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Rose Elizabeth Bird
“If our courts lose their authority and their rulings are no longer respected, there will be no one left to resolve the divisive issues that can rip the social fabric apart ... The courts are a safety valve without which no democratic society can survive.”
“It is easy to be popular. It is not easy to be just.”
“We are incarcerating more people on a per capita basis in California than any country in the world other than South Africa or the Soviet Union.”
“The courts are an easy scapegoat because at a time when everything has to boiled down to easy slogans, we speak in subtleties.”
“... those who live a public life no longer are seen as 'real persons' — human beings. Rather they are objects to be examined, manipulated, ridiculed.”
“We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it ... That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.”
Rose Elizabeth Bird, U.S. Chief Justice of California
(1936 - 1999)