William O Douglas Quotes
“The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty."
[Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]”
“Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publications, the free press as we know it disappears. Then the spectre of a government agent will look over the shoulder of everyone who reads. The purchase of a book or pamphlet today may result in a subpoena tomorrow. Fear of criticism goes with every person into the bookstall. The subtle, imponderable pressures of the orthodox lay hold. Some will fear to read what is unpopular, what the powers-that-be dislike. When the light of publicity may reach any student, any teacher, inquiry will be discouraged. The books and pamphlets that are critical of the administration, that preach an unpopular policy in domestic or foreign affairs, that are in disrepute in the orthodox school of thought will be suspect and subject to investigation. The press and its readers will pay a heavy price in harassment. But that will be minor in comparison with the menace of the shadow which government will cast over literature that does not follow the dominant party line. If the lady from Toledo can be required to disclose what she read yesterday and what she will read tomorrow, fear will take the place of freedom in the libraries, book stores, and homes of the land. Through the harassment of hearings, investigations, reports, and subpoenas government will hold a club over speech and over the press."
[United States v. Rumely, 345 U.S. 41 (1953)]”
“Only when there is a wilderness can man harmonize his inner being with the wavelengths of the earth. When the earth, its products, its creatures, become his concern, man is caught up in a cause greater than his own life and more meaningful. Only when man loses himself in an endeavor of that magnitude does he walk and live with humanity and reverence.”
“These examples and many others demonstrate an alarming trend whereby the privacy and dignity of our citizens is being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of man's life at will."
[Osborn v. United States, 385 U.S. 323, 343 (1966) (dissenting)]”
“We who come this way are merely short-term tenants. Our power in wilderness terms is only the power to destroy, not to create. Those who oppose wilderness values today may have sons and daughters who will honor wilderness values tomorrow. Our responsibility as life tenants is to make certain that there are wilderness values to honor after we have gone.”