500+ Sourced quotes
By the theory of our Government majorities rule, but this right is not an arbitrary or unlimited one. It is a right to be exercised in subordination to the Constitution and in conformity to it. One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights. Minorities have a right to appeal to the Constitution as a shield against such oppression.
The Court is most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no cognizable roots in the language or design of the Constitution…. There should be, therefore, great resistance to … redefining the category of rights deemed to be fundamental. Otherwise, the Judiciary necessarily takes to itself further authority to govern the country without express constitutional authority.
The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.... Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today.... As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.
We current Justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as Twentieth Century Americans.. For 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.
People have always said - those words, 'too conservative,' is fairly relative. I'm sure that they probably said that about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. And truly, when you look at the Constitution and our founding fathers and their writings, the things that made this country great, you might draw those conclusions: That they were conservative. They were fiscally conservative and socially conservative.
I have fought a long battle with slavery; and I confess my solicitude when I see any thing that looks like concession to it. It is not enough to show me that a measure is expedient: you must show me also that it is right. Ah, sir, can any thing be expedient which is not right? From the beginning of our history the country has been afflicted with compromise. It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned. I insist that this shall cease. The country needs repose after all its trials: it deserves repose. And repose can only be found in everlasting principles. It cannot be found by inserting in your constitution the disfranchisement of a race.