Justice Scalia Quoting Learned Hand

Notable & Quotable, The Wall Street Journal, 2/16/2016.

Learned Hand

Learned Hand

(“Learned Hand” is not a metaphor, but the name of an actual person, Billings Learned Hand, who was a federal judge and  judicial philosopher, 1872–1961, well-known to those in the field of jurisprudence. “Learned” was his mother’s maiden name.)

A society that feels passionately about everything, or that lightly . . . adopts laws obnoxious to many of its members, cannot sustain democratic self-government, and is fit only to be ruled by others.

The point was put well by the great Learned Hand, in his comments to a group of newly naturalized Americans: “The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias.”

—Justice Scalia

See the posting Directions To the Armorer, June 26, 2012, for the very relevant and hilarious poem by Elder Olson.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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