Famous Quotes & Sayings

Felix Frankfurter Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 76 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Felix Frankfurter.

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Felix Frankfurter Quotes 282976

It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1197088

Ambiguity lurks in generality and may thus become an instrument of severity. — Felix Frankfurter

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Time and experience have forcefully taught that the power to inspect dwelling places, either as a matter of systematic area-by-area search or, as here, to treat a specific problem, is of indispensable importance in the maintenance of community health; a power that would be greatly hobbled by the blanket requirement of the safeguards necessary for a search of evidence of criminal acts. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 210737

It is hostile to a democratic system to involve the judiciary in the politics of the people. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1167796

Answers are not obtained by putting the wrong question and thereby begging the real one. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 846478

Convictions following the admission into evidence of confessions which are involuntary, i.e., the product of coercion, either physical or psychological, cannot stand. This is so not because such confessions are unlikely to be true but because the methods used to extract them offend an underlying principle in the enforcement of our criminal law: that ours is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system a system in which the State must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charges against an accused out of his own mouth. — Felix Frankfurter

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If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an essential part of the democratic process. — Felix Frankfurter

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The most constructive way of resolving conflicts is to avoid them — Felix Frankfurter

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Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of achieving a free society. — Felix Frankfurter

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It simply is not true that war never settles anything. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 768531

All our work, our whole life is a matter of semantics, because words are the tools with which we work, the material out of which laws are made, out of which the Constitution was written. Everything depends on our understanding of them. — Felix Frankfurter

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The mode by which the inevitable is reached is effort. — Felix Frankfurter

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It is important not to give the appearance of a predisposed mind. And it is more important not to let the mind become predisposed. — Felix Frankfurter

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I came into the world a Jew, and although I did not live my life entirely as a Jew, I think it is fitting that I should leave as a Jew. I don't want to turn my back on a great and noble heritage. — Felix Frankfurter

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There can be no security where there is fear. — Felix Frankfurter

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Liberty of thought soon shrivels without freedom of expression. Nor can truth be pursued in an atmosphere hostile to the endeavor or under dangers which are hazarded only by heroes. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1392287

The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution itself and not what we have said about it. — Felix Frankfurter

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The eternal struggle in the law between constancy and change is largely a struggle between history and reason, between past reason and present needs. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1599116

Without a free press there can be no free society. That is axiomatic. However, freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of a free society. The scope and nature of the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of the press are to be viewed and applied in that light. — Felix Frankfurter

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Once the tyranny of literalness is rejected, all relevant considerations for giving a rational content to the words become operative. — Felix Frankfurter

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One is entitled to say without qualification that the correlation between prior judicial experience and fitness for the Supreme Court is zero. — Felix Frankfurter

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The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1188198

A license cannot be revoked because a man is redheaded or because he was divorced, except for a calling, if such there be, for which redheadedness or an unbroken marriage may have some rational bearing. If a State licensing agency lays bare its arbitrary action, or if the State law explicitly allows it to act arbitrarily, that is precisely the kind of State action which the Due Process Clause forbids. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1076501

For the highest exercise of judicial duty is to subordinate one's personal pulls and one's private views to the law of which we are all guaradians - those impersonal convictions that made a society a civilized community, and not the victims of personal rule. — Felix Frankfurter

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No office in the land is more important than that of being a citizen. — Felix Frankfurter

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Old age and sickness bring out the essential characteristics of a man. — Felix Frankfurter

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It would be a narrow conception of jurisprudence to confine the notion of 'laws' to what is found written on the statute books, and to disregard the gloss which life has written upon it. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 90962

The State insists that, by thus quarantining the general reading public against books not too rugged for grown men and women in order to shield juvenile innocence, it is exercising its power to promote the general welfare. Surely this is to burn the house to roast the pig ... The incidence of this enactment is to reduce the adult population of Michigan to reading only what is fit for children. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 192153

A phrase begins life as a literary expression; its felicity leads to its lazy repetition; and repetition soon establishes it as a legal formula, undiscriminatingly used to express different and sometimes contradictory ideas. — Felix Frankfurter

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The words of the Constitution ... are so unrestricted by their intrinsic meaning or by their history or by tradition or by prior decisions that they leave the individual Justice free, if indeed they do not compel him, to gather meaning not from reading the Constitution but from reading life. — Felix Frankfurter

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Wisdom too often never comes, so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late. — Felix Frankfurter

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To be effective, judicial administration must not be leaden-footed. — Felix Frankfurter

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We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. — Felix Frankfurter

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Congress is, after all, not a body of laymen unfamiliar with the commonplaces of our law. This legislation was the formulation of the two Judiciary Committees, all of whom are lawyers, and the Congress is predominately a lawyers' body. — Felix Frankfurter

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The accretion of dangerous power does not come in a day. It does come, however slowly, from the generative force of unchecked disregard of the restrictions that fence in even the most disinterested assertion of authority. — Felix Frankfurter

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Certainly the affirmative pursuit of one's convictions about the ultimate mystery of the universe and man's relation to it is placed beyond the reach of law. Government may not interfere with organized or individual expressions of belief or disbelief. Propagation of belief - or even of disbelief - in the supernatural is protected, whether in church or chapel, mosque or synagogue, tabernacle or meeting-house. — Felix Frankfurter

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While it is not always profitable to analogize fact to fiction, La Fontaine's fable of the crow, the cheese, and the fox demonstrates that there is a substantial difference between holding a piece of cheese in the beak and putting it in the stomach. — Felix Frankfurter

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Thirty resolute men in your House of Commons could save the world. — Felix Frankfurter

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After all, advocates, including advocates for States, are like managers of pugilistic and election contestants, in that they have a propensity for claiming everything. — Felix Frankfurter

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As a member of this court I am not justified in writing my private notions of policy into the Constitution, no matter how deeply I may cherish them or how mischievous I may deem their disregard. — Felix Frankfurter

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The history of liberty has largely been the history of the observance of procedural safeguards. — Felix Frankfurter

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Freedom of expression is the well-spring of our civilization ... The history of civilization is in considerable measure the displacement of error which once held sway as official truth by beliefs which in turn have yielded to other truths. Therefore the liberty of man to search for truth ought not to be fettered, no matter what orthodoxies he may challenge. — Felix Frankfurter

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Anybody can decide a question if only a single principle is in controversy. — Felix Frankfurter

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I don't like a man to be too efficient. He's likely to be not human enough. — Felix Frankfurter

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One who belongs to the most vilified and persecuted minority in history is not likely to be insensible to the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution ... But as judges we are neither Jew nor Gentile, neither Catholic nor agnostic. — Felix Frankfurter

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Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep. — Felix Frankfurter

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Litigation is the pursuit of practical ends, not a game of chess. — Felix Frankfurter

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The mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind. — Felix Frankfurter

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What becomes decisive to a Justice's functioning on the Court in the large area within which his individuality moves is his general attitude toward law, the habits of the mind that he has formed or is capable of unforming, his capacity for detachment, his temperament or training for putting his passion behind his judgment instead of in front of it. The attitudes and qualities which I am groping to characterize are ingredients of what compendiously might be called dominating humility. — Felix Frankfurter

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Anybody who is any good is different from anybody else. — Felix Frankfurter

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Appeal must be to an informed, civically militant electorate. — Felix Frankfurter

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The ultimate foundation of a free society is the binding tie of cohesive sentiment. — Felix Frankfurter

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To some lawyers, all facts are created equal. — Felix Frankfurter

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Judicial judgment must take deep account of the day before yesterday in order that yesterday may not paralyze today. — Felix Frankfurter

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Of compelling consideration is the fact that words acquire scope and function from the history of events which they summarize. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1082969

Lincoln's appeal to 'the better angels of our nature' failed to avert a fratricidal war. But the compassionate wisdom of Lincoln's first and second inaugurals bequeathed to the Union, cemented with blood, a moral heritage which, when drawn upon in times of stress and strife, is sure to find specific ways and means to surmount difficulties that may appear to be insurmountable — Felix Frankfurter

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Future lawyers should be more aware that law is not a system of abstract logic, but the web of arrangements, rooted in history but also in hopes, for promoting to a maximum the full use of a nation's resources and talents. — Felix Frankfurter

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It must take account of what it decrees for today in order that today may not paralyze tomorrow. — Felix Frankfurter

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Is that which was deemed to be of so fundamental a nature as to be written into the Constitution to endure for all times to be the sport of shifting winds of doctrine? — Felix Frankfurter

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In the first place, lawyers better remember they are human beings, and a human being who hasn't his periods of doubts and distresses and disappointments must be a cabbage, not a human being. That is number one. — Felix Frankfurter

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There is torture of mind as well as body; the will is as much affected by fear as by force. And there comes a point where this Court should not be ignorant as judges of what we know as men. — Felix Frankfurter

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The dynamo of our economic system is self-interest which may range from mere petty greed to admirable types of self-expression. — Felix Frankfurter

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It is anomalous to hold that in order to convict a man the police cannot extract by force what is in his mind, but can extract what is in his stomach. — Felix Frankfurter

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It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. — Felix Frankfurter

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If nowhere else, in the relation between Church and State, good fences make good neighbors. — Felix Frankfurter

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The Procrustean bed is not a symbol of equality. It is no less inequality to have equality among unequals. — Felix Frankfurter

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The line must follow some direction of policy, whether rooted in logic or experience. Lines should not be drawn simply for the sake of drawing lines. — Felix Frankfurter

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There is no inevitability in history except as men make it. — Felix Frankfurter

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We forget that the most successful statesmen have been professionals. Lincoln was a professional politician. — Felix Frankfurter

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Democracy is always a beckoning goal, not a safe harbor. For freedom is an unremitting endeavor, never a final achievement. — Felix Frankfurter

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It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals. — Felix Frankfurter

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Government is itself an art, one of the subtlest of the arts. It is neither business, nor technology, nor applied science. It is the art of making men live together in peace and with reasonable happiness. — Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter Quotes 1806373

Ultimately there can be no freedom for self unless it is vouchsafed for others; there can be no security where there is fear, and a democratic society presupposes confidence and candor in the relations of men with one another and eager collaboration for the larger ends of life instead of the pursuit of petty, selfish or vainglorious aims. — Felix Frankfurter

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The indispensible judicial requisite is intellectual humility. — Felix Frankfurter

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Fragile as reason is and limited as law is as the institutionalised medium of reason, that's all we have between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled, undisciplined feelings. — Felix Frankfurter

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In law also the emphasis makes the song. — Felix Frankfurter