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Do nothing to others which you would not have them do to you. Now I cannot see how, on his principle, one man is authorized to say to another, "Believe what I believe, and what you cannot, or you shall be put to death.”Francois Voltaire (1765).
Bigotry has no head and cannot think, no heart and cannot feel. When she moves it is in wrath; when she pauses it is amid ruin. Her prayers are curses, her God is a demon, her communion is death, her vengeance is eternity, her decalogue written in the blood of her victims, and if she stops for a moment in her infernal flight it is upon a kindred rock to whet her vulture fang for a more sanguinary desolation.-Daniel O'Connell.
The proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust or emolument, unless he professor renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injudiciously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right.—Thomas Jefferson (1779).
Who can be at rest, who can enjoy anything in this world with contentment, who hath not liberty to serve God and to save his own soul according to the best light which God hath planted in him to that purpose?John Milton (1649).
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that suspension. They have been either real treason, wherein the parties might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was shameful they should ever have been suspected.—Thomas Jefferson (1788).
I am for the prisoners at the bar; and shall apologize for it only in the words of the Marquis Beccaria : “If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessing and tears of transport shall be a sufficient consolation to me for the contempt of mankind.”.
Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. Nor is the law less stable than the fact.
The law, in all vicissitudes of government, fluctuations of the passions, or flights of enthusiasm, will preserve a steady undeviating course. It will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations, and wanton tempers of men. TO use the words of a great and worthy man, a patriot and a hero, an enlightened friend of mankind, and a martyr to liberty, I mean Algernon Sidney, who, from his earliest infancy, sought a tranquil retirement under the shadow of the tree of liberty with his tongue, his pen, and his sword :
“The law no passion can disturb. 'Tis void of desire and fear, lust and anger. 'Tis mens sine affectu, written reason, retaining some measure of the divine perfection. It does not enjoin that which pleases a weak, frail man, but without any regard to persons, commends that which is good, and punisies evil in all, whether rich or poor, high or low. 'Tis deaf, inexorable, inflexible. On the one hand, it is inexorable to the cries and lamentations of the prisoner; on the other, it is deaf, deaf as an adder, to the clamors of the populace."John Adams (1770).
The people are not qualified to judge questions of law; but they are very capable of judging questions of fact. In the form of juries, therefore, they determine all matters of fact, leaving to the permanent judges to decide the law resulting from those facts. It is left to the juries, if they think permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges; and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty.—Thomas Jefferson (1789).
No man should scruple or hesitate a moment to use arms in defense of so valuable a blessing as this liberty of trial by jury which we have received from our ancestors.—George Washington (1774).
The judgment of jurors is the guaranty of individual liberty in England, and in every other country in the world where men aspire to freedom.—Emanuel Joseph Sieyès.
An officer who is entrusted by the law with the sacred duty of naming judges of life and death for his fellow citizens, and who selects them exclusively from among his political and party friends, ought never to have in his power a second abuse of that tremendous magnitude.-Thomas Jefferson (1801).
The rack and torture chamber may not be substituted for the witness stand. The State may not permit an accused to be hurried to conviction under mob domination—where the whole proceeding is but a mask without supplying corrective process. The State may not deny to the accused the aid of counsel. Nor may a State, through the action of its officers, contrive a conviction through the pretense of a trial which in truth is “but used as a means of depriving a defendant of liberty through a deliberate deception of court and jury by the presentation of testimony known to be perjured.” And the trial equally is a mere pretense where the state authorities have contrived a conviction resting solely upon confessions obtained by violence.-Charles E. Hughes (1936).
Tyrannical governments have immemorially utilized dictatorial criminal procedure and punishment to make scapegoats of the weak or of helpless political, religious or racial minorities and those who differed, who would not conform and who resisted tyranny. Today, as in ages past, we are not without tragic proof that the exalted powers of some governments to punish manufactured crime dictatorially is the handmaid of tyranny.-Hugo L. Black (1940).
I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.—Thomas Jefferson (1789).
He's true to God who's true to man; wherever wrong is done,
To the humblest and the weakest, 'neath the all-beholding sun,
-James Russell Lowell (1885).
With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives to us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just
and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.—Abraham Lincoln (1865).
Human rights and constitutional privileges must not be forgotten in the race for wealth and commercial supremacy. The Government of the people must be by the people and not by a few of the people. It must rest upon the free consent of the governed and all of the governed. Power, it must be remembered, which is secured by oppressions or usurpation or by any form of injustice is soon dethroned.-William McKinley (1900).
Man is a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights, and with an innate sense of justice.—Thomas Jefferson (1823).
Where justice reigns, 'tis freedom to obey.-James Montgomery (1850).
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.—Thomas Jefferson (1776).
The divine right of kings may have been a plea for feeble tyrants, but the divine right of government is the keystone of human progress, and without it governments sink into police, and a nation is degraded into a mob.-Benjamin Disraeli (1870).
The government of the Union, then, is emphatically and truly a government of the people. In form and in substance it emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them and for their benefit.John Marshall (1819).
Where slavery is there liberty cannot be, and where liberty is there slavery cannot be.-Charles Sumner (1861).
By a divine paradox, wherever there is one slave there are two. So in the wonderful reciprocities of being, we can never reach the higher levels until all our fellows ascend with us. There is no true liberty for the individual except as he finds it in the liberty of all. There is no true security for the individual except as he finds it in the security of all.—Edwin Markham (1902).
He whom you call your slave is sprung from the same source, enjoys the same skies, breathes, lives and dies no otherwise than you. A slave he is; but he is, perhaps, a freeman in mind, and show me who is not a slave. One serves his lust; another his avarice; another his ambition; all of us are slaves to fear.Seneca (64 A. D.).
The Great Spirit did not make men that they might destroy one another, but doing to each other all the good in their power, and thus filling the land with happiness instead of misery and murder.—Thomas Jefferson (1809).
The black man who cannot let love and sympathy go out to the white man is but half free. The white man who retards his own development by opposing a black man is but half free.-Booker T. Washington (1897).
The equal right of all men is as clear as their equal right to breathe the airit is a right proclaimed by the fact of their existence. For we cannot suppose that some men have a right to be in this world, and others no right.-Henry George (1889).
The North! the South! the West! the East !
-Edmund Vance Cooke (1915).
Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration of whites who really enrich and strengthen a country. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effect, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.George Mason (1787).
The progress of the elements of our nature towards a balance is the epitome of all history, and Liberty is the exercise of that balance.—Margaret L. Petrie (1874).
We grant no dukedoms to the few,
We hold like rights and shall ;
On Monday in the mall.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1851).
What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.-Abraham Lincoln (1861).
Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.-Francois Voltaire (1760).
To be a good patriot, a man must consider his countrymen as God's creatures, and himself as accountable for his acting towards them.-George Berkeley (1748).
In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. That it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations.--Edmund Burke (1789).
We ought to remind ourselves every day of the ideals on which this country was founded—the ideals of opportunity for all people, equal rights for all.– Joseph Pasternak (1940).
The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail ; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.William Pitt (1766).
Near in importance to exemption from any arbitrary control of the person is that maxim of the common law which secures to the citizen immunity in his home against the prying eyes of the government and protection in person, property, and papers against even the process of the law, except in a few specified cases. The maxim that “every man's house is his castle,” is made a part of our constitutional law in the clauses prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, and has always been looked upon as of high value to the citizen.—Thomas M. Cooley (1898).
The constitutional guaranty of the right of the people to be secure in their papers against unreasonable searches and seizures extends to their papers, thus closed against inspection, wherever they may be. Whilst in the mail, they can only be opened and examined under like warrant, issued upon similar oath or affirmation, particularly describing the thing to be seized, as is required when papers are subjected to search in one's own household. No law of Congress can place in the hands of officials connected with the postal service any authority to invade the secrecy of letters and such sealed packages in the mail; and all regulations adopted as to mail matter of this kind must be in subordination to the great principle embodied in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.—Stephen J. Field (1877).
A man's house is his castle, and his home is his safest refuge.—Sir Edward Coke (1628).
What We Read and Write
There has never been an hour when the first aid to autocracy has not been the placing of the press in leash.-Melvin E. Stone (1873).
The liberty of the press is essential to the nature of a free state.-Sir William Blackstone (1769).
The press is the mistress of intelligence, and intelligence is mistress of the world.—Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant (1880).
Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.—Thomas Jefferson (1816).
It is now beginning to be felt that journalism is to modern Europe what political oratory was to Athens and Rome, and that, to become what it ought, it should be wielded by the same sort of men. -John Stuart Mill (1870).
The freedom of the press is vital to human progress Public opinion and the sources of its information may be controlled by despotism for a certain length of time. It is unthinkable, however, that such control can continue indefinitely. There must come a time when the instinct for individual expression will re.