Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoWe examine the life today of one of the legal geniuses that planted the seeds that today allows us to harvest the benefits for the common man (and woman). Louis D. Brandeis was just that type of advocate for the people, hence he became known as “the People’s Lawyer” and the “Robin Hood of the Law”. Although his poor eyesight made law school difficult under the gas lights of the 1870s, he paid other students to read the books to him; he graduated from Harvard Law School as Valedictorian with the highest GPA, a record that stood for eight decades!

Brandeis contributed several significant concepts to the legal profession that have real applicability today. He was a strong supporter for Freedom of Speech and the Right to Privacy. All one needs to do today is to look at the intrusiveness of government into our lives following 9/11 to appreciate this. And our privacy is further threatened by the many online social networks to which we belong to understand this. His advocacy for the Freedom of Speech enables the common man to question the actions of our government, in spite of the McCarthy hearings, HUAC, the anti-communist zeitgeist, and the search for threats to Homeland Security.

Brandeis_office_1916The other major contribution made by Brandeis was the “Brandeis Brief”. This changed how legal cases were argued in court. Previous to Brandeis, arguments were made based only on legal theory. Following the 1908 Muller v. Oregon case, legal briefs were supported not only by legal theory, but also by documentation and expert testimony. These are the techniques that have been used in support of environmental protection, consumer product and other important public and personal rights issues. As a Supreme Court Justice, he brought this activist zeal to the court.

But, now we need to proceed with our exploration of the life and contributions of the Honorable Louis D. Brandeis…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

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Quotations Related to LOUIS D. BRANDEIS:

    

“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”
— Louis D. Brandeis

“If we would guide by the light of reason we must let our minds be bold.”
— Louis D. Brandeis

“Neutrality is at times a graver sin than belligerence.”
— Louis D. Brandeis

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