Civil Rights Quotes / Quotations 

Famous Quotes and Quotations about Civil Rights

Civil Rights Quotes 1-50 out of 197
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The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
more John Adams quotes
The 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.
more John Adams quotes
When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
more John Adams quotes
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have... a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.
more John Adams quotes
Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.
more John Quincy Adams quotes
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.
more Samuel Adams quotes
The 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.
more Samuel Adams quotes
Do you think someone who is about to rape you is going to stop and think about a condom?
more Eli Adorno quotes
It is precisely this clinging to victimhood as a means of demonstrating one’s virtue and advancing one’s well-being that has led us into a society in which welfare and quotas are “civil rights,” government handouts are “entitlements,” and payment to girls having babies out of wedlock are “compassionate,” while hard-working, ambitious people are “greedy,” punishment of crime is “oppression,” and an independent thinker who stands for courage and self-reliance is dismissed as an “Uncle Tom.”
more J. Tucker Alford quotes
I call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master [and] receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.
more Woody Allen quotes
The USA was founded in the name of democracy, equality and individual freedom, but is failing to deliver the fundamental promise of protecting rights for all.
more Amnesty International quotes
It 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.
more Susan B. Anthony quotes
Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.
more Tallulah Bankhead quotes
What I'd like to see police do is deal with important issues and not these sorts of victimless crimes when society is riddled with problems.
more Alderman Rodney Barket quotes
Thought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
more Alan Barth quotes
Sometimes 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.
more Frederic Bastiat quotes
The Supreme Court is steadily eroding the protections against police excess promised by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
more Dan Baum quotes
The [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.
more Dan Baum quotes
Liberty, whether natural, civil, or political, is the lawful power in the individual to exercise his corresponding rights. It is greatly favored in law.
more Henry Campbell 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
I am for the First Amendment from the first word to the last. I believe it means what it says.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Patterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.
more Lawana Blackwell quotes
Freedom of religion means the right of the individual to choose and to adhere to whichever religious beliefs he may prefer, to join with others in religious associations to express these beliefs, and to incur no civil disabilities because of his choice…
more Joseph L. Blau 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
The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
Be assured that if this new provision [the 14th Amendment] be engrafted in the Constitution, it will, in time, change the entire structure and texture of our government, and sweep away all the guarantees of safety devised and provided by our patriotic Sires of the Revolution.
more Orville Browning 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
We must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation.
more Edmund Burke quotes
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
more William S. Burroughs quotes
Freedom and the power to choose should not be the privilege of wealth. They are the birthright of every American.
more George Herbert Walker Bush 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
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
more Jimmy Carter quotes
The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk but to the majority that does not want to listen.
more Zechariah Chaffee, Jr. quotes
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
more Shirley Chisholm quotes
If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
more Noam Chomsky quotes
The price of greatness is responsibility.
more Sir Winston Churchill quotes
A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
more Ramsey Clark quotes
We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
more Bill Clinton quotes
We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
more Bill Clinton quotes
The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
more Bill Clinton quotes
Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
more Henry Steele Commager quotes
We 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.
more Constitution for the USA quotes
Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness... We claim them from a higher source -- from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence, which establish the laws of our nature. They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power, without taking our lives.
more John Dickinson quotes
Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person’s] life.
more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.
more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
The First Amendment makes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgment the great postulate of our democracy.
more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.
more Frederick Douglass quotes
Of all the tasks of government, the most basic is to protect its citizens from violence.
more John Foster Dulles quotes
They [the founders] proclaimed to all the world the revolutionary doctrine of the divine rights of the common man. That doctrine has ever since been the heart of the American faith.
more Dwight D. Eisenhower quotes
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