Sep 06, 2008

Auntie Nolo's Favorite Legal Remarks by American Presidents

Jake Warner: Auntie, in the last few centuries I believe you've known every American president.

Auntie Nolo: All but the first Harrison. Old "Tippecanoe," as he was called, caught pneumonia at his inauguration and died before I could stop by for tea and lawyer jokes.

Jake Warner: Not only did lots of Presidents comment on lawyers and the law, but many were lawyers themselves.

Auntie Nolo: Yup -- both Adamses, Tom Jefferson, J.M., Honest Abe, both Roosevelts, Silent Cal, Tricky Dick, and Hopeful Bill to mention a few. But not all of them were funny -- Coolidge and Nixon didn't have half a wit between them and Hopeful Bill was mostly funny when he didn't want to be.

Jake Warner: Exactly, but let's get to it. Give us your funniest bits of humorous presidential lawyer wisdom.

Auntie Nolo: Well, I have four that combine wit and wisdom, and one from Richard Nixon that does neither but is the funniest of all in a sad kind of way.

"It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and to talk by the hour."
Thomas Jefferson

"[The accused] reminds me of the fellow who murdered his parents and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan."
Abraham Lincoln

"A man who never graduated from school might steal a freight car. But a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad."
Theodore Roosevelt

"I used to be a lawyer, but now I'm a reformed character."
Woodrow Wilson

"When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."
Richard Nixon