Zitate von Louis Brandeis

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Louis Brandeis

Geburtstag: 13. November 1856
Todesdatum: 5. Oktober 1941

Louis Dembitz Brandeis war ein US-amerikanischer Jurist und von 1916 bis 1939 der erste jüdische Richter am Obersten Gerichtshof der Vereinigten Staaten. Wikipedia

Photo: Harris & Ewing / Public domain

Zitate Louis Brandeis

„The court bows to the lessons of experience and the force of better reasoning, recognizing that the process of trial and error, so fruitful in the physical sciences, is appropriate also in the judicial function.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Dissent, Burnet v. Coronado Oil & Gas Co., 285 U.S. 393 (1932).
Judicial opinions
Kontext: Stare decisis is usually the wise policy, because in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right... This is commonly true even where the error is a matter of serious concern, provided correction can be had by legislation. But in cases involving the Federal Constitution, where correction through legislative action is practically impossible, this court has often overruled its earlier decisions. The court bows to the lessons of experience and the force of better reasoning, recognizing that the process of trial and error, so fruitful in the physical sciences, is appropriate also in the judicial function.

„Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914).
Extra-judicial writings
Kontext: Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

„Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928). The last sentence is one of many quotations inscribed on Cox Corridor II, a first floor House corridor, U.S. Capitol.
Judicial opinions
Kontext: The defendants' objections to the evidence obtained by wire-tapping must, in my opinion, be sustained. It is, of course, immaterial where the physical connection with the telephone wires leading into the defendants' premises was made. And it is also immaterial that the intrusion was in aid of law enforcement. Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

„Ownership has been separated from control; and this separation has removed many of the checks which formerly operated to curb the misuse of wealth and power.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Dissent, Liggett Co. v. Lee, 288 U.S. 517 (1933), at 565-67.
Judicial opinions
Kontext: Through size, corporations, once merely an efficient tool employed by individuals in the conduct of private business have become an institution-an institution which has brought such concentration of economic power that so-called private corporations are sometimes able to dominate the state. The typical business corporation of the last century, owned by a small group of individuals, managed by their owners, and limited in size by their private wealth, is being supplanted by huge concerns in which the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of employees and the property of tens of hundreds of thousands of investors are subjected, through the corporate mechanism, to the control of a few men. Ownership has been separated from control; and this separation has removed many of the checks which formerly operated to curb the misuse of wealth and power. And, as ownership of the shares is becoming continually more dispersed, the power which formerly accompanied ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few... [and] coincident with the growth of these giant corporations, there has occurred a marked concentration of individual wealth; and that the resulting disparity in incomes is a major cause of the existing depression.

„When a man feels that he cannot leave his work, it is a sure sign of an impending collapse.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Letter to Alfred Brandeis (March 8, 1897), reprinted in Letters of Louis D. Brandeis Volume I 127 (Melvin I. Urovsky & David W. Levy, eds., State University of New York Press 1971).
Extra-judicial writings

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„To Brandeis, as to Jefferson, the key to a successful democracy lies in the spirit, the vitality, the daring, the inventiveness of its citizens.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Vincent Blasi, The First Amendment And The Ideal of Civic Courage: The Brandeis Opinion in Whitney v. California, 29 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 653, 686 (1988).

„What I have desired to do is to make the people of Boston realize that the most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen. The duties of the office of private citizen cannot under a republican form of government be neglected without serious injury to the public.“

—  Louis Brandeis

Statement to a reporter in the Boston Record, 14 April 1903. (quoted in Alpheus Thomas Mason, Brandeis: A Free Man's Life (1946), p. 122.)
Commonly paraphrased as "The most important office is that of the private citizen" or "The most important political office is that of the private citizen", and sometimes misattributed to his dissenting opinion in Olmstead v. United States.
Extra-judicial writings

„[N]o people ever did or ever can attain a worthy civilization by the satisfaction merely of material needs...“

—  Louis Brandeis

"Hours of Labor" (1906), reprinted in Brandeis on Democracy 91 (Philippa Strum, ed., 1995).
Extra-judicial writings

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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