GIGA THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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PRECEDENT
[ Also see Authority Custom Example History Innovation Law Principles Tradition ]

All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures.
      - Julius Caesar (Gaius Julius Caesar)

If you're strong enough, there are no precedents.
      - F. Scott Fitzgerald

A hundred thousand men were led
  By one calf near three centuries dead;
    They followed still his crooked way
      And lost a hundred years a day;
        For thus such reverence is lent
          To well established precedent.
      - Sam Walter Foss, The Calf-Path

One day through the primeval wood
  A calf walked home as good calves should;
    But made a trail all bent askew,
      A crooked trail as all calves do.
        . . . .
          And men two centuries and a half
            Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
      - Sam Walter Foss, The Calf-Path

As to precedents, to be sure they will increase in course of time; but the more precedents there are, the less occasion is there for law; that is to say, the less occasion is there for investigating principles.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate, and constitute law. What yesterday was fact, to-day is doctrine. Examples are supposed to justify the most dangerous measures; and where they do not suit exactly, the defect is supplied by analogy.
      - Junius (pseudonym, possibly of Sir Philip Francis)

Precedents once established are so much positive power.
      - James Madison

Precedents are the disgrace of legislation. They are not wanted to justify right measures, are absolutely insufficient to excuse wrong ones. They can only be useful to heralds, dancing masters, and gentlemen ushers.
      - Laurence Sterne

Precedents are dangerous things; let the rein of government then be braced and held with a steady hand.
      - George Washington


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