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William J. Brennan

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The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs.
--
Speech to the Text and Teaching Symposium at Georgetown University (October 12, 1985)

 
William J. Brennan

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"The framers discerned fundamental principles.... But our acceptance of the fundamental principles has not and should not bind us to those precise, at times anachronistic, contours. We current justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as 20th-century Americans... The ultimate question must be, what do the words of the text mean in our time? For the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs. What the constitutional fundamentals meant to the wisdom of other times cannot be their measure to the vision of our time. Similarly, what those fundamentals mean for us, our descendants will learn, cannot be their measure to the vision of their time.

 
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"I fear the future I wish for my children is at risk, so I'm taking action. Please join me. Our greatest risk is not terrorism, and it's not Iraq or the "Axis of Evil". Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty and a complete lack of consciousness. Unfortunately our current government cannot see the big picture. They think too small. They suffer from the “what's in it for me?” syndrome. The simple truth is that the current administration has squandered incredible opportunities to bring the world together, to promote peace in regions that have only known war, to encourage health in places that are ravaged with disease, to make us more secure by living up to our principles at home and abroad. The simple truth is that the policies of our current administration do not reflect what is great about America." From Madonna's open letter about the War in Iraq & the Bush administration

 
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One always goes against the current to reach the wellsprings, it is the trash which flows with the current.

 
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