Monday, November 17, 2008

Louis Brandeis

A friend picked up the Brandeis train (courtesy of The Green Bag) last month. Isn't it a beaut?

Brandeis has a special place in my heart for these words:

The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone--the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect, that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. (OLMSTEAD v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928))

"The right to be let alone." Such beautiful words. Too bad it's just a dissent, and therefore not legally binding.

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