The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact.

Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954) US Supreme Court Justice (1941-54), lawyer, jurist, politician
Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 37 (1949) [dissenting]

Common paraphrase of Jackson's actual comment:

This Court has gone far toward accepting the doctrine that civil liberty means the removal of all restraints from these crowds, and that all local attempts to maintain order are impairments of the liberty of the citizen. The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.

Added on 1-Mar-12 | Last updated 30-Jun-22
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