Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Morning Quotes: Hugo Black

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.
--Everson v. Board of Education (1947)

Its first and most immediate purpose rested on the belief that a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.

It is my belief that there are "absolutes" in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant, and meant their prohibitions to be "absolute."

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.
--Everson v. Board of Education (1947)

The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to bare the secrets of government and inform the people.

The Framers of the Constitution knew that free speech is the friend of change and revolution. But they also knew that it is always the deadliest enemy of tyranny.

Freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.

Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

Criticism of government finds sanctuary in several portions of the 1st Amendment. It is part of the right of free speech. It embraces freedom of the press.

Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind.

The First Amendment was added to the Constitution to stand as a guarantee that neither the power nor the prestige of the Federal Government would be used to control, support or influence the kinds of prayer the American people can say.... Under that Amendment's prohibition against governmental establishment of religion, as reinforced by the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment, government in this country, be it state or federal, is without power to prescribe by law any particular form of prayer which is to be used as an official prayer in carrying on any program of govermentally-sponsored religious activity.
--Engel v. Vitale (1963)

The layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.