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Quote Author Cited
I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law. David Dinkins
When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place. Lawrence Lessig
My tentative plan is to gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the section and replace them with right-thinking Americans.. Barry J. Schlozman
Entering the presidency, Nixon knew he had a terrible secret to hide that could be ruinous.. Carl Bernstein
Your actions were treasonous. Lyndon B. Johnson
I ordered that they use any means necessary, including illegal means, to accomplish this goal. . . . The president of the United States can never admit that. Richard Nixon
You remember Huston's plan. I want it implemented on a thievery basis. God damn it. Blow the safe and get it. Richard Nixon
Making sensitive political inquiries at the IRS is about as safe a procedure as trusting a whore. Since the administration has no reliable political friends at IRS. We won't be in control of the government and in a position of effective leverage until such time as we have complete and total control of the top three slots of the IRS. Tom Charles Huston
Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity. Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Frank Church
Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law. The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities Frank Church
What we need in the United States is not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country whether they be white or they be black. Robert Kennedy
The investigation has shown, let us hope, privilege at its worst. The trail is one of dishonesty, greed, violation of law, secrecy, concealment, evasion, falsehood, and cunning. It is a trail of betrayals by trusted and presumably honorable men--betrayals of a government, of certain business interests and the people who trusted and honored them; it is a trail showing a flagrant degree of the exercise of political power and influence, and the power and influence of great wealth upon individuals and political parties; it is the trail of despoilers and schemers, far more dangerous to the well-being of our Nation and our democracy than all those who have been deported Gerald Nye
I can hardly sit on the bench and restrain my indignation at the tyrannous methods of the Department of Justice …. More lawless proceedings are hard to imagine. George Weston Anderson
It's inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government. James Angleton
What's the Constitution between friends? Timothy J. Campbell
The anarchist is not at liberty to break the law because he reasons that all government is wrong. Benjamin N. Cardozo
We are not rebels. Rebels defy authority and break laws at will. Frederick Dykes
The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule, and not to wander in mere lawlessness. George Eliot; Mary Ann Cross
The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. Edward Gibbon
Our Constitution does not contain the absurdity of giving power to make laws and another to resist them.... The Father of His Country [George Washington] did not affix his revered name to so palpable an absurdity. Nor did the states, when they severally ratified it, do so under the impression that a veto on the laws of the United States was reserved to them or that they could exercise it by implication. Andrew Jackson
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman with a sheet on his back and mask on his face. They are lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties and ultimately destroyers of a free America. Lyndon B. Johnson
I understand that my actions violated the law; I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. Bradley Edward Manning
Law that is sufficiently complex is indistinguishable from lawlessness. Charles Murray
When soldiers break the law in a combat situation the commanding officer can hold them accountable, but he cannot do so if military contractors break the law. Carl Levin
My obedience is not to the law but to the Great Creator. Imran Waheed
if you do countenance those that are transgressors of the law you are in the same fact. John Winthrop
The militia is filled with Children, Apprentices and Men of Low Rank . . . as everyone who could pay a small Fine, thought it beneath them to appear on Muster. Timothy Pickering
There is absolutely nothing in the Mormon's religion inconsistent with the most patriotic devotion to the government of the United States. Revelation and the commandments of the church require that the Constitution and the laws of the land be upheld. It is also part of our belief that the time will come when the country will be distracted and general lawlessness prevail. Then the Mormon people will step forward and take an active part in rescuing the nation from ruin. Wilford Woodruff
Every stupid policeman, fanatical judge, or moralist for revenue, can successfully abridge freedom of speech by the lawless use of power, and the hysterical mob of pretending lovers of liberty and democracy will stand by an applaud, --so low have we fallen since our American Constitutions were written. We see how the very essence of tyranny thrives under the forms of democracy Theodore Albert Schroeder
Remember that those who fought and bled for your liberties were in their time considered as being against the law, as dangerous disturbers and trouble-makers. They not only preached violence, but they carried out their ideas …. They said that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God." They wrote a dangerous document called the Declaration of Independence. A document which continues to be dangerous to this day, and for the circulation of which a young man was sentenced to ninety days prison in a New York Court, only the other day. They were the Anarchists of their time--they were never within the law. Emma Goldman
Guerrilla parties are making dreadful slaughter upon the Union men in Missouri and stealing and destroying their property... The entire route across the State... bears the marks of the ravages of war... Anarchy reigns in Missouri. Julia Louisa Lovejoy
All laws are silent in the time of war. Anonymous
History of Ireland—lawlessness and turbulency, robbery and oppression, hatred and revenge, blind selfishness everywhere—no principle, no heroism. William Allingham
Parliament itself would not exist in its present form had people not defied the law. Arthur Scargill
Men of most renowned virtue have by transgressing most truly kept the law. John Milton
I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program. Russ Feingold
As early as 1879 an extensive scheme was planned to take forcible possession . Parties from Missouri, Kansas, and Texas entered the Territory, carrying household goods and farming implements with the intention of locating homes; but a proclamation of President Hayes forbade the movement, and ordered their removal by military force if necessary. A second proclamation to the same effect was issued early in 1880. David L. Payne, the leader of the "boomers" till 1884, was repeatedly arrested by United States troops and expelled ' from the region, the number of his followers increasing with every successive expedition. After the death of Payne, raids were organized by W. L. Couch and others who had previously acted as his lieutenants. In December, 1884, Couch entered the Territory with a large body of armed men, encamped, and defied removal by the military. In January, 1885, he was obliged to surrender, he and his leading associates being arrested upon a charge of unlawfully engaging in insurrection against the authority of the United States. The suits were subsequently dismissed. President Cleveland followed the same policy, and the removal of intruders several times a year continued until 1887. Meanwhile negotiations were opened with the Indians for the settlement of unoccupied lands. Fred Emory Haynes
Harshness towards individuals who flout the laws and commands of state is for the public good; no greater crime against the public interest is possible than to show leniency to those who violate it. Armand Jean du Plessis; Cardinal
The first duty of a state is to provide for its own conservation. Until that point is secured, it can preserve and protect nothing else. But, if possible, it has greater interest in acting according to strict law than even the subject himself. For if the people see that the law is violated to crush them, they will certainly despise the law. They, or their party, will be easily led to violate it, whenever they can, by all the means in their power. Except in cases of direct war, whenever government abandons law, it proclaims anarchy. Edmund Burke
Clandestine intelligence operations involve a constant breaking of all the rules.. To put it baldly, such operations are extra legal and sometimes illegal. John Magruder
Whereas in his Majesty's province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England, an attempt hath lately been made to throw off the authority of the parliament of Great Britain over the said province, and an actual and avowed resistance, by open force, to the execution of certain acts of parliament, hath been suffered to take place, uncontrolled and unpunished, ...: and whereas, in the present disordered state of the said province, it is of the utmost importance ... to the reestablishment of lawful authority throughout the same, that neither the magistrates acting in support of the laws, nor any of his Majesty's subjects aiding and assisting them therein, or in the suppression of riots and tumults, ... should be discouraged from the proper discharge of their duty, by an apprehension, that in case of their being questioned for any acts done therein, they may be liable to be brought to trial for the same before persons who do not acknowledge the validity of the laws … English Parliament
The ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars, which are inevitable in a situation of periodic lawlessness is to make statesmen responsible to the law. Robert Houghwout Jackson
… chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use. Joint Chiefs of Staff
By God, we’ve got to get rid of the lawyers. William J. Casey
Fuck the Congress. Send the stuff now! Oliver North
I’ll take care of South America. Just leave it to me. Oliver North
All his training as a lawyer and a judge was that you didn’t do illegal things. He could never accept that this is exactly what the CIA does when it operates abroad. We break the laws of their countries. It’s how we collect information. It’s why we’re in business. Duane R. Clarridge
If I end up disgraced in a ditch somewhere, but it helps the country, it will still be worth it. Edward Snowden
The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law Susan B. Anthony
Who could desire to see better sport Than Peelers groaning among the rocks Their skulls all fractured, their eyeballs broken, Their fine long noses and ears cut off. Anonymous
The NSA has shown, time and time again, it will seize on any wiggle room in the law . Mark Udall
The Snowden leaks were important – a legitimate scoop – and we might never have known about the NSA’s law breaking if it had not been for them. Michael Kinsley
Some of the best lawyers in this country are hired, not to go into court to defend cases, but to advise corporations and business firms how they can get around the law with too great a risk of punishment. Samuel Sidney McClure
We, the people of the United States, and nobody else, must cure whatever is wrong with the industrial situation, typified by this narrative of the Standard Oil Company. Ida Tarbell
This was a process of infiltrating left-leaning organizations and spreading information about the members so that they would lose their jobs…. They caused anti-war activists to be evicted from their homes, disabled their cars, intercepted their mail. Wiretapped and bugged their conversations, prevented them from renting facilities, incited others to harass them, and disrupted peaceful organizations Laura Donohoe
The right to defy an unconstitutional statute is basic …. Potter Stewart
I think it less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
It is a very dangerous method of upholding reform to violate the law in so doing, even on the ground of high moral principle, or saving the public. William Howard Taft
Americans should sense danger when a government tries to stop a newspaper from disclosing the origins of an unpopular war ... or accuses a newspaper of endangering national security by disclosing secret and illegal wiretapping. Anthony Lewis
When demonstrators are being civilly disobedient, they will in most cases be given a chance to adhere to the law before being arrested, and then if necessary, they will be arrested in a non-violent manner. Francis G. Slay
I believe that the American People have a right to know what was done in their name.. John McCain
Two contractors were paid $80 million to conduct this torture. Dianne Feinstein
I would like to see the United States live up to U. S. law and international law. Living up to international law is probably too much to expect, but at least they could live up to United States law. Noam Chomsky
Reform in a profession that doesn’t need to be reformed is not the answer to fight crime. Chuck Canturbury
Albemarle County as a “common Sanctuary for all our runaway servants. There is a total Absence of Religion. It is the “sinke of America, the Refuge of Renegadoes. Alexander Spotswood
How does it happen that virtually every corporation in America has been found guilty of violating the law and not one CEO has got to jail? Bernie Sanders
Anybody who decides that they may override a sovereign may find that they are not able to do that. Bill Gates
Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws—but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted—when we tolerate what we know to be wrong—when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened—when we fail to speak up and speak out—we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice. Robert Kennedy
Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress. Isocrates
Several loafers were lynched in Natchez last week upon various charges instituted by the Kangaroo court. The times grow warm; we can see another storm coming, not unlike that which prevailed in the days of the Murrel excitement. In Natchez, as in New Orleans, they are driving away all of the free negroes. What is a Kangaroo court, neighbor? New Orleans Picayune
The question here arises, Whether the barons and the people intended that those peers (the jury) should be mere puppets in the hands of the king, exercising no opinion of their own as to the intrinsic merits of the accusations they should try, or the justice of the laws they should be called on to enforce? Whether those haughty and victorious barons, when they had their tyrant king at their feet, gave back to him his throne, with full power to enact any tyrannical laws he might please, reserving only to a jury...the contemptible and servile privilege of ascertaining, (under the dictation of the king, or his judges, as to the laws of evidence), the simple fact whether those laws had been transgressed? Was this the only restraint, which, when they had all power in their hands, they placed upon the tyranny of a king, whose oppressions they had risen in arms to resist? Was it to obtain such a charter as that, that the whole nation had united, as it were, like one man, against their king? Was it on such a charter that they intended to rely, for all future time, for the security of their liberties? No. They were engaged in no such senseless work as that. On the contrary, when they required him to renounce forever the power to punish any freeman, unless by the consent of his peers, they intended those peers should judge of, and try, the whole case on its merits, independently of all arbitrary legislation, or judicial authority, on the part of the king. In this way they took the liberties of each individual -- and thus the liberties of the whole people -- entirely out of the hands of the king, and out of the power of his laws, and placed them in the keeping of the people themselves. And this it was that made the trial by jury the palladium of their liberties. The trial by jury, be it observed, was the only real barrier interposed by them against absolute despotism. Could this trial, then, have been such an entire farce as it necessarily must have been, if the jury had had no power to judge of the justice of the laws the people were required to obey? Did it not rather imply that the jury were to judge independently and fearlessly as to everything involved in the charge, and especially as to its intrinsic justice, and thereon give their decision, (unbiased by any legislation of the king,) whether the accused might be punished? The reason of the thing, no less than the historical celebrity of the events, as securing the liberties of the people, and the veneration with which the trail by jury has continued to be regarded, notwithstanding its essence and vitality have been almost entirely extracted from it in practice, would settle the question, if other evidences had left the matter in doubt. Lysander Spooner
A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. Ronald Reagan