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Rights

The following is a list of quotes taken form the Law, court rulings, etc.; we hope you find them useful.

  1. It is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon. (Boyd vs United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886)
  2. A state cannot, by invoking the power to regulate the professional conduct of attorneys, infringe in any way the right of individuals and the public to be fairly represented in lawsuits authorized by Congress to effectuate a basic public interest. Laymen cannot be expected to know how to protect their rights when dealing with practiced and carefully ___ adversaries, cf. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, and for them to associate together to help one another to preserve and enforce rights granted them under federal laws cannot be condemned as a threat to legal ethics. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Virginia ex rel. Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1, 7.
  3. Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them. Miranda Versus Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491
  4. The Bill of Rights was provided as a barrier, to protect the individual against arbitrary exactions of... legislatures, (and) courts... it is the primary distinction between democratic and totalitarian way. Re Stroller, Supreme Court of Florida, en banc, 36 So. 2nd 443, 445 (1948)
  5. History is clear that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted to secure certain common law rights of the people, against invasion by the Federal Government. Bell v. Hood, 71 F. Supp., 813 (1947) U.S.D.C. — So. Dist. CA
  6. Bill of rights are, in their origin, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Hamilton, Federalist Papers, No. 84
  7. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Article IX, U.S. Constitution
  8. ... his right to be heard through his own counsel is unqualified. Chandler v. Fretag, 348 U.S. 3
  9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right... to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Article VI, U.S. Constitution
  10. Yet while he was informing the prospective defendant of his Right to Counsel, he was simultaneously requesting that the Defendant's Counsel leave the interrogation. In effect, the investigator informed Tarlowski that he might have his attorney present, but not his accountant.
      Ruling in favor of Tarlowski's motion to suppress, the Court said:
      • For a government official to mouth in a ritualistic way part of the warning about the right to counsel, while excluding the person relied upon as counsel is, in effect, to reverse the meaning of the words used.
      • When a federal official's interference with the right of free association, takes the form of limiting the ability of a criminal suspect to consult with and be accompanied by a person upon whom he relies for advise and protection, he gravely transgresses.  For these reasons, the Motion to suppress must be granted. U.S. v Tarlowski, (69 -2 U.S.T.C. & D.C. EA. Dist. N.Y.) 305 F. Supp. 112 (1969)
  11. It was held that a State may not pass statutes prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law or to interfere with the Right to freedom of speech, secured in the First Amendment. (See lawyer, counsel, equal protection,) United Mine Workers v Illinois Bar Association, 389 U.S. 217, and NAACP v Button, 371 U.S. 415, and also in Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1 (1964)
  12. The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment guarantees to each citizen the equal protection of the laws and prohibits a denial thereof by any Federal official. (See Rights) Bolling v. Sharpe, 327 U.S. 497
  13. The cooperation and help of laymen, as well as of lawyers, is necessary if the right of reasonable access to the courts is to be available to the indigent among us.
    • Reasonable access to the courts is a right (secured by the Constitution and the laws of the United States), being guaranteed as  against state action by the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. Justice Douglas in Johnson v. Avery, Commissioner of Correction, et al., 393 U.S. 483, 498.
  14. "…so as practically to make unjust and illegal discrimination between persons in similar circumstances material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution." Yick Wo v Hopkins, supra
  15. The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means within which the law permits, cannot be doubted. Gregory vs Helvering, 293 US 465.
  16. It is well settled that a State has no power to fetter the right to carry on interstate commerce within its borders by the imposition of conditions or regulations which are unnecessary and pass beyond the bounds of what is reasonable and suitable for the proper exercise of its powers in the field that belongs to it. Sioux Remedy Co. v. Cope, 235 U.S. 197, 201; Michigan Commission v. Duke, 266 U.S. 570, 577.
  17. The streets belong to the public and are primarily for the use of the public in the ordinary way. Their use for the purposes of gain is special and extraordinary and, generally at least, may be prohibited or conditioned as the legislature deems proper. Packard v. Banton, 264 U.S. 140, 144.
  18. Moreover, a distinction must be observed between the regulation of an activity which may be engaged in as a matter of right and one carried on by government sufferance or permission. In the latter case the power to exclude altogether generally includes the lesser power to condition and may justify a degree of regulation not admissible in the former. Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43; Packard v. Banton, 264 U.S. 140, 145.
  19. The legislature may not, under the guise of protecting the public interests, arbitrarily interfere with private business, or impose unusual and unnecessary restrictions upon lawful occupations. Its determination as to what is a proper exercise of its police powers is not final or conclusive, but is subject to the supervision of the courts. Lawton v. Steele, __ U.S. 133.
  20. Definitions of the police power must, however, be taken, subject to the condition that the State cannot, in its exercise, for an purpose whatever, encroach upon the powers of the general government, or rights granted or secured by the supreme law of the land. New Orleans Gas Co. v. Louisiana Light Co., ___ U.S. 650, 651.
  21. Rights and privileges arising from contracts with a State are subject to regulation for the protection of the public health, the public morals, and the public safety, in the same sense, and to the same extent, as are all contracts and all property, whether owned by natural persons or corporations.... A State can no more impair the obligation of a contract by her organic law than by legislative enactment. New Orleans Gas Co. v. Louisiana Light Co., ____ U.S. 650, 672
  22. An act of the legislature which has for its object the preservation of the public interests against illegal depravations of private individuals ought to be sustained, unless it is plainly violative of the Constitution, or subversive of private rights. Lawton v. Steele, ___ U.S. 133, 140.
  23. The State cannot diminish rights of the people. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516.
  24. "...the assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice." Davis v. Wechsler, 263 U.S. 22, 24; See also Love v. Griffith, 266 U.S. 32; Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359; Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1; Staub v. City of Baxley, 355 U.S. 313; N.A.A.C.P. v. ALabama, 357 U.S. 449; Wright v. Georgia, 373 U.S. 284, 289.
  25. Those who already walk submissively will say there is no need for alarm. But submissiveness is not our heritage. The First Amendment was designed to allow rebellion to remain as our heritage. The Constitution was designed to keep government off the backs of the people. The Bill of Rights was added to keep the precincts of belief and expression, of the press, of political and social activities free from surveillance. The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government. ...the America once extolled as the voice of liberty heard around the world no longer is cast in the image which Jefferson and Madison designed, but more in the Russian image,... Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1, 28-9, Douglas J., Dissenting.
  26. The courts are not bound by mere forms, nor are they to be isled by mere pretences. They are at liberty— indeed, are under a solemn duty—to look at the substance of things, whenever they enter upon the inquiry whether the legislature has transcended the limits of its authority. If therefore, a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is a palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661
  27. But whatever springs the State may set for those who are endeavoring to assert rights that the State confers the assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice. Davis v. Wechsler, 263 U.S. 22, 24; See also Love v. Griffith, 266 U.S. 32; Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359; Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1; Staub v. City of Baxley, 355 U.S. 313; N.A.A.C.P. v. ALabama, 357 U.S. 449; Wright v. Georgia, 373 U.S. 284, 289.
  28. Constitutional provisions for the security of persons and property should be liberally construed. It is the duty of the courts to be watchful of constitutional rights against any stealthy encroachments thereon. Boyd v. U.S., 116 U.S. 635.
  29. There should be no arbitrary deprivation of life or liberty, or arbitrary spoliation of property.  (Rights) Barber v. Connolly, 113 US 27, 31; Yick Yo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356.
  30. It is settled that a distinction obtains, and equitable jurisdiction exists to restrain criminal prosecutions under constitutional enactments, when the prevention of such prosecutions is essential to the safeguarding of rights of property. Traux v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33, 37-38; Packard v. Banton, 264 U.S. 140, 143.
  31. We find it intolerable that one constitutional right should have to be surrendered in order to assert another.  Simmons v. U.S. 390, U.S. 389 (1968)
  32. To be that statutes which would deprive a citizen of the rights of person or property without a regular trial, according to the course and usage of common law, would not be the law of the land. Hoke vs Henderson, 15, N.C. 15, 25 AM Dec 677.
  33. The phrase as used in the constitution does not mean a statute passed for the purpose of working the wrong.  That construction would render the restriction absolutely nugatory.  The people would be made to say to the houses, ‘You shall be vested with the legislative power of the state, but no one shall be disfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges of a citizen, unless you shall not do the wrong unless you choose to do it.’ Per Bronson, J., In Taylor v Porter, 4 Hill (N.Y.) 140, 40 AM, Dec 274.
  34. “In Brown v. Levee Com’rs, 50 Miss. 479, it is said that these constitutional provisions do not mean the general body of [pg.950] the law as it was at the time the constitution took effect; but they refer to certain fundamental rights which that system of jurisprudence of which ours is derivative has always recognized; if any of these are disregarded in the proceedings by which a person is condemned to the loss of property, etc., then the deprivation has not been by due process of law.  And it has been held that the state cannot deprive a person of his property without due process of law through the medium of a constitutional convention any more than it can through an act of the legislature;  Clark v. Mitchell, 69 Mo. 627.” Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia, Volume 1, by: John Bouvier, Francis Rawle; § “Due Process of Law” pgs. 949-950.
  35. In determining whether such rights were denied, we are governed by the substance and not by mere forms; ID., Louisville & N.R. Co. v. Schnidt, 177 U.S. 230.
  36. The claim and exercise of a constitutional(ly secured) right cannot be converted into a crime. Miller v. U.S., 230 F 486 at 489.
  37. Right to trial by jury!  Dairy Queen vs Wood, 369 U.S. 469.
  38. Jury trial is a right! Hill vs Philpott, 445 F 2 D 144; Juliard vs Greenmen, 110 U.S. 421; Kansan vs Colorado, 206 U.S. 46, (1907); Reisman vs Caplan, 375, U.S. 440, (1964); U.S> vs Murdock, 290 U.S. 389 (1933); U.S> vs Tarlowski, 305 F. Supp 112 (1969).
  39. Civil Rights…."Civil action for deprivation of rights, 28 U.S.C. 1343, gives U.S. District Courts original jurisdiction."
  40. Who would believe the ironic truth that the cooperative taxpayer fares much worse than the individual who relies upon his constitutional rights. United States v. Dickerson, 413 F 2D 1111.
  41. …We are of the opinion that there is a clear distinction in this particular between an individual and a corporation, and that the latter has no right to refuse to submit its books and papers for an examination at the suit of the state.  The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen.  He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way.  His power to contract is unlimited.  He owes no duty to the state or to his neighbors to divulge his business, or to open his doors to an investigation, so far as it may tend to incriminate him.  He owes no such duty to the state, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property.  His rights are such as existed by the law of the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the state, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the constitution.  Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law.  He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights...An individual may lawfully refuse to answer incriminating questions unless protected by an immunity statute... Hale vs Henkel, 201 US 43, 74.
  42. The subpoena power is a power capable of oppressive use, especially when it may be indiscriminately delegated and the subpoena is not returnable before a judicial order of enforcement. But the subpoena is in the form of an official command, and even though improvidently issued it has some coercive tendency, either because of ignorance of their rights on the part of those whom it purports to command, or because of their reluctance to test the subpoena's validity but litigation.
      The points that should be remembered:
      • Subpoena power in the hands of an administrative officer can be very oppressive.
      • Neither the IRS nor any other administrative officer can compel obedience to an administrative summons, only courts can enforce it.
      • Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights, due to ignorance.
      • The use of administrative summons is very effective in obtaining information which could not otherwise be obtained, because it appears to be official and legal in form, and as a  consequence, citizens are reluctant to test its demand for information. United States v. Minker, 350 US 179, 187.
  43. The United States Supreme Court stated further that all rights and safeguards contained in the first eight amendments to the federal constitution are equally applicable in every state criminal action, "because denial of them would be a denial of due process of law". Wlm Malloy v. Patrick J. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1.
  44. If there is any truth to the old proverb that "one who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client," the Court, by its opinion today, now bestows a constitutional right on one to make a fool of himself. Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), Blackmun dissenting.
  45. There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights. Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 946.
  46. The privilege against self-incrimination is neither accorded to the passive resistant, not the person who is ignorant of his rights, nor to one indifferent thereto. It is a fighting clause. Its benefits can be retained only by sustained combat. It cannot be claimed by an attorney or solicitor. It is valid only when insisted upon by a belligerent claimant in person. United States v. Johnson, 76 F. Supp. 538.
  47. Constitutional rights may not be denied because of hostility to their assertion and exercise: Vindication of conceded constitutional rights cannot be made dependent upon any theory that it is less expensive to deny them then to afford them. Watson v. Memphis, 375 U.S. 526.
  48. "Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you." Abraham Lincoln, Sept. 11, 1858.
  49. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may be justly pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Federalist Paper No. 47 -- James Madison.
  50. "A living Bill of Rights----John Locke made articulate a long-standing view that legislative power needs to be curbed: 'Their power in the utmost bounds of it is limited to the public good of the society. It is a power that hath no other end but preservation and therefore can never have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly impoverish the subjects.'" Treatise of Civil Government, 1690. Justice William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court quoting John Locke.
  51. Our Bill of Rights curbs all three branches of government. It subjects all departments of government to a rule of law and sets boundaries beyond which no official may go. It emphasizes that in this country man walks with dignity and without fear, that he need not grovel before an all powerful government. Justice William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court
  52. Constitutions are not primarily designed to protect majorities, who are usually able to protect themselves, but rather to preserve and protect the rights of individuals and minorities against arbitrary actions of those in authority. Houstin County v. Martin, 232 A 1 511; 169 So. 13.
  53. Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any state or territory, subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 42 U.S.C. 1963.
  54. An appeal is not always a satisfactory remedy.  The court itself has recognized that a citizen's rights may be seriously violated even if he is not ultimately convicted.  Dombrowiski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965).  A plaintiff need not pursue his state remedies before instituting a 1983 action.  Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961), which would seem to recognize that appeal ability imply is not sufficient protection.

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