„What is law? Is it what is on the books, or what is actually enacted and obeyed in a society? Or is law what must be enacted and obeyed, whether or not it is on the books, if things are to go right?“

—  Бернхард Шлинк, The Reader
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„For those who have only to obey, law is what the sovereign commands. For the sovereign, in the throes of deciding what he ought to command, this view of law is singularly empty of light and leading.“

—  William Ernest Hocking American philosopher 1873 - 1966
Present Status of the Philosophy of Law and of Rights (1926), Context: For those who have only to obey, law is what the sovereign commands. For the sovereign, in the throes of deciding what he ought to command, this view of law is singularly empty of light and leading. In the dispersed sovereignty of modern states, and especially in times of rapid social change, law must look to the future as well as to history and precedent, and to what is possible and right as well as to what is actual. Preface (20 May 1926), p. vii.

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„That which is not just, is not Law; and that which is not Law, ought not to be obeyed.“

—  Algernon Sidney British politician and political theorist 1623 - 1683
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Karl E. Weick фото
Adlai Stevenson фото

„Gentlemen, there is business before your house and I propose to get right to it, obeying, as far as I can, what seems to me becoming to be known as the Republican law of gravity.“

—  Adlai Stevenson mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN 1900 - 1965
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„They saw their power waning, and this led them to encroach upon the prerogatives and independence of the Northern States by enacting such laws as the Fugitive Slave Law.“

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1880s, Context: Slavery was an institution that required unusual guarantees for its security wherever it existed; and in a country like ours where the larger portion of it was free territory inhabited by an intelligent and well-to-do population, the people would naturally have but little sympathy with demands upon them for its protection. Hence the people of the South were dependent upon keeping control of the general government to secure the perpetuation of their favorite institution. They were enabled to maintain this control long after the States where slavery existed had ceased to have the controlling power, through the assistance they received from odd men here and there throughout the Northern States. They saw their power waning, and this led them to encroach upon the prerogatives and independence of the Northern States by enacting such laws as the Fugitive Slave Law. By this law every Northern man was obliged, when properly summoned, to turn out and help apprehend the runaway slave of a Southern man. Northern marshals became slave-catchers, and Northern courts had to contribute to the support and protection of the institution.

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„To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.“

—  Elizabeth Cady Stanton Suffragist and Women's Rights activist 1815 - 1902
Address to the Tenth National Women's Rights Convention on Marriage and Divorce, New York City, May 11, 1860; as published in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Feminist as Thinker: A Reader in Documents and Essays edited by Ellen Carol DuBois and Richard Cándida Smith.

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