Yesterday, in searching for “inspiring 4th of July quotes”, I came across the following quote by Louis D. Brandeis:
“We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Because I have written extensively about wealth disparity, I was intrigued.
So I read more about Brandeis.
I learned that Brandeis devoted much of his time to public causes and shunned many of the luxuries that his success afforded him.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to become a member of the Supreme Court. His nomination was bitterly contested primarily because he was considered by many legislators to be “dangerous”.
They deemed him dangerous because he was incorruptible and not for sale.
Politicians confuse integrity for danger. Imagine that.
On June 1, 1916, the dangerous Louis D. Brandeis was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22, and went on to become one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court.
His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court.
Do society a favor – be dangerous and vote dangerously.
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