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Quotes of the day: Charles Evans Hughes
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Published Friday, April 10, 2015 @ 4:11 PM EDT
Apr 10 2015

Charles Evans Hughes Sr. (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York (1907–1910), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1910–1916), United States Secretary of State (1921–1925), a judge on the Court of International Justice (1928–1930), and the 11th Chief Justice of the United States (1930–1941). He was the Republican candidate in the 1916 U.S. Presidential election, losing narrowly to incumbent President Woodrow Wilson. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.

At the constitutional level where we work, ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.

Freedom of expression gives the essential democratic oppurtunity, but self-restraint is the essential civic discipline.

Great powers agreeing among themselves may indeed hold small powers in check. But who will hold great powers in check when great powers disagree?

I think that it is a fallacy to suppose that helpful cooperation in the future will be assured by the attempted compulsion of an inflexible rule.

No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse.

Our institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion; if they had we might well abandon hope.

Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.

The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets... the press in its historic connotation comprehends every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.

The most ominous spirit of our times, as it seems to me, is the indication of the growth of an intolerent spirit.

The pathway of peace is the longest and most beset with obstacles the human race has to tread; the goal may be distant, but we must press on.

The peril of this Nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope!

The power of administrative bodies to make finding of fact which may be treated as conclusive, if there is evidence both ways, is a power of enormous consequence. An unscrupulous administrator might be tempted to say 'Let me find the facts for the people of my country, and I care little who lays down the general principles.'

There is no path to peace except as the will of peoples may open to it. The way of peace is through agreement, not through force.

Time has shown how illusory are alliances of great powers so far as the maintenance of peace is concerned. In considering the use of international force to secure peace, we are again brought to the fundamental necessity of common accord.

We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is, and the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and of our property under the Constitution.

We may gain something in our quest for peace if we recognize at once that war is not an abnormality. In the truest sense, it is not the mere play of brute force. It is the expression of the insistent human will, inflexible in its purpose.

We still proclam the old ideals of liberty but we cannot voice them without anxiety in our hearts. The question is no longer one of establishing democratic institutions but of preserving them.

When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

While democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.

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(April 11 is also the birthday of Ellen Goodman.)


Categories: Charles Evans Hughes, Quotes of the day


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