William Brennan Famous Quotes & Sayings

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64 William Brennan Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realized that the abrogation After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realized that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Our amended Constitution is the lodestar for our aspirations. Like every text worth reading, it Our amended Constitution is the lodestar for our aspirations. Like every text worth reading, it is not crystalline. The phrasing is broad and the limitations of its provisions are not clearly marked. Its majestic generalities and ennobling pronouncements are both luminous and obscure. This ambiguity of course calls forth interpretation, the interaction of reader and text. The encounter with the Constitutional text has been, in many senses, my life's work. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The Constitution was framed fundamentally as a bulwark against governmental power, and preventing the arbitrary The Constitution was framed fundamentally as a bulwark against governmental power, and preventing the arbitrary administration of punishment is a basic ideal of any society that purports to be governed by the rule of law. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: There can be no doubt that our Nation has had a long and unfortunate history There can be no doubt that our Nation has had a long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination. Traditionally, such discrimination was rationalized by an attitude of "romantic paternalism" which, in practical effect, put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: At bottom, the battle has been waged on moral grounds. The country has debated whether At bottom, the battle has been waged on moral grounds. The country has debated whether a society for which the dignity of the individual is the supreme value can, without a fundamental inconsistency, follow the practice of deliberately putting one of its members to death. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Clerks get into the damnedest wrangleswhich is the way they help me. Clerks get into the damnedest wrangles
which is the way they help me. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: If our free society is to endure, and I know it will, those who govern If our free society is to endure, and I know it will, those who govern must recognize that the Framers of the Constitution limited their power in order to preserve human dignity and the air of freedom which is our proudest heritage. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: No doubt, there are those who believe that judges-and particularly dissenting judges-write to hear themselves No doubt, there are those who believe that judges-and particularly dissenting judges-write to hear themselves say, as it were, I I I. And no doubt, there are also those who believe that judges are, like Joan Didion, primarily engaged in the writing of fiction. I cannot agree with either of those propositions. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: One area of law more than any other besmirches the constitutional vision of human dignity One area of law more than any other besmirches the constitutional vision of human dignity ... The barbaric death penalty violates our Constitution. Even the most vile murderer does not release the state from its obligation to respect dignity, for the state does not honor the victim by< emulating his murderer. Capital punishment's fatal flaw is that it treats people as objects to be toyed with and discarded ... One day the Court will outlaw the death penalty. Permanently. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Authoritative interpretations of the First Amendment guarantees have consistently refused to recognize an exception for Authoritative interpretations of the First Amendment guarantees have consistently refused to recognize an exception for any test of truth whether administered by judges, juries, or administrative officials and especially one that puts the burden of proving truth on the speaker. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: It is difficult to understand precisely what the state hopes to achieve by promoting the It is difficult to understand precisely what the state hopes to achieve by promoting the creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare and crime. — William J. Brennan
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so, we We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so, we dilute the freedom this cherished emblem represents. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: The principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less The principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve the same purposes invalidates the punishment. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By Frank Lautenberg: Judge Samuel Alito was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey. Our Judge Samuel Alito was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey. Our state has a legacy of producing outstanding jurists, most notably the late William J. Brennan, who ushered in our nation's recommitment to civil rights in the latter half of the 20th century. — Frank Lautenberg
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Use of a mentally ill person's involuntary confession is antithetical to the notion of fundamental Use of a mentally ill person's involuntary confession is antithetical to the notion of fundamental fairness embodied in the due process clause. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: We look to the history of the time of framing and to the intervening history We look to the history of the time of framing and to the intervening history of interpretation. But the ultimate question must be, what do the words of the text mean in our time. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to 'create' rights. Rather, they The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to 'create' rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: If the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married If the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion. — William J. Brennan Jr.
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William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Religious conflict can be the bloodiest and cruelest conflicts that turn people into fanatics. Religious conflict can be the bloodiest and cruelest conflicts that turn people into fanatics. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The calculated killing of a human being by the state involves, by its very nature, The calculated killing of a human being by the state involves, by its very nature, an absolute denial of the executed person's humanity. The most vile murder does not, in my view, release the state from constitutional restraint on the destruction of human dignity. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: It is tempting to pretend that minorities on death row share a fate in no It is tempting to pretend that minorities on death row share a fate in no way connected to our own, that our treatment of them sounds no echoes beyond the chambers in which they die. Such an illusion is ultimately corrosive, for the reverberations of injustice are not so easily confined. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Appellant constituted a legitimate class of one, and this provides a basis for Congress's decision Appellant constituted a legitimate class of one, and this provides a basis for Congress's decision to proceed with dispatch with respect to his materials. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: We cannot let colorblindness become myopia which masks the reality that many "created equal" have We cannot let colorblindness become myopia which masks the reality that many "created equal" have been treated within our lifetimes as inferior both by the law and by their fellow citizens. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Sex and obscenity are not synonymous. Obscene material is material which deals with sex in Sex and obscenity are not synonymous. Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The Bill of Rights never gets off the page and into the lives of most The Bill of Rights never gets off the page and into the lives of most Americans. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: We current justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as 20th-century We current justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as 20th-century Americans. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: If a policeman must know the Constitution, then why not a planner? If a policeman must know the Constitution, then why not a planner? — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By Mathew Staver: Justice William Brennan stated that the phrase 'under God' in our Pledge of Allegiance is Justice William Brennan stated that the phrase 'under God' in our Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional because it no longer has a religious purpose or meaning. — Mathew Staver
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The framers knew that liberty is a fragile thing, and so should we. The framers knew that liberty is a fragile thing, and so should we. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Our statute books gradually became laden with gross, stereotyped distinctions between the sexes and, indeed, Our statute books gradually became laden with gross, stereotyped distinctions between the sexes and, indeed, throughout much of the 19th century the position of women in our society was, in many respects, comparable to that of blacks under the pre-Civil War slave codes. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: If we are to be as a shining city upon a hill, it will be If we are to be as a shining city upon a hill, it will be because of our ceaseless pursuit of the constitutional ideal of human dignity. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us. We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death penalty is imposed not only Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death penalty is imposed not only in a freakish and discriminatory manner, but also in some cases upon defendants who are actually innocent. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Consequences flow from a justice's interpretation in a direct and immediate way. A judicial decision Consequences flow from a justice's interpretation in a direct and immediate way. A judicial decision respecting the incompatibility of Jim Crow with a constitutional guarantee of equality is not simply a contemplative exercise in defining the shape of a just society. It is an order — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Lawyers, before any other group, must continue to point out how the system is really Lawyers, before any other group, must continue to point out how the system is really working-how it actually affects real people. They must constantly demonstrate to courts and legislatures alike the tragic results of legal nonintervention. They must highlight how legal doctrines no longer bear any relation to reality, whether in landlord and tenant law, holder in due course law, or any other law. In sum, lawyers must bring real morality into the legal consciousness — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: More fundamentally, however, the answer to petitioners' objection is that there can be no impairment More fundamentally, however, the answer to petitioners' objection is that there can be no impairment of executive power, whether on the state or federal level, where actions pursuant to that power are impermissible under the Constitution. Where there is no power, there can be no impairment of power. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open and that ... may well Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open and that ... may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Capital punishment ... treats members of the human race ... as objects to be toyed Capital punishment ... treats members of the human race ... as objects to be toyed with and discarded. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The door of the Free Exercise Clause stands tightly closed against any government regulation of The door of the Free Exercise Clause stands tightly closed against any government regulation of religious beliefs as such. Government may neither compel affirmation of a repugnant belief, nor penalize or discriminate against individuals or groups because they hold views abhorrent to the authorities. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Law cannot stand aside from the social changes around it. Law cannot stand aside from the social changes around it. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: With respect to the death penalty, I believe that a majority of the Supreme Court With respect to the death penalty, I believe that a majority of the Supreme Court will one day accept that when the state punishes with death, it denies the humanity and dignity of the victim and transgresses the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. That day will be a great day for our country, for it will be a great day for our Constitution. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: There is no such thing as a false idea. There is no such thing as a false idea. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material Whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life, has indisputably been a subject Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life, has indisputably been a subject of absorbing interest to mankind through the ages. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The law is not an end in itself, nor does it provide ends. It is The law is not an end in itself, nor does it provide ends. It is preeminently a means to serve what we think is right. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The modern public school derived from a philosophy of freedom reflected in the First Amendment The modern public school derived from a philosophy of freedom reflected in the First Amendment ... The non-sectarian or secular public school was the means of reconciling freedom in general with religious freedom. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: If our free society is to endure, those who govern must recognize human dignity and If our free society is to endure, those who govern must recognize human dignity and accept the enforcement of constitutional limitations on their power conceived by the Framers ... Such recognition will not come from a technical understanding of the organs of government, or the new forms of wealth they administer. It requires something different, something deeper-a personal confrontation with the wellsprings of our society. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By Carl Rollyson: In The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, David Thomson argues that Brennan should have won In The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, David Thomson argues that Brennan should have won awards for even better performances in To Have and Have Not (1944), My Darling Clementine (1946), Red River (1948), The Far Country (1955), and Rio Bravo (1959). Thomson counts no less than twenty-eight high caliber Brennan performances in still more films, including These Three (1936), Fury (1936), Meet John Doe (1941), and Bad Day At Black Rock (1955). Brennan worked with Hollywood's greatest directors - John Ford, Howard Hawks, William Wyler, King Vidor, and Fritz Lang - while also starring in Jean Renoir's Hollywood directorial debut, Swamp Water (1941). To discuss Brennan's greatest performances is also to comment on the work of Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Anne Baxter, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner, Linda Darnell, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, and many other stars. — Carl Rollyson
William Brennan Sayings By Ann Coulter: Anchor babies are "citizens" only because of a phony constitutional principle cooked up by Justice Anchor babies are "citizens" only because of a phony constitutional principle cooked up by Justice William Brennan in 1982. Just like abortion, sodomy, gay marriage, and unicorns - it's in the Constitution! — Ann Coulter
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance - unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance - unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment]. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: We hold that the Constitution does not forbid the states minor intrusions into an individual's We hold that the Constitution does not forbid the states minor intrusions into an individual's body under stringently limited conditions. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered. Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: While the machinery of law enforcement and indeed the nature of crime itself have changed While the machinery of law enforcement and indeed the nature of crime itself have changed dramatically since the Fourth Amendment became part of the Nation's fundamental law in 1791, what the Framers understood then remains true today - that the task of combating crime and convicting the guilty will in every era seem of such critical and pressing concern that we may be lured by the temptations of expediency into forsaking our commitment to protecting individual liberty and privacy. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality and in its enormity, but is serves no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: We are not an assimilative, homogeneous society, but a facilitative, pluralistic one, in which we We are not an assimilative, homogeneous society, but a facilitative, pluralistic one, in which we must be willing to abide someone else's unfamiliar or even repellant practice because the same tolerant impulse protects our own idiosyncrasies.
--Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110 (1989) — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan Jr.: No longer is the female destined solely for the home and the rearing of the No longer is the female destined solely for the home and the rearing of the family and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas. — William J. Brennan Jr.
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: The public schools are supported entirely, in most communities, by public funds-funds exacted not only The public schools are supported entirely, in most communities, by public funds-funds exacted not only from parents, nor alone from those who hold particular religious views, nor indeed from those who subscribe to any creed at all. — William J. Brennan
William Brennan Sayings By Dwight D. Eisenhower: I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court. [Referring I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court. [Referring to Earl Warren and William Brennan] — Dwight D. Eisenhower
William Brennan Sayings By William J. Brennan: You in the media ought to be ashamed of yourselves to call the provisions and You in the media ought to be ashamed of yourselves to call the provisions and the guarantees of the Bill of Rights 'Technicalities'. They're not. We are what we are because of those guarantees. — William J. Brennan