Justice Hugo L. BlackJustice Hugo L. Black, (1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice

Justice Hugo L. Black Quote

“[I]t is true that [the provisions of the Bill of Rights] were designed to meet ancient evils. But they are the same kind of human evils that have emerged from century to century whenever excessive power is sought by the few at the expense of the many.”

Justice Hugo L. BlackJustice Hugo L. Black
~ Justice Hugo L. Black

Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46, 89 (Dissent) (1947).

Ratings and Comments

Kimo, USA
  • Reply
Kimo, USA    7/19/11

well, back in 71 at least we had ONE sane man in office

J Allen, Arlington, Va

A hypocritical comment from someone who ruled in favor of big government infringing on personal liberties from FDR's new deal and against a right to privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut. The damage he has done to freedom fly in the face of this quote.

Mike, Norwalk

J Allen, you are absolutely right but, concerning this specific stand alone excerpt (not shooting the messenger) the ancient evils perpetrated by earlier tyrants and despots are the same as today, just dressed up in new tools, word / concept mean changes, and arguments.

cal, lewisville, tx

I feel fairly certain the folks in Alabama should not be so proud of their native son just as J Allen above says. His liberal standing showed no southern roots at all.

jim k, Austin, Tx

I'm with Mike on this.

dick, fort worth

A statement of any kind is not responsible for the person who makes it. It is prejudice and lack of good sense to judge a statement by the person making it. Truth can stand alone regardless of the speaker. And disregarding this quotation, Justice Black was one of the best.

E Archer, NYC

The quote is right on. We have never had perfection in humans that comprise government, that is why governmental powers have been strictly limited and distributed for the very reason that while men like Justice Black may be wise as the quote suggests, they can also make mistakes just as J Allen has pointed out -- and I am sure that if J Allen, Mike, dick, jim, cal, or myself were to ever hold high office, our human weaknesses would not be difficult to identify. Which is why we the people have NOT given carte blanche to our servant government, and that all govt is supposed to do is protect our rights to our lives, liberties, and property from other fellow humans -- why? Because history has proven since time memorial that there are those that want to rule others. When the common man is not content with his own freedom and the responsibilities that come with it and then turns on his fellows for a portion of their property and labors as his 'fair share' soon a 'leader' appears to fight for the cause with his own dreams of the seat of power. Power corrupts, therefore, government of the people, for the people, and by the people MUST be kept in check.


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