Sunday, October 08, 2006

William O. Douglas

The longest sitting Supreme Court Justice had more than a few things to say about the way the country is, and should be. Here are some examples.

- As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

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

- When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional rights is 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.

- An arrest is not justified by what the subsequent search discloses.

- The framers of the Constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They had lived in dangerous days; they 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.

- 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.

- Whatever the reason, words mean what they say.

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

2 comments:

Matthew said...

Quite profound. Oh, to possess a mind that sharp...

Elvez73 said...

Douglas has to be the sharpest mind that ever sat on the court, your post I think may prove that.