70 Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes From The Supreme Court Justice

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The American Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior who served from 1902 to 1932 was known for his unique opinions and long years of service.

He played an important role in influencing the common law. There isn't any young man or woman who isn't inspired by his work and sayings.

Justice Holmes always had something witty and inspiring to say. Enlisted below are some thought-provoking quotes by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr that all men and women should go through.

You may also like Louis Brandeis quotes and Sonia Sotomayor quotes.

Best Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes are the best.

Over the years, Oliver Wendell Holmes had the best things to say. Check out these thought-provoking quotes from Oliver Wendell Holmes.

1. "Now it is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

2. "Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than what we suspect of what we think."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

3. "Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

4. "The minute a phrase, becomes current, it becomes an apology for not thinking accurately to the end of the sentence."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

5. "The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

6. "But the moment you turn a corner you see another straight stretch ahead and there comes some further challenge to your ambition."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

7. "I do not see what more there is in your law of contradiction, except to assert that the universe can't make nonsense sense. Even to that I should simply say I don't know. I can't imagine it-but I hardly think that a measure of the possible."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr,  'The Essential Holmes'.

8. "The advice of the elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

9. "With all humility, I think, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

10. "Longevity is having a chronic disease - and taking care of it."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

11. "There is a little plant called reverence in the corner of my soul's garden, which I love to have watered once a week."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

12. "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

13. "A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Famous Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

This famous quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes list includes Oliver Wendell Holmes free speech quotes, freedom of speech quotes and other well-known Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes.

14. "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

15. "We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

16. "Philosophy may find a hundred reasons to justify the instinct, but it would be totally immaterial if it should condemn it and bid us surrender without a murmur."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

17. "If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It's my job."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

18. "I begin by an act of faith. I assume that I am [not] dreaming, although I can't prove it-that you exist in the same sense that I do and that gives me an outside world of some sort-so I assume that I am not I am in the world not it in me."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr,  'The Essential Holmes'.

19. "Free competition is worth more to society than it costs."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

20. "The only condition of peace in this world is to have no ideas, or, at least not to express them."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

21. "The root of joy, as of duty, is to put all one's powers towards some great end."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

22. "If you don't know what you want, you will probably never get it."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

23. "A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

24. "Infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love one's neighbor as one's self."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

25. "We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

26. "I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

27. "Nothing can be so perfect while we possess it as it will seem when remembered."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes On Politics And Life

These Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr quotes on friendship, life and politics should be read by all men and women.

28. "The petitioner may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

29. "Life is a fatal complaint, and an eminently contagious one."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

30. "For my part I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape, than that the government should play an ignoble part."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

31. "If I were dying, my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

32. "Deep-seated preferences cannot be argued about - you cannot argue a man into liking a glass of beer."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

33. "The individual will always be a minority. If a man is in a minority of one, we lock him up."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

34. "I have always sought to guide the future-but it is very lonely sometimes trying to play God."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

35. "The mark of a civilized man is his willingness to re-examine his most cherished beliefs."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

36. "Systems die; instincts remain."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

37. "The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power. The prize of the general is not a bigger tent, but command."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

38. "A man's opinions are generally of much more value than his arguments."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

39. "Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Interesting Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

These Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes are greatly interesting.

40. "For I say to you in all the sadness of conviction, that to think great thoughts you must be heroes as well as idealists."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

41. "Blood is a destiny. One's genius descends in the stream from long lines of ancestry."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

42. "Even the wisest woman you talk to is ignorant of something you may know, but an elegant woman never forgets her elegance."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

43. "...you must be living in your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

44. "One hopes that by doing quietly and with parade as solid work as one can when one is occupied, on makes the best contribution possible to one's state."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr,  'The Essential Holmes'.

45. "A goose flies by a chart the Royal Geographic Society could not improve."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

46. "Certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

47. "The only simplicity for which I would give a straw is that which is on the other side of the complex — not that which never has divined it."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

48. "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

49. "No generalization is wholly true—not even this one."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

50. "The difference between gossip and philosophy lies only in one's way of taking a fact."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

51. "My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes About Law

Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes are famous.

Here are Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes on taxes, quotes about justice and fairness, famous legal quotes, and rules quotes that greatly impact new lawyers and judges.

52. "The first requirement of a sound body of law is, that it should correspond with the actual feelings and demands of the community, whether right or wrong."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, 'The Common Law'.

53. "This is a court of law, not a court of justice."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

54. "Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

55. "If you can eat sawdust without butter, you can be a success in the law."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

56. "The rational study of law is still to a large extent the study of history. History must be a part of the study, because without it we cannot know the precise scope of rules which it is our business to know."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, 'The Path of the Law'.

57. "The life of the law has not been logic it has been experience."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

58. "It is perfectly easy to be original by violating the laws of decency and the canons of good taste."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

59. "Law, being a practical thing, must found itself on actual forces."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, 'The Common Law'.

60. "The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. "

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

61. "The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

62. "Pretty much all law consists in forbidding men to do something that they want to do."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Motivational Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

One great thing about Holmes was he knew how to inspire people. Read these motivational quotes.

63. "Every man has a right to do what he wills, provided he interferes not with a like right on the part of his neighbors."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

64. "If you want to hit a bird on the wing, you must have all your will in focus, you must not be thinking about yourself, and equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

65. "The noblest service comes from nameless hands; and the best servant does his work unseen."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

66. "Success. Is not the position where you are standing, but which direction you are going."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

67. "Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered that I was not God."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

68. "We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

69. "To be master of any branch of knowledge, you must master those which lie next to it, and thus to know anything you must know all."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

70. "Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, 'The Common Law'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes then why not take a look at Joe Biden quotes, or Kamala Harris quotes.

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