Justice William O. DouglasJustice William O. Douglas, (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice

Justice William O. Douglas Quote

“When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all. ”

Justice William O. DouglasJustice William O. Douglas
~ Justice William O. Douglas

Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

Yeah, but until the Supreme Court declares that unconstitutional law 'unconstitutional' the legislature and the executive can continue to enforce it... There are plenty of 'laws that are no laws' that are enforced daily! It's called tyranny.

Mike, Norwalk

Like you can't sell raw milk or lemon aide.

jim k, austin tx

Tell that to the IRS.

Mary - MI
  • Reply
Mary - MI    2/26/14

Profound and astute statement coming from Wm. Douglas who for all intents and purposes was a horrific "Randy!" ---
"According to Murphy, the touchstone of Douglas's character was a willingness to do anything to forward his own career -- including lie about his past, break his promises and ruthlessly discard wives, children, friends and clerks as soon as they stopped being useful to him. He became the most sought-after law professor in the country by choosing his topics for their publicity value and hiring armies of law students to write his articles, which he would top off with "the Douglas flair." Appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by President Franklin Roosevelt, he continued his relentless pursuit of publicity by going after high-profile symbols of corporate excess. ("Piss on 'em," was his mantra to his staff.) And when Justice Louis Brandeis retired in 1939, FDR, who needed a Westerner and thought Douglas played an interesting game of poker, appointed him to the Supreme Court at the age of 40."


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