Below, selected from the brainyquote site, are quotations from Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court justice, born in 1856 (in Louisville), died 1941:
Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
[I first heard that second sentence when it was quoted to me by my co-blogger.]
Our government… teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
[Lots of recent examples?]
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
[Men–and women–of false zeal aimed at misleading people with limited understanding may be the greater problem now.]
Those who won our independence… valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.
[Noble words. If only many of those who won our independence hadn’t owned slaves and/or countenanced slavery.]
We are not won by arguments that we can analyze, but by tone and temper; by the manner, which is the man himself.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
[Which one do we have now?]