„In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading.“

1960s, First court statement (1962)
Contexto: In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading. All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolized by whites, and we enjoy none of them. The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us.

Última atualização 22 de Maio de 2020. História
Nelson Mandela photo
Nelson Mandela47
político e ativista sul-africano, Ex-presidente da África d… 1918 - 2013

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„Equal laws protecting equal rights…the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836

Letter to Jacob De La Motta (August 1820), Manuscript Division, Papers of James Madison http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/loc/madison.html
1820s
Contexto: Equal laws protecting equal rights, are found as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty, and love of country; as well as best calculated to cherish that mutual respect and good will among citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony and most favorable to the advancement of truth.
Contexto: Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect. And it is particularly pleasing to observe in the good citizenship of such as have been most distrusted and oppressed elsewhere, a happy illustration of the safety and success of this experiment of a just and benignant policy. Equal laws protecting equal rights, are found as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty, and love of country; as well as best calculated to cherish that mutual respect and good will among citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony and most favorable to the advancement of truth.

Thomas Jefferson photo

„All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

1800s, First Inaugural Address (1801)
Contexto: All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.

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„Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.“

—  John Marshall Harlan United States Union Army officer and Supreme Court Associate Justice 1833 - 1911

1890s, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Contexto: In view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.

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„Justice is the constitution or fundamental law of the moral universe, the law of right, a rule of conduct for man in all his moral relations.“

—  Theodore Parker abolitionist 1810 - 1860

Ten Sermons of Religion (1853), III : Of Justice and the Conscience https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ten_Sermons_of_Religion/Of_Justice_and_the_Conscience
Contexto: Justice is the constitution or fundamental law of the moral universe, the law of right, a rule of conduct for man in all his moral relations. Accordingly all human affairs must be subject to that as the law paramount; what is right agrees therewith and stands, what is wrong conflicts and falls. Private cohesions of self-love, of friendship, or of patriotism, must all be subordinate to this universal gravitation towards the eternal right.

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Robert M. La Follette Sr. photo
Marcus Tullius Cicero photo

„For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero, livro De Legibus

Book I, section 42; Translation by C.D. Yonge)
De Legibus (On the Laws)
Original: (la) Est enim unum ius quo deuincta est hominum societas et quod lex constituit una, quae lex est recta ratio imperandi atque prohibendi. Quam qui ignorat, is est iniustus, siue est illa scripta uspiam siue nusquam.
Contexto: For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.

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Clarence Thomas photo

„Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law“

—  Clarence Thomas Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1948

Concurring in Adarand v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=U10252&friend=oyez (1995).
1990s
Contexto: [I disagree] that there is a racial paternalism exception to the principle of equal protection. I believe that there is a 'moral [and] constitutional equivalence,' between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality. Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law.

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„The State oppresses and the law cheats.
Tax bleeds the unfortunate.
No duty is imposed on the rich;
The rights of the poor is an empty phrase.
Enough languishing in custody!
Equality wants other laws:
No rights without duties, she says,
Equally, no duties without rights.“

—  Eugène Edine Pottier French politician 1816 - 1887

L'État comprime et la loi triche
L'impôt saigne le malheureux
Nul devoir ne s'impose au riche
Le droit du pauvre est un mot creux
C'est assez, languir en tutelle
L'égalité veut d'autres lois
Pas de droits sans devoirs dit-elle
Égaux, pas de devoirs sans droits
The Internationale (1864)

Henry Wilson photo

„The idea which pervades our Constitution; that all men of every race are equal before the laws.“

—  Henry Wilson Union Army officer, Vice president, politician, historian 1812 - 1875

Fonte: Speech (June 1853), p. 79

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“