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" Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers? "
" I used to say that the Constitution is not a living document. It's dead, dead, dead. But I've gotten better. I no longer say that. The truth is that the Constitution is not one that morphs. It's an enduring Constitution, not a changing Constitution. That is what I've meant when I've said that the Constitution is dead. "
" I attack ideas. I don't attack people. And some very good people have some very bad ideas. And if you can't separate the two, you gotta get another day job. You don't want to be a judge. At least not a judge on a multi-member panel. "
" Being a good person begins with being a wise person. Then, when you follow your conscience, will you be headed in the right direction. "
" The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living, but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means, today, not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted. "
" The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches. "
" If you're going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong. "
" The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment - in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes - outweighs the risk of error. "
" What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this Court that enables them to discern that a practice which the text of the Constitution does not clearly proscribe, and which our people have regarded as constitutional for 200 years, is in fact unconstitutional? "
" Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited... It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. "
" To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation. "
" There exists in some parts of the world sanctimonious criticism of America's death penalty, as somehow unworthy of a civilized society. "
" As a general rule, I do not think it appropriate for judges to heap either praise or censure upon a legislative measure that comes before them, lest it be thought that their validation, invalidation, or interpretation of it is driven by their desire to expand or constrict what they personally approve or disapprove as a matter of policy. "
" Because values change, legislatures abolish the death penalty, permit same-sex marriage if they want, abolish laws against homosexual conduct. That's how the change in a society occurs. Society doesn't change through a Constitution. "
" If there's anything you absolutely hate, why, it must be unconstitutional. Or, if there's anything you absolutely have to have, it must be required by the Constitution. That's where we are. That is utterly mindless. "
" But I'm not pro death penalty. I - I'm just anti the notion that it is not a matter for democratic choice, that it has been taken away from the democratic choice of the people by a provision of the Constitution. "
" What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you'd like it to mean? "
" In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it's not perfect, that's okay, there are a lot more coming along. "
" If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world. "
" A man who has made no enemies is probably not a very good man. "
" A good, hard-hitting dissent keeps you honest. "
" It's absolutely clear that whatever cruel and unusual punishments may - may mean with regard to future things, such as death by injection or the electric chair, it's clear that - that the death penalty, in and of itself, is not considered cruel and unusual punishment. "
" If you are sentenced to torture for a crime, yes, that is a cruel punishment. But the mere fact that somebody is tortured is - is unlawful under - under our statutes, but the Constitution happens not to address it, just as it does not address a lot of other horrible things. "
" Originalism says that when you consult the text, you give it the meaning it had when it was adopted, not some later modern meaning. "
" And what I would say now is, yes, if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional. A lot of stuff that's stupid is not unconstitutional. "