Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
… the Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.
The justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.
Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.
If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental for preserving our liberty.
The answer is not to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, the answer is to go after violent criminals and come down on them like a ton of bricks.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is the highest political end.