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Legal Quotes

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
Plato

Good men must not obey the laws too much.

Jefferson
Jefferson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
Ronald Reagan

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Richard Nixon

No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.
Theodore Roosevelt

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King

The life of the law has not been logic; it has been reason.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
Mahatma Gandhi

The law . . . will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations and wanton tempers of men. . . . On the one hand it is inexorable to the cries and lamentations of the prisoners; on the other it is deaf, deaf as an adder, to the clamors of the populace.
John Adams

"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, "the law is a ass, a idiot."
Charles Dickins
From novel Oliver Twist.

Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Constitution of the USA

Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.
Buddha

Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Fiat justitia ruat coelum'. Usually attributed to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Roman statesman and Julius Caesar's father-in-law.

You cannot make men good by law: and without good men you cannot have a good society.
C. S. Lewis

He can who thinks he can, and he can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.
Pablo Picasso

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.
Winston Churchill

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.
Thomas Jefferson

Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Mark Twain

The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children.
Mahatma Gandhi

Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.
Mark Twain

That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

God created the law of free will, and God created the law of cause and effect. And he himself will not violate the law. We need to be thinking less in terms of what God did and more in terms of whether or not we are following those laws.
Marianne Williamson

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
Plato

As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.
Albert Einstein

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies it is the first law of nature.
Voltaire

Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment.
Mahatma Gandhi

In tribal times, there were the medicine men. In the Middle Ages, there were the priests. Today, there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trades and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of the trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day.
Fred Rodell

Shame may restrain what law does not prohibit.
Seneca

The law does not concern itself with trifles.
Latin Maxim
From the Latin 'De minimis non curat lex'.

What is hateful to thyself do not do to another. That is the whole Torah [Law], the rest is Commentary.
Hillel

It is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man.
Confucius

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
Malcolm X

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Samuel Johnson

There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Law and justice are not always the same.
Gloria Steinem

Law school taught me one thing: how to take two situations that are exactly the same and show how they are different.
Hart Pomerantz

No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God.
William Blackstone

The law is reason free from passion.

Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle

Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.
Aristotle

The good of the people is the chief law.
Cicero

Criminals do not die by the hands of the law; they die by the hands of other men.
George Bernard Shaw

Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.
D. H. Lawrence

The law an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Mahatma Gandhi

Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man.
Aristotle

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.
Bible
1 Timothy 1. 8-9.

Arms and laws do not flourish together.
Julius Caesar

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.
Lord John Campbell

Where law ends, there tyranny begins.
William Pitt, the Elder

Law is not law, if it violates the principles of eternal justice.
Lydia Maria Child

A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed.
Rene Descartes

The laws are silent in the midst of arms.
Cicero

Equity follows the law.
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Aequitas sequitur legem'.

Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Albert Einstein

Laws are not masters but servants, and he rules them who obeys them.
Henry Ward Beecher

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.
Oliver Goldsmith

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
Sam Goldwyn

The good need fear no law; it is his safety, and the bad man's awe.
Ben Jonson

One wrong does not justify another.

Faulkner
Faulkner
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Injuria non excusat injuriam'.

The verdict acquits the raven, but condemns the dove.
Juvenal

Nor is there any law more just, than that he who has plotted death shall perish by his own plot.
Ovid

Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because it is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.
John Selden

The gods have their own laws.
Ovid

No one can be judge in his own cause.
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa'.

Still you keep o' th' windy side of the law.
William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night.

Laws are like spiders' webs which, if anything small falls into them they ensnare it, but large things break through and escape.
Solon

Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear that charter of his own and his children's liberty.
Abraham Lincoln

There is a higher law than the Constitution.
William Henry Seward

The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.
Jeremy Bentham

We must not make a scarecrow of the law,

Ruth Bader
Ruth Bader
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it.
Their perch and not their terror
William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure.

We all know here that the law is the most powerful of schools for the imagination. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets the truth.
Jean Giraudoux

The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
William Shakespeare

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak for anything tougher than suet; yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak. Pray, how did you do it?" "In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law, and argued each case with my wife and the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw has lasted the rest of my life."
Lewis Carroll

True, we build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures – unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.
John W. Davis

While law is supposed to be a device to serve society, a civilized way of helping the wheels go round without too much friction, it is pretty hard to find a group less concerned with serving society and more concerned with serving themselves than the lawyers.
Fred Rodell

There is no better way to exercise the imagination than the study of the law. No artist ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets the truth.
Jean Giradoux

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
William Shakespeare
King Henry VI Part 2.

Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same.
Benjamin Franklin

What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man.
Herbert Spencer

Law is a bottomless pit; it is a cormorant,–a harpy that devours everything.
Jonathan Swift

Ignorance of the law, which everybody is supposed to know, does not constitute an excuse.
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Ignorantia juris quod quisque scire tenetur non excusat'.

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
Jonathan Swift

It is an honorable calling that you have chosen. Some of you will soon be defending poor, helpless insurance companies who are constantly being sued by greedy, vicious widows and orphans trying to collect on their policies. Others will work tirelessly to protect frightened, beleaguered oil companies from being attacked by depraved consumer groups.
Art Buchwald

To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all laws into contempt.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The King can do no wrong.

Blackstone
Blackstone
Legal maxim
From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'.

The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
Henry David Thoreau

Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.
Sophocles

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