.)
Publius Cornelius TacitusWe are corrupted by prosperity. And when the state is corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied.
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.
Margaret ThatcherWhere law ends, tyranny begins.
The BibleIf thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
The BibleUnto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: That the Lord thy God bless thee.
The BibleTake no usury of him, or increase... thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury.
The Daily OklahomanUnder federal law the government is allowed to seize a person’s assets and distribute them, even if the accused is acquitted, or the charges eventually dropped, those assets may be transferred to state law enforcement agencies.
Justice Robert R. ThomasAll statutes are presumed constitutional and the party challenging the constitutionality of a statute has the burden of clearly establishing that it violates the constitution.
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.
Hunter S. ThompsonIt was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
Henry David ThoreauMust a citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a
conscience, then? It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.
Henry David ThoreauLaw never made men a whit more just.
Henry David ThoreauI came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
Henry David ThoreauAny man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
Henry David ThoreauIf the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
Henry David ThoreauThe law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
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.
Lord Chancellor ThurlowDid you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and nobody to be kicked?
Treaty of Tripoli, 1796As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense
founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of
enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the
said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any
Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from
religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
existing between the two countries.
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.
Phil Trieb[I]f we won’t choose to pay the price of liberty, then by default we shall suffer the cost of servitude -- whether it be the iron chains of a
tyrannical oligarchy or the regulatory chains of unelected, faceless bureaucrats. When we witness our neighbors abused by tyrants, will we skulk
away and hope we’re not next? Or will we stand by them and challenge -- as freedom-loving Americans -- the tyranny of lawless leaders.
Pierre TrudeauWhat is considered sinful in one of the great religions to which citizens belong isn't necessarily sinful in the others. Criminal law therefore cannot be based on the notion of sin; it is crimes that it must define.
Mao Tse-TungPolitical power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Benjamin R. TuckerWe enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then a few that punish them.
Judge Gideon J. TuckerNo man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Henry St. George TuckerTo secure their enjoyment, however, certain protections or barriers have been erected which serve to maintain inviolate the three primary rights of personal security, personal liberty, and private property. These may in America be said to be: 1. The bill of rights and written constitutions ... 2. The rights of bearing arms -- which with us is not limited and restrained by an arbitrary system of game laws as in England, but is particularly enjoyed by every citizen, and is among his most valuable privileges, since it furnishes the means of resisting as a freeman ought, the inroads of usurpation.
Mark TwainLet me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.
Mark Twain[N]o country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerA democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Sun TzuWhen the leader is morally weak and his discipline not strict, when his instructions and guidance are not enlightened, when there are no consistent rules, neighboring rulers will take advantage of this.
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 ConstitutionNo State shall... coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts...
United States Supreme Court... [the 16th Amendment] conferred no new power of taxation... [and]... prohibited the ... power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged...
United States Supreme CourtThe Constitution is a written instrument. As such it's meaning does not alter. That which it meant when adopted, it means now.
United States Supreme Court...the intent of the lawmaker is to be found in the language that he has used.
United States Supreme CourtTo lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes, is nonetheless a robbery because it is done under the forms of law and is called taxation. This is not legislation. It is a decree under legislative forms.
United States Supreme CourtBecause of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many Citizens, because of their respect for what appears to be law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance.
United States Supreme CourtThe Constitution prohibits any direct tax, unless in proportion to numbers as ascertained by the census..... [and] ... prohibits Congress from laying a direct tax on the revenue from property of the citizen without regard to state lines...
United States Supreme Court... bank records are not the depositor's private papers and having given the information to the bank, the depositor has no legitimate expectation of continued privacy... Records of an individual's accounts with banks are not the individual's private papers protected against compulsory production by the 4th Amendment, but instead are the business records of the banks.
UnknownIf you think talk is cheap, hire a lawyer.
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. 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 I, Section 8The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United 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. Supreme CourtIn this country sovereignty resides in the people, and Congress can exercise no power which they have not, by their Constitution, entrusted to it: All else is withheld.
U.S. vs. DoughertyThe pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...
William Van AlstyneThe Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, is ... not mysterious. Nor is it equivocal. Least of all is it opaque. Rather, one may say, today it is simply unwelcome in any community that wants no one (save perhaps the police?) to keep or bear arms at all. But ... it is for them to seek repeal of this amendment (and so the repeal of its guarantee), in order to have their way. Or so the Constitution itself assuredly appears to require, if that is the way things are to be.
Abigail Van BurenI agree that marijuana laws are overdue for an overhaul. I also favor the medical use of marijuana -- if it's prescribed by a physician. I cannot understand why the federal government should interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, nor why it would ignore the will of a majority of voters who have legally approved such legislation.
Lon VanOstranUsing the power of the law to ensure that the law abiding are at the mercy of the lawless is an act of barbarism beyond the realms
of logic. The dreamers and fools who force us to endure the carnage should be on trial along with the criminals they are creating.The world is not
made more civil by forcing the civilized to be the victims of the predators. How dare you, any of you, refuse good law abiding citizens the right
to defend themselves in a country where there were 25,000 murders, 105,000 reported rapes, and 975,000 armed robberies LAST YEAR?
Jesse VenturaThere’s too many laws altogether.
Vermont Declaration of RightsThat frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep government free. The people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in the making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the State.
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.
Virginia Declaration of RightsThe rights enumerated in this Bill of Rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.
VoltaireLet the laws be clear, uniform and precise; to interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them.
VoltaireAll men have equal rights to liberty, to their property, and to the protection of the laws.
VoltaireIt is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
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.
Otto von BismarckThe less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they'll sleep at night.
Johann von SchillerThe voice of the majority is no proof of justice.
Nathaniel WardNo man shall twice be sentenced by Civil Justice for one and the same crime, offense, or trespass.
Charles WarrenIf a law to donate aid to any farmer or cattleman who has had poor crops or lost his cattle comes
within the meaning of the phrase “to provide for the General Welfare of the United States,” why should not similar gifts be made to grocers,
shopkeepers, miners, and other businessmen who have made losses through financial depression, or to wage earners out of employment? Why is not
their property equally within the purview of the General Welfare?
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.
George WashingtonReason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.
George WashingtonGovernment is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force, and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
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 WashingtonGovernment is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
George WashingtonThere can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation.
George WashingtonRepublicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
George WashingtonArbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness.
Alan WattsBut when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become selfserving busybodies.
Henry Grady WeaverMost of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind.
Daniel WebsterWhatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what they may.
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.
Daniel WebsterIf the States were not left to leave the Union when their rights were interfered with, the government would have been National, but the Convention refused to baptize it by that name.
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.
Judge Jack B. WeinsteinNeither the trappings of robes, nor temples of stone, nor a fixed
liturgy, nor an extensive literature or history is required to meet the
test of beliefs cognizable under the Constitution as religious. So far
as our law is concerned, one person's religious beliefs held for one
day are presumptively entitled to the same protection as the beliefs of
millions which have been shared for thousands of years.
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.
Grover WhalenThere is plenty of law at the end of a nightstick.
Justice Byron R. WhiteWhile the collateral consequences
of drugs such as cocaine
are indisputably severe,
they are not unlike those
which flow from the misuse
of other, legal, substances.
William Allen WhiteYou can have no wise laws nor free enforcement of wise laws unless there is free expression of the wisdom of the people -- and, alas, their folly with it. But if there is freedom, folly will die of its own poison, and the wisdom will survive.
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.
Oscar WildeLawyers have been known to wrest from reluctant juries triumphant verdicts of acquittal for their clients, even when those clients, as often happens, were clearly and unmistakably innocent.
George WillThe cultivation -- even celebration -- of victimhood by intellectuals, tort lawyers, politicians and the media is both cause and effect of today's culture of complaint.
Walter E. WilliamsHow does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist urges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people.
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.
Walter E. WilliamsIn what sense are women equal to men? .... I’ve never seen sexually integrated professional boxing matches, football games, basketball games, 100-yard dashes or ice hockey games. Is that because male chauvinists deny women the chance to compete? The military response to the conspicuous absence of women in male-dominated areas suggests a remedy for professional sports. Army fitness standards call for 80 push-ups for men and 56 for women. Male soldiers ages 17 to 25 must run two miles in 17 minutes and 55 seconds. Females are given 22 minutes and 14 seconds. Male Marine trainees must climb 20 feet of rope in 30 seconds; women are given 50 seconds. The military’s “gender-norming” might be implemented in sports. In football, new rules might allow the offensive team’s female pass receiver to take up an uncovered position one-half the distance to the goal behind the defensive team’s line. In the 100-yard dash, women could get a 25-yard head start. In baseball, a mid-field hit might count as a home run. I’m at a loss for what can be done to gender-norm boxing. All that I come up with to level the playing field between a woman and George Foreman or Mike Tyson is to give the woman a gun. ... Feminists themselves wouldn’t want sports desegregated and gender-normed. The folly and disastrous consequences would be obvious to all. For them, gender-norming is best left to areas where its effects are more readily concealed. The fact of business is that we humans are not equal. Some of us are women and some are men. Some are smart and some are not so smart. Some are colored, others are uncolored. Some are tall, and some are short. Some of us are poor, and others wealthy. The differences -- inequalities -- are endless. Equality before the general rules of law is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty that can be secured without destroying liberty. It is an equality that neither requires nor assumes people are, in fact, equal. Our attempt to make people equal by rigging law to produce results destroys civility and generalized respect for the law. Government cannot create an advantage for one person without simultaneously creating a disadvantage for another. ... Government agencies have no right telling one American he or she can go into a business and another, who is just as able, that he or she cannot.
James WilsonSlavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over
the life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common
law. Indeed, it is repugnant to the principles of natural law,
that such a state should subsist in any social system.
The reasons which we sometimes see assigned for the origin
and the continuance of slavery appear, when examined to the bottom,
to be built upon a false foundation. In the enjoyment of their
persons and of their property, the common law protects all.
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.
Claire WolfeAmerica is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we've gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent.
Claire WolfeAmerica is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we've gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent. ... Something’s eventually going to happen. Government will bloat until it chokes us to death, or one more tyrannical power grab will turn out to be one too many. ... Maybe it’ll be one more round of “reasonable gun control” or one more episode of burning children to death to save them from “child abuse.” Whatever, something will snap.
Rod WrightLadies and Gentlemen, we only pass laws against people who obey the law. Drug dealers, bank robbers and rapists don’t care what we do because they willfully violate the law anyway.
WTO Charter[Each member government]...shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations, and administrative procedures with its obligations [to the World Trade Organization].
xxLawyer
Yale Law JournalThe right of the jury to decide questions of law was widely recognized in the colonies. In 1771, John Adams stated
unequivocally that a juror should ignore a judge’s instruction on the law if it violates fundamental principles: “It is not only ... [the juror’s] 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.” There is much evidence of the general acceptance of this principle in the period immediately after the Constitution was
adopted.
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.
zzzzAgnostic
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