Justice Charles Evans HughesJustice Charles Evans Hughes, (1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Charles Evans Hughes Quote

β€œIt is the essence of the institutions of liberty that it be recognized that guilt is personal and cannot be attributed to the holding of opinions or to mere intent in the absence of overt acts.”

Justice Charles Evans HughesJustice Charles Evans Hughes
~ Justice Charles Evans Hughes

Harvard Law Review, April 1948

Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

This point can also be made for those exercising their right to carry firearms -- it should not be considered a crime to carry a gun, only if the overt act of using it has violated another's rights.

Mike, Norwalk

According to the laws of nature and of nature's God, positive law, and justice, there is no such thing as a victimless crime. Only in man's despotic rule do individuals lose accessibility to and/or expression of inalienable rights

Mike, Norwalk

The first question that has to be ask is: what is an institution of liberty? The court is not. The court is an institution of justice β€” adjudicating breaches of law. The legislature is not. The legislature is to enact limited rules of order in accordance and harmony with nature's law. The executive is not. The executive is to administer that which is legislated. Liberty is a natural outcome β€” cause and effect of nature's law recognition and deference. Is the entire system as a whole an institution of liberty? Maybe / maybe not! Is the whole a simple some of its parts or, a new creature all together?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

I'm not to sure what this quote means, but in other social compartments it is very reassuring to me as a socialized gentleman that the high courts have ruled that the horrific act of abortion gets no constitutional support. It is a glimmer of hope that we are moving closer to more civilized environment.  Sex is for purpose of bringing forth the species, and possibly not even that as we grow and develop. As a man I just wish a female could understand this vital component of love and survival.


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