Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Slate on Justice Brennan's Role on the Burger Court has posted the first in a three-part series on Justice William Brennan. While use of Brennan's papers is restricted, writer Jim Newton says he was give access to some papers by Brennan's son. Chief Justice Warren Burger was expected to reverse course after the Warren Court years, but instead presided over "The Counter-Revolution that Wasn't." As Newton puts it,
Warren Burger proved singularly incapable of leading the court, while Justice Harry A. Blackmun, advertised as Burger's "Minnesota Twin," instead emerged as an independent centrist. But one factor stood above all others in those years: the subtle, effective leadership of Justice William J. Brennan Jr., who guided the court's dwindling liberal bloc to influence well beyond its votes and solidified the work of the Warren Court into a set of accepted norms of American life.

Newton's articles, based on Brennen's papers, tell the story of Brennan's role, and include links to selections from the Justice's papers. More to come on this...