Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quotes on Equal Protection & the Rule of Law

It's a little late, but ... Happy Law Day! 

Although the former Bush administration would wish the issue of torture would go away, the facts aren't on their side as the ghosts of history past continue to haunt them. 

ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

THOMAS MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

THOMAS MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you-where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down —and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons
  • “The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, however well-intentioned, generation.”
    William T. Gossett,  Attorneys & the Practice of Law, 1969
  • "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. "
    James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 51 (1788)
  • "There can be no free society without law administered through an independent judiciary. If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny."
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, United States v. United Mine Workers (1947)
  • "The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law."
    Dwight Eisenhower, an address on the first observance of Law Day, May 5, 1958

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