February 14: Law and Lawyers: Constitution

February 14



Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others.

~Justice William O. Douglas, United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 86 (1944)



Your Honours will find in the old book, concerning the office of a justice of peace, precedents of general warrants to search suspected houses. But in more modern books you will find only special warrants to search such and such houses specially named, in which the complainant has before sworn he suspects his goods are concealed; and you will find it adjudged that special warrants only are legal. In the same manner I rely on it, that the writ prayed for in this petition being general is illegal. It is a power that places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.

~James Otis, Argument against the writs of assistance, Boston, Feb. 1761, quoted in John Adams, “Abstract of the Argument for and against the Writts of Assistance,” 1761, in Legal Papers of John Adams 2:134, 141-42 (L. Kinvin Wroth & Hiller B. Zobel eds. 1965)



The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the Government commands.

~Justice Hugo L. Black, International Association of Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740 (1961)


Justice Hugo L. Black 


The patent system . . . added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.

~Abraham Lincoln, “Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions,” Jacksonville, Ill., 11 Feb.1859, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 3:363 (Roy P. Basler ed. 1953)

February 5: Law and Lawyers: Crimes and Criminals

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
February 5
Crimes and Criminals



Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.

~Howard Scott  (1926–   )


Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

~Voltaire (1694–1778)


Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.

~W. H. Auden (1907–1973), poet

February 2: Law and Lawyers: First Amendment

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
February 2
First Amendment



Among other rights essential to freedom, the First Amendment protects “the right of the people . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” [ . . . ] Both speech and petition are integral to the democratic process, although not necessarily in the same way. The right to petition allows citizens to express their ideas, hopes, and concerns to their government and their elected representatives, whereas the right to speak fosters the public exchange of ideas that is integral to deliberative democracy as well as to the whole realm of ideas and human affairs. Beyond the political sphere, both speech and petition advance personal expression, although the right to petition is generally concerned with expression directed to the government seeking redress of a grievance. [ . . . ] A petition conveys the special concerns of its author to the government and, in its usual form, requests action by the government to address those concerns.

~Justice Anthony Kennedy, Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri, 131 S.Ct. 2488 (2011)



[T]he effect of the religious freedom Amendment to our Constitution was to take every form of propagation of religion out of the realm of things which could directly or indirectly be made public business, and thereby be supported in whole or in part at taxpayers’ expense. That is a difference which the Constitution sets up between religion and almost every other subject matter of legislation, a difference which goes to the very root of religious freedom[ . . . ] This freedom was first in the Bill of Rights because it was first in the forefathers’ minds; it was set forth in absolute terms, and its strength is its rigidity. It was intended not only to keep the states’ hands out of religion, but to keep religion’s hands off the state, and, above all, to keep bitter religious controversy out of public life by denying to every denomination any advantage from getting control of public policy or the public purse.

~Justice Robert H. Jackson, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) (dissenting)



The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

~Justice Hugo L. Black, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

February 1: Law and Lawyers: Holy Bible

This is a graphic depiction of the date by Day Williams.
February 1
Holy Bible  




“Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

~Deuteronomy 27:19



The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.

~Job 37:23



The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

~Psalm 33:5

January 11: Justice

January 11



Whoever tells the best story wins.

~John Quincy Adams



That one hundred and fifty lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.

~Thomas Jefferson (referring to the U.S. Congress)

January 7: Justice (Law and Lawyers)

January 7



You condemn on hearsay evidence alone, your sins increase.

~Anonymous African proverb, quoted in Apropos of Africa : Sentiments of Negro American Leaders on Africa from the 1800s to the 1950s (1969), edited by Adelaide Cromwell Hill and Martin Kilson


He wastes his tears who weeps before the judge.

~Italian proverb


The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

~Henry David Thoreau



Only Lawyers and mental defectives are automatically exempt from jury duty.

~George Bernard Shaw