The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s rights to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954) US Supreme Court Justice
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) [majority opinion]

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Jan-12
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