Supreme Court Quotes

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And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.
Jay Leno
When I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer - even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don't have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman's right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief - I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper - that makes this country work.
Barack Obama
More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of fifty states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to 1.5 million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will some day pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.
Ronald Reagan
My biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing separation of the ethical and the legal
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest JP court in the land, or this honourable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Today, no less than five Supreme Court justices are on record, either through their opinions or speeches (or both), that they will consult foreign law and foreign-court rulings for guidance in certain circumstances. Of course, policymakers are free to consult whatever they want, but not justices. They're limited to the Constitution and the law.
Mark R. Levin
I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can't imagine someone else's point of view.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself. Know that a well-honed sense of justice is a measure of personal experience, and all experience is a measure of self. Know that the highest expression of justice is mercy. Thus, as the supreme judge in your own court, you must have compassion for yourself. Otherwise, cede your gavel.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Ideally, the umpire should combine the integrity of a Supreme Court judge, the physical agility of an acrobat, the endurance of Job and the imperturbability of Buddha.
Time-Life Books
A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted.
Robert B. Reich
So here we have found a means of a) alienating even the most flexible and patient Palestinians; while b) frustrating the efforts of the more principled and compromising Israelis; while c) empowering and financing some of the creepiest forces in American and Israeli society; and d) heaping ordure on our own secular founding documents. When will the Justice Department and the Congress and the Supreme Court become aware of this huge and rank offense, which is designed to bring us ever nearer to holy war?
Christopher Hitchens
But in both instances, the dissemination of the information diluted its power. As Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once wrote, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Nothing raises the national temperature more than a VACANCY sign hanging from the colonnaded front of the Supreme Court.
Christopher Buckley (Supreme Courtship)
The Supreme Court has now closed the courthouse doors to claims of racial bias at every stage of the criminal justice process, from stops and searches to plea bargaining and sentencing. The system of mass incarceration is now, for all practical purposes, thoroughly immunized from claims of racial bias.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.
William Howard Taft
Judicial activists are nothing short of radicals in robes--contemptuous of the rule of law, subverting the Constitution at will, and using their public trust to impose their policy preferences on society. In fact, no radical political movement has been more effective in undermining our system of government than the judiciary. And with each Supreme Court term, we hold our collective breath hoping the justices will do no further damage, knowing full well they will disappoint. Such is the nature of judicial tyranny.
Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How Judges are Destroying America)
Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important than women, as a group.
Anita Hill (Speaking Truth to Power)
Fight for the things you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you. - Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice, New York Times
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
But gay marriage is coming to America first and foremost because marriage here is a secular concern, not a religious one. The objection to gay marriage is almost invariably biblical, but nobody's legal vows in this country are defined by interpretation of biblical verse - or at least, not since the Supreme Court stood up for Richard and Mildred Loving. A church wedding ceremony is a nice thing, but it is neither required for legal marriage in America nor does it constitute legal marriage in America. What constitutes legal marriage in this country is that critical piece of paper that you and your betrothed must sign and then register with the state. The morality of your marriage may indeed rest between you and God, but it's that civic and secular paperwork which makes your vows official here on earth. Ultimately, then, it is the business of America's courts, not America's churches, to decide the rules of matrimonial law, and it is in those courts that the same-sex marriage debate will finally be settled.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Not a thousand years ago, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Not a thousand years ago, the Supreme Court decided that separate could not be equal. And today, as we sit here, no one is learning anything in this country. You see a nation which is the leader of the rest of the world, that had to pay the price of that ticket, and the price of that ticket is we're sitting in the most illiterate nation in the world. THE MOST ILLITERATE NATION IN THE WORLD. A monument to illiteracy. And if you doubt me, all you have to do is spend a day in Washington. I am serious as a heart attack.
James Baldwin (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings)
But before a computer became an inanimate object, and before Mission Control landed in Houston; before Sputnik changed the course of history, and before the NACA became NASA; before the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Langley’s West Computers were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research, and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female.
Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race)
The best way to get quiet, other than the combination of extensive therapy, Prozac, and a lobotomy, is first to notice that the station is on. KFKD [K-Fucked] is on every single morning when I sit down at my desk. So I sit for a moment and then say a small prayer--please help me get out of the way so I can write what wants to be written. Sometimes ritual quiets the racket. Try it. Any number of things may work for you--an altar, for instance, or votive candles, sage smudges, small-animal sacrifices, especially now that the Supreme Court has legalized them.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
The ages of individual Supreme Court Justices were of significant concern to Zack, as were the nominations President John would make if these elderly Supreme Court Justices retired or passed away. Zack smiled to himself and wished the justices good health and long life.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Justice (Zachary Blake Betrayal #2))
I was harder to pin down, but I knew him when I saw him. Like the Supreme Court and pornography, I was aware.
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through fifty-six years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court of the United States. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (My Own Words)
This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I’ve never stolen anything. Never cheated on my taxes or at cards. Never snuck into the movies or failed to give back the extra change to a drugstore cashier indifferent to the ways of mercantilism and minimum-wage expectations. I’ve never burgled a house. Held up a liquor store. Never boarded a crowded bus or subway car, sat in a seat reserved for the elderly, pulled out my gigantic penis and masturbated to satisfaction with a perverted, yet somehow crestfallen, look on my face. But here I am, in the cavernous chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, my car illegally and somewhat ironically parked on Constitution Avenue, my hands cuffed and crossed behind my back, my right to remain silent long since waived and said goodbye to as I sit in a thickly padded chair that, much like this country, isn’t quite as comfortable as it looks.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
As heirs to a legacy more than two centuries old, it is understandable why present-day Americans would take their own democracy for granted. A president freely chosen from a wide-open field of two men every four years; a Congress with a 99% incumbency rate; a Supreme Court comprised of nine politically appointed judges whose only oversight is the icy scythe of Death -- all these reveal a system fully capable of maintaining itself. But our perfect democracy, which neither needs nor particularly wants voters, is a rarity. It is important to remember there still exist other forms of government in the world today, and that dozens of foreign countries still long for a democracy such as ours to be imposed on them.
Jon Stewart (America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction)
Some current critics of the U.S. Supreme Court like to point out that it does not allow the Ten Commandments, though written upon the walls of its own chambers, to be displayed in public schools. But where do we find churches, right or left, that put them on their walls? The Ten Commandments really aren’t very popular anywhere. This is so in spite of the fact that even a fairly general practice of them would lead to a solution of almost every problem of meaning and order now facing Western societies. They are God’s best information on how to lead a basically decent human existence.
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
The president is selling the country down the river with the help of the Supreme Court. Agree with us or you are a marked traitor. You know the sort of thing, all that tiresome pea-brained nonsense that attracts those people who are so dim-witted that the only way they can understand the world is to believe that it is all some kind of conspiracy.
John D. MacDonald (A Deadly Shade of Gold: A Travis McGee Novel)
the polluters had triumphed by overturning the campaign-finance laws. “There was a huge change after Citizens United,” he contends. “When anyone could spend any amount of money without revealing who they were, by hiding behind amorphous-named organizations, the floodgates opened. The Supreme Court made a huge mistake. There is no accountability. Zero.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
It is myopic to base sweeping change on the narrow experience of a few years.
Antonin Scalia (Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice)
A written constitution is needed to protect values AGAINST prevailing wisdom.
Antonin Scalia (Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice)
You know that recent Supreme Court ruling where a husband can legally murder his wife if he can prove she wouldn’t under any circumstances give him a divorce?
Philip K. Dick (Ubik)
The President and the Congress are all very well in their way. They can say what they think they think, but it rests with the Supreme Court to decide what they have really thought.
Theodore Roosevelt
The Supreme Court of the United States is no longer a court of law. It is a forum of legal fad and fashion.
A.E. Samaan
Just like Supreme Court justices, we as a nation have avoided contemplating remedies because we’ve indulged in the comfortable delusion that our segregation has not resulted primarily from state action and so, we conclude, there is not much we are required to do about it. Because once entrenched, segregation is difficult to reverse, the easiest course is to ignore it.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
It is often forgotten today that Plessy v. Ferguson was not an isolated Supreme Court decision. In case after case, the Court reaffirmed and upheld the ability of states to enforce apartheid.
Erwin Chemerinsky (The Case Against the Supreme Court)
You cannot stand for civil rights + not support gay marriage. You cannot stand for human rights + not support gay marriage. It's that simple. Everywhere, the voice of the oppressed must echo + ring out or else it will be crushed by the tyranny of wickedness.
Bernard Schaffer
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall argued in another context many years later, the “grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
To restrict or legalize abortion, to allow or forbid gay marriage, a legislator would need to write and pass a law, get it signed by the president or a governor, and perhaps override a veto. A Supreme Court justice need only persuade four other people. If he or she is not internally constrained by the authority of a text, he or she is not constrained.
Michael J. Gerson
But “Trust Women” doesn’t mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision, not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court, chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
Katha Pollitt (Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights)
One year later, nearly three decades after Tesla began the fight, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that Marconi’s radio patents indeed infringed on Tesla’s and therefore declared Tesla as the true “father of radio.
Sean Patrick (Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century)
Our system was not set up to for the government to be able to do with a man's kingdom what they want. It was set up to protect that man's kingdom, to allow him to feel that his borders, no matter how great or small, would always be secure and that he would always be allowed to defend them. The Supreme Court took that right away with their eminent domain ruling back in 2005. The governments have taken advantage of that eminent domain ruling, and you, the media, have failed at protecting citizens.
Tit Elingtin (Eminent Domain)
if our rights are not unalienable, if they don’t come from a source higher than ourselves, then they’re malleable at the will of the state. This is a prescription for tyranny.
Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America)
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
John G. Roberts Jr.
The result always mattered more than the rhetoric.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
In many states, voters didn’t get to choose their own members of Congress. Members of Congress got to choose their own voters.
Ian Millhiser (Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted)
To invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decisionmaking, but sophistry.
Antonin Scalia (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
My involvement must be kept secret, no matter what, Rollie. Even if it backfires and you face prison or worse. Got it?” “You may count on me, Mr. President, as long as you promise to remember, you have the power to pardon criminals.” “Yes, I do, don’t I?” RonJohn snickers. “I almost forgot about my convenient little presidential power.” “We’ll see that the campaign gets a fresh and ample supply of cash. God bless the Supreme Court and Citizens United
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 5))
Sitting here on the steps of the Supreme Court smoking weed, under the “Equal Justice Under Law” motto, staring into the stars, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. It’s that all the buildings are more or less the same height and there’s absolutely no skyline, save for the Washington Monument touching the night sky like a giant middle finger to the world.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
I was a struggling single mom when my novel, The Forlorned, became a motion picture. I thought my life had turned around for the better until a convicted child molester sued me for trademark infringement over the word FORLORNED. Finally, after three long years of legal proceedings, the US Supreme Court sided with me. Always stand up and fight for what is right. Never give in—never give up!
Angela J. Townsend (The Forlorned (The Forlorned #1))
Just to say evil Islamics did it, that's so lame, and we know it. We see those official close-ups on the screen. The shifty liar's look, the twelve-stepper's gleam in the eye. One look at these faces and we know they're guilty of the worst crimes we can imagine. But who's in any hurry to imagine? To make the awful connection? Any more than Germans were back in 1933, when Nazis torched Reichstag within a month of Hitler becoming chancellor. Which of course is not to suggest that Bush and his people have actually gone out and staged the events of 11 September. It would take a mind hopelessly diseased with paranoia, indeed a screamingly anti-American nutcase, even to allow to cross her mind the possibility that that terrible day would have deliberately been engineered as a pretext to impose some endless Orwellian 'war' and the emergency decrees we will soon be living under. Nah, nah, perish that thought. "But there's still always the other thing. Our yearning. Our deep need for it to be true. Somewhere, down at some shameful dark recess of the national soul, we need to feel betrayed, even guilty. As if it was us who created Bush and his gang, Cheney and Rove and Rumsfeld and Feith and the rest of them--we who called down the sacred lightning of 'democracy' and then the fascist majority on the Supreme Court threw the switches, and Bush rose from the slab and began his rampage. And whatever happened then is on our ticket.
Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge)
There’s a reason you probably haven’t heard much about this aspect of the heartland. This kind of blight can’t be easily blamed on the usual suspects like government or counterculture or high-hat urban policy. The villain that did this to my home state wasn’t the Supreme Court or Lyndon Johnson, showering dollars on the poor or putting criminals back on the street. The culprit is the conservatives’ beloved free-market capitalism, a system that, at its most unrestrained, has little use for smalltown merchants or the agricultural system that supported the small towns in the first place....
Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America)
The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
I came to realize that there was no power capable of changing the image of my person lodged somewhere in the supreme court of human destinies; that this image (even though it bore no resemblance to me) was much more real than my actual self; that I was its shadow and not it mine; that I had no right to accuse it of bearing no resemblance to me, but rather that it was I who was guilty of the non-resemblance; and that the non-resemblance was my cross, which I could not unload on anyone else, which was mine alone to bear.
Milan Kundera (The Joke)
the reason they don’t permit cameras has nothing to do with maintaining decorum and dignity. It’s to protect the country from seeing what’s underneath Plymouth Rock. Because the Supreme Court is where the country takes out its dick and tits and decides who’s going to get fucked and who’s getting a taste of mother’s milk. It’s constitutional pornography in there, and what did Justice Potter once say about obscenity? I know it when I see it.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
As for our Ouija-board Supreme Court, it would be nice if they would take time off from holding séances with the long-dead founders, whose original intent so puzzles them, and actually examine what the founders wrought, the Constitution itself and the Bill of Rights.
Gore Vidal (The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000)
She didn't wallow in problems or reveal self-doubt.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
In a society with a long history of discrimination, there should be a presumption that many laws with a discriminatory impact likely were motivated by a discriminatory purpose.
Erwin Chemerinsky (The Case Against the Supreme Court)
It is well known in the legal profession that many judges, upon ascending the bench, think they are three steps closer to God.
Vincent Bugliosi (No Island of Sanity: Paula Jones v. Bill Clinton: The Supreme Court on Trial)
I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court. [Referring to Earl Warren and William Brennan]
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Privacy is the very essence of human existence. One wonders why the Indian Supreme Court took so long to reach that conclusion.
Kalyan C. Kankanala (Fun IP, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property)
The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in 1965, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
On Rachel's show for November 7, 2012: We're not going to have a supreme court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonio Scalias and Samuel Aleatos added to this court. We're not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get health insurance. We are not going to do that. We are not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid's insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut. We'll not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you're on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States constitution to stop gay people from getting married. We are not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or Housing at the federal level. We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country's new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents. We are not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever. We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country. and we said no, last night, loudly.
Rachel Maddow
Tamping down my emotions as the justice spoke to the audience, I looked over at a pair of handsome young Korean American boys—Sotomayor’s adopted nephews—squirming in their Sunday best. They would take for granted that their aunt was on the U.S. Supreme Court, shaping the life of a nation—as would kids across the country. Which was fine. That’s what progress looks like.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
While significant strides have been made in the pursuit of life expectancy, healthcare, educational opportunities, and constitutional protections for women, the Supreme Court, in particular, still wrestles with their status, as evidenced by their problems in pursuing equal opportunity in education and employment, reproductive freedom, the military, and violence against women.
David E. Wilkins (The Legal Universe: Observations of the Foundations of American Law)
[T]he Supreme Court is where the country takes out its dick and tits and decides who's going to get fucked and who's getting a taste of mother's milk. It's constitutional pornography in there[.]
Paul Beatty
...pointed out that the corporation enjoys the same rights as a living person under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This concept was upheld in 1886 by the Supreme Court in 'Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company' and has been a fact of law ever since. I emphasized to those executives that the corporation should also be required to accept the same responsibilities as those expected of a person; it too should be a good citizen, an honorable, ethical member of the community. In the case of international corporations, that community has to be defined as the world.
John Perkins (The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals & the Truth about Global Corruption)
Painters--and storytellers, including poets and playwrights and historians, they are the justices of the Supreme Court of Good and Evil, of which I am now a member, and to which you may belong someday!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting: All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not. A culture that celebrates femininity and considers women to be the masters of their own lives is better than a culture that mutilates girls’ genitals and confines them behind walls and veils or flogs or stones them for falling in love. A culture that protects women’s rights by law is better than a culture in which a man can lawfully have four wives at once and women are denied alimony and half their inheritance. A culture that appoints women to its supreme court is better than a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalize patronage, nepotism, and corruption. The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better. In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn’t translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse. Many people genuinely feel pain at the thought of the death of whole cultures. I see this all the time. They ask, “Is there nothing beautiful in these cultures? Is there nothing beautiful in Islam?” There is beautiful architecture, yes, and encouragement of charity, yes, but Islam is built on sexual inequality and on the surrender of individual responsibility and choice. This is not just ugly; it is monstrous.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government soon would be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed. Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe. [Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 1890]
Supreme Court of Wisconsin
It is no coincidence that as the Supreme Court has been removing the last constraints on the legalized corruption of politicians, the American standard of living has been falling at the fastest rate in decades.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
The Pope would have an easier job than the President of the United States in adopting a change of course. He has no Congress alongside him as a legislative body nor a Supreme Court as a judiciary. He is absolute head of government, legislator and supreme judge in the church. If he wanted to, he could authorize contraception over night, permit the marriage of priests, make possible the ordination of women and allow eucharistic fellowship with this Protestant churches. What would a Pope do who acted in the spirit of Obama?
Hans Küng
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON, 1950
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power—and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court)
A number of months ago I read in the newspaper that there was a supreme court ruling which states that homosexuals in america have no constitutional rights against the government's invasion of their privacy. The paper states that homosexuality is traditionally condemned in america & only people who are heterosexual or married or who have families can expect those constitutional rights. There were no editorials. Nothing. Just flat cold type in the morning paper informing people of this. In most areas of the u.s.a it is possible to murder a man & when one is brought to trial, one has only to say that the victim was a queer & that he tried to touch you & the courts will set you free. When I read the newspaper article I felt something stirring in my hands; I felt a sensation like seeing oneself from miles above the earth or looking at one's reflection in a mirror through the wrong end of a telescope. Realizing that I have nothing left to lose in my actions I let my hands become weapons, my teeth become weapons, every bone & muscle & fiber & ounce of blood become weapons, & I feel prepared for the rest of my life.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
In 1905, the Supreme Court of the United States applied the rule to the country’s founding document: “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when adopted it means now.
Antonin Scalia (Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts)
If Republicans care about the Constitution, they have to find the courage to say no or lose their constituencies and ultimately their cause. They have to say no to the anticonstitutional views of Supreme Court nominees such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor and to un-Constitutional executive orders by presidents like Barack Obama, and that means they have to be prepared to obstruct them by any constitutional means necessary. Nor should they be cowed by a corrupt anti-Republican press. No candidate was ever vilified more by the media than Donald Trump, and he won.
David Horowitz (Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America)
One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious — because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe — some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others — some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe him.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
and line of cases. Justice Byron R. "Whizzer" White, a JFK appointee, dissented, calling Doe an act of "raw judicial power," as it took these decisions from the states and enshrined their determination in the Supreme Court's reasoning.
William J. Bennett (From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom 1914-1989 (America: The Last Best Hope #2))
She looked for common ground. She did not nurse grudges.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
He did what good lawyers always do. He shifted his argument in the direction his audience was already going.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence". — Mapp vs. Ohio
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark
I live in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the dollar toll and get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section of the city and cross the Potomac on a free bridge. This bridge was placed outside the downtown Washington, DC area to serve a useful social service, getting drivers to drive the extra mile and help alleviate congestion during the rush hour. If I went over the toll bridge and through the barrier without paying the toll, I would be committing tax evasion ... If, however, I drive the extra mile and drive outside the city of Washington to the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical and suitable method of tax avoidance, and am performing a useful social service by doing so. For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended. The tragedy of life today is that so few people know that the free bridge even exists.
Louis D. Brandeis
Government in our democracy, state and national, must be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine, and practice. It may not be hostile to any religion or to the advocacy of no-religion; and it may not aid, foster, or promote one religion or religious theory against another or even against the militant opposite. The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion. [Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 1968.]
Abe Fortas
In the final scene of Power, the Supreme Court justices appear as a striking abstraction: Nine scowling masks line up in a row on top of a giant podium. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes speaks the majority opinion: 'Water power, the right to convert it into electric energy, and the electric energy thus produced constitute property belonging to the United States.
Susan Quinn (Furious Improvisation: How the Wpa and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times)
In short order, I became America’s foremost “irregardless” apologist. I recorded a short video for Merriam-Webster’s website refuting the notion that “irregardless” wasn’t a word; I took to Twitter and Facebook and booed naysayers who set “irregardless” up as the straw man for the demise of English. I continued to find evidence of the emphatic “irregardless” in all sorts of places—even in the oral arguments of a Supreme Court case. One incredulous e-mail response to my video continued to claim “irregardless” wasn’t a real word. “It’s a made-up word that made it into the dictionary through constant use!” the correspondent said, and I cackled gleefully before responding. Of course “irregardless” is a made-up word that was entered into the dictionary through constant use; that’s pretty much how this racket works. All words are made-up: Do you think we find them fully formed on the ocean floor, or mine for them in some remote part of Wales? I began telling correspondents that “irregardless” was much more complex than people thought, and it deserved a little respectful respite, even if it still was not part of Standard English. My mother was duly horrified. “Oh, Kory,” she tutted. “So much for that college education.” —
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
It is worth remembering one of the important lessons of the Buck story: a small number of zealous advocates can have an impact on the law that defies both science and conventional wisdom.
Paul A. Lombardo (Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell)
Charles Evans Hughes, former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said: “Men do not die from overwork. They die from dissipation and worry.” Yes, from dissipation of their energies—and worry because they never seem to get their work done.
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
So-called “same-sex marriage” is now recognized as a legitimate entity in the eyes of our government. Such a designation by a government, however, does not change the definition God has established. The only true marriage in God’s eyes remains the exclusive, permanent union of a man and a woman, even as our Supreme Court and state legislatures deliberately defy this reality.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Nearly seven years after Moore originally filed suit, the Supreme Court of California ruled against him in what became the definitive statement on this issue: When tissues are removed from your body, with or without your consent, any claim you might have had to owning them vanishes. When you leave tissues in a doctor’s office or a lab, you abandon them as waste, and anyone can take your garbage and sell it. Since Moore had abandoned his cells, they were no longer a product of his body, the ruling said. They had been “transformed” into an invention and were now the product of Golde’s “human ingenuity” and “inventive effort.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
The Court, after all, is not a monolith. Transparency resides in parts of the Court, among Justices and staff who believe that letting the sun shine on their institution will make it stronger.
Marites Dañguilan Vitug (Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court)
The fight against injustice is not necessarily the one that ends on the steps of the Supreme Court. The fight against injustice is the day-to-day battle we face at home, at work, in our communities. When we address these wrongs, we are building a better world.
Victor Tam
The Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and they have the right of free speech and the right without disclosure—all of this is through the Citizens United Supreme Court decision—to put as much money as they want into campaigns all over the country.
Bernie Sanders (The Speech)
[I want to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy: Mastering Oral Argument)
You probably learned in your high school civics course, as I did in mine, that the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Well, I’m here to tell you this morning that this is not strictly true. The Court of Public Opinion is actually the highest court in the land.
Thomas Cathcart (The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum)
Earlier in [2007] the [Prime Minister's Office] had also drawn criticism for trying to muzzle the judiciary. The reproach came from Antonio Lamer, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court....'I must say I was taken aback,' said Lamer, who sat on the Supreme Court for twenty years. 'The prime minister is going the wrong route as regards the independence of the judiciary. He's trying to interfere with the sentencing process.
Lawrence Martin (Harperland: The Politics Of Control)
When the Chief Justice read me the oath,' he [FDR] later told an adviser, 'and came to the words "support the Constitution of the United States" I felt like saying: "Yes, but it's the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy--not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.
Susan Quinn (Furious Improvisation: How the Wpa and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times)
Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles or morality, but that cannot control our decision,' she said. 'Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
1956, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case known as Bishop v. United States, ruled that the conviction of a mentally incompetent person was a denial of due process. Where doubt exists as to a person’s mental competency, the failure to conduct a proper inquiry is a deprivation of his constitutional rights.
John Grisham (The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town)
A hundred years earlier, in Hopt v. Utah, the Supreme Court ruled that a confession is not admissible if it is obtained by operating on the hopes or fears of the accused, and in doing so deprives him of the freedom of will or self-control necessary to make a voluntary statement. In 1897, the Court, in Bram v. United States, said that a statement must be free and voluntary, not extracted by any sorts of threats or violence or promises, however slight. A
John Grisham (The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town)
In Madison’s formulation, the right to bear arms was not inherent but derivative, depending on service in the militia. The recent Supreme Court decision (Heller v. District of Columbia, 2008) that found the right to bear arms an inherent and nearly unlimited right is clearly at odds with Madison’s original intentions.37
Joseph J. Ellis (The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789)
the Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be free of politics. That’s why these legalistic doofuses in silly-looking robes get a lifetime appointment and a free supply of arrogance to go with it. They’re not supposed to be susceptible to bullying—upholding the Constitution is supposed to be a bully-free job.
Ben Shapiro (Bullies)
It is the individual who can and does make a difference even in this increasingly populous, complex world of ours. The individual can make things happen. It is the individual who can bring a tear to my eye and then cause me to take pen in hand. It is the individual who has acted or tried to act who will not only force a decision but also have a hand in shaping it. Whether acting in the legal, governmental, or private realm, one concerned and dedicated person can meaningful affect what some consider an uncaring world. So give freely of yourself always to your family, your friends, your community, and your country. The world will pay you back many times over.
Sandra Day O'Connor (The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice)
Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington—to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
[From 1994 introduction by Dr. Klaus Müller.] The postwar German government did not simply forget about homosexuals; on the contrary, it actively continued to persecute them, and to justify the efforts of the Nazis in this respect… The Nazi version of Paragraph 175 was, in fact, explicitly upheld in 1957 by the West German supreme court.
Heinz Heger (The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps)
She will choose a bath over a shower, a play over a movie, and the ocean over a pool. She has saved herself from intense pain in her life with strong, pulled-up bootstraps and terrifying organizational skills. She has the legs for tennis, the grace for skiing, and such high-arched eyebrows they could bring the Supreme Court to their knees.
Ali Wentworth (Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales)
O’CONNOR WAS THE most powerful Supreme Court justice of her time. For most of her twenty-four-plus years on the Court, from October 1981 to January 2006, she was the controlling vote on many of the great societal issues, including abortion, affirmative action, and religious freedom, so much so that the press came to call it the O’Connor Court.
Evan Thomas (First: Sandra Day O'Connor)
Such fears seemed more than imaginary because, in 1839, fifty-three recently enslaved Africans had overthrown the white crew of the Cuban slave-ship Amistad as they were being transported from Havana to the island’s eastern sugar frontier. Trying to sail to Africa, the rebels made an accidental landfall on the Connecticut coast. State authorities charged them with murder, but abolitionists intervened and pushed the case into the Supreme Court. Concluding that the Amistad’s cargo had been illegally transported across the Atlantic, the Court made its only pre-twentieth-century antislavery decision. It ruled that the rebels had been kidnapped, that they had freed themselves, and that they could return to Africa.19
Edward E. Baptist (The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism)
We are at war, and in time of war there is only one rule. Form your battalion and fight.
Kermit Roosevelt III (Allegiance)
Before the corn comes up you can see a long way.
Shon Hopwood (Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption)
We had to do something [in Bush v. Gore], because countries were laughing at us. France was laughing at us.
Antonin Scalia (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Toughened or coarsened by their worldly lives, the other dissenters could shrug and move on, but Souter couldn't. His whole life was being a judge.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
A gilded cage is still a cage
Supreme Court
Justice Brennan described the power of these unelected justices with chilling clarity when he told his incoming clerks that the most important rule in the law was the “Rule of Five.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
Identifying the flaw in the US philosophical roots requires that we move beyond the intellectual and emotional climate in which the Constitution was conceived and adopted. The meanings of concepts and words change with use, and even the Supreme Court has admitted that the original perspective of the American social contract has been altered by the passage of time.
David E. Wilkins (The Legal Universe: Observations of the Foundations of American Law)
How many votes does it take to get the United States of America firmly into the legal nightmare described in Gabriel’s Stand? Sixty seven plus five. That is two-thirds of the US Senate (the House need not be consulted) and a five vote majority on the Supreme Court. If we ever do something so suicidally foolish we will not have lost a war—it will just feel like it.
Jay B. Gaskill (Gabriel's Stand)
Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington—to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to be optimistic.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
But let us not forget, too, that it was John Adams who nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. It was John Adams who insisted that Jefferson be the one to write the Declaration of Independence. And it was President John Adams who made John Marshall chief justice of the Supreme Court. As a casting director alone, he was brilliant. Abigail
David McCullough (The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For)
The Cherokee Nation took a case against Georgia to the US Supreme Court. With Chief Justice John Marshall writing for the majority, the Court ruled in favor of the Cherokees. Jackson ignored the Supreme Court, however, in effect saying that John Marshall had made his decision and Marshall would have to enforce it if he could, although he, Jackson, had an army while Marshall did not.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
many scientists have interfered with science in precisely the way courts always worried tissue donors might do. “It’s ironic,” she told me. “The Moore court’s concern was, if you give a person property rights in their tissues, it would slow down research because people might withhold access for money. But the Moore decision backfired—it just handed that commercial value to researchers.” According to Andrews and a dissenting California Supreme Court judge, the ruling didn’t prevent commercialization; it just took patients out of the equation and emboldened scientists to commodify tissues in increasing numbers. Andrews and many others have argued that this makes scientists less likely to share samples and results, which slows research; they also worry that it interferes with health-care delivery.
Rebecca Skloot
When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.
Thurgood Marshall (Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice)
Eisenhower has been much criticized for his failure publicly to endorse the Court's decision. But he felt that doing so would set an undesirable precedent. If a president endorsed decisions he agreed with, might he feel compelled to oppose decisions he did not agree with? And what would that do to the rule of law? "The Supreme Court has spoken and I am sworn to uphold ... the constitutional processes.... I will obey."3
William J. Bennett (From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom 1914-1989 (America: The Last Best Hope #2))
I think men get nervous when women start counting the number of female senators, and whites become edgy when they hear the next Supreme Court seat will probably go to a Latino. This isn't always because they object to sharing the spoils, by the way; it just reminds us that the melting pot may not be working, and we haven't yet achieved the ambiguous national dream of becoming a nation of indistinguishable beige atheists.
Dahlia Lithwick
There had been only three confirmations in the final year of a presidency when the opposing party controlled the Senate, most recently in 1888, when Grover Cleveland nominated Melville W. Fuller to be chief justice.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
The statement of Mr. Justice Holmes of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Oklahoma Bank case, is significant: “We cannot say that the public interests to which we have adverted, and others, are not sufficient to warrant the State in taking the whole business of banking under its control. On the contrary we are of opinion that it may go on from regulation to prohibition except upon such conditions as it may prescribe.
Louis D. Brandeis (Other People's Money And How the Bankers Use It)
Miranda v. Arizona, the most famous of all self-incrimination cases, the Supreme Court imposed procedural safeguards to protect the rights of the accused. A suspect has a constitutional right not to be compelled to talk, and any statement made during an interrogation cannot be used in court unless the police and the prosecutor can prove that the suspect clearly understood that (1) he had the right to remain silent, (2) anything said could be used against him in court, and (3) he had a right to an attorney, whether or not he could afford one. If, during an interrogation, the accused requests an attorney, then the questioning stops immediately.
John Grisham (The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town)
held. This was before the U.S. Supreme Court changed all the laws on search and seizure. Fifty-eight of the most powerful mobsters in America were seized and hauled in by the police. Another fifty or so got away running through the woods. Also in 1957 the public was getting a close look at organized crime on TV every day during the televised sessions of the McClellan Committee Hearings on Organized Crime of the United States Senate.
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
The framers assumed no general right to privacy because, to state the obvious, criminal and evil acts can be committed in privacy. Criminal codes are full of such examples—from murder to incest to rape and other crimes.
Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America)
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of former Confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a Confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members. The last one, Robert Byrd, died in 2010 and was eulogized by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton called him her “mentor.” The sordid history of the Democratic Party in the early twentieth century is also married to the sordid history of the progressive movement during the same period. Progressives like Margaret Sanger—founder of Planned Parenthood and a role model for Hillary Clinton—supported such causes as eugenics and social Darwinism. While abortion was not an issue in Sanger’s day, she backed forced sterilization for “unfit” people, notably minorities. Sanger’s Negro Project was specifically focused on reducing the black population.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
More intriguingly, in poll after poll, when Americans are asked what public institutions they most respect, three bodies are always at the top of their list: the Supreme Court, the armed forces, and the Federal Reserve System. All three have one thing in common: they are insulated from the public pressures and operate undemocratically. It would seem that Americans admire these institutions, preciselly because they lead rather than follow.
Fareed Zakaria (The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad)
A computer search would have given me a list of pertinent cases, but without that I had to read everything. That is harder by far, but you end up learning a lot more. I was forced to remember cases because making copies of everything was too expensive. Keeping cases in your head is good, too, because cases are like puzzle pieces floating around in your mind, and sometimes, in moments of creativity, they fall into place and form a picture. If they were words on a screen that you could pull up anytime you wished, that phenomenon wouldn't happen as easily.
Shon Hopwood (Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption)
For aggressive societies to survive, however, they always need that priest-judge-advisor class as well. This class balances the kings and warriors (as the U.S. Supreme Court balances the president and his armed forces). It is a more thoughtful group, often acting to check the impulses of the warrior-kings. Since the advisor class often proves right, its members are respected as counselors, historians, teachers, scholars, and the upholders of justice. They have the foresight, for example, to look out for the well-being of those common folks on whom the society depends, those who grow the food and raise the children. They warn against hasty wars and bad use of the land.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
One measure decreed that when ships docked at Charleston, any free black sailors on board must be jailed so they could not carry messages to black people onshore. When a Supreme Court justice found the imprisonments unconstitutional, South Carolina openly defied the ruling, saying that stopping “insubordination” was “paramount” to “all laws” and “all constitutions.” Baffled by this early example of a state nullifying federal law, national officials did nothing.
Steve Inskeep (Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab)
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures, and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations. White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash. The
Jesmyn Ward (The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race)
TRUE OR FALSE? Employers are prohibited from practicing sex discrimination in hiring and promoting employees.1 ANSWER: False. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that in job areas dominated by men, less qualified women could be hired.2 It did not allow less qualified men to be hired in areas dominated by women (e.g., elementary school teacher, nurse, secretary, cocktail waiting, restaurant host, office receptionist, flight attendant). The law also requires sex discrimination in hiring by requiring quotas, requiring vigorous recruitment of women, and requiring all institutions that receive government aid to do a certain percentage of their business with female-owned (or minority-owned) businesses.
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
nascent, underfunded Supreme Court. Recent biographies of the great Chief Justice tell how John Marshall used the camaraderie of boardinghouse tables and common rooms, also madeira, to dispel dissent and achieve the one-voiced Opinion of the Court, which he usually composed and delivered himself. The unanimity John Marshall strived to maintain helped the swordless Third Branch fend off attacks from the political branches.9 Although Chief Justice Marshall strictly separated his Court and family life, he did not lack affection for his wife. In a letter from Philadelphia in 1797, John Marshall told Polly of his longing. “I like [the big city] well enough for a day or two,” he wrote Polly, “but I then
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (My Own Words)
America's industrial success produced a roll call of financial magnificence: Rockefellers, Morgans, Astors, Mellons, Fricks, Carnegies, Goulds, du Ponts, Belmonts, Harrimans, Huntingtons, Vanderbilts, and many more based in dynastic wealth of essentially inexhaustible proportions. John D. Rockefeller made $1 billion a year, measured in today's money, and paid no income tax. No one did, for income tax did not yet exist in America. Congress tried to introduce an income tax of 2 percent on earnings of $4,000 in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Income tax wouldn't become a regular part of American Life until 1914. People would never be this rich again. Spending all this wealth became for many a more or less full-time occupation. A kind of desperate, vulgar edge became attached to almost everything they did. At one New York dinner party, guests found the table heaped with sand and at each place a little gold spade; upon a signal, they were invited to dig in and search for diamonds and other costly glitter buried within. At another party - possibly the most preposterous ever staged - several dozen horses with padded hooves were led into the ballroom of Sherry's, a vast and esteemed eating establishment, and tethered around the tables so that the guests, dressed as cowboys and cowgirls, could enjoy the novel and sublimely pointless pleasure of dining in a New York ballroom on horseback.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Don’t underestimate the power of a celebrity lawyer, especially if she had been a public prosecutor or advocate general in the past. She can barge into the court of any senior judge and obtain a stay on the arrest of a person. She can force a Supreme Court or a High Court bench to meet at midnight to hear her case. And Indrani is notorious for trying to bribe judges for getting favourable judgements. Of course, all these are backroom manoeuvres and no one gets to know them.
Hariharan Iyer (Surpanakha)
As Christians, we have had growing political involvement over the last forty years, but does anyone really believe that the Republicans, Democrats, White House, Supreme Court, or Congress will transform even one human heart? Are these civil servants supposed to be light and salt, or is that the task of the church of Jesus Christ? Unless there is a new heart, there won’t be a new person. Unless people are changed, we can’t have a transformed society, no matter who’s in charge.
Jim Cymbala (Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In)
Ingersoll was introduced as one of the main speakers by Frederick Douglass and proceeded, unlike most leaders of his party, to eviscerate the court’s logic. “This decision takes from seven millions of people the shield of the Constitution,” he said. “It leaves the best of the colored race at the mercy of the meanest of the white. It feeds fat the ancient grudge that vicious ignorance bears toward race and color. It will be approved and quoted by hundreds of thousands of unjust men. The masked wretches who, in the darkness of night, drag the poor negro from his cabin, and lacerate with whip and thong his quivering flesh, will, with bloody hands, applaud the Supreme Court. The men who, by mob violence, prevent the negro from depositing his ballot—those who with gun and revolver drive him from the polls, and those who insult with vile and vulgar words the inoffensive colored girl, will welcome this decision with hyena joy. The basest will rejoice—the noblest will mourn.
Susan Jacoby (The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought)
THE COMMON IDEA of claiming “color blindness” is akin to the notion of being “not racist”—as with the “not racist,” the color-blind individual, by ostensibly failing to see race, fails to see racism and falls into racist passivity. The language of color blindness—like the language of “not racist”—is a mask to hide racism. “Our Constitution is color-blind,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Harlan proclaimed in his dissent to Plessy v. Ferguson, the case that legalized Jim Crow segregation in 1896. “The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country,” Justice Harlan went on. “I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time, if it remains true to its great heritage.” A color-blind Constitution for a White-supremacist America.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
The Supreme Court, the final arbiter of legal conflicts, reviews, acts of the executive and Congress. With this power, the Court is seen as a political institution as well. "Because the key provisions of the Constitution are couched in grand ambiguities and because the key provisions concern the larger issues of our life, of our liberties, and of our happiness, the Supreme Court, by the exercise of judicial review, wields tremendous political power," Joaquin Bernas, a Jesuit priest and constitutionalist, said.
Marites Dañguilan Vitug (Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court)
In public at least, Roberts himself purports to have a different view of the Court than his conservative sponsors. "Judges are like umpires," he said at his confirmation hearing. "Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them." Elsewhere, Roberts has often said, "Judges are not politicians." None of this is true. Supreme Court justices are nothing at all like baseball umpires. It is folly to pretend that the awesome work of interpreting the Constitution, and thus defining the rights and obligations of American citizenship, is akin to performing the rote […] task of calling balls and strikes. When it comes to the core of the Court's work, determining the contemporary meaning of the Constitution, it is ideology, not craft or skill, that controls the outcome of cases.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as by evil men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon but at other times and places the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. . . . Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority. 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. 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.
Robert H. Jackson
The question will arise and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine: Which shall rule — wealth or man? Which shall lead — money or intellect? Who shall fill public stations — educated and patriotic freemen or the feudal serfs of corporate capital?
Edward G. Ryan
In 1882, Congress passed the first immigration law in the nation’s history—the Chinese Exclusion Act—specifically to bar the entrance of workers from a particular country. The Chinese had, of course, been welcome when there was a labor shortage and “coolies” were needed to build the transcontinental railroad. In 1892, the Exclusion Act was toughened under a law written by California representative Thomas J. Geary (the Geary whose memory is lionized in street names and other monuments throughout San Francisco). Under the Geary law, upheld by a 5–4 Supreme Court vote, all Chinese residents of the United States were required to carry a residence permit. Chinese were forbidden to bear witness in court should they be arrested for not carrying their internal “passport” and were denied
Susan Jacoby (The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought)
The Supreme Court debated God and beards Tuesday, and the result did not seem promising for Arkansas prison officials who refuse to let prisoners grow facial hair in accordance with their faith. The justices pelted a deputy attorney general from the state with so many tonsorial inquiries he had trouble keeping up. In the end, they seemed to indicate that they found it hard to believe the state's contention that a half-inch beard poses more of a security threat than the hair on top of an inmate's head, which is unregulated.
Anonymous
I don't get it. Basketball is so supremely boring. I can't understand the point of watching ten giants running from one end of the field--court--to the other throwing an orange ball through a hoop in the air. I guess it's better than golf, but so is watching paint dry.
Carter Quinn (Out of the Blackness (Avery, #1))
But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal—there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and ajury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.
Harper Lee
In 1960, The New York Times printed an advertisement titled “Heed Their Rising Voices” that attempted to raise money to defend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. against perjury charges in Alabama. Southern officials responded by going on the offensive and suing the newspaper. Public Safety Commissioner L. B. Sullivan and Governor Patterson claimed defamation. A local jury awarded them half a million dollars, and the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan changed the standard for defamation and libel by requiring plaintiffs to prove malice—that is, evidence of actual knowledge on the part of the publisher that a statement is false. The ruling marked a significant victory for freedom of the press, and it liberated media outlets and publishers to talk more honestly about civil rights protests and activism.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
For instance, while writing this, I was summoned to attend jury duty. Throughout the jury selection process, coordinators and judges reminded us how important our presence was, and how deeply they and the State of Oregon appreciated our service. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon and several judges who may or may not have been actors thanked us via video. The big joke of it was that attending jury service is mandatory and my summons threatened me with the possibility of being held in contempt of court for non-compliance. That pretty much sums up how the state “appreciates” its citizens. “We
Jack Donovan (Becoming a Barbarian)
If logic and reason, the hard, cold products of the mind, can be relied upon to deliver justice or produce the truth, how is it that these brain-heavy judges rarely agree? Five-to-four decisions are the rule, not the exception. Nearly half of the court must be unjust and wrong nearly half of the time. Each decision, whether the majority or minority, exudes logic and reason like the obfuscating ink from a jellyfish, and in language as opaque. The minority could have as easily become the decision of the court. At once we realize that logic, no matter how pretty and neat, that reason, no matter how seemingly profound and deep, does not necessarily produce truth, much less justice. Logic and reason often become but tools used by those in power to deliver their load of injustice to the people. And ultimate truth, if, indeed, it exists, is rarely recognizable in the endless rows of long words that crowd page after page of most judicial regurgitations.
Gerry Spence (How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday)
White Americans have contented themselves with gestures that are now described as "tokenism". For hard example, white Americans congratulate themselves on the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in the schools; they suppose, in spite of the mountain of evidence that has since accumulated to the contrary, that this was proof of a change of heart – or, as they like to say, progress. Perhaps. It all depends on how one reads the word "progress". Most of the Negroes I know do not believe that this immense concession would ever have been made if it had not been for the competition of the Cold War, and the fact that Africa was clearly liberating herself and therefore had, for political reasons, to be wooed by the descendants of her former masters. Had it been a matter of love or justice, the 1954 decision would surely have occurred sooner; were it not for the realities of power in this difficult era, it might very well not have occurred yet.
James Baldwin
Only the Democratic Party could produce a string of presidential candidates who oppose school choice and vouchers while sending their own children to lily-white private schools. Only the Democratic Party could hysterically denounce a Supreme Court nominee for allegedly making unwanted sexual advances in the workplace and then applaud a president who was receiving oral sex from a White House intern while discussing deploying American troops with a congressman on the phone. Indeed, only the Democrats could oppose Clarence Thomas, actually block Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg (for marijuana use), and then run Bill Clinton for president.
Ann Coulter (Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America)
Nor did enslaved women have legal protection against sexual abuse from enslaved men. In the 1859 case of George v. the State of Mississippi, in which an enslaved man was accused of raping an enslaved female child, the Mississippi supreme court noted that “a slave can only commit rape upon a white woman” and held that “the regulations of law, as to the white race, on the subject of sexual intercourse, do not and cannot, for obvious reasons, apply to slaves; their intercourse is promiscuous, and the violation of a female slave by a male slave would be a mere assault and battery.”38 There was, then, legally no such thing as the rape of an enslaved woman.
Ned Sublette (The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry)
It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision [in Bush v. Gore]. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is pellucidly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
John Paul Stevens (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Random chance—a freakishly close vote in the single decisive state—gave the Supreme Court the chance to resolve the 2000 presidential election. The character of the justices themselves turned that opportunity into one of the lowest moments in the Court's history. The struggle following the election of 2000 took thirty-six days, and the Court was directly involved for twenty-one of them. Yet over this brief period, the justices displayed all of their worst traits—among them vanity, overconfidence, impatience, arrogance, and simple political partisanship. These three weeks taint an otherwise largely admirable legacy. The justices did almost everything wrong. They embarrassed themselves and the Supreme Court.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Exclusion [of evidence] exacts a heavy toll on both the judicial system and society at large. It almost always requires courts to ignore reliable, trustworthy evidence bearing on guilt or innocence. And its bottom-line effect, in many cases, is to suppress the truth and set the criminal loose in the community without punishment. [internal citations omitted]
Samuel Alito (Davis v. United States, Decision and Opinions)
Whatever rivalries there were among the justices in O'Connor's first years, she appeared to look beyond them. Whatever slights she felt, she kept to herself. Whatever grudges she nurtured, she kept them secret. In face, she would write to Blackmun as her first term wound down: 'As the term concludes, I wanted to tell you what a privilege it has been for me to work with you this year. Your knowledge and the care you exhibit with all you do sets a wonderful example.' As she had in legislative politics, she always struck an outwardly positive note.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
Under the New Deal, governmental goons smashed down doors to impose domestic policies. G-Men were treated like demigods, even as they spied on dissidents. Captains of industry wrote the rules by which they were governed. FDR secretly taped his conversations, used the postal service to punish his enemies, lied repeatedly to maneuver the United States into war, and undermined Congress’s war-making powers at several turns. When warned by Frances Perkins in 1932 that many provisions of the New Deal were unconstitutional, he in effect shrugged and said that they’d deal with that later (his intended solution: pack the Supreme Court with cronies). In 1942 he flatly told Congress that if it didn’t do what he wanted, he’d do it anyway.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary,” wrote Justice Edward White in Coffin v United States, tracing it from Deuteronomy through Roman Law, Canon Law, and the Common Law and illustrating it with an anecdote about a fourth-century provincial governor on trial before the Roman Emperor
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
In 1996 Dorothy Mackey wrote an Op-ed piece, “Violence from comrades a fact of life for military women.” ABC News 20/ 20 did a segment on rape in the military. By November four women came forward at Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland, about a pattern of rape by drill sergeants. In 1997 the military finds three black drill sergeants to scapegoat. They were sent to prison and this left the commanding generals and colonels untouched to retire quietly. The Army appointed a panel to investigate sexual harassment. One of the panelists was the sergeant Major of the Army, Eugene McKinney. On hearing his nomination, former associates and one officer came forward with charges of sexual coercion and misconduct. In 1998 he was acquitted of all charges after women spoke (of how they were being stigmatized, their careers stopped, and their characters questioned. A Congressional panel studied military investigative practices. In 1998, the Court of Appeals ruled against Dorothy Mackay. She had been outspoken on media and highly visible. There is an old Arabic saying “When the hen crows cut off her head.”“This court finds that Col. Milam and Lt. Col. Elmore were acting in the scope of their duties” in 1991-1992 when Capt. Mackey alleged they harassed, intimidated and assaulted her. A legislative remedy was asked for and she appealed to the Supreme Court. Of course the Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 1999, as it always has under the feres doctrine. Her case was cited to block the suit of one of the Aberdeen survivors as well!
Diane Chamberlain (Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders)
WE THE PEOPLE PULL THE CORD . . . there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. Romans 3:11 The Founding Fathers didn’t think too highly of human nature, so they created three branches of government to keep power-hungry officials in check. They also slipped another “check” on these politicians into the Constitution. Remember learning how the Constitution can be amended through Congress? Well, even better, there’s a lesser-known way to change it when necessary, without Congress or the president stopping “We the People.” Our Founders knew government could grow so drunk on its own power that it wouldn’t ever voluntarily restrict itself, so constitutionalist George Mason allowed for a “Convention of States” in Article V to give the power back to the people. My friend Mark Levin describes this: “By giving the state legislatures the ultimate say on major federal laws, on major federal regulations, on major Supreme Court decisions, should 3/5 of state legislatures act to override them within a two year period, it doesn’t much matter what Washington does or doesn’t do. It matters what you do . . . the goal is to limit the entrenchment of Washington’s ruling class.” Keep educating the people, Mark!
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
Once the war was over, they reorganized the Democratic Party and announced in their 1865 platform, “We hold this to be a Government of white people, made and to be perpetuated for the exclusive benefit of the white race, and … that people of African descent cannot be considered as citizens of the United States, and that there can, in no event, nor under any circumstances, be any equality between white and other races.
Charles Lane (The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction)
But sometimes they're just oblivious, and their obliviousness brings out the worst in me. I remember once talking to one about the principle of 'one person, one vote' -- the Supreme Court's doctrine that forces states to ensure the weight one person's vote is equal to the weight of everyone else's. He had done work early in his career to push that principle along, and considered it, as he told me, 'among the most important values now written into our Constitution.' 'Isn't it weird then', I asked hime, 'that the law would obsess about making sure that on Election Day, my vote is just as powerful as yours, but stand blind to the fact that in the days before Election Day, because of your wealth, your ability to affect that election is a million times greater than mine?' My friend -- or at least friend until that moment -- didn't say a word.
Lawrence Lessig (Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It)
The racial oppression that inspired the first generations of the civil rights movement was played out in lynchings, night raids, antiblack pogroms, and physical intimidation at the ballot box. In a typical battle of today, it may consist of African American drivers being pulled over more often on the highways. (When Clarence Thomas described his successful but contentious 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing as a “high-tech lynching,” it was the epitome of tastelessness but also a sign of how far we have come.) The oppression of women used to include laws that allowed husbands to rape, beat, and confine their wives; today it is applied to elite universities whose engineering departments do not have a fifty-fifty ratio of male and female professors. The battle for gay rights has progressed from repealing laws that execute, mutilate, or imprison homosexual men to repealing laws that define marriage as a contract between a man and a woman. None of this means we should be satisfied with the status quo or disparage the efforts to combat remaining discrimination and mistreatment. It’s just to remind us that the first goal of any rights movement is to protect its beneficiaries from being assaulted or killed. These victories, even if partial, are moments we should acknowledge, savor, and seek to understand.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
IT BEGAN WITH A GUN. On September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. In the October 1939 issue of Detective Comics, Batman killed a vampire by shooting silver bullets into his heart. In the next issue, Batman fired a gun at two evil henchmen. When Whitney Ellsworth, DC’s editorial director, got a first look at a draft of the next installment, Batman was shooting again. Ellsworth shook his head and said, Take the gun out.1 Batman had debuted in Detective Com-ics in May 1939, the same month that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in United States v. Miller, a landmark gun-control case. It concerned the constitutionality of the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1938 Federal Firearms Act, which effectively banned machine guns through prohibitive taxation, and regulated handgun ownership by introducing licensing, waiting period, and permit requirements. The National Rifle Association supported the legislation (at the time, the NRA was a sportsman’s organization). But gun manufacturers challenged it on the grounds that federal control of gun ownership violated the Second Amendment. FDR’s solicitor general said the Second Amendment had nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun; it had to do with the common defense. The court agreed, unanimously.2
Jill Lepore (The Secret History of Wonder Woman)
When this all started, when the US of A got into this war and the Supreme Court decided what the hell, let's send women to, everyone wondered what effect it would have. Could women fight my girl Rio has a shiny Silver Star, A fistful of Purple Hearts, and a notched M1 that say yes. Could the men fight alongside women, or would the simple creatures be too distracted by feminine curves? Well, I won't spend a long night in a hole with Luther gear, who has never been a gentleman but he is a good soldier and he never made a pass at me. Possibly he was distracted by the artillery garage coming down on our heads. Possibly was that I hadn't showered in ... God only knows how long you have to ask my fleas. We were not a man and a woman in that hole we were too scared little babies screaming and cursing and so we could be grateful for the warmth of our own piss running down our legs. It was not a romantic evening.
Michael Grant (Purple Hearts (Front Lines, #3))
The answer was Stellar Wind. The NSA would eavesdrop freely against Americans and aliens in the United States without probable cause or search warrants. It would mine and assay the electronic records of millions of telephone conversations—both callers and receivers—and the subject lines of e-mails, including names and Internet addresses. Then it would send the refined intelligence to the Bureau for action. Stellar Wind resurrected Cold War tactics with twenty-first-century technology. It let the FBI work with the NSA outside of the limits of the law. As Cheney knew from his days at the White House in the wake of Watergate, the NSA and the FBI had worked that way up until 1972, when the Supreme Court unanimously outlawed warrantless wiretaps. Stellar Wind blew past the Supreme Court on the authority of a dubious opinion sent to the White House the week that the Patriot Act became law. It came from John Yoo, a thirty-four-year-old lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel who had clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Yoo wrote that the Constitution’s protections against warrantless searches and seizures did not apply to military operations in the United States. The NSA was a military agency; Congress had authorized Bush to use military force; therefore he had the power to use the NSA against anyone anywhere in America. The president was “free from the constraints of the Fourth Amendment,” Yoo wrote. So the FBI would be free as well.
Tim Weiner (Enemies: A History of the FBI)
Nazi persecution didn’t limit itself to race. Religion, national origin, alternative lifestyles, persons with disabilities—all were targets. How would you characterize the Slavs? Gypsies? Moors? All the lines get blurred. Even within Judaism, there are many races. There are Negro Jews in Ethiopia and Middle Eastern Jews in Iraq. There have been Jews in Japan since the 1860s. Poland was fractionally Jewish, but there were still three and a half million Jews living there in the 1930s.” “But still, today it all seems so incomprehensible.” Ben raised his eyebrows. “Incomprehensible because we’re Americans? Land of the free and home of the brave? Let’s not kid ourselves. We’ve authored our own chapters in the history of shame, periods where the world looked at us and shook its head. Early America built an economy based on slavery and it was firmly supported by law. Read the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott. We trampled entire cultures of Native Americans. ‘No Irish Need Apply’ was written on factory gates in nineteenth-century New York.” Ben shook his head. “We’d like to think we’re beyond such hatred, but the fact is, we can never let our guard down. That’s why this case is so important. To you and to me. It’s another reminder of what can happen when evil is allowed to incubate. Find a reason to turn your nose up at a culture, to denigrate a people because they’re different, and it’s not such a giant leap from ethnic subjugation to ethnic slaughter.” Catherine
Ronald H. Balson (Once We Were Brothers)
At first blush,' she continued, 'this ancient saying suggests merely that there will always be a Moses when Moses in needed. Yet, on further examination of the words 'there is no man who does not find his time,' we realize that the message conveyed is that each of us, in our own individual lives and the crises we face, will have a time to lead. Whether we will lead only a famnily, or a handful of friends, and where and how we will lead, is up to us, our views, and our talents. But the hour will come for each of us.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Some might say what I’m recommending amounts to electoral nihilism. We would end up giving the presidency over to Republicans and their extremist base. The Supreme Court would turn Red for the next thirty years. We would see the undoing of the health care law and the further erosion of the social safety net. And the country would be left in the hands of libertarians and corporatists, a remarkably high price to pay for all Americans. But these same people who shout gloom and doom fail to advocate for dramatic change to take back the country from these folks. This is the scare tactic that clouds our imaginations: that no matter the circumstances, choosing the lesser of two evils is always better. By this logic, we are imprisoned in a political cage—to accept matters as they are. I refuse to do so, because the political terrain as it is currently laid out has left black and other vulnerable communities throughout this country in shambles. I want to choose another path. I want to remake American democracy, because whatever this is, it ain’t democracy.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul)
That summer, in a small house near the beach, he began to write a book. He knew it would be the last thing he ever did, so he decided to write something advocating a crazy, preposterous idea—one so outlandish that nobody had ever written a book about it before. He was going to propose that gay people should be allowed to get married, just like straight people. He thought this would be the only way to free gay people from the self-hatred and shame that had trapped Andrew himself. It’s too late for me, he thought, but maybe it will help the people who come after me. When the book—Virtually Normal—came out a year later, Patrick died when it had only been in the bookstores for a few days, and Andrew was widely ridiculed for suggesting something so absurd as gay marriage. Andrew was attacked not just by right-wingers, but by many gay left-wingers, who said he was a sellout, a wannabe heterosexual, a freak, for believing in marriage. A group called the Lesbian Avengers turned up to protest at his events with his face in the crosshairs of a gun. Andrew looked out at the crowd and despaired. This mad idea—his last gesture before dying—was clearly going to come to nothing. When I hear people saying that the changes we need to make in order to deal with depression and anxiety can’t happen, I imagine going back in time, to the summer of 1993, to that beach house in Provincetown, and telling Andrew something: Okay, Andrew, you’re not going to believe me, but this is what’s going to happen next. Twenty-five years from now, you’ll be alive. I know; it’s amazing; but wait—that’s not the best part. This book you’ve written—it’s going to spark a movement. And this book—it’s going to be quoted in a key Supreme Court ruling declaring marriage equality for gay people. And I’m going to be with you and your future husband the day after you receive a letter from the president of the United States telling you that this fight for gay marriage that you started has succeeded in part because of you. He’s going to light up the White House like the rainbow flag that day. He’s going to invite you to have dinner there, to thank you for what you’ve done. Oh, and by the way—that president? He’s going to be black.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
실시간 정품인증가능합니다... 필요하신분들은 언제든 연락주세요^^ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ 사이트문의~홈피:hp2345.0pe.kr 카톡↔ghb8 ☎ Lee was indicted on charges of driving a van near Cheonan Nadulmok on the Gyeongbu Expressway at 3:41 a.m. on Aug. 23, 2014, when he hit a truck parked on a shoulder road. His seven-month-old pregnant wife (then 24-year-old) died. Lee's wife had an insurance contract worth 9.5 billion won. So far, the combined delayed interest rate has exceeded 10 billion won. The court's judgment was widely mixed. The first trial acquitted him of the crime, saying, "Indirect evidence against the accused cannot prove the crime," and the second trial sentenced him to life imprisonment, saying, "The indictment is recognized given that he bought an additional 3 billion won in insurance two months before the accident." In May 2017, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Daejeon High Court with the intent of innocence, saying, "The motive for the crime should be clearer, but it is not.
클렌부테롤구입,카톡↔ghb8 ☎ ,메디텍위니구입
FORGET FERES DOCTRINE And the military has immunity! Yes! The feres doctrine! It states “the Government is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to servicemen where injuries arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service” (U.S. Supreme Court 1950). Federal law and our Supreme Court shield acts of rape and sexual brutality in the military as proven by its subsequent ruling on a 2001 case that denied a plaintiffs right to file a civil suit against her accusers. Yet when women report the crime, it is handled internally Commanders are given the discretion to resolve complaints. The report may not go beyond his office. Many times he's part of the problem or a sympathizer with the offender. This certainly was my case! Our Supreme Court ruled as recently as 2001 that rape is an injury incident to the course of activity in the service! THE HEINOUS CRIME OF RAPE IS ACCEPTABLE AND CONDONED BY OUR SUPREME COURT! WOMEN ARE FAIR GAME FOR RAPE AND HARRASSMENT, ACCORDING TO OUR SUPREME COURT! CONGRESS IS NO BETTER! NO LAWS ARE PASSED TO PROTECT US IN THE MILITARY AGAINST THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR THE FELONY OF RAPE!
Diane Chamberlain (Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders)
Barrons’ head whipped around and he stared at me. You said nothing of this to me? You said nothing to me about my mother? What do you know about her? About me? His dark gaze promised retribution for my oversight. So did mine. I hated this. Barrons and I were enemies. It confused my head and hurt my heart. I’d grieved him as if I’d lost the only person who mattered to me, and now here we were, adversaries again. Were we destined to be eternal enemies? One of us is going to have to trust the other, I told him. Your first, Ms. Lane. That was the whole problem. Neither of us would take the risk. I had a lengthy list of reasons why I shouldn’t, and they were sound. My daddy could take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing my side. Barrons didn’t inspire trust. He didn’t even bother trying. When hell freezes over, Barrons. Same bloody page, Ms. Lane. Same bloody— I turned my gaze away in the middle of his sentence, the ocular equivalent of flipping him the bird. Ryodan was watching us, hard. “Butt out,” I warned. “This is between him and me. All you need to do is keep my parents safe and—” “Little hard to do when you’re such a fucking loose cannon.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
The dilemma facing Bush and the Republicans was clear. If Marshall left, they could not leave the Supreme Court an all-white institution; at the same time, they had to choose a nominee who would stay true to the conservative cause. The list of plausible candidates who fit both qualifications pretty much began and ended with Clarence Thomas. … There was awkwardness about the selection from the start. "The fact that he is black and a minority has nothing to do with this," Bush said. "He is the best qualified at this time." The statement was self-evidently preposterous; Thomas had served as a judge for only a year and, before that, displayed few of the customary signs of professional distinction that are the rule for future justices. For example, he had never argued a single case in any federal appeals court, much less in the Supreme Court; he had never written a book, an article, or even a legal brief of any consequence. Worse, Bush's endorsement raised themes that would haunt not only Thomas's confirmation hearings but also his tenure as a justice. Like the contemporary Republican Party as a whole, Bush and Thomas opposed preferential treatment on account of race—and Bush had chosen Thomas in large part because of his race. The contradiction rankled.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
My best advice about writer’s block is: the reason you’re having a hard time writing is because of a conflict between the GOAL of writing well and the FEAR of writing badly. By default, our instinct is to conquer the fear, but our feelings are much, much, less within our control than the goals we set, and since it’s the conflict BETWEEN the two forces blocking you, if you simply change your goal from “writing well” to “writing badly,” you will be a veritable fucking fountain of material, because guess what, man, we don’t like to admit it, because we’re raised to think lack of confidence is synonymous with paralysis, but, let’s just be honest with ourselves and each other: we can only hope to be good writers. We can only ever hope and wish that will ever happen, that’s a bird in the bush. The one in the hand is: we suck. We are terrified we suck, and that terror is oppressive and pervasive because we can VERY WELL see the possibility that we suck. We are well acquainted with it. We know how we suck like the backs of our shitty, untalented hands. We could write a fucking book on how bad a book would be if we just wrote one instead of sitting at a desk scratching our dumb heads trying to figure out how, by some miracle, the next thing we type is going to be brilliant. It isn’t going to be brilliant. You stink. Prove it. It will go faster. And then, after you write something incredibly shitty in about six hours, it’s no problem making it better in passes, because in addition to being absolutely untalented, you are also a mean, petty CRITIC. You know how you suck and you know how everything sucks and when you see something that sucks, you know exactly how to fix it, because you’re an asshole. So that is my advice about getting unblocked. Switch from team “I will one day write something good” to team “I have no choice but to write a piece of shit” and then take off your “bad writer” hat and replace it with a “petty critic” hat and go to town on that poor hack’s draft and that’s your second draft. Fifteen drafts later, or whenever someone paying you starts yelling at you, who knows, maybe the piece of shit will be good enough or maybe everyone in the world will turn out to be so hopelessly stupid that they think bad things are good and in any case, you get to spend so much less time at a keyboard and so much more at a bar where you really belong because medicine because childhood trauma because the Supreme Court didn’t make abortion an option until your unwanted ass was in its third trimester. Happy hunting and pecking!
Dan Harmon
In times of crisis you either deepen democracy, or you go to the other extreme and become totalitarian. Our struggles for democracy have taught us some important and valuable lessons. Over a million citizen activists of all ethnic groups, mostly young people, made history by going door to door, urging voters to go to the polls and send Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. We did this because we believed and hoped that this charismatic black man could bring about the transformational changes we urgently need at this time on the clock of the world, when the U.S. empire is unraveling and the American pursuit of unlimited economic growth has reached its social and ecological limits. We have since witnessed the election of our first black president stir increasingly dangerous counterrevolutionary resentments in a white middle class uncertain of its future in a country that is losing two wars and eliminating well-paying union jobs. We have watched our elected officials in DC bail out the banks while wheeling and dealing with insurance company lobbyists to deliver a contorted version of health care reform. We have been stunned by the audacity of the Supreme Court as it reaffirmed the premise that corporations are persons and validated corporate financing of elections in its Citizens United decision.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Sadly, not all veterans had equal access to an education, even under the GI Bill’s amendments. Although no provision prevented African American and female veterans from securing an education under the bill, these veterans returned to a nation that still endorsed segregated schools and largely believed a woman’s place was in the home. For African American veterans, educational opportunities were limited. In the words of historian Christopher P. Loss, “Legalized segregation denied most black veterans admission into the nation’s elite, overwhelmingly white universities, and insufficient capacity at the all-black schools they could attend failed to match black veterans’ demand.” The number of African American students at U.S. colleges and universities tripled between 1940 and 1950, but many prospective students were turned away because of their race. For those African Americans who did earn a degree under the GI Bill, employment discrimination prevented them from gaining positions commensurate with their education. Many African American college graduates were offered low-level jobs that they could have secured without any education. Almost a decade elapsed between V-J Day and the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down segregated schools. It would take another decade after Brown for the civil rights movement to fully develop and for public schools to make significant strides in integrating.
Molly Guptill Manning (When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II)
In a democratic society, presumably, the public business is carried on in conversation with the actual values of people who are the society. In a survey of North Carolinians in the 1970s, seventy-four percent agree with the statement: "Human rights come from God and not merely from laws." . . . North Carolinians may be more "traditional" than other Americans on these scores, although there is no reason to assume that. One suspects, rather, that there is among Americans a deep and widespread uneasiness about the denial of the obvious. The obvious is that, in some significant sense, this is, as the Supreme Court said in 1931, a Christian people. The popular intuition is that this fact ought, somehow, to make a difference. It is not an embarrassment to be denied or disguised. It is an inescapable part of what Bickel calls the "tradition of our society and of kindred societies that have gone before." Not only is it tradition in the sense of historic past; it is demonstrably the present source of moral vitalities by which we measure our virtues and hypocrisies. The notion that this is a secular society is relatively new. . . . In a democratic society, state and society must draw from the same moral well. In addition, because transcendence abhors a vacuum, the state that styles itself as secular will almost certainly succumb to secularism. Because government cannot help but make moral judgments of an ultimate nature, it must, if it has in principle excluded identifiable religion, make those judgments by "secular" reasoning that is given the force of religion. . . . More than that, the notion of the secular state can become the prelude to totalitarianism. That is, once religion is reduced to nothing more than privatized conscience, the public square has only two actors in it--the state and the individual. Religion as a mediating structure--a community that generates and transmits moral values--is no longer available as a countervailing force to the ambitions of the state. . . . No, the chief attack is upon the institutions that bear and promulgate belief in a transcendent reality by which the state can be called to judgment. Such institutions threaten the totalitarian proposition that everything is to be within the state, nothing is to be outside the state.
Richard John Neuhaus (The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America)
On a Sunday this January, probably of whatever year it is when you read this (at least as long as I’m living), I will probably be preaching somewhere in a church on “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” Here’s a confession: I hate it. Don’t get me wrong. I love to preach the Bible. And I love to talk about the image of God and the protection of all human life. I hate this Sunday not because of what we have to say, but that we have to say it at all. The idea of aborting an unborn child or abusing a born child or starving an elderly person or torturing an enemy combatant or screaming at an immigrant family, these ought all to be so self-evidently wrong that a “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” ought to be as unnecessary as a “Reality of Gravity Sunday.” We shouldn’t have to say that parents shouldn’t abort their children, or their fathers shouldn’t abandon the mothers of their babies, or that no human life is worthless regardless of age, skin color, disability, or economic status. Part of my thinking here is, I hope, a sign of God’s grace, a groaning by the Spirit at this world of abortion clinics and torture chambers (Rom. 8:22–23). But part of it is my own inability to see the spiritual combat zone that the world is, and has been from Eden onward. This dark present reality didn’t begin with the antebellum South or with the modern warfare state, and it certainly didn’t begin with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Human dignity is about the kingdom of God, and that means that in every place and every culture human dignity is contested.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
A second example of this abandonment of fundamental principles can be found in recent trends in the U.S. Supreme Court. Note what Lino A. Graglia, a professor of law at the University of Texas, has to say about this: 'Purporting merely to enforce the Constitution, the Supreme Court has for some thirty years usurped and exercised legislative powers that its predecessors could not have dreamed of, making itself the most powerful and important institution of government in regard to the nature and quality of life in our society.... 'It has literally decided issues of life and death, removing from the states the power to prevent or significantly restrain the practice of abortion, and, after effectively prohibiting capital punishment for two decades, now imposing such costly and time-consuming restrictions on its use as almost to amount to prohibition. 'In the area of morality and religion, the Court has removed from both the federal and state government nearly all power to prohibit the distribution and sale or exhibition of pornographic materials.... It has prohibited the states from providing for prayer or Bible-reading in the public schools. 'The Court has created for criminal defendants rights that do not exist under any other system of law-for example, the possibility of almost endless appeals with all costs paid by the state-and which have made the prosecution so complex and difficult as to make the attempt frequently seem not worthwhile. It has severely restricted the power of the states and cities to limit marches and other public demonstrations and otherwise maintain order in the streets and other public places.
Ezra Taft Benson (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner)
The history of black workers in the United States illustrates the point. As already noted, from the late nineteenth-century on through the middle of the twentieth century, the labor force participation rate of American blacks was slightly higher than that of American whites. In other words, blacks were just as employable at the wages they received as whites were at their very different wages. The minimum wage law changed that. Before federal minimum wage laws were instituted in the 1930s, the black unemployment rate was slightly lower than the white unemployment rate in 1930. But then followed the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938—all of which imposed government-mandated minimum wages, either on a particular sector or more broadly. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which promoted unionization, also tended to price black workers out of jobs, in addition to union rules that kept blacks from jobs by barring them from union membership. The National Industrial Recovery Act raised wage rates in the Southern textile industry by 70 percent in just five months and its impact nationwide was estimated to have cost blacks half a million jobs. While this Act was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was upheld by the High Court and became the major force establishing a national minimum wage. As already noted, the inflation of the 1940s largely nullified the effect of the Fair Labor Standards Act, until it was amended in 1950 to raise minimum wages to a level that would have some actual effect on current wages. By 1954, black unemployment rates were double those of whites and have continued to be at that level or higher. Those particularly hard hit by the resulting unemployment have been black teenage males. Even though 1949—the year before a series of minimum wage escalations began—was a recession year, black teenage male unemployment that year was lower than it was to be at any time during the later boom years of the 1960s. The wide gap between the unemployment rates of black and white teenagers dates from the escalation of the minimum wage and the spread of its coverage in the 1950s. The usual explanations of high unemployment among black teenagers—inexperience, less education, lack of skills, racism—cannot explain their rising unemployment, since all these things were worse during the earlier period when black teenage unemployment was much lower. Taking the more normal year of 1948 as a basis for comparison, black male teenage unemployment then was less than half of what it would be at any time during the decade of the 1960s and less than one-third of what it would be in the 1970s. Unemployment among 16 and 17-year-old black males was no higher than among white males of the same age in 1948. It was only after a series of minimum wage escalations began that black male teenage unemployment not only skyrocketed but became more than double the unemployment rates among white male teenagers. In the early twenty-first century, the unemployment rate for black teenagers exceeded 30 percent. After the American economy turned down in the wake of the housing and financial crises, unemployment among black teenagers reached 40 percent.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy)
Make then your forecasts, my lords Astrologers, with your slavish physicians, by means of those astrolabes with which you seek to discern the fantastic nine moving spheres; in these you finally imprison your own minds, so that you appear to me but as parrots in a cage, while I watch you dancing up and down, turning and hopping within those circles. We know that the Supreme Ruler cannot have a seat so narrow, so miserable a throne, so straight a tribunal, so scanty a court, so small and feeble a simulacrum that a phantasm can bring to birth, a dream shatter, a delusion restore, a chimera disperse, a calamity diminish, a misdeed abolish and a thought renew it again, so that indeed with a puff of air it were brimful and with a single gulp it were emptied. On the contrary we recognize a noble image, a marvellous conception, a supreme figure, an exalted shadow, an infinite representation of the represented infinity, a spectacle worthy of the excellence and supremacy of Him who transcendeth understanding, comprehension or grasp. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of his kingdom made manifest; he is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds.
Giordano Bruno (On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds: Five Cosmological Dialogues (Collected Works of Giordano Bruno Book 2))
Hitler and Mussolini were indeed authoritarians, but it doesn’t follow that authoritarianism equals fascism or Nazism. Lenin and Stalin were authoritarian, but neither was a fascist. Many dictators—Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile, Perón in Argentina, Amin in Uganda—were authoritarian without being fascists or Nazis. Trump admittedly has a bossy style that he gets from, well, being a boss. He has been a corporate boss all his life, and he also played a boss on TV. Republicans elected Trump because they needed a tough guy to take on Hillary; previously they tried bland, harmless candidates like Romney, and look where that got them. That being said, Trump has done nothing to subvert the democratic process. While progressives continue to allege a plot between Trump and the Russians to rig the election, the only evidence for actual rigging comes from the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to rig the 2016 primary in favor of Hillary over Bernie. This rigging evoked virtually no dissent from Democratic officials or from the media, suggesting the support, or at least acquiescence, of the whole progressive movement and most of the party itself. Trump fired his FBI director, provoking dark ruminations in the Washington Post about Trump’s “respect for the rule of law,” yet Trump’s action was entirely lawful.18 He has criticized judges, sometimes in derisive terms, but contrary to Timothy Snyder there is nothing undemocratic about this. Lincoln blasted Justice Taney over the Dred Scott decision, and FDR was virtually apoplectic when the Supreme Court blocked his New Deal initiatives. Criticizing the media isn’t undemocratic either. The First Amendment isn’t just a press prerogative; the president too has the right to free speech.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
Many people take this as evidence of duplicity or cynicism. But they don’t know what it’s like to be expected to make comments, almost every working day, on things of which they have little or no reliable knowledge or about which they just don’t care. They don’t appreciate the sheer number of things on which a politician is expected to have a position. Issues on which the governor had no strong opinions, events over which he had no control, situations on which it served no useful purpose for him to comment—all required some kind of remark from our office. On a typical day Aaron might be asked to comment on the indictment of a local school board chairman, the ongoing drought in the Upstate, a dispute between a power company and the state’s environmental regulatory agency, and a study concluding that some supposedly crucial state agency had been underfunded for a decade. Then there were the things the governor actually cared about: a senate committee’s passage of a bill on land use, a decision by the state supreme court on legislation applying to only one county, a public university’s decision to raise tuition by 12 percent. Commenting on that many things is unnatural, and sometimes it was impossible to sound sincere. There was no way around it, though. Journalists would ask our office about anything having remotely to do with the governor’s sphere of authority, and you could give only so many minimalist responses before you began to sound disengaged or ignorant or dishonest. And the necessity of having to manufacture so many views on so many subjects, day after day, fosters a sense that you don’t have to believe your own words. You get comfortable with insincerity. It affected all of us, not just the boss. Sometimes I felt no more attachment to the words I was writing than a dog has to its vomit.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
In one respect, though, the Court received unfair criticism for Bush v. Gore—from those who said the justices in the majority "stole the election" for Bush. Rather, what the Court did was remove any uncertainty about the outcome. It is possible that if the Court had ruled fairly—or better yet, not taken the case at all—Gore would have won the election. A recount might have led to a Gore victory in Florida. It is also entirely possible that, had the Court acted properly and left the resolution of the election to the Florida courts, Bush would have won anyway. The recount of the 60,000 undervotes might have resulted in Bush's preserving his lead. The Florida legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, might have stepped in and awarded the state's electoral votes to Bush. And if the dispute had wound up in the House of Representatives, which has the constitutional duty to resolve controversies involving the Electoral College, Bush might have won there, too. The tragedy of the Court's performance in the election of 2000 was not that it led to Bush's victory but the inept and unsavory manner with which the justices exercised their power.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Every Pirate Wants to Be an Admiral IT’S NOT AS though this is the first time we’ve had to rethink what copyright is, what it should do, and whom it should serve. The activities that copyright regulates—copying, transmission, display, performance—are technological activities, so when technology changes, it’s usually the case that copyright has to change, too. And it’s rarely pretty. When piano rolls were invented, the composers, whose income came from sheet music, were aghast. They couldn’t believe that player-piano companies had the audacity to record and sell performances of their work. They tried—unsuccessfully—to have such recordings classified as copyright violations. Then (thanks in part to the institution of a compulsory license) the piano-roll pirates and their compatriots in the wax-cylinder business got legit, and became the record industry. Then the radio came along, and broadcasters had the audacity to argue that they should be able to play records over the air. The record industry was furious, and tried (unsuccessfully) to block radio broadcasts without explicit permission from recording artists. Their argument was “When we used technology to appropriate and further commercialize the works of composers, that was progress. When these upstart broadcasters do it to our records, that’s piracy.” A few decades later, with the dust settled around radio transmission, along came cable TV, which appropriated broadcasts sent over the air and retransmitted them over cables. The broadcasters argued (unsuccessfully) that this was a form of piracy, and that the law should put an immediate halt to it. Their argument? The familiar one: “When we did it, it was progress. When they do it to us, that’s piracy.” Then came the VCR, which instigated a landmark lawsuit by the cable operators and the studios, a legal battle that was waged for eight years, finishing up in the 1984 Supreme Court “Betamax” ruling. You can look up the briefs if you’d like, but fundamentally, they went like this: “When we took the broadcasts without permission, that was progress. Now that someone’s recording our cable signals without permission, that’s piracy.” Sony won, and fifteen years later it was one of the first companies to get in line to sue Internet companies that were making it easier to copy music and videos online. I have a name for the principle at work here: “Every pirate wants to be an admiral.
Cory Doctorow (Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age)
These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing, If they do not enclose everything they are next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This is the common air that bathes the globe. This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour, This is the tasteless water of souls.... this is the true sustenance, It is for the illiterate.... it is for the judges of the supreme court . . . . it is for the federal capitol and the state capitols, It is for the admirable communes of literary men and composers and singers and lecturers and engineers and savans, It is for the endless races of working people and farmers and seamen. This is the trill of a thousand clear cornets and scream of the octave flute and strike of triangles. I play not a march for victors only.... I play great marches for conquered and slain persons. Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall.... battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Progressives today are quick to fault “America” for slavery and a host of other outrages. America did this, America did that. As we will see in this book, America didn’t do those things, the Democrats did. So the Democrats have cleverly foisted their sins on America, and then presented themselves as the messiahs offering redemption for those sins. It’s crazy, but it’s also ingenious. We have to give them credit for ingenuity. The second whitewash is to portray the Civil War entirely in terms of the North versus the South. The North is supposedly the anti-slavery side and the South is the pro-slavery side. A recent example is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article about the Confederate battle flag in The Atlantic.3 Now of course there is an element of truth in this, in that the Civil War was fought between northern states and southern states. But this neat and convenient division ignores several important details. First, the defenders of the Confederate cause were, almost without exception, Democrats. Coates cites many malefactors from Senator Jefferson Davis to Senator James Henry Hammond to Georgia Governor Joseph Brown. Yet while identifying these men as southerners and Confederates, Coates omits to identify them as Democrats. Second, Coates and other progressives conveniently ignore the fact that northern Democrats were also protectors of slavery. We will see in this chapter how Stephen Douglas and other northern Democrats fought to protect slavery in the South and in the new territories. Moreover, the southerners who fought for the Confederacy cannot be said to have fought merely to protect slavery on their plantations. Indeed, fewer than one-third of white families in the South on the eve of the Civil War had slaves. Thus the rigid North-South interpretation of the Civil War conceals—and is intended to conceal—the active complicity of Democrats across the country to save, protect, and even extend the “peculiar institution.” As the Charleston Mercury editorialized during the secession debate, the duty of the South was to “rally under the banner of the Democratic Party which has recognized and supported . . . the rights of the South.”4 The real divide was between the Democratic Party as the upholder of slavery and the Republican Party as the adversary of slavery. All the figures who upheld and defended American slavery—Senators John C. Calhoun and Stephen Douglas, President James Buchanan, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, architect of the Dred Scott decision, and the main leaders of the Confederacy—were Democrats. All the heroes of black emancipation—from the black abolitionists Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, to the woman who organized the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, to the leader whose actions finally destroyed American slavery, Abraham Lincoln—were Republicans. It is of the utmost importance to progressive propagandists to conceal or at least ignore this essential historical truth.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
True law necessarily is rooted in ethical assumptions or norms; and those ethical principles are derived, in the beginning at least, from religious convictions. When the religious understanding, from which a concept of law arose in a culture, has been discarded or denied, the laws may endure for some time, through what sociologists call "cultural lag"; but in the long run, the laws also will be discarded or denied. With this hard truth in mind, I venture to suggest that the corpus of English and American laws--for the two arise for the most part from a common root of belief and experience--cannot endure forever unless it is animated by the spirit that moved it in the beginning: that is, by religion, and specifically by the Christian people. Certain moral postulates of Christian teaching have been taken for granted, in the past, as the ground of justice. When courts of law ignore those postulates, we grope in judicial darkness. . . . We suffer from a strong movement to exclude such religious beliefs from the operation of courts of law, and to discriminate against those unenlightened who cling fondly to the superstitions of the childhood of the race. Many moral beliefs, however, though sustained by religious convictions, may not be readily susceptible of "scientific" demonstration. After all, our abhorrence of murder, rape, and other crimes may be traced back to the Decalogue and other religious injunctions. If it can be shown that our opposition to such offenses is rooted in religion, then are restraints upon murder and rape unconstitutional? We arrive at such absurdities if we attempt to erect a wall of separation between the operation of the laws and those Christian moral convictions that move most Americans. If we are to try to sustain some connection between Christian teaching and the laws of this land of ours, we must understand the character of that link. We must claim neither too much nor too little for the influence of Christian belief upon our structure of law. . . . I am suggesting that Christian faith and reason have been underestimated in an age bestridden, successively, by the vulgarized notions of the rationalists, the Darwinians, and the Freudians. Yet I am not contending that the laws ever have been the Christian word made flesh nor that they can ever be. . . . What Christianity (or any other religion) confers is not a code of positive laws, but instead some general understanding of justice, the human condition being what it is. . . . In short, judges cannot well be metaphysicians--not in the execution of their duties upon the bench, at any rate, even though the majority upon the Supreme Court of this land, and judges in inferior courts, seem often to have mistaken themselves for original moral philosophers during the past quarter century. The law that judges mete out is the product of statute, convention, and precedent. Yet behind statute, convention, and precedent may be discerned, if mistily, the forms of Christian doctrines, by which statute and convention and precedent are much influenced--or once were so influenced. And the more judges ignore Christian assumptions about human nature and justice, the more they are thrown back upon their private resources as abstract metaphysicians--and the more the laws of the land fall into confusion and inconsistency. Prophets and theologians and ministers and priests are not legislators, ordinarily; yet their pronouncements may be incorporated, if sometimes almost unrecognizably, in statute and convention and precedent. The Christian doctrine of natural law cannot be made to do duty for "the law of the land"; were this tried, positive justice would be delayed to the end of time. Nevertheless, if the Christian doctrine of natural law is cast aside utterly by magistrates, flouted and mocked, then positive law becomes patternless and arbitrary.
Russell Kirk (Rights And Duties: Reflections On Our Conservative Constitution)