Justice Hugo L. Black Quotes

 

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Justice Hugo L. Black Quotes 1-20 out of 23
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The layman’s constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn’t like is unconstitutional.
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.
The first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
... any broad unlimited power to hold laws unconstitutional because they offend what this Court conceives to be the ‘conscience of our people’ ... was not given by the Framers, but rather has been bestowed on the Court by the Court.
The layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
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."
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.
An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
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.
The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The United States has a system of taxation by confession.
[I]t is true that [the provisions of the Bill of Rights] were designed to meet ancient evils. But they are the same kind of human evils that have emerged from century to century whenever excessive power is sought by the few at the expense of the many.
The interest of the people lies in being able to join organizations, advocate causes, and make political “mistakes” without being subjected to governmental penalties.
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.
I am for the First Amendment from the first word to the last. I believe it means what it says.
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Justice Hugo L. Black Quotes 1-20 out of 23
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