„If a man endeavours to obtain a repeal of those laws, which are conceived to be obnoxious, or the introduction of any laws which he believes to be salutary, if he does that legally, there is no objection to it.“

—  Sir John Bayley, 1st Baronet, 1 St. Tr. (N. S.) 484.
Sir John Bayley, 1st Baronet21
British judge 1763 - 1841
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„Attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous?“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836
Context: Attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority? § 13

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„I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
Context: Laws are to govern all alike — those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

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„There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws.“

—  Andrew Johnson American politician, 17th president of the United States (in office from 1865 to 1869) 1808 - 1875
Statement (1835), as quoted in Andrew Johnson, Plebeian and Patriot (1928) by Robert Watson Winston.

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„Proudhon goes on to suggest that the real laws by which society functions have nothing to do with authority; they are not imposed from above, but stem from the nature of society itself. He sees the free emergence of such laws as the goal of social endeavour.“

—  George Woodcock Canadian writer of political biography and history, an anarchist thinker, an essayist and literary critic 1912 - 1995
Context: Proudhon goes on to suggest that the real laws by which society functions have nothing to do with authority; they are not imposed from above, but stem from the nature of society itself. He sees the free emergence of such laws as the goal of social endeavour. … Proudhon conceiving a natural law of balance operating within society, rejects authority as an enemy and not a friend of order, and throws back at the authoritarians the accusations leveled at anarchists; in the process he adopts the title he hopes to have cleared of obloquy. Prologue

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„A law is foolish which does not aim at abstract or intrinsic justice; and so is it foolish to attempt to achieve abstract justice as the sole good by succumbing to the fallacy to which the mind is prone, which regards direct consequences as if they were the only consequences. Those who believe anything sanctioned by law is right commit one great error“

—  Harry V. Jaffa American historian and collegiate professor 1918 - 2015
Context: Lincoln was again and again to refer to the proposition, 'all men are created equal', as an 'abstract truth', a truth which was the life principle of American law. The implications of this truth were only partially realized, even for white men, and largely denied as far as black men were concerned. Yet it supplied the direction, the meaning, of all good laws in this country, although the attempt at that time to achieve all that might and ought ultimately to be demanded in its name would have been disastrous. A law is foolish which does not aim at abstract or intrinsic justice; and so is it foolish to attempt to achieve abstract justice as the sole good by succumbing to the fallacy to which the mind is prone, which regards direct consequences as if they were the only consequences. Those who believe anything sanctioned by law is right commit one great error; those who believe the law should sanction only what is right commit another. Either error might result in foolish laws; and, although a foolish law may be preferable to a wise dictator, a wise law is preferable to both. Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln Douglas Debates http://archive.li/CFqbg (1959), p. 195

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