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Anybody can decide a question if only a single principle is in controversy.
– Felix Frankfurter
The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution itself and not what we have said about it.
It must take account of what it decrees for today in order that today may not paralyze tomorrow.
I don’t like a man to be too efficient. He’s likely to be not human enough.
All our work, our whole life is a matter of semantics, because words are the tools with which we work, the material out of which laws are made, out of which the Constitution was written. Everything depends on our understanding of them.
There can be no security where there is fear.
It is anomalous to hold that in order to convict a man the police cannot extract by force what is in his mind, but can extract what is in his stomach.
Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of achieving a free society.
Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.
The mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind.
The mode by which the inevitable is reached is effort.
Judicial judgment must take deep account of the day before yesterday in order that yesterday may not paralyze today.
It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.
It simply is not true that war never settles anything.
The history of liberty has largely been the history of the observance of procedural safeguards.
We forget that the most successful statesmen have been professionals. Lincoln was a professional politician.
Litigation is the pursuit of practical ends, not a game of chess.
Old age and sickness bring out the essential characteristics of a man.
It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have been forged in controversies involving not very nice people.
I came into the world a Jew, and although I did not live my life entirely as a Jew, I think it is fitting that I should leave as a Jew. I don’t want to turn my back on a great and noble heritage.
To some lawyers, all facts are created equal.
As a member of this court I am not justified in writing my private notions of policy into the Constitution, no matter how deeply I may cherish them or how mischievous I may deem their disregard.
Answers are not obtained by putting the wrong question and thereby begging the real one.
Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.
The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes.