The internal effects of a mutable policy are […] calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.
Government should never be able to do anything you can’t do. If you can’t steal from your neighbor, you can’t send the government to steal for you.
No man’s life, liberty, or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session.
No government is respectable which is not just. Without unspotted purity of public faith, without sacred public principle, fidelity, and honor, no machinery of laws, can give dignity to political society.
For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends.
You can’t run a society or cope with its problems if people are not held accountable for what they do.
Where there is no law there is no freedom.
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
When conservative judges strike down laws, it’s because of what’s in the Constitution. When liberal judges strike down laws, it’s because of what’s in The New York Times.
Now all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice.