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The insistence on the integrity of procedures is not arid formalism. Lawyers know that however noble the impulse, action in the common interest that is taken without formal authority may have incalculable public ccosts. Group security and individual liberty depend, in no small part, on orderly decision preceded by due deliberation; actions inconsistent with the procedures of the law erode their authority and increase the probability of abuse. But lawyers also know that legal procedures do not always work and that sometimes decisions have to be taken without regard to them. As Justice Holmes said, "a constitution is not a suicide pact."
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