Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.
Civil liberties had their origin and must find their ultimate guaranty in the faith of the people. If that faith should be lost, five or nine men in Washington could not long supply its want.
Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.
Government of limited power need not be anemic government. Assurance that rights are secure tends to diminish fear and jealousy of strong government, and by making us feel safe to live under it makes for its better support.
He who must search a haystack for a needle is likely to end up with the attitude that the needle is not worth the search
I cannot say that our country could have no secret police without becoming totalitarian, but I can say with great conviction that it cannot become totalitarian without a centralized national police.
If any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable.
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
It is Mr. Mellon's credo that $200,000,000 can do no wrong. Our offense consists in doubting it.
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money.
Not every defeat of authority is a gain for individual freedom, nor every judicial rescue of a convict a victory for liberty.
Our forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold and independent minds are essential to the wise and considered self-government.
Our protection against all kinds of fanatics and extremists, none of whom can be trusted with unlimited power over others, lies not in their forbearance but in the limitations of our Constitution.
The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.
The day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion it will cease to be free for religion- except for the sect that can win political power.
The mere state of being without funds is a neutral fact- constitutionally an irrelevance, like race, creed, or color.
The most odious of all oppressions are those which mask as justice.
The price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
The priceless heritage of our society is the unrestricted constitutional right of each member to think as he will. Thought control is a copyright of totalitarianism, and we have no claim to it.
The validity of a doctrine does not depend on whose ox it gores.
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.
There is no such thing as an achieved liberty; like electricity, there can be no substantial storage and it must be generated as it is enjoyed, or the lights go out.
Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.
We can afford no liberties with liberty itself.
We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes.
We could justify any censorship only when the censors are better shielded against error than the censored.
We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge u
We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority.
When the (U.S. Supreme) Court moved to Washington in 1800, it was provided with no books, which probably accounts for the high quality of early opinions.
While the Declaration was directed against an excess of authority, the Constitution was directed against anarchy.
Found 31 occurence(s) in 51,796 quotation(s).