Brandeis and Harlan in the New York Times Part 2

19Apr09

Earlier in this blog I mentioned how the NY Times had posted their articles that had fallen in the public domain and how that was a good resource for contemporary newspaper articles on the two justices. Now that research has gotten even easier. CQ Press has just released The New York Times on the Supreme Court 1857-2008, a compendium of articles, editorials and analyses of Supreme Court decisions. It is not a complete collection; rather just an overview of the most significant decisions.

Two articles give a good impression of what the justices were like on the bench. One article has a lengthy exchange between Brandeis and a lawyer during oral arguments in Near v. Minnesota that give an interesting look into Brandeis’ views on the free press.

Then there is this, from an article about Harlan delivering his opinion in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. , which gives a great impression of what a Harlan’s dissents were like:

“Justice Harlan almost at the beginning of his opinion began to gesture and to address his remarks forcibly to the members of the bar. Warming up, he finally turned deliberately to the Chief Justice, who sits next to him, and gesticulated almost in his very face. Justice Harlan’s opinion throughout had a caustic tone almost of sarcasm.”

The book is, of course available from Amazon, but if you want to save money, you can use WorldCat to locate the nearest library that has a copy.

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