Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (18411935)
I always say, as you know, that if my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. Its my job.
Justice OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, letter to Harold J. Laski, March 4, 1920.Holmes-Laski Letters, ed. Mark DeWolfe Howe, vol. 1, p. 249 (1953).
Max Lerner, The Mind and Faith of Justice Holmes, p. 222 (1954), said, Holmes was exacting in construing a statute and latitudinarian in construing powers under the Constitution. He often said that there was nothing in the Constitution that prevented the country from going to hell if it chose to. But once a statute was clearly constitutional and it became a matter of construing it, Holmes put on his most scrupulous spectacles.