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.— Robert H. Jackson
The most sensational Robert H. Jackson quotes that will add value to your life
It is not the function of government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
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.
In our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds - that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous.
Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.
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.
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy. One's right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly may not be submitted to vote; they depend on no elections.
Reversal by a higher court is not proof that justice is thereby better done.
There is no doubt that if there were a super-Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of our reversals of state courts would also be reversed. We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.
I see no reason why I should be consciously wrong today because I was unconsciously wrong yesterday.
If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.
Intellectual freedom means the right to re-examine much that has been long taken for granted. A free man must be a reasoning man, and he must dare doubt what a legislative or electoral majority may most passionately assert.
One's right to life, liberty, and property depends on the outcome of no election.
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 most odious of all oppressions are those which mask as justice.
The very purpose of a bill of rights is to withdraw certain subjects from.
..political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities.
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.
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.
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.
We are not final because we are infallible, but infallible only because we are final.
Education should be a lifelong process, the formal period serving as a foundation on which life's structure may rest and rise.
Had the jury convicted on proper instructions it would be the end of the matter.
But juries are not bound by what seems inescapable logic to judges.
Perhaps you have heard about the college executives who were discussing what they wanted to do after retirement age. One hoped to run a prison or school of correction so that the alumni would never come back to visit. Another chose to manage an orphan asylum so that he would not be plagued with advice from parents.
Our people do not want barren theories from their democracy.
Maury Maverick has expressed very quaintly, but clearly, what they really want when he says: 'We Americans want to talk, pray, think as we please and eat regular'.
When the Supreme Court moved to Washington in 1800, it was provided with no books, which probably accounts for the high quality of early opinions.
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.
The power of citizenship as a shield against oppression was widely known from the example of Paul 's Roman citizenship, which sent the centurion scurrying to his higher-ups with the message: "Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman".
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.
The physical power to get the money does not seem to me a test of the right to tax. Might does not make right even in taxation. To hold that what the use of official authority may get the state may keep, and that if it cannot get hold of a nonresident stockholder it may hold the company as hostage for him, is strange constitutional doctrine to me.
While the Nation has forbidden monopoly by one set of laws it has been creating them by another. Patent laws, valuable as they may be in some respects, often father monopoly.
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.
A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man's comfort and inspiration is another's jest and scorn.
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.
Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.
I do not know whether it is the view of the Court that a judge must be thick-skinned or just thick-headed, but nothing in my experience or observation confirms the idea that he is insensitive to publicity. Who does not prefer good to ill report of his work? And if fame a good public name is, as Milton said, the "last infirmity of noble mind", it is frequently the first infirmity of a mediocre one.
It is hardly lack of due process for the Government to regulate that which it subsidizes.
The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power.
Due process requires some definite link, some minimum connection, between a state and the person, property or transaction it seeks to tax.
But the validity of a doctrine does not depend on whose ox it gores.
We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.
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.
Of course, such judicial misconstruction theoretically can be cured by constitutional amendment. But the period of gestation of a constitutional amendment, or of any law reform, is reckoned in decades usually; in years, at least. And, after all, as the Court itself asserted in overruling the minimum-wage cases, it may not be the Constitution that was at fault.
If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.
It is possible to hold a faith with enough confidence to believe that what should be rendered to God does not need to be decided and collected by Caesar.
Any court which undertakes by its legal processes to enforce civil liberties needs the support of an enlightened and vigorous public opinion which will be intelligent and discriminating as to what cases really are civil liberties cases and what questions really are involved in those cases.
We can afford no liberties with liberty itself.
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.
In this court the parties changed positions as nimbly as if dancing a quadrille.
The petitioner's problem is to avoid Scylla without being drawn into Charybdis.
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.