"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither." Thomas Jefferson

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We the People Quotes

Unit 1

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” Thomas Jefferson


“In a democratic society legislatures, not courts, are constituted to respond to the will and consequently the moral values of the people.” Chief Justice Warren Burger Furman v. Georgia 1972
“Our nation...has thrived on the principle that, outside areas of plainly harmful conduct, every American is left to shape his own life as he thinks best, do what he pleased, go where he pleases.” Justice William. O Douglas, 1958
“Our nation...has thrived on the principle that, outside areas of plainly harmful conduct, every American is left to shape his own life as he thinks best, do what he pleased, go where he pleases.” Justice William. O. Douglas, 1958
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“The natural process of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
“...in a constitutional government, those who posses arms are the citizens.” Aristotle
“You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments rights that can not be repealed...by human law.” John Adams
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” J.F. Kennedy
“Why do we love this trial by jury? It prevents the hand of oppression from cutting yours off.” Patrick Henry
“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist

“Religion, morality, and knowledge, (are) necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Northwest Ordinance 1787

“A city (state) can be virtuous only when the citizens who have a share in the government are virtuous and in our state all the citizens share in the government.” Aristotle Politics and Poetics
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln
“It is universally admitted that a well instructed people alone can be a permanently free people.” James Madison 1822
“If tyranny rest on fear, a government must rest on civic virtue.” Montesquieu
“Such natural rights as society takes from the individual in order to protect him in the enjoyment of his more important rights.” L.L. Nunn
“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.” Hubert Humphrey
“We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Ben Franklin
“The form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.” John Adams
“The man who can right himself by a vote will seldom resort to a musket.” James Fennimore Cooper
“It all goes to prove what a strangely perverse creature the American citizen is. Refuse him the right to vote, and he would take up arms to wrest it from his rulers. But give this right to him freely, and he tucks it way in moth balls.” James Monroe
“Nothing is more important for public welfare than to form and train our youth in wisdom and virtue.” Ben Franklin

You require that a man shall have sixty dollars worth of property, or he shall not vote. Very well, take an illustration. Here is a man who today owns a jackass, and the jackass is worth sixty dollars. Today the man is a voter and he goes to the polls and deposits his vote. Tomorrow the jackass dies. The next day the man comes to vote without his jackass and he cannot vote at all. Now tell me, which was the voter, the man or the jackass? (Story of Thomas Paine, 1737-1809)

“Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison
“To refine and enlarge the public view by passing them through a medium of a chosen body. James Madison, Federalists Paper 10
“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate ruler of our democracy are not...government officials, but the voters of this country.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down justice.” Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” Abraham Lincoln, 1861.
“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1854.
“A man without a vote is in this land like a man without a hand.” Henry Ward Beecher, 1887.
“Where annual elections end, there slavery begins.” John Adams, 1776.
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy, 1963
"An unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates
"No evil can happen to a good man." Socrates

Unit 2

“Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted, but when criminal trials are fair.” Justice William. O. Douglas

“In a democratic society legislatures, not courts, are constituted to respond to the will and consequently the moral values of the people.” Chief Justice warren Burger Furman v. Georgia 1972
“(We...regard) him who takes no part in these duties not as unambiguous but as useless.” Pericles 5th century referring to Athens
“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few and they will oppress the many.” Alexander Hamilton
“There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money.” Ben Franklin, 1787.
“From the nature of men, we may be sure that those who have power in their hands will always when they can...increase it.” George Mason
“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections of human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this; you must first enable the government to control governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on government but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison Federalist 51
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“The natural process of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

“Why do we love this trial by jury? It prevents the hand of oppression from cutting yours off.” Patrick Henry

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist
“The King himself ought not to be under man but under God, and under the Law, because the Law makes the King.” Henry de Bracton 1260 The father of English Law
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln
“Such natural rights as society takes from the individual in order to protect him in the enjoyment of his more important rights.” L.L. Nunn
“Experience in all the states has evinced a powerful tendency in the Legislature to absorb all power into its vortex.” James Madison
“We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Ben Franklin
“The form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.” John Adams
“In a matter of conscience, the power of majority has no place.” Morhandas Ghandi
“Our society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when an accused is treated unfairly.” Unknown Judge
“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” James Madison Federalist #51
“I feel more harm from everybody thinking alike than from some people thinking otherwise.” Charles G. Bolte
“Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison

"political parties who accuse the one in power of gobbling the spoils are like the wolf who looked in at the door and saw the shepherds eating mutton and said, "oh certainly— it's alright as long as it's you—but there'd be hell to pay if I was to do that." Mark Twain

"It could be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." Mark Twain
"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain
"Look at tyranny of party—at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty—a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes—and which turns voters into chattel, slaves, and rabbits." Mark Twain
"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above a monkey's." Mark Twain
Unit 3

“From the nature of men, we may be sure that those who have power in their hands will always when they can...increase it.” George Mason


“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections of human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this; you must first enable the government to control governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on government but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison Federalist #51
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“...in a constitutional government, those who posses arms are the citizens.” Aristotle

“Why do we love this trial by jury? It prevents the hand of oppression from cutting yours off.” Patrick Henry


“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln

“Experience in all the states has evinced a powerful tendency in the Legislature to absorb all power into its vortex.” James Madison

“In a matter of conscience, the power of majority has no place.” Morhandas Ghandi
“Our society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when an accused is treated unfairly.” Unknown Judge
“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” James Madison Federalist #51
“I feel more harm from everybody thinking alike than from some people thinking otherwise.” Charles G. Bolte
“Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison

"To say that parliament is absolute and arbitrary is a contradiction. The Parliament cannot make 2 and 2 equal 5... Parliaments are in all cases to declare what is good for the whole; but it is not the declaration that makes it so. There must be in every instance a higher authority." James Otis (a flaming patriot who railed against writs of assistance and wrote The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, 1764)


"In declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution is first mentioned; and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution, have that rank." Chief Justice John Marshall in his decision in Marbury v. Madison, 1803, noting the significance of the supremacy clause, Art. VI,
"If I had to be in a (political) party to get to heaven I wouldn't go." Thomas Jefferson
"Political parties are inimical (unfavorable) to the common good." James Madison

“You see...to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional question; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William Jarvis 1820. You could memorize the last line. It’s easy enough and short.

“The power vested in the American courts of justice of pronouncing a statue to be unconstitutional forms one of the most powerful barriers that have ever been devised against the tyranny of political assemblies.” Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840.
Unit 4

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” Thomas Jefferson


“(We...regard) him who takes no part in these duties not as unambiguous but as useless.” Pericles 5th century referring to Athens
“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few and they will oppress the many.” Alexander Hamilton
“There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money.” Ben Franklin, 1787.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We’re all in this together, we all have to change. There’s no them and us in America. Just us.” Bill Clinton Spring 1992
“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln
“It is universally admitted that a well instructed people alone can be a permanently free people.” J. Madison 1822
“In a matter of conscience, the power of majority has no place.” Morhandas Ghandi
“The man who can right himself by a vote will seldom resort to a musket.” James Fennimore Cooper

“It all goes to prove what a strangely perverse creature the American citizen is. refuse him the right to vote, and he would take up arms to wrest it from his rulers. But give this right to him freely, and he tucks it way in moth balls.” James Monroe

“Our society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when an accused is treated unfairly.” Unknown Judge
“You require that a man shall have sixty dollars worth of property, or he shall not vote. Very well, take an illustration. Here is a man who today owns a jackass, and the jackass is worth sixty dollars. Today the man is a voter and he goes to the polls and deposits his vote. Tomorrow the jackass dies. The next day the man comes to vote without his jackass and he cannot vote at all. Now tell me, which was the voter, the man or the jackass? (Story of Thomas Paine, 1737-1809)
“Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy
“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate ruler of our democracy are not...government officials, but the voters of this country.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944.
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down justice. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965.
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” Abraham Lincoln, 1861.
“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1854.
“A man without a vote is in this land like a man without a hand.” Henry Ward Beecher, 1887
“Where annual elections end, there slavery begins.” John Adams, 1776
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy, 1963

"But it is insisted that the safety of the country in a time of war demand that this broad claim for martial law (Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus) shall be sustained. If this were true, it could be well said that a country, preserved at the sacrifice of all the cardinal principles of liberty, is not worth the cost of preservation. Happily it is not so." Justice Davis's opinion against Lincoln in ex parte Milligan, 1866.

“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead v. US, 1928.
“Crime is contagious. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself… To declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal would bring terrible retribution.” Brandeis again in Olmstead.
“America should go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy… She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.” John Q. Adams in an address in Washington DC to celebrate the 4th of July, 1821.
“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates.” Federalist Papers #8
“The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime president.” FDR’s Attorney General, Francis Biddle writing in 1962.
“He who does battle with monsters needs to watch out lest he in the process becomes a monster himself. And if you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss will stare right back at you.” F. Nietzshe in Beyond Good and Evil.
“To combat this new threat we will have to go to the dark side.” VP Dick Cheney on Meet The Press.


Unit 5

“Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted, but when criminal trials are fair.” Justice William. O. Douglas


“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” Thomas Jefferson

3. “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Ben Franklin

“Freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of truth.” Justice Brandeis
“(We...regard) him who takes no part in these duties not as unambiguous but as useless.” Pericles 5th century referring to Athens
“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few and they will oppress the many.” Alexander Hamilton
“There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money.” Ben Franklin. 1787.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“I may detest what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire
“...in a constitutional government, those who posses arms are the citizens.” Aristotle
“A mans house is his castle.” Sir Edward Coke British Jurist
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Free thought and speech are the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.” Justice Cardozo
“Searches with nonspecific warrants were “the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.” Justice Wm. Brennan referring to the 4th Amendment.
“The Fifth is a lone sure rock in time of storm...a symbol of the ultimate moral sense of the community...” Erwin Griswold Dean of Harvard Law School
“Why do we love this trial by jury? It prevents the hand of oppression from cutting yours off.” Patrick Henry
“The calculated killing of a human being by the State involves a denial of the executed person’s humanity.” Justice Brennan
“An unjust law is no law at all.” St. Augustine

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist

“Religion, morality, and knowledge, (are) necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Northwest Ordinance 1787
“One of the great glories of democracy is the right to protest for right.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln
“In a matter of conscience, the power of majority has no place.” Morhandas Ghandi
“It is better that ten guilty person’s escape than one innocent person suffer.” Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780)
“Our society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when an accused is treated unfairly.” Unknown Judge
“In Germany the Nazis came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Attributed to Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984)
“I feel more harm from everybody thinking alike than from some people thinking otherwise.” Charles G. Bolte

“Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition...But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (joined by Associate Justice Louis Brandeis) in the U.S. Supreme Court case Abrams v. U.S. (1919).

Second Amendment.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” –Thomas Jefferson
“I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people...to disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them...” George Mason
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves from tyranny of government” Thomas Jefferson
“Firearms are next in importance to the Constitution itself...[as the] American people’s liberty teeth...they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” –George Washington
“The Constitutional shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” –Samuel Adams
"None but the dead have free speech. None but the dead are permitted to speak the truth. In America- as elsewhere-free speech is confined to the dead." Mark Twain


Unit 6

“If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” Justice Brandeis, 1928.

“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections of human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on government but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison Federalist #51

“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections of human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this; you must first enable the government to control governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on government but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison Federalist #51
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke British statesman who supported the American Revolution
“The natural process of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” J.F. Kennedy
“Justice delayed is justice denied.” Unknown Jurist
“Religion, morality, and knowledge, (are) necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Northwest Ordinance 1787
“A city (state) can be virtuous only when the citizens who have a share in the government are virtuous and in our state all the citizens share in the government.” Aristotle Politics and Poetics
“Let the people know the facts and the country will be saved.” Abraham Lincoln
“It is universally admitted that a well instructed people alone can be a permanently free people.” James Madison 1822
“If tyranny rest on fear, a government must rest on civic virtue.” Montesquieu
“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.” Hubert Humphrey

“The form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.” John Adams
“The man who can right himself by a vote will seldom resort to a musket.” James Fennimore Cooper
“It all goes to prove what a strangely perverse creature the American citizen is. refuse him the right to vote, and he would take up arms to wrest it from his rulers. But give this right to him freely, and he tucks it way in moth balls.” James Monroe
“Nothing is more important for public welfare than to form and train our youth in wisdom and virtue.” Ben Franklin
“You require that a man shall have sixty dollars worth of property, or he shall not vote. Very well, take an illustration. Here is a man who today owns a jackass, and the jackass is worth sixty dollars. Today the man is a voter and he goes to the polls and deposits his vote. Tomorrow the jackass dies. The next day the man comes to vote without his jackass and he cannot vote at all. Now tell me, which was the voter, the man or the jackass? (Story of Thomas Paine, 1737-1809)
“In Germany the Nazis came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Attributed to Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984)
“I feel more harm from everybody thinking alike than from some people thinking otherwise.” Charles G. Bolte
“Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate ruler of our democracy are not...government officials, but the voters of this country.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down justice. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets. Abraham Lincoln, 1861
“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1854
“A man without a vote is in this land like a man without a hand.” Henry Ward Beecher, 1887
“Where annual elections end, there slavery begins.” John Adams, 1776
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy, 1963

Miscellaneous Quotes

“Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the liberty Bell


“Freedom to walk, stroll, or loaf.” Justice Wm. O. Douglas
“Instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any action at all.” Pericles 431 B.C.
“The road to enlightenment begins with knowledge.” Commercial for Murphy’s Oil Soap
"Only when a republic's Life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time." Mark Twain
"It is not worthwhile to try and keep history from repeating itself, for a man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible." Mark Twain
"Tyranny begins where 1 year limit on term ends." John Adams
"the vigor of government essential for the protection of liberty." Federalists #1

"I came to America to learn how to make democracy safe for the world." Tocqueville

"We must make the world safe for democracy." Woodrow Wilson
"Make the Constitution fit the people." Aristotle
"Federalism-simply a vertical distribution of power." Dr. Larry Gerston
“Success is never final.” Winston Churchill
“When the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” Kikuyu proverb
“We must either find a way or make one.” Hannibal
“Man’s mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes


“Great men are meteors designed to burn so that the earth may be lighted.” Napoleon
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer everybody else up.” Mark Twain
“Success has ruined many a man.” Ben Franklin
“The moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” James Baldwin
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln
“Ain’t no chance if you don’t take it.” Guy Clark
“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” John Locke
“If he works for you, you work for him.” Japanese proverb
“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.” Joe E. Lewis
“It is a very bad thing to become accustomed to good luck.” Publius Syrus
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“The things which hurt, instruct.” Benjamin Franklin
“It ain’t what you eat, but the way how you chew it.” Delbert McClinton
“The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.” Lao-Tsu
“In war there is no substitute for victory.” Douglas MacArthur
“To appreciate heaven well, ‘tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.” Will Carleton
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” Samuel Johnson

“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.” Vincent Van Gogh
“Duty cannot exist without faith.” Benjamin Disraeli
“It’s like making love to a gorilla. You don’t quit when you are tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired.” Anonymous
“Men’s faults do seldom to themselves appear.” William Shakespeare
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Martin Luther King Jr.

"Power never concedes anything without a demand. It never has and it never will." Frederick Douglass

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Wendell Phillips, noted abolitionist

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. . . ." Judge Learned Hand

"'I beseech ye . . . , think that ye may be mistaken.' I should like to have that written over the portals of every church, every school, and every courthouse, and, may I say, of every legislative body in the United States. I should like to have every court begin, 'I beseech ye . . . , think that we may be mistaken.'" Judge Learned Hand

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." Thomas Paine

"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." Justice Robert H. Jackson, for the majority in West Virginia State Board of Ed. v. Barnette, 1943.

"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy . . . and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." Justice Robert H. Jackson, for the majority in West Virginia State Board of Ed. v. Barnette, 1943.

"I believe there are more instances of abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison

"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." James Madison

"The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad." James Madison

"It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. . . . History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly, at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end." Justice Felix Frankfurter

"Republics, one after another . . . have perished from a want of intelligence and virtue in the masses of the people. . . ." Horace Mann

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish. . . ." Thomas Jefferson

"The devotion of democracy to education is a familiar fact. . . . [A] government resting upon popular suffrage cannot be successful unless those who elect . . . their governors are educated." John Dewey

"That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason." Justice Robert H. Jackson, from his opening statement as Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.

"Justice will not come . . . until those who are not injured are as indignant as those who are." Thucydides

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.

"Equal justice under law is not just a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building. . . . It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status." Justice Lewis Powell Jr.

"So long as we do not harm others we should be free to think, speak, act, and live as we see fit, without molestation from individuals, law, or government. . . ." John Stuart Mill

"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement." Thomas Jefferson

"The makers of our Constitution . . . conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone - the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." Justice Louis Brandeis

"To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds." Justice Robert H. Jackson

"Words uttered under coercion are proof of loyalty to nothing but self-interest. Love of country must spring from willing hearts and free minds." Justice Hugo Black

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. . . . We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men - not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. . . . [W]e cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R. Murrow

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." Adlai E. Stevenson


“I am one of a small number of judges, small number of anybody — judges, professors, lawyers — who are known as originalists. Our manner of interpreting the Constitution is to begin with the text, and to give that text the meaning that it bore when it was adopted by the people. I’m not a “strict constructionist,” despite the introduction. I don’t like the term “strict construction.” I do not think the Constitution, or any text should be interpreted either strictly or sloppily; it should be interpreted reasonably. Many of my interpretations do not deserve the description “strict.” I do believe, however, that you give the text the meaning it had when it was adopted.

That was step one. Step two, I mean, that will only get you so far. There is no text in the Constitution that you could reinterpret to create a right to abortion, for example. So you need something else. The something else is called the doctrine of “Substantive Due Process.” Only lawyers can walk around talking about substantive process, in as much as it’s a contradiction in terms. If you referred to substantive process or procedural substance at a cocktail party, people would look at you funny. But, lawyers talk this way all the time.” Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the following remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2005.


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