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)
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)