I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it, may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
The attributes of the federal government were carefully defined [in the Constitution], and all that was not included among them was declared to remain to the governments of the individual states. Thus the government of the states remained the rule, and that of the federal government the exception.
I call the present system ‘Post-Constitutional America.’ As I sometimes put it, the U.S. Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government.
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.