William J. Brennan, Jr.

Judge

1906 – 1997

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Who was William J. Brennan, Jr.?

William Joseph Brennan, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990. As the seventh longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, he was known for being a leader of the Court's liberal wing.

He was known for his outspoken progressive views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights. He authored several landmark case opinions, including Baker v. Carr, establishing the "one person, one vote" principle, and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which required "actual malice" in a libel suit against those deemed "public figures". Due to his ability to shape a wide variety of opinions and "bargain" for votes in many cases, he was considered to be among the Court's most influential members. Justice Antonin Scalia has called Brennan "probably the most influential Justice of the [20th] century."

On November 30, 1993, Justice Brennan was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

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Born
Apr 25, 1906
Newark
Also known as
  • William J. Brennan Jr.
  • Judge William J. Brennan, Jr.
  • William Brennan, Jr.
  • William Joseph Brennan, Jr
Parents
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Catholicism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Pennsylvania
    (1924 - 1928)
  • Harvard Law School
    ( - 1931)
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
    Economics
    (1924 - 1928)
  • Harvard University
    ( - 1931)
  • Barringer High School
    ( - 1924)
Lived in
  • Newark
Died
Jul 24, 1997
Washington, D.C.
Resting place
Arlington National Cemetery

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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