… 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.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.