The Best of Notable Quotables; December 23, 1991

Vol. Four; No. 26

Thurgood Marshall Award (for Judicial Activism)

“The genius of the Constitution is that it sides with the citizen against the state. That’s why it’s such a worldwide success. But toda’'s Supreme Court tends to favor the state over the citizen.... In this Supreme Court, the state wins more often than the citizens. Something to keep in mind when they give you the old malarkey about the Court being true to the spirit of the Constitution. This Court isn’t.”

– NBC commentator and former anchor John Chancellor, July 23 Nightly News.


“What was astonishing here was not that the Court opposes abortion. What was astonishing was its absurd view that medical personnel paid with government money lose their right to free speech. The Constitution says no law shall abridge freedom of speech, no law. Could it be that the Court hasn’t read that part? ....Was [David Souter] able and willing to read the Constitution as a member of the Court? Would he abide by it? Well, now we know the answer. It’s no.”

– David Brinkley ending ABC’s This Week, May 26.

“Under Rehnquist, the Supreme Court no longer sees itself as the defender of civil rights and civil liberties, the champion of the individual. Gone is the Court majority that breathed new life into the Bill of Rights, dismantled Southern segregation, disciplined police who violated the rights of citizens, removed religion from the public schools, pushed a President into resignation, and swept aside the laws forbidding women to end their pregnancies.”

– Los Angeles Times Supreme Court reporter David Savage in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, September 29.

“On the same day major groups announced their opposition, Thomas’ friends from Georgia showed up on Capitol Hill. But Thomas has taken controversial positions, such as suggesting that natural laws may supersede individual rights.”

– NBC congressional reporter Andrea Mitchell, September 9 Nightly News.