Top Quotes by Alan Dershowitz

Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral, saying you’re moral is not the same as acting morally.

Alan Dershowitz

It’s every lawyer’s dream to help shape the law, not just react to it.

Alan Dershowitz

Being offended by freedom of speech should never be regarded as a justification for violence.

Alan Dershowitz

I’m a very tough guy, and I fight hard, and I don’t give up. And that makes me friends and that makes me enemies, and I know that.

Alan Dershowitz

Good character consists of recognizing the selfishness that inheres in each of us and trying to balance it against the altruism to which we should all aspire. It is a difficult balance to strike, but no definition of goodness can be complete without it.

Alan Dershowitz

In today’s distorted world of ‘human rights,’ truth takes a back seat to ideology, and false claims – especially those that ‘support’ radical ideologies – persist even after they have been exposed.

Alan Dershowitz

Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means that the government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent.

Alan Dershowitz

A good lawyer knows how to shut up when he’s won his case.

Alan Dershowitz

We don’t have an Official Secrets Act in the United States, as other countries do. Under the First Amendment, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of association are more important than protecting secrets.

Alan Dershowitz

When you discriminate against anyone, you discriminate against everyone. It’s a display of terrible intolerance.

Alan Dershowitz

When you discriminate against anyone, you discriminate against everyone. It’s a display of terrible intolerance.

Alan Dershowitz

A criminal trial is never about seeking justice for the victim. If it were, there could be only one verdict: guilty.

Alan Dershowitz

In some ways, Israel has achieved a peace. There are fewer rockets being sent into Sderot, there are no rockets to speak of from the North, there has been very little terrorism from the West Bank. It’s a kind of peace. I hope for a better and more enduring peace. Peace is not an endgame; we will never be completely at peace.

Alan Dershowitz

We all learn in school that the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government must check and balance each other. But other non state institutions must participate in this important system of checks and balances as well. These checking institutions include the academy, the media, religious institutions and NGOs.

Alan Dershowitz

Candor and accountability in a democracy is very important. Hypocrisy has no place.

Alan Dershowitz

Asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.

Alan Dershowitz

It’s never acceptable to target civilians. It violates the Geneva Accords, it violates the international law of war and it violates all principles of morality.

Alan Dershowitz

We have to fulfill what the real meaning of the Second Amendment is: reasonable access to guns for self-protection and for hunting. And there’s no room in America for these semiautomatic, automatic and other kinds of weapons that are simply designed to cause mass havoc.

Alan Dershowitz

I can’t find anything in the Constitution that says you prefer the life of the mother, or the convenience of the mother if it’s an abortion by choice, over the potential life of the fetus. Look, I think women, if they’re required to not have abortions, could die and could – so I favor a woman’s right to choose.

Alan Dershowitz

If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice.

Alan Dershowitz

When I decide who to vote for as president, I ask myself who will be best for America and for the world. An important component of my answer involves my assessment of the candidate’s willingness and ability to protect Israel’s security, since I strongly believe that a strong Israel serves the interests of the United States and of world peace.

Alan Dershowitz

In my neighborhood, everyone had an opinion on the local cantor. You didn’t go to a synagogue to listen to the rabbi’s sermon. You went to listen to the cantor. It was like a concert.

Alan Dershowitz

Scientists search for truth. Philosophers search for morality. A criminal trial searches for only one result: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Alan Dershowitz

The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.

Alan Dershowitz

I don’t think the law exists to arrive at the truth. If it did, we wouldn’t have exclusionary rules, we wouldn’t have presumptions of innocence, we wouldn’t have proof beyond reasonable doubt. There’s an enormous difference between the role of truth in law and the role of truth in science. In law, truth is one among many goals.

Alan Dershowitz

You know, it’s ironic to me that Christians want to keep the Ten Commandments in our schools, because Christianity has abrogated four of the Ten Commandments. For example, the Sabbath day according to the Ten Commandments is Saturday, not Sunday. And the reason is because God rested, not because Jesus was resurrected.

Alan Dershowitz

I never had an existential moment when I asked myself what I was going to do. I always wanted to be a lawyer, and I knew exactly the kind of lawyer I wanted to be.

Alan Dershowitz

The court of last resort is no longer the Supreme Court. It’s ‘Nightline.’

Alan Dershowitz

Judges are the weakest link in our system of justice, and they are also the most protected.

Alan Dershowitz

The prosecution wants to make sure the process by which the evidence was obtained is not truthfully presented, because, as often as not, that process will raise questions.

Alan Dershowitz

I think that lawyers are terrible at admitting that they’re wrong. And not just admitting it; also realizing it. Most lawyers are very successful, and they think that because they’re making money and people think well of them, they must be doing everything right.

Alan Dershowitz

There are many levels of truth.

Alan Dershowitz

The law is agnostic about truth.

Alan Dershowitz

There is a paranoid streak in American life. Radio talk show hosts tend to foment that paranoid streak in American life.

Alan Dershowitz

I don’t think the law exists to arrive at the truth. If it did, we wouldn’t have exclusionary rules, we wouldn’t have presumptions of innocence, we wouldn’t have proof beyond reasonable doubt. There’s an enormous difference between the role of truth in law and the role of truth in science. In law, truth is one among many goals.

Alan Dershowitz

I never had an existential moment when I asked myself what I was going to do. I always wanted to be a lawyer, and I knew exactly the kind of lawyer I wanted to be.

Alan Dershowitz

I feel like my 50 years at Harvard were an interlude. I’m really a New Yorker.

Alan Dershowitz

I never had a strategy about my life. I didn’t have enough information to have a strategy. I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I had no family mentors.

Alan Dershowitz

There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns protect liberty.

Alan Dershowitz

The struggle for morality never stays won. It’s always in process.

Alan Dershowitz

I love discomfort. I mean, my whole life is discomfort. One reason I can never retire is that the idea of just sitting on the beach totally comfortable is not a desideratum in my life. I like ambiguity, I like conflict, I like uncertainly.

Alan Dershowitz

I think most defense attorneys honestly believe the principle that says, ‘Better 10 guilty go free than even one possibly innocent person be convicted.’

Alan Dershowitz

The defendant wants to hide the truth because he’s generally guilty. The defense attorney’s job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.

Alan Dershowitz

Individuals have the right to pick and choose which expressions to condemn, which to praise and which to say nothing about. Governments, however, must remain neutral as to the content of expression. And governments must protect the rights of all to express even the most despicable of views.

Alan Dershowitz

Real heroes are those who face death for a principle – say, to save the lives of others – without any promise of reward.

Alan Dershowitz

All sides in a trial want to hide at least some of the truth.

Alan Dershowitz

It simply cannot be disputed that for decades the Palestinian leadership was more interested in there not being a Jewish state than in there being a Palestinian state.

Alan Dershowitz

I have been defending Israel’s right to exist, and to defend itself against terrorism, for many years-on college campuses, in television appearances and in debate.

Alan Dershowitz

You’re absolutely right: Bob Grant is a racist, Bob Grant is a bigot, he’s a despicable talk show host and I agree with that.

Alan Dershowitz

I’ve always worked.

Alan Dershowitz

I came from a poor family, so working and going to school at the same time was natural. It taught me multi-tasking, although we didn’t call it that back then. I learned I could never be idle, I need to be doing many things at once.

Alan Dershowitz

When I was 14 or 15, a camp counselor told me I was smart. I had never been very good in school, but he told me once that I was smart but my mind operated a little differently.

Alan Dershowitz

I never do anything for money; I get paid a lot of money as a by-product.

Alan Dershowitz