Frasi Charles Evans Hughes

„The pathway of peace is the longest and most beset with obstacles the human race has to tread; the goal may be distant, but we must press on.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Context: We may gain something in our quest for peace if we recognize at once that war is not an abnormality. In the truest sense, it is not the mere play of brute force. It is the expression of the insistent human will, inflexible in its purpose. When we consider the inability to maintain a just peace attests to the failure of civilization itself, we may be less confident of the success of any artificial contrivances to prevent war. We must recognize that we are dealing with the very woof and warp of human nature. The war to end war has left its curse of hate, its lasting injuries, its breeding grounds of strife, and to secure an abiding peace appears to be more difficult than ever. There is no advantage to shutting our eyes to the facts; nor should we turn in disgust of panaceas to the counsel of despair. The pathway of peace is the longest and most beset with obstacles the human race has to tread; the goal may be distant, but we must press on.

„Equally unavailing is the insistence that the statute is designed to prevent the circulation of scandal which tends [p722] to disturb the public peace and to provoke assaults and the commission of crime. Charges of reprehensible conduct, and in particular of official malfeasance, unquestionably create a public scandal, but the theory of the constitutional guaranty is that even a more serious public evil would be caused by authority to prevent publication. To prohibit the intent to excite those unfavorable sentiments against those who administer the Government is equivalent to a prohibition of the actual excitement of them, and to prohibit the actual excitement of them is equivalent to a prohibition of discussions having that tendency and effect, which, again, is equivalent to a protection of those who administer the Government, if they should at any time deserve the contempt or hatred of the people, against being exposed to it by free animadversions on their characters and conduct. There is nothing new in the fact that charges of reprehensible conduct may create resentment and the disposition to resort to violent means of redress, but this well understood tendency did not alter the determination to protect the press against censorship and restraint upon publication. […] The danger of violent reactions becomes greater with effective organization of defiant groups resenting exposure, and if this consideration warranted legislative interference with the initial freedom of publication, the constitutional protection would be reduced to a mere form of words.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931).


„When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Address at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill (17 June 1925).

„In attempted justification of the statute, it is said that it deals not with publication per se, but with the "business" of publishing defamation. If, however, the publisher has a constitutional right to publish, without previous restraint, an edition of his newspaper charging official derelictions, it cannot be denied that he may publish subsequent editions for the same purpose. He does not lose his right by exercising it. If his right exists, it may be exercised in publishing nine editions, as in this case, as well as in one edition. If previous restraint is permissible, it may be imposed at once; indeed, the wrong may be as serious in one publication as in several. Characterizing the publication as a business, and the business as a nuisance, does not permit an invasion of the constitutional immunity against restraint. Similarly, it does not matter that the newspaper or periodical is found to be "largely" or "chiefly" devoted to the publication of such derelictions. If the publisher has a right, without previous restraint, to publish them, his right cannot be deemed to be dependent upon his publishing something else, more or less, with the matter to which objection is made. Nor can it be said that the constitutional freedom from previous restraint is lost because charges are made of derelictions which constitute crimes. With the multiplying provisions of penal codes, and of municipal charters and ordinances carrying penal sanctions, the conduct of public officers is very largely within the purview of criminal statutes. The freedom of the press from previous restraint has never been regarded as limited to such animadversions as lay outside the range of penal enactments. Historically, there is no such limitation; it is inconsistent with the reason which underlies the privilege, as the privilege so limited would be of slight value for the purposes for which it came to be established.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931).

„Public officers, whose character and conduct remain open to debate and free discussion in the press, find their remedies for false accusations in actions under libel laws providing for redress and punishment, and not in proceedings to restrain the publication of newspapers and periodicals. The general principle that the constitutional guaranty of the liberty of the press gives immunity from previous restraints has been approved in many decisions under the provisions of state constitutions. The importance of this immunity has not lessened. While reckless assaults upon public men, and efforts to bring obloquy upon those who are endeavoring faithfully to discharge official duties, exert a baleful influence and deserve the severest condemnation in public opinion, it cannot be said that this abuse is greater, and it is believed to be less, than that which characterized the period in which our institutions took shape. Meanwhile, the administration of government has become more complex, the opportunities for malfeasance and corruption have multiplied, crime has grown to most serious proportions, and the danger of its protection by unfaithful officials and of the impairment of the fundamental security of life and property by criminal alliances and official neglect, emphasizes the primary need of a vigilant and courageous press, especially in great cities. The fact that the liberty of the press may be abused by miscreant purveyors of scandal does not make any the less necessary the immunity of the press from previous restraint in dealing with official misconduct. Subsequent punishment for such abuses as may exist is the appropriate remedy consistent with constitutional privilege.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931).

„…[I]n three notable instances the Court has suffered severely from self-inflicted wounds. The first of these was the Dred Scott case. … There the Supreme Court decided that Dred Scott, a negro, not being a citizen could not sue in the United States Courts and that Congress could not prohibit slavery in the territories. … [T]he grave injury that the Court sustained through its decision has been universally recognized. Its action was a public calamity. … [W]idespread and bitter attacks upon the judges who joined in the decision undermined confidence in the Court. … It was many years before the Court, even under new judges, was able to retrieve its reputation.…[The second instance was] the legal tender cases decided in 1870. … From the standpoint of the effect on public opinion there can be no doubt that the reopening of the case was a serious mistake and the overruling in such a short time, and by one vote, of the previous decision shook popular respect for the Court.… [The third instance happened] [t]wenty-five years later, when the Court had recovered its prestige, [and] its action in the income tax cases gave occasion for a bitter assault. … [After questions about the validity of the income tax] had been reserved owing to an equal division of the Court, a reargument was ordered and in the second decision the act was held to be unconstitutional by a majority of one. Justice Jackson was ill at the time of the first argument but took part in the final decision, voting in favor of the validity of the statute. It was evident that the result [holding the statute invalid] was brought about by a change in the vote of one of the judges who had participated in the first decision. … [T]he decision of such an important question by a majority of one after one judge had changed his vote aroused a criticism of the Court which has never been entirely stilled.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
"The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Foundation, Methods and Achievements," Columbia University Press, p. 50 (1928). ISBN 1-893122-85-9.

„The power of administrative bodies to make finding of fact which may be treated as conclusive, if there is evidence both ways, is a power of enormous consequence. An unscrupulous administrator might be tempted to say "Let me find the facts for the people of my country, and I care little who lays down the general principles."“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
"Important Work of Uncle Sam's Lawyers", American Bar Association Journal (April 1931), p. 238, reprinting an address to the Federal Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (February 11, 1931), where the chief justice spoke of the "extraordinary development of administrative agencies of the government and of the lawyer's part in making them work satisfactorily and also in protecting the public against bureaucratic excesses", according to the article's subtitle

„We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is, and the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and of our property under the Constitution.“

—  Charles Evans Hughes
Speech before the Chamber of Commerce, Elmira, New York (3 May 1907); published in Addresses and Papers of Charles Evans Hughes, Governor of New York, 1906–1908 (1908), p. 139

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

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