The 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.
more Linda Bowles quotes
'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...
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
The 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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Ways 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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Decency, 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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
It 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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Absolutism is a guarantee of objectionable morals in the same way that absolutism in government is a guarantee of objectionable government.
more Robert Briffault quotes
The 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.
more Justice Janice Brown quotes
[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.
more Rome G. Brown quotes
What is right and what is practicable are two different things.
more James Buchanan quotes
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.
more William F. Buckley, Jr. quotes
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.
more William F. Buckley, Jr. quotes
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.
more William F. Buckley, Jr. quotes
... 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.
more Justice Warren E. Burger quotes
Judges ... rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times.
more Justice Warren E. Burger quotes
Concepts 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.
more Justice Warren E. Burger quotes
All lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
more James Burgh quotes
People 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...
more Edmund Burke quotes
There 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.
more Edmund Burke quotes
Once the law starts asking questions, there's no stopping them.
more William S. Burroughs quotes
Do 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.
more Sir Richard Francis Burton quotes
Authority intoxicates, And makes mere sots of magistrates; The fumes of it invade the brain, And make men giddy, proud and vain.
more Samuel Butler quotes
“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.
more Edmond Cahn quotes
Today 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.
more William J. Campbell quotes
How many crimes are permitted simply because their authors could not endure being wrong.
more Albert Camus quotes
[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.
more Candidus quotes
When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
more Al Capone quotes
You cannot become a truly effective advocate unless you know all sides of your subject thoroughly, opposing arguments as well as your own.
more G. R. Capp quotes
Free discussion is the only necessary Constitution -- the only necessary Law of the Constitution.
more Richard Carlile quotes
...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.
more William Carr quotes
The 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.
more Jimmy Carter quotes
The 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.
more John Casey quotes
Considering 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.
more William Cash quotes
There 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.
more Carrie Chapman Catt quotes
Each 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.
more Domingo Cavallo quotes
He didn't know the right people. That's all a police record means in this rotten crime-ridden country.
more Raymond Chandler quotes
The 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.
more Raymond Chandler quotes
The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
more Samuel Chase quotes
The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
more Samuel Chase quotes
Any one of the strange laws we suffer is a compromise between a fad and a vested interest.
more Gilbert Keith Chesterton quotes
He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.
more Gilbert Keith Chesterton quotes
Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.
more Chinese Proverb quotes
The federal criminal code currently includes more than 3,000 offenses and hardly a congressional session goes by without an attempt to add new sections.
more Stephen Chippendale quotes
In the United States, Sovereignty resides in the people, who act through the organs established by the Constitution.
more Chisholm v. Georgia quotes
Appropriated 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.
more Rufus Choate quotes
The 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.
more Sir Winston Churchill quotes
If you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.
more Sir Winston Churchill quotes
You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.
more Sir Winston Churchill quotes
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