"The sentence is harsh, and may upon first consideration seem open to question, for {the convicted man} is a 47-year-old father of six with no prior record of criminal activity. The trial court, however, did not ignore these considerations. Instead, it weighed them against evidence that Stewart continued his {drug} operation while free on bail, expanding its scope significantly; directed the operation from his jail cell after revocation of bail . . . and displayed no remorse for his crimes. Such factors having been considered, the sentence must stand."

U.S. v. Stewart, 1987, upholding a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole for a convicted drug dealer.

"If we can, and do, protect the relation between a dentist and his clients from a disruptive search, certainly we have the authority, and the duty, to protect the relation between a mother and child from such manipulation . . . . I view the police practice here as both pernicious in itself and dangerous as precedent. Indifference to personal liberty is but the precursor of the state's hostility to it."

U.S. v. Penn, 1980, dissenting from the court's refusal to suppress the use of evidence (a jar of heroin) taken from a Seattle woman's back yard after police offered her 5-year-old son $5 to show them its location.


"The affidavit for the search warrant sets forth details of a police investigation conducted with care, diligence, and good faith . . . . The investigation described in the affidavit was made by a law enforcement officer with intensive training in the investigation of drug traffic. He had made over 500 arrests. His opinion that drug trafficking was going on is itself entitled to weight . . . . The magistrate did not err, I submit, in issuing the warrant.

"Whatever the merits of the exclusionary rule, its rigidities become compounded unacceptably when courts presume innocent conduct when the only common sense explanation for it is ongoing criminal activity."

U.S. v. Leon, 1983, dissenting opinion urging adoption of a good-faith exception to the rule excluding illegally seized evidence.


"Neuschafer argues that his sentence was disproportionate, apparently on the premise that the death penalty has not been decreed in other strangulation cases . . . . Neuschafer committed the crime while in prison and he had been previously convicted of other murders. There is no showing that Neuschafer's sentence was disproportionate to sentences received by other offenders in these circumstances . . . . There is no valid constitutional or federal objection to the imposition of the capital sentence."

Neuschafer v. Whitley, 1987, upholding a Nevada death sentence.


"The statute was enacted for the most humanitarian of considerations. Questions of constitutional power, however, necessarily require us to examine enactments from the standpoint of the framers, who were concerned that defects in formal structure be corrected before leading to real or perceived abuses of power at a later date."

Chadha v. U.S., 1980, finding the one-house legislative veto unconstitutional.


"It is perhaps unfortunate that the legal category of opinion, which sounds, and often is, a dignified classification for the pursuit of honest and fair debate, must also be used to describe statements such as the one at issue here, which, in reality, is nothing more than a vicious slur. The law of defamation teaches, however, that in some instances speech must seek its own refutation without intervention by the courts . . . . This is the precise sort of contest that society can endure without redress from the courts. Base and malignant speech is not necessarily actionable."

Koch v. Goldway, 1987, dismissing a libel case against the former mayor of Santa Monica, Calif.

"It is a fundamental principle of the First Amendment that the press may not be required to justify or defend what it prints or says until after the expression has taken place . . . . The district court proceedings here intervened in the editorial process by ordering an official of the broadcasting company to produce a film just before its scheduled broadcast so that it could be examined for inaccuracies. A procedure thus aimed toward prepublication censorship is an inherent threat to expression, one that chills speech." Goldblum v. National Broadcasting Corp., 1978, overturning lower court order as an unconstitutional prior restraint. CIVIL RIGHTS

"The injuries TOPIC's {a fair-housing group} members may have suffered from living in segregated communities were caused by no specific single act of the defendants, but by a prolonged practice spanning many years. An injunction, if granted, would stop the practice of racial steering by the defendants, but the desired result of establishing an integrated community would not be achieved immediately . . . . In sharp contrast is the denial of access to one seeking to rent or purchase housing, where inability to obtain an immediate judicial remedy may constitute a serious hardship."

TOPIC v. Circle Realty, 1976, dismissing a lawsuit against real estate brokers on the grounds that the plaintiffs were not "direct victims" of the alleged discrimination and therefore did not have standing to sue.


"Neither law nor logic deems the free market system a suspect enterprise . . . . We find nothing in the language of Title VII or its legislative history to indicate Congress intended to abrogate fundamental economic principles such as the laws of supply and demand or to prevent employers from competing in the labor market."

AFSCME v. State of Washington, 1985, overturning a ruling requiring Washington state to pay its male and female employes based on the "comparable worth" of their jobs.


"We recognize, as we must, that there is substantial academic comment which argues that the choice to engage in homosexual action is a personal decision entitled, at least in some instances, to recognition as a fundamental right and to full protection as an aspect of the individual's right of privacy . . . .

"Upholding the challenged {U.S. Navy} regulations {on dismissal of personnel who engage in homosexual conduct} as constitutional is distinct from a statement that they are wise. The latter judgment is neither implicit in our decision nor within our province to make . . . . It should be plain from our opinion that the constitutionality of the regulations stems from the needs of the military, the Navy in particular, and form the unique accommodation between military demands and what might be constitutionally protected activity in some other quarters."

Beller v. Middendorf, 1980.