"The 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."
Justice William O. Douglas
(1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice
An Almanac of Liberty, 1954
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Reader comments about this quote:
Five stars for a truism in a land far far away in a very distant past; A thumb's down here because no where in US Inc. can such a friend be found. The four branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial, and the press) have killed anybody fitting said "Fifth Amendment" description.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I could write volumes on my own experience where my 5th Amendment rights were violated by police and the courts, but the courts merely shrugged their shoulders at any impropriety or wrongdoing on their part. 5 stars for the accuracy of the statement: the 5th Amendment IS a good friend to the people of the several states, so long as it remains a constant friend-- It allows people to be "decent and civilized" with each other when it protects us from the onslaught of government's (our neighbors') benevolence in behalf of our greater welfare. It allows man to be good because he desires to be good, and prohibit others from forcing him to be the same. I indeed have the RIGHT to be secure within myself -- free from any outside meddling, encroachment, tampering, infringement, or tax -- indeed, even our original Constitution established that the individual 'capitation' taxes from the federal level were prohibited. It seems that the Constitution poses no threat to our current form of government.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
     -- Joe, Rochetser, MI      
    The Constitution is our true friend -- if only there were honorable men/women today in government that would uphold it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous     
    Three stars for discussing anything but the Second Amendment.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    Are we speaking of Lois Lerner's use of this old and good friend ? My brain says she has the right ( thought she "hedged her bets" when she testified, then said she wasn't going to testify ) ... my emotions are angered by her use of it to dodge telling the truth. Nonetheless, I wouldn't want to lose this amendment, nor any others, for I myself might wish to have it available under some circumstances.
     -- Bobble, Charlotte     
    What real worth is it today when the accused is guilty until he proves himself innocent.
     -- cal, Lewisville, tx     
    cal, thanks - that nails it on the head and puts it in to perspective. Adding to the list would be; what real worth is it today when: the entire system is set up to encourage and accept prosecutor prevarications (inclusive of all police state agents); and, the entire system is set up to encourage and accept prosecuting on policy and theocratic tenants instead of law; and, all attorneys being wards of the court are afraid to go against their meal ticket and god; and, etc., etc., etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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