Friday, August 18, 2006


Laws and Courts

Henry David Thoreau, Journals (Oct. 12, 1858):
I have heard of judges, accidentally met at an evening party, discussing the efficacy of the laws and courts, and deciding that, with the aid of the jury system, "substantial justice was done." But taking those cases in which honest men refrain from going to law, together with those in which men, honest and dishonest, do go to law, I think that the law is really a "humbug," and a benefit principally to the lawyers .... The judges may discuss the question of the courts and law over their nuts and raisins, and mumble forth the decision that "substantial justice is done," but I must believe they mean that they do really get paid a "substantial" salary.

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