Potter Stewart Quotes

Born January 23, 1915
Died December 07, 1985

Who on Earth is Potter Stewart?

Potter Stewart was an American lawyer and judge who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Books by Potter Stewart

Best Quotes by Potter Stewart

“A person's mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not give rise to probable cause to search that person.”

Potter Stewart

“Abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.”

Potter Stewart

“Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”

Potter Stewart

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

Potter Stewart

“Fairness is what justice really is.”

Potter Stewart

“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.”

Potter Stewart

“I know it when I see it.”

Potter Stewart
Jacobellis v. Ohio

“I shall not attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description (of pornography), and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

Potter Stewart

“In fact, a fundamental interdependence exists between the personal right to liberty and the personal right to property.”

Potter Stewart

“In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry — in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government. For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the First Amendment. For, without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people.”

Potter Stewart

“It must always be remembered that what the Constitution forbids is not all searches and seizures, but unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Potter Stewart

“Newspapers, television networks, and magazines have sometimes been outrageously abusive, untruthful, arrogant, and hypocritical. But it hardly follows that elimination of a strong and independent press is the way to eliminate abusiveness.”

Potter Stewart

“Several decisions of this Court make clear that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That right necessarily includes the right of a woman to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

Potter Stewart

“Swift justice demands more than just swiftness.”

Potter Stewart

“The dichotomy between personal liberties and property rights is a false one. Property does not have rights. People have rights.”

Potter Stewart

“The Fourth Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.”

Potter Stewart

“The right to defy an unconstitutional statute is basic in our scheme. Even when an ordinance requires a permit to make a speech, to deliver a sermon, to picket, to parade, or to assemble, it need not be honored when it's invalid on its face.”

Potter Stewart

“The right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less that the right to speak out or the right to travel is, in truth, a 'personal' right.”

Potter Stewart

“These death sentences are cruel and unusual in the same way that being struck by lightning is cruel and unusual.”

Potter Stewart

“To force a lawyer on a defendant can only lead him to believe that the law contrives against him.”

Potter Stewart

“When everything is classified, then nothing is classified and the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless and to be manipulated by those intent on self-protection or self-promotion.”

Potter Stewart