Freedom of movement is the very essence of our free society -- once the right to travel is curtailed, all other rights suffer.

— William O. Douglas

The most charming William O. Douglas quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government.

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Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.

62

To be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

52

Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.

50

Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?

45

When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional right to free speech, it acts lawlessly; and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.

40

Those in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation.

37

The function of the prosecutor under the federal Constitution is not to tack as many skins of victims as possible against the wall. His function is to vindicate the rights of the people as expressed in the laws and give those accused of crime a fair trial.

31

The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do.

They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.

30

I do not know of any salvation for society except through eccentrics, misfits, dissenters, people who protest.

23

Tell the FBI that the kidnappers should pick out a judge that Nixon wants back.

20

The Second Amendment reveals a profound principle of American government - the principle of civilian ascendency over the military.

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About William O. Douglas

Quotes 131 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Judge
Birthday October 16

The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.

16

It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

15

A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.

14

We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily.

We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.

13

The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of government suppression of embarrassing information.

12

No matter what the legislature may say, a man has the right to make his speech, print his handbill, compose his newspaper, and deliver his sermon without asking anyone's permission. The contrary suggestion is abhorrent to our traditions.

11

There have always been grievances and youth has always been the agitator.

11

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

10

Power that controls the economy should be in the hands of elected representatives of the people, not in the hands of an industrial oligarchy.

10

Acceptance by government of a dissident press is a measure of the maturity of a nation.

9

The day should come when all of the forms of life.

.. will stand before the court - the pileated woodpecker as well as the coyote and bear, the lemmings as well as the trout in the streams.

9

The Arctic has a call that is compelling.

The distant mountains [of the Brooks Range in Alaska] make one want to go on and on over the next ridge and over the one beyond. The call is that of a wilderness known only to a few...This last American wilderness must remain sacrosanct.

9

Security can only be achieved through constant change, through discarding old ideas that have outlived their usefulness and adapting others to current facts.

8

It is better, so the Fourth Amendment teaches us, that the guilty sometimes go free than the citizens be subject to easy arrest.

6

The most important aspect of freedom of speech is freedom to learn.

All education is a continuous dialogue - questions and answers that pursue every problem on the horizon. That is the essence of academic freedom.

6

Our upside down welfare state is socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor.

6

The Court's great power is its ability to educate, to provide moral leadership.

6

We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights-older than our political parties, older than our school system.

6

The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.

6

My faith is that the only soul a man must save is his own.

6

I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure.

. . . It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security.

5

Thus if the First Amendment means anything in this field, it must allow protests even against the moral code that the standard of the day sets for the community. In other words, literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.

5

The censor is always quick to justify his function in terms that are protective of society. But the First Amendment, written in terms that are absolute, deprives the States of any power to pass on the value, the propriety, or the morality of a particular expression.

5

I would rather create a precedent than find one.

4

Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.

4

No patent medicine was ever put to wider and more varied use than the Fourteenth Amendment.

4

The concept of the public welfare is broad and inclusive .

.. the values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as well as monetary. It is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community should be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, well balanced as well as carefully patroled.

3

The law is not a series of calculating machines where answers come tumbling out when the right levers are pushed.

3

The First Amendment makes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgement the great postulate of our democracy.

3

Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred.

3

The first opinion the Court ever filed has a dissenting opinion.

Dissent is a tradition of this Court... When someone is writing for the Court, he hopes to get eight others to agree with him, so many of the majority opinions are rather stultified.

3

Effective self-government cannot succeed unless the people are immersed in a steady, robust, unimpeded, and uncensored flow of opinion and reporting which are continuously subjected to critique, rebuttal, and reexamination.

3

If discrimination based on race is constitutionally permissible when those who hold the reins can come up with "compelling" reasons to justify it, then constitutional guarantees acquire an accordion-like quality.

3

World federation is an ideal that will not die.

More and more people are coming to realize that peace must be more than an interlude if we are to survive; that peace is a produce of law and order; that law is essential if the force of arms is not to rule the world.

3

Christianity has sufficient inner strength to survive and flourish on its own.

It does not need state subsidies, nor state privileges, nor state prestige. The more it obtains state support the greater it curtails human freedom.

3

The First and Fourteenth Amendments say that Congress and the States shall make "no law" which abridges freedom of speech or of the press. In order to sanction a system of censorship I would have to say that "no law" does not mean what it says, that "no law" is qualified to mean "some" laws. I cannot take this step.

3

The right to dissent is the only thing that makes life tolerable for a judge of an appellate court... the affairs of government could not be conducted by democratic standards without it.

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