Skip to content

Law

C. J. Friedrich: Law and History, 1961

Law is frozen history. In an elementary sense, everything we study when we study law is the report of an event in history, and all history consists of such records or reports.

Justice Felix Frankfurter, dissenting, Dennis v. United States, 1949, quoted after Library of Congress: Respectfully quoted

It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.

Charles-Pierre Péguy about the Dreyfus trial, quoted after Library of Congress: Respectfully quoted

We said that a single injustice, a single crime, a single illegality, particularly if it is officially recorded, confirmed, a single wrong to humanity, a single wrong to justice and to right, particularly if it is universally, legally, nationally, commodiously accepted, that a single crime shatters and is sufficient to shatter the whole social pact, the whole social contract, that a single legal crime, a single dishonorable act will bring about the loss of one's honor, the dishonor of a whole people. It is a touch of gangrene that corrupts the entire body.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Tourne v. Eisner, 1918, quoted after Library of Congress: Respectfully quoted

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.

Back to top