Parallels between Brandeis and Obama

09Nov09

It was Brandeis Day for the Louisville Courier-Journal yesterday (November 8th.) In anticipation of his birthday coming up this Friday, they ran three articles about him. First off, Mel Urofsky excerpted material from his new biography that featured Brandeis’ connection with Louisville. Then there was a book review of the Urofsky biography by Laura Rothstein. Since Laura is a professor (and former Dean) here at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, she emphasized the parts of the book that discussed how Brandeis used his positions as lawyer and judge to educate people about the law and their responsibilities as citizens.

The third article was particularly interesting. It was written by staff photographer Sam Upshaw, Jr. and it outlined a number of similarities between Brandeis and Obama.  There are, of course, the superficial ones: an intelligent wife/helpmate, two daughters, a degree from Harvard Law School, etc.  But there are also the careers as community activists, vilification from large portions of society and battles with the insurance industry (although Brandeis’ struggles were with the life insurance companies and not health insurance as Mr. Upshaw states.) No wonder Brandeis’ grandchildren endorsed Obama in the last election.

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