2018 May 25
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."
"There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid."
"Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and will always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot."
2018 May 24
"Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is,
whether ours is a federal or consolidated government;
a constitutional or absolute one;
a government resting solidly on the basis
of the sovereignty of the States,
or on the unrestrained will of a majority;
a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones,
in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail."
"The fault lies not with our technologies but with our systems."
"He is free who knows how to keep in his own hands
the power to decide at each step, the course of his life,
and who lives in a society which does not block
the exercise of that power."
2018 May 23
"Society's demands for moral authority and character increase
as the importance of the position increases."
"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."
"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
2018 May 22
"Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one."
"It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do;
but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do."
"I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes
too much upon constitutions, upon law and upon courts.
These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes.
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women;
when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it;
no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.
While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no courts to save it."
2018 May 21
"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press;
of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases;
of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms...
If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment,
it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."
"Therefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge’s] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
"Protection, therefore, against the tyranny
of the magistrate is not enough;
there needs protection against the tyranny
of the prevailing opinion and feeling,
against the tendency of society to impose,
by other means than civil penalties,
its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct
on those who dissent from them."