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

William O. Douglas on justice
16

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

William O. Douglas on authority
3

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

William O. Douglas on freedom
2

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.

William O. Douglas on rapidly
2

The constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.

William O. Douglas on government
2

The truth is that a vast restructuring of our society is needed if remedies are to become available to the average person. Without that restructuring the good will that holds society together will be slowly dissipated. It is that sense of futility which permeates the present series of protests and dissents. Where there is a persistent sense of futility, there is violence; and that is where we are today.

William O. Douglas on truth
1

The critical point is that the Constitution places the right of silence beyond the reach of government.

William O. Douglas on constitution
1

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.

William O. Douglas on angrily
1

The 5th Amendment is an old friend and a good friend.

one of the great landmarks in men's struggle to be free of tyranny, to be decent and civilized.

William O. Douglas on amendment
1

Man is about to be an automaton; he is identifiable only in the computer. As a person of worth and creativity, as a being with an infinite potential, he retreats and battles the forces that make him inhuman. The dissent we witness is a reaffirmation of faith in man; it is protest against living under rules and prejudices and attitudes that produce the extremes of wealth and poverty and that make us dedicated to the destruction of people through arms, bombs, and gases, and that prepare us to think alike and be submissive objects for the regime of the computer.

William O. Douglas on man
0

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

William O. Douglas on censor
0

The search for static security -- in the law and elsewhere -- is misguided.

The fact is security can only be achieved through constant change, adapting old ideas that have outlived their usefulness to current facts.

William O. Douglas on change
0

About William O. Douglas

Name William O. Douglas
Quotes 38 quotations
Nationality American
Profession Judge
Birthday October 16
About WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS was born in Maine, Minnesota, on October 16, 1898, and raised in Yakima, Washington. He entered Whitman College in 1916, but his studies were interrupted by military service in World War I. Douglas was graduated from Whitman in 1920 and taught school for two years before attending law school at Columbia University.
Top topics people, free, life, freedom, censor

Ive often thought that if our zoning boards could be put in charge of botanists, of zoologists and geologists, and people who know about the earth, we would have much more wisdom in such planning than we have when we leave it to the engineers.

William O. Douglas on ive
0

We do not sit as a superlegislature to weigh the wisdom of legislation.

William O. Douglas on legislation
0

One aspect of modern life which has gone far to stifle men is the rapid growth of tremendous corporations. Enormous spiritual sacrifices are made in the transformation of shopkeepers into employees. The disappearance of free enterprise has led to a submergence of the individual in the impersonal corporation in much the same manner as he has been submerged in the state in other lands.

William O. Douglas on aspect
0

The use of violence as an instrument of persuasion is therefore inviting and seems to the discontented to be the only effective protest.

William O. Douglas on violence
0

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

William O. Douglas on history
0

The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.

William O. Douglas on deep
0

One who comes to the Court must come to adore, not to protest.

That's the new gloss on the 1st Amendment.

William O. Douglas on history
0

It seemed to me that I had barely reached the Court when people were trying to get me off.

William O. Douglas on barely
0

We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.

William O. Douglas on institutions
0

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.

William O. Douglas on censorship
0

The purpose of the University of Washington cannot be to produce black lawyers for blacks, Polish lawyers for Poles, Jewish lawyers for Jews, Irish lawyers for Irish. It should be to produce good lawyers for Americans and not to place First Amendment barriers against anyone.

William O. Douglas on purpose
0

Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter.

The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance.

William O. Douglas on politics
0

We must realize that todays Establishment is the new George III.

Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.

William O. Douglas on revolution
0

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.

William O. Douglas on protest
0

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

William O. Douglas on amendment
0

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.

William O. Douglas on privacy
0

The association promotes a way of life, not causes;

a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in any prior decisions.

William O. Douglas on association
0

Any test that turns on what is offensive to the communitys standards is too loose, too capricious, too destructive of freedom of expression to be squared with the First Amendment. Under that test, juries can censor, suppress, and punish what they dont like, provided the matter relates to sexual impurity or has a tendency to excite lustful thoughts. This is community censorship in one of its worst forms. It creates a regime where in the battle between the literati and the Philistines, the Philistines are certain to win.

William O. Douglas on test
0

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

William O. Douglas on anniversary
0

Common sense often makes good law.

William O. Douglas on common
0

The great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution of way of life, or say and so things that make people think.

William O. Douglas on speech
0

The privacy and dignity of our citizens are being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a person's life.

William O. Douglas on privacy
0

The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.

William O. Douglas on liberties
0

Those who already walk submissively will say there is no cause for alarm.

But submissiveness is not our heritage. The First Amendment was designed to allow rebellion to remain as our heritage. The Constitution was designed to keep government off the backs of the people. The Bill of Rights was added to keep the precincts of belief and expression, of the press, of political and social activities free from surveillance. The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government.

William O. Douglas on government
0

Violence has no constitutional sanction;

and every government from the beginning has moved against it. But where grievances pile high and most of the elected spokesmen represent the Establishment, violence may be the only effective response.

William O. Douglas on violence
0

At the constitutional level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.

William O. Douglas on constitutional
0