Monday, October 22, 2007

Justice Oliver Wedell Holmes:

"But as Mr. Justice Holmes once said: "[T]he provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic living institutions transplanted from English soil. Their significance is vital not formal; it is to be gathered not simply by taking the words and a dictionary, but by considering their origin and the line of their growth." Gompers v. United States, 233 U.S. 604, 610. In this connection also compare the equally unqualified command of the Second Amendment: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.""

- U.S. Supreme Court, KONIGSBERG v. STATE BAR, Footnote 10, 366 U.S. 36 (1961), Decided April 24, 1961.

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