The First Amendment serves not only the needs of the polity but also those of the human spirit- a spirit that demands self-expression.
None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
My father had a flat rule. He believed that every man's house was his castle. He had a flat rule: no man could come in his house without his permission.
The process of democracy is one of change. Our laws are not frozen into immutable form, they are constantly in the process of revision in response to the needs of a changing society.
As soon as I reach any town, I talk to the shoe-shine boys or the barbers or the people in the restaurants, because it's Mr. Joe Doakes who is very close to reality.
Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court. It takes a lot of doing, but it can be done.
Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no moral or legal validity in our society. They are contrary to our constitution and laws.
It is now well established that the Constitution protects the right to receive information and ideas. ... This right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth, ... is fundamental to our free society.
This is a great country, but fortunately for you, it is not perfect. There is much to be done to bring about complete equality. Remove hunger. Bring reality closer to theory and democratic principles.
It is a historic step toward eliminating the shameful practice of racial discrimination in the selection of juries.
To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.
History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
We can always stick together when we are losing, but tend to find means of breaking up when we're winning. In Grace under Pressure, by Hastie, 1984.
The ban directly hampers the partys ability to spread its message and hamstrings voters seeking to inform themselves about the candidates and issues.
It is important that the strongest pressures against the continuation of segregation, North or South, be continually and constantly manifested. Probably, as much as anything else, this is the key in the elimination of discrimination in the United States.
Lawlessness is lawlessness. Anarchy is anarchy is anarchy. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy.
Some years ago I said in an opinion that if this country is a melting pot, then either the Afro-Americans didn't get in the pot or he didn't get melted down.
We could get more action in the South because the Negroes had a feeling that they were being oppressed. But you take New York, for example: they'd give Negroes little five-cent jobs here and there -- and they thought they had something. And the same in Chicago and any of the metropolitan areas.
The First Amendment serves not only the needs of the polity but also those of the human spirit -- a spirit that demands self-expression .
It was taken for granted that we had to make something of ourselves. Not much was said about it; it was just in the atmosphere of the home.
The death penalty is no more effective a deterrent than life imprisonment... It is also evident that the burden of capital punishment falls upon the poor, the ignorant and the underprivileged members of society.
Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.
I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
The United States has been called the melting pot of the world. But it seems to me that the colored man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.
When you hear a lot of stories about Africa, and you get to a place like Kenya and other countries like that, where they think the same way we do, I was happy to find that the Schedule of Rights that I drew for the Kenyan Government was working very well.
I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston... I saw this man's dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, 'You either shape up or ship out.' When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can't ship out.
Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.
A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.
Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.
If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.
Surely the fact that a uniformed police officer is wearing his hair below his collar will make him no less identifiable as a policeman.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.
Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish.
I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.