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William O. Douglas Quotes

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

Common sense often makes good law.

Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance.

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

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

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

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

One who comes to the Court must come to adore, not to protest. That's the new gloss on the 1st Amendment.

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

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

The 5th Amendment is an old friend and a good friend. one of the great landmarks in men's struggle to be free of tyranny, to be decent and civilized.

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

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

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

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

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

The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.

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

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

We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.