Black, opinion of Court in Korematsu
It should be noted, to begin with, that all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect. That is not to say that all such restrictions are unconstitutional. It is to say that courts must subject them to the most rigid scrutiny. Pressing public necessity may sometimes justify the existence of such restrictions; racial antagonism never can.
Roberts,dissent in Korematsu
Again, it is a new doctrine of constitutional law that one indicted for disobedience to an unconstitutional statute may not defend on the ground of the invalidity of the statute, but must obey it though he knows it is no law, and, after he has suffered the disgrace of conviction and lost his liberty by sentence, then, and not before, seek, from within prison walls, to test the validity of the law.
Jackson, dissent in Korematsu
They do not pretend to rest on evidence, but are made on information that often would not be admissible and on assumptions that could not be proved. Information in support of an order could not be disclosed to courts without danger that it would reach the enemy. Neither can courts act on communications made in confidence. Hence, courts can never have any real alternative to accepting the mere declaration of the authority that issued the order that it was reasonably necessary from a military viewpoint.
Scalia, dissent in Lawrence
It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.
Kennedy, opinion of the Court in Lawrence
They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.
Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government.
Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled.
It suffices for us to acknowledge that adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.
We conclude the case should be resolved by determining whether the petitioners were free as adults to engage in the private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the State should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.
Justice Scalia majority in Employment division v. Smith: "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself." Law = generally applicable, Court had held that religious beliefs did not excuse people from complying with laws forbidding polygamy, child labor laws, Sunday closing laws, laws requiring citizens to register for Selective Service, and laws requiring the payment of Social Security taxes.
Holmes speaking for unanimous majority in Schenck v. United States: "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." During wartime, utterances tolerable in peacetime can be punished.
Justice Bradley concurring with Miller majority in Bradwell v. Illinois: "The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life... The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator."
Virginia v. Black (2002) - Justice O'Connor in majority argues that the prima facie provision permits the state to proscribe cross burning regardless of the "intent to intimidate", and, in doing so, risks to create "an unacceptable risk of the suppression of ideas." While agreeing that cross-burning may arouse "a sense of anger and hatred", Justice O'Conner states that contextual factors need to be analyzed in deciding whether the "intent to intimidate" was actually present.
Justice Souter dissent - says same as R.A.V. v City of St. Paul. (content-based discrimination, i.e. the targeting of individuals who "provoke violence" on a basis specified in the law, is unconstitutional) Souter agrees with the majority's judgment on the unconstitutionality of the Virginia statute, but argues that the implicit content-based distinctions of the statute render the legislation invalid regardless of the prima facie provision. Cross burning "selects a symbol with particular content from the field of all proscribable expression meant to intimidate."
Cruzan v. Missouri - Majority Rehnquist assert an unqualified interest in the preservation of human life to be weighed against the constitutionally protected interests of the individual" without making judgments concerning the "quality of life" of that individual. Accordingly, the Court argues that the "clear and convincing" requirement is a constitutional means of protecting these interests of the state.
Scalia dissent "'there is no significant support for the claim that a right to suicide is so rooted in our tradition that it may be deemed 'fundamental' or 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty'"
Brennan (with Marshall and Blackmun), dissenting: the State has no legitimate general interest in someone's life, completely abstracted from the interest of the person living that life, that could outweigh the person's choice to avoid medical treatment."