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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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|A State Ex Rel. Torryson v. Grey||Where the words of a constitution are unambiguous and in their commonly received sense lead to a reasonable conclusion, it should be read according to the natural and most obvious import of the framers, without resorting to subtle and forced construction for the purpose of limiting or extending its operation.|
|Bruce Ackerman||There 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 Ackerman||There 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.|
|Henry Brooks Adams||I would rather starve and rot and keep the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it, than of holding all the offices that capital has to give from the presidency down.|
|John Adams||The nature of the encroachment upon American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer; it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society.|
|John Adams||I answered that the die was now cast; I had passed the Rubicon. Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish with my country was my unalterable determination.|
|John Adams||In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.|
|John Adams||Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.|
|John Adams||Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?|
|John Adams||Society's demands for moral authority and character increase|
as the importance of the position increases.
|John Adams||We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.|
|John Adams||When I went home to my family in May, 1770, from the town meeting in Boston, which was the first I had ever attended, and where I had been chosen in my absence, without any solicitation, one of their representatives, I said to my wife, "I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate." She burst into tears, but instantly cried out in a transport of magnanimity, "Well, I am willing in this cause to run all risks with you, and be ruined with you, if you are ruined." These were times, my friend, in Boston, which tried women's souls as well as men's.|
|John Adams||Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?|
|John Adams||[N]o good government but what is republican...|
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
|John Adams||It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.|
|John Quincy Adams||Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone.|
|Samuel Adams||He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man...The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.|
|Aesop||Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.|
|Publius Terentius Afer||I have everything, yet have nothing; and although I possess nothing, still of nothing am I in want.|
|Arnold Ahlert||[A] deep-rooted culture of incompetence and corruption has made it virtually impossible for government to function fairly and efficiently. And because most government employees are shielded by layers of protection, they couldn't care less. Never before in the history of this nation has there been a greater divide between a self-serving federal leviathan and millions of Americans... 'Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,' Ronald Reagan reminded us during his inaugural address in 1981. Nothing's changed since then, with one exception: It's gotten far worse.|
|Thomas Bailey Aldrich||The possession of unlimited power will make a despot of almost any man. There is a possible Nero in the gentlest human creature that walks.|
|Corri Alius||Do whatever you can to capture, or recapture, your life spark - unless it harms others, in which case suffer with as much happiness as you can muster. Your nobility of spirit will spark itself.|
|Roger Allen||Congress is continually appointing fact-finding committees, when what we really need are some fact-facing committees.|
|American Bar Association||I 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.|
|Amos v. Mosley||If the legislature clearly misinterprets a constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.|
|Amos v. Mosley||If the legislature clearly misinterprets a Constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.|
|Anacharsis||These decrees of yours are no different from spiders' webs. They'll restrain anyone weak and insignificant who gets caught in them, but they'll be torn to shreds by people with power and wealth.|
|Mordechai Anielewicz||The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don’t adjust! Revolt against the reality!|
|Marcus Aurelius Antoninus||A man should be upright, not be kept upright.|
|Marcus Aurelius Antoninus||Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign.... Secondly, a just cause.... Thirdly ... a rightful intention.|
|Hannah Arendt||What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.|
|Pietro Aretino||I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.|
|Aristotle||We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.|
|Aristotle||We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit|
|Aristotle||Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.|
|William D. Arnot||If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.|
|Isaac Asimov||Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.|
|W. H. Auden||Political history is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of study for the young. Children should acquire their heroes and villains from fiction.|
|Sir Francis Bacon||The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.|
|Michael Badnarik||If I give you a forty five percent chance at lethal injection, a fifty percent chance at the electric chair, and a five percent chance for escape which are you going to vote for? The electric chair, because you're likely to win?|
|Ben H. Bagdikian||In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.|
|Walter Bagehot||So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.|
|Mikhail A. Bakunin||Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.|
|William Barr||In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end. They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications. They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.|
|William Barr||The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘Resistance’ against this Administration, it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.|
|Frederic Bastiat||If 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 Bastiat||Actually, 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 Bastiat||In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism -- including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?|
|O. A. Battista||One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.|
|Ezra Taft Benson||You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible!|
|George Berkeley||He who says there is no such thing as an honest man, you may be sure is himself a knave.|
|Isaiah Berlin||Conformities are called for much more eagerly today than yesterday... skeptics, liberals, individuals with a taste for private life and their own inner standards of behavior, are objects of fear and derision and targets of persecution for either side... in the great ideological wars of our time.|
|Albert J. Beveridge||If liberty is worth keeping and free representative government worth saving, we must stand for all American fundamentals—not some, but all. All are woven into the great fabric of our national well-being. We cannot hold fast to some only, and abandon others that, for the moment, we find inconvenient. If one American fundamental is prostrated, others in the end will surely fall.|
|Albert J. Beveridge||America would be better off as a country and Americans happier and more prosperous as a people if half of our government boards, bureaus, and commissions were Abolished, hundreds of thousands of our government officials, agents and employees were discharged, and two-thirds of our government regulations, restrictions, inhibitions were removed.|
|Ambrose Bierce||In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.|
|Justice Hugo L. Black||The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice. I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation.|
|Léon Blum||Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice.|
|Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux||Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return.|
|William E. Borah||Without 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.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||To 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.|