“Due process,” a standard that arose in our system of law and stemmed from the desire to provide rational procedure and fair play, is equally indispensable in every other kind of social or political enterprise.
The people’s right to obtain information does not, of course, depend on any assured ability to understand its significance or use it wisely. Facts belong to the people simply because they relate to interests that are theirs, government that is theirs, and votes that they may desire to cast, for they are entitled to an active role in shaping every fundamental decision of state.
Justice and power . . . are both deeply real to law, and both are finite.
Freedom is not free. Shaping and preserving society necessarily involves personal commitment, costly risk and constant effort; the cultivation of civil liberty can be no more passive than the cultivation of a farm. A man can inherit the land on which he lives, he can even inherit the first crop of produce after he takes over from those who came before him. But then if he stops, everything stops, and begins to crumble. Nothing grows, nothing ripe and rewarding comes to him, unless he plows, plants and tends the soil and unless he keeps it fertile year after year with the chemistry of effort and forethought.