Mel Urofsky on Brandeis’ Supreme Court Dissents


Louis D. Brandeis biographer Melvin Urofsky has published another article on Brandeis: “Mr. Justice Brandeis and the Art of Judicial Dissent,” 39 Pepperdine Law Review 919-937.  The speech appears to be a transcription of Urofsky’s speech at Pepperdine’s annual Brandeis Lecture on March 24, 2011. The article is a brief look at the history of dissents during the Supreme Court’s history (with, of course, a nod to John Marshall Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson) that leads up to an analysis of Brandeis’ use of dissents during his tenure on the Court. It is not meant to be an exhaustive history of the subject. That, it would seem, is coming later. Urofsky is apparently working on a book about the subject, and he describes this article as a “report on a work in progress.”  It is still an interesting piece and ought to be of interest to Brandeis scholars and others interested constitutional law history. Unfortunately, I could not find any copies of it online, so anyone interested in reading it is going to have to do it the old fashioned way: in a library.

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