For a punishment to be just it should consist of only such gradations of intensity as suffice to deter men from committing crimes.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
The punishment of death is the war of a nation against a citizen whose destruction it judges to be necessary or useful.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
more Rev. Francis Bellamy quotes
Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance -- these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible.
more Isaiah Berlin quotes
Justice in the hands of the powerful is merely a governing system like any other. Why call it justice? Let us rather call it injustice, but of a sly effective order, based entirely on cruel knowledge of the resistance of the weak, their capacity for pain, humiliation and misery.
more Georges Bernanos quotes
The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.
more Georges Bernanos quotes
As records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind... Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
more Ambrose Bierce quotes
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.
more John Biggs, Jr. quotes
The layman’s constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn’t like is unconstitutional.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Freedom to publish means freedom for all and not for some. Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the constitution but freedom to continue to prevent others from publishing is not.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
The layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
It is my belief that there are “absolutes” in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be "absolutes."
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
In 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.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Criticism of government finds sanctuary in several portions of the First Amendment. It is part of the right of free speech. It embraces freedom of the press.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Compelling 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.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
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.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
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.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
The interest of the people lies in being able to join organizations, advocate causes, and make political “mistakes” without being subjected to governmental penalties.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
What finally emerges from the ‘clear and present danger’ cases is a working principle that the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before utterances can be punished…It must be taken as a command of the broadest scope that explicit language, read in the context of a liberty-loving society, will allow.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
By placing discretion in the hands of an official to grant or deny a license, such a statute creates a threat of censorship that by its very existence chills free speech.
more Harry A. Blackmun quotes
And, 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.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
It is better ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
In 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.
more Curtis Bok quotes
Our 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.
more Neal Boortz quotes
No 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.
more William E. Borah quotes
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.
more William E. Borah quotes
However 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.
more James Bovard 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
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
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
The constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
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.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
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
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
The makers of our constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness... They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
No danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is an opportunity for full discussion. Only an emergency can justify repression.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
In the frank expression of conflicting opinions lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance – unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment].
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
The door of the Free Exercise Clause stands tightly closed against any government regulation of religious beliefs as such. Government may neither compel affirmation of a repugnant belief, nor penalize or discriminate against individuals or groups because they hold views abhorrent to the authorities.
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
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