Harry A. Blackmun

(Harry Andrew Blackmun)

Harry A. Blackmun
Harry A. Blackmun
  • Born: November 12, 1908
  • Died: March 4, 1999
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Judge

36

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27

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78

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Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some. Equality & Equal Opportunity
A necessary corollary of giving individuals freedom to choose how to conduct their lives is acceptance of the fact that different individuals will make different choices. Freedom & Liberty
Abortion raises moral and spiritual questions over which honorable persons can disagree sincerely and profoundly. But those disagreements did not then and do not now relieve us of our duty to apply the Constitution faithfully. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
Behind every case there are individual people. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Do not use a litmus test in the appointment of judges. Just get good judges.
Few decisions are more personal and intimate, more properly private, or more basic to individual dignity and autonomy than a woman's decision ... whether to end her pregnancy. A woman's right to make that choice freely is fundamental. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
History is full of changings of the guard—some for the better, some for the worse. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
I apologize for what the media has done. Media, Journalism & The Press
I believe it contrary to any standard of decency to execute someone who is actually innocent. The execution of a person who can show that he is innocent comes perilously close to simple murder. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I feel morally and intellectually required to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. Discrimination & Prejudice
If we should pass on whether or not a film is pornographic, we should take a look at it. Taxes
I'm always a little happier if the court stays somewhat in the center. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race.... And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.. Minorities & Women
Life itself is controversy. Miscellaneous
The Court had better be right in its capital punishment cases and perhaps it not always is. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The court stands less than tall when it defers hearing a case for political reasons. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The death penalty experiment has failed …. I will no longer tinker with the machinery of death. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
The execution of a person who can show that he is innocent comes perilously close to simple murder. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
The mixing of government and religion can be a threat to free government, even if no one is forced to participate.... When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. Religion & God
The states are not free, under the guise of protecting maternal health or potential life, to intimidate women into continuing pregnancies. Life ;Women ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
The word 'person', as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
There is another world out there, the existence of which the Court, I suspect, either chooses to ignore or fears to recognize. And so the cancer of poverty will continue to grow. Poverty
There is no deterrent effect whatsoever by the presence of the death penalty. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
Think of any name. I’ve been called it in these letters. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
This right of privacy... is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy… Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
By placing discretion in the hands of an official to grant or deny a license, such a statute creates a threat of censorship that by its very existence chills free speech.
Disapproval of homosexuality cannot justify invading the houses, hearts and minds of citizens who choose to live their lives differently.
I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. Death
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. Equality & Equal Opportunity
It is precisely because the issue raised by this case touches the heart of what makes individuals what they are that we should be especially sensitive to the rights of those whose choices upset the majority.
The flaw in the statute is that in all its applications, it operates on a fundamentally mistaken premise that high solicitation costs are an accurate measure of fraud.
The right of an individual to conduct intimate relationships in the intimacy of his or her own home seems to me to be the heart of the Constitution's protection of privacy.
What the Court really has refused to recognize is the fundamental interest all individuals have in controlling the nature of their intimate associations. Nature
Who is to say that 5 men 10 years ago were right whereas 5 men looking the other direction today are wrong.

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