Learned Hand

(Billings Learned Hand)

Learned Hand
Learned Hand
  • Born: January 27, 1872
  • Died: August 18, 1961
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Judge

74

Quotes

57

Citations

241

Concepts

0

Videos

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
... community is already in process of disillusion where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
… it [is] a judge's duty to decide, not to debate. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… when the men who met in 1787 to make our Constitution they made the best political document ever made; but, remember, they did so very largely because they were great compromisers. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is a possession of a savage few. Freedom & Liberty
A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few. Freedom & Liberty
Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Taxes
Counting heads is not an ideal way to govern, at least it is better than breaking them. Public Opinion & Polling
Heretics have been hated from the beginning of recorded time; they have been ostracized, exiled, tortured, maimed, and butchered; but it has generally proved impossible to smother them; and when it has not, the society that has succeeded has always declined. Freedom & Liberty
History is only a feeble light, for the rubrics were meant to answer future problems unimagined and unimaginable History
How long shall we blunder along without the aid of unpartisan and authoritative scientific assistance in the administration of justice, no one knows; but all fair persons not conventionalized by provincial legal habits of mind ought, I should think, unite to effect some change. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I had rather take my chance that some traitors will escape detection than spread abroad a spirit of general suspicion and distrust, which accepts rumor and gossip in place of undismayed and unintimidated inquiry. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I had rather take my chances that some traitors will escape detection than spread abroad a spirit of general suspicion and distrust, which accepts rumor and gossip in place of undismayed and unintimidated inquiry. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
I know how illusory would be the belief that my vote determined anything; but nevertheless when I go to the polls I have a satisfaction in the sense that we are all engaged in a common venture. Voters, Voting & Elections
If the prosecution of crime is to be conducted with so little regard for that protection which centuries of English law have given to the individual, we are indeed at the dawn of a new era; and much that we have deemed vital to our liberties, is a delusion. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment. Thou shall not ration justice. Justice & Injustice
If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice. Justice & Injustice
In the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy. Freedom & Liberty
It [liberty] is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow. Freedom & Liberty
It is of course true that any kind of judicial legislation is objectionable on the score of the limited interests which a Court can represent, yet there are wrongs which in fact legislatures cannot be brought to take an interest in, at least not until the Courts have acted. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is still in the lap of the gods whether a society can succeed which is based on "civil liberties and human rights" conceived as I have tried to describe them; but of one thing at least we may be sure: the alternatives that have so far appeared have been immeasurably worse Freedom & Liberty
It is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy. Freedom & Liberty
It would be most irksome to be ruled by a bevy of Platonic Guardians. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Justice is the tolerable accommodation of the conflicting interests of society, and I don't believe there is any royal road to attain such accommodation concretely Justice & Injustice
Liberty dies in the hearts of men and women: when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. Freedom & Liberty
Liberty is so much latitude as the powerful choose to accord to the weak. Power
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. Freedom & Liberty
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? Freedom & Liberty
Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us. Life ;Management & Managing Government
No doubt one may quote history to support any cause, as the devil quotes scripture; but modern history is not a very satisfactory side-arm in political polemics; it grows less and less so. History
Our dangers ... are not from the outrageous but from the conforming. Defense & National Security
Our dangers, as it seems to me, are not from the outrageous but from the conforming Defense & National Security
Our dangers, as it seems to me, are not from the outrageous but from the conforming; not from those who rarely and under the lurid glare of obloquy upset our moral complaisance, or shock us with unaccustomed conduct, but from those, the mass of us, who take their virtues and their tastes, like their shirts and their furniture, from the limited patterns which the market offers. Defense & National Security
Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs so as to make taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor, and do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more taxes than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. Taxes
Political agitation, by the passions it arouses or the convictions it engenders, may in fact stimulate men to the violation of the law. Detestation of existing policies is easily transformed into forcible resistance of the authority which puts them in execution, and it would be folly to disregard the causal relation between the two. Yet to assimilate agitation, legitimate as such, with direct incitement to violent resistance, is to disregard the tolerance of all methods of political agitation which in normal times is a safeguard of free government. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
Right knows no boundaries, and justice no frontiers. Justice & Injustice
That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy Miscellaneous
The apathy of the modern voter is the confusion of the modern reformer. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The condition of our survival in any but the meagerest existence is our willingness to accommodate ourselves to the conflicting interests of others, to learn to live in a social world. Democracies & Republics ;Human Nature ;Public Opinion & Polling
The condition of our survival in any but the meagerest existence is our willingness to accommodate ourselves to the conflicting interests of others, to learn to live in a social world. Public Opinion & Polling
The condition of our survival in any but the meagerest existence is our willingness to accommodate ourselves to the conflicting interests of others, to learn to live in a social world. Human Nature
The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen, and the far spread magazine, rules the country. Media, Journalism & The Press
The judge has no right to divinations of public opinion which run counter to its last formal expressions. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The judge’s authority depends upon the assumption that he speaks with the mouth of others. Justice & Injustice
The judge's authority depends upon the assumption that he speaks with the mouth of others Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The language of the law must not be foreign to the ears of those who are to obey it. Legislating & Legislative Process
The public official must pick his way nicely, must learn to placate though not to yield too much, to have the art of honeyed words but not to seem neutral, and above all to keep constantly audible, visible, likable, even kissable. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not too sure that it is right Freedom & Liberty
The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. Freedom & Liberty
The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. Liberals & Conservatives
The tradition of English-speaking freedom has depended in no small part upon the merely procedural requirement that the state point with exactness to just that conduct which violates the law. It is difficult and often impossible to meet the charge that one's general ethos is treasonable. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Two conditions are essential to the realization of justice according to law. The law must have an authority supreme over the will of the individual, and such an authority can arise only from a background of social acquiescence, which gives it the voice of indefinitely greater numbers than those of its expositors. Thus, the law surpasses the deliverances of even the most exalted of its prophets; the momentum of its composite will alone makes it effective to coerce the individual and reconciles him to his subserviency. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Was not the issue this: whether mankind should be divided between those who command and those who serve; between those who use others at their will and those who must submit; whether the measure of a man's power to shape his own destiny should be the force at his disposal? Our nation was founded upon an answer to those questions, and we have fought this war to make good that answer. Democracies & Republics
We believe, and I think properly, that when the men who met in 1787 to make our Constitution they made the best political document ever made; but, remember, they did so very largely because they were great compromisers. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
What seems fair enough against a squalid huckster of bad liquor may take on a different face, if used by a government determined to suppress political opposition under the guise of sedition Power
Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
You cannot raise the standard against oppression, or leap into the breach to relieve injustice, and still keep an open mind to every disconcerting fact or can open an ear to the cold voice of doubt. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
A self-made man may prefer a self-made name.
I shall ask no more than that you agree with Dean Inge that even though counting heads is not an ideal way to govern, at least it is better than breaking them.
If we are to keep democracy, there must be a commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice.
It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage. Life
It lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. Women
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. Women
Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers. Life ;Time
No doubt one may quote history to support any cause, as the devil quotes scripture. History
Right knows no boundaries, and justice no frontiers; the brotherhood of man is not a domestic institution.
The aim of law is the maximum gratification of the nervous system of man.
The art of publicity is a black art; but it has come to stay, and every year adds to its potency. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The mid-day sun is too much for most eyes; one is dazzled even with its reflection. Be careful that too broad and high an aim does not paralyze your effort and clog your springs of action.
Thou shalt not ration justice.
We may win when we lose, if we have done what we can; for by so doing we have made real at least some part of that finished product in whose fabrication we are most concerned: ourselves.
What to an outsider will be no more than the vigorous presentation of a conviction, to an employee may be the manifestation of a determination which it is not safe to thwart.
Words are not pebbles in alien juxtaposition.
You cannot raise the standard against oppression, or leap into the breach to relieve injustice, and still keep an open mind to every disconcerting fact, or an open ear to the cold voice of doubt.

Trending Quotes