Warren E. Burger (1907-1995)

“Judges rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times.”

“Concepts of justice must have hands and feet or they remain sterile abstractions. The hands and feet we need are efficient means and methods to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost.”

“It is not unprofessional to give free legal advice, but advertising that the first visit will be free is a bit like a fox telling chickens he will not bite them until they cross the threshold of the hen house.”

“Crime and the fear of crime have permeated the fabric of American life.”

“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.”

“Guilt or innocence becomes irrelevant in the criminal trials as we flounder in a morass of artificial rules poorly conceived and often impossible [to apply].”

“Doctors still retain a high degree of public confidence because they are perceived as healers. Should lawyers not be healers? Healers, not warriors? Healers, not procurers? Healers, not hired guns?”

“Calculated risks of abuse are taken in order to preserve higher values.”

“For better or worse, editing is what editors are for; and editing is selection and choice of material. That editors newspaper or broadcast can and do abuse this power is beyond doubt, but that is no reason to deny the discretion Congress provided.”

“There may be some incorrigible human beings who cannot be changed except by God’s own mercy to that one person.”

“Concepts of justice must have hands and feet . . . to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. This is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.”

“Trials by the adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood”

“The courtrooms of America all too often have Piper Cub advocates trying to handle the controls of Boeing 747 litigation.”

“A far greater factor [than abolishing poverty] is the deterrent effect of swift and certain consequences: swift arrest, prompt trial, certain penalty and – at some point – finality of judgment.”

“Respondent’s expectation that his garden was protected from observation is unreasonable and is not an expectation that society is prepared to honor.”

“It is indeed an odd business that it has taken this Court nearly two centuries to “discover” a constitutional mandate to have counsel at a preliminary hearing.”

“The president’s need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts.”

“However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises.”

“There can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society.”

“We may have lured judges into roaming at large in the constitutional field.”

“The trial of a case is a three legged stool: a judge and two advocates.”

“We are more casual about qualifying the people we allow to act as advocates in the courtroom than we are about licensing electricians.”

“We must have a program to “learn the way out of prison.”

“To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching.”

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