Robert Houghwout Jackson

Robert Houghwout Jackson
Robert Houghwout Jackson
  • Born: February 13, 1892
  • Died: October 9, 1954
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[I]n our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds—that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous. Religion & God
[T]his Court may fall into error as may other branches of the Government.... The Court differs, however ... in its ability to extricate itself from error. It can reconsider. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… due process of law is not for the sole benefit of an accused. It is the best insurance for the Government itself against those blunders which leave lasting stains on a system of justice but which are bound to occur on ex parte consideration Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… our representative system has failed. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A confession is wholly and incontestably voluntary only if a guilty person gives himself up to the law and becomes his own accuser. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A man's mere property status, without more, cannot be used by a state to test, qualify or limit his rights as a citizen of the United States. Citizenship & Patriotism
Always, as in this case, the government urges hasty decision to forestall some emergency or serve some purpose and pleads that paralysis will result if its claims to power are denied. Power
As Minister of Economics, Funk accelerated the pace of rearmament and as Reichsbank president banked for the SS the gold teeth fillings of concentration camp victims, probably the most ghoulish collateral in banking history. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Social Sciences
Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. Freedom & Liberty
Conflicts which have divided the Justices always mirror a conflict which pervades society. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Every person must be his own watchman for the truth, because the forefathers did not trust government to separate the true from the false for us. Miscellaneous
Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. Religion & God
Government of limited power need not be anemic government. Power
half militarist, half gangster Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Happily, there has been little occasion in our history for the interpretation of the powers of the President as Commander in Chief. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I cannot say that our country could have no secret police without becoming totalitarian, but I can say with great conviction that it cannot become totalitarian without a centralized national police. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
If there are other ways of gracefully and good naturedly surrendering former views to a better considered position, I invoke them all. Miscellaneous
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
In our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds -- that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous. Human Nature
Indigence in itself is neither a source of rights or a basis for denying them. Poverty
Intuitive faith and reasoned judgment are not the same. Spirit is not always thought. But, in the everyday business of living, secular or otherwise, these variant aspects of personality find inseparable expression in a thousand ways. They cannot be altogether parted in law more than in life. Religion & God
It is common to think of our own time as standing on the apex of human history. Human Nature
It is hardly lack of due process for the Government to regulate that which it subsidizes. Regulation & Deregulation
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. Democracies & Republics ;Legislating & Legislative Process
It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error. Democracies & Republics
It was my idea to keep the [Justice] Department purely a law office and not have it engage in the administration of legislation. This was based on my view that the best quality in a lawyer’s advice is disinterestedness. Management & Managing Government
It will be a sad day for the revenues if the good will of the people toward their taxing system is frittered away in efforts to accomplish by taxation moral reforms that cannot be accomplished by direct legislation. Taxes
Just what our forefathers did envision or would have envisioned had they foreseen modern conditions, must be devined from materials almost as enigmatic as the dreams Joseph was called upon to interpret for the Pharaoh. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Liberal leadership exhausts its power to persuade the discontented and the have-nots to accept ballot-box disappointments or compromises if their victories are to be nullified and if elections are effective in shaping policy only when conservatives win. Liberals & Conservatives
Limits begin to operate whenever activities begin to affect or collide with liberties of others or of the public. Religious activities which concern only members of the faith are and ought to be free -- as nearly absolutely free as anything can be. But beyond these, many religious denominations or sects engage in collateral and secular activities intended to obtain means from unbelievers to sustain the worshippers and their leaders. They raise money not merely by passing the plate to those who voluntarily attend services or by contributions by their own people, but by solicitations and drives addressed to the public by holding public dinners and entertainments, by various kinds of sales and Bingo games and lotteries. All such money-raising activities on a public scale are, I think, Caesar's affairs, and may be regulated by the state so long as it does not discriminate against one because he is doing them for a religious purpose and the regulation is not arbitrary and capricious, in violation of other provisions of the Constitution. Freedom & Liberty
Men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the executive be under the law.. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
My evangelical brethren confuse an objection to compulsion to an objection to religion. It is possible to hold a faith with enough confidence to believe that what should be rendered to God does not need to be decided and collected by Caesar Religion & God
No longer may the head of a state consider himself outside the law, and impose inhuman acts on the peoples of the world. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No one will question that this power [the war power] is the most dangerous one to free government in the whole catalogue of powers. Power
No penance would ever expiate the sin against free government of holding that a President can escape control of executive powers by law through assuming his military role. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Our American elections have been fought between parties which, roughly, have represented the forces advocating change and those preferring stability. Political Parties & Machines
Our Constitution sought to leave no excuse for violent attack on the status quo by providing a legal alternative—attack by ballot. Voters, Voting & Elections
Our forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold and independent minds are essential to the wise and considered self-government. Freedom & Liberty
Our forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold, independent minds are essential to wide and considered self-government. Freedom & Liberty
Procedural fairness and regularity are of the indispensable essence of liberty. Severe substantive laws can be endured if they are fairly and impartially applied. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Security is like liberty in that many are the crimes committed in its name. Defense & National Security
Segregation is nearing an end. If there are two or three deaths on this court, this will come. There is no way out. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The [monetary] values affected by [administrative] decisions [of government agencies] probably exceed every year many times the dollar value of all money judgments rendered by the federal courts. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The Constitution of the United States is not a suicide pact. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion it will cease to be free for religion—except for the sect that can win political power. Religion & God
The day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion it will cease to be free for religion—except for the sect that can win political power. Religion & God
The duty to disclose knowledge of crime rests upon all citizens. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The mere state of being without funds is a neutral fact—constitutionally an irrelevance, like race, creed, or color. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The power of citizenship as a shield against oppression was widely known from the example of Paul's Roman citizenship, which sent the centurion scurrying to his higher-ups with the message: "Take heed what thou doest; for this man is a Roman. Citizenship & Patriotism
The price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish. Freedom & Liberty
The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The ultimate function of the Supreme Court is nothing less than the arbitration between fundamental and ever-present rival forces or trends in our organized society. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars, which are inevitable in a situation of periodic lawlessness is to make statesmen responsible to the law. War & Peace
The very nature of executive decisions as to foreign policy is political, not judicial. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials … Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
There is only one excuse for packing the [Supreme] Court and that is to change it. Justice & Injustice
Time has proved that the Supreme Court’s judgment was wrong on the most outstanding issues upon which it chose to challenge the popular branches Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
We [the Supreme Court] may say that power to legislate for emergencies belongs in the hands of Congress, but only Congress itself can prevent power from slipping through its fingers. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We are not final because we are infallible; we are infallible because we are final. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy. War & Peace
We submit ourselves to rulers only if under rules. Leaders & Leadership

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