Justice Sutherland on Conservatism

I’m reading the only (and pretty terrible) biography of Justice George Sutherland, which was written in the 1950s.  Sutherland was a gifted writer, and in this Olympic season I thought I’d reproduce this quote describing his Burkean approach to law:

“Among the games of the ancient Greeks there was a running match in which each participant carried a lighted torch. The prize was awarded not to that one who crossed the line first, but to him who crossed the line first with his torch still burning.  It is important that we should advance, but the vital thing is not that we should simply get somewhere–anywhere–quickly, but that we should arrive at a definite goal with the torch of sanity and safety still ablaze.”

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1 Response

  1. Anon. says:

    Your next biography, perhaps?