Existing rules and principles can give us our present location, our bearings, our latitude and longitude. The inn that shelters for the night is not the journey's end. The law, like the traveler, must be ready for the morrow. It must have a principle of growth.
Justice is not to be taken by storm. She is to be wooed by slow advances.
Law never is, but is always about to be
Prophecy, however honest, is generally a poor substitute for experience.
The risk to be percieved defines the duty to be obeyed
Method is much, technique is much, but inspiration is even more.
The difference is no less real because it is of degree
Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom
We seek to find peace of mind in the word, the formula, the ritual. The hope is illusion.
The prophet and the martyr do not see the hooting throng. Their eyes are fixed on the eternities.
Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions
I take judge-made law as one of the existing realities of life.
If you ask how he is to know when one interest outweighs another, I can only answer that he must get his knowledge just as the legislator gets it, from experience and study and reflection; in brief, from life itself.
Consequences cannot alter statutes, but may help to fix their meaning.
What has once been settled by a precedent will not be unsettled overnight, for certainty and uniformity are gains not lightly sacrificed. Above all is this true when honest men have shaped their conduct on the faith of the pronouncement.
The great tides and currents which engulf the rest of men do not turn aside in their course and pass the judges by.
A judge is to give effect in general not to his own scale of values, but to the scale of values revealed to him in his readings of the social mind.... Objective tests may fail him, or may be confused as to bewilder. He must then look within himself.
Bills of rights give assurance to the individual of the preservation of his liberty. They do not define the liberty they promise.
Inaction without more is not tantamount to choice.
It is well enough to say that we shall be consistent, but consistent with what?... The origins of the rule? The course and tendency of development? With logic or philosophy? With the fundamental conceptions of jurisprudence? All these loyalties are possible. All have sometimes prevailed.
Danger invites rescue.... The wrongdoer may not have foreseen the coming of a deliverer. He is accountable as if he had.
Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior.
With traps and obstacles and hazards confronting us on every hand, only blindness or indifference will fail to turn in all humility, for guidance or for warning, to the study of examples.
Due process is a growth too sturdy to succumb to the infection of the least ingredient of error.