93 Facts About Louis Brandeis


Louis Dembitz Brandeis was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.

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Louis Brandeis fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture.

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Louis Brandeis achieved recognition by submitting a case brief, later called the "Brandeis brief", which relied on expert testimony from people in other professions to support his case, thereby setting a new precedent in evidence presentation.

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Louis Brandeis was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage.

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Louis Brandeis's opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the "greatest defenses" of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court.

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Some have criticized Louis Brandeis for evading issues related to African-Americans, as he did not author a single opinion on any cases about race during his twenty-three year tenure, and consistently voted with the court majority including in support of racial segregation.

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Louis David Brandeis was born on November 13,1856, in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of four children.

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Louis Brandeis was born to Jewish immigrant parents from Bohemia, who raised him in a secular home.

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Louis Brandeis attended Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of 20 with the highest grade point average in the law school's history.

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Louis Brandeis settled in Boston, where he founded a law firm and became a recognized lawyer through his work on progressive social causes.

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Louis Brandeis's extended family included Dante scholar Irma Brandeis, whose father was Brandeis' second cousin.

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Louis Brandeis spent a few months in the Midwest and was impressed by the nation's institutions and by the tolerance among the people he met.

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The Brandeis family held abolitionist beliefs that angered their Louisville neighbors.

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Louis Brandeis's parents raised their children to be "high-minded idealists" rather than depending solely on religion for their purpose and inspiration.

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Louis Brandeis later changed his middle name from David to Dembitz in honor of his uncle, and through his uncle's model of social activism, became an active member of the Zionist movement later in his life.

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In school, Louis Brandeis was a serious student in languages and other basic courses and usually achieved top scores.

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Louis Brandeis later credited his capacity for critical thinking and his desire to study law in the United States to his time there.

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Louis Brandeis easily adapted to the new methods, soon became active in class discussions, and joined the Pow-Wow club, similar to today's moot courts in law school, which gave him experience in the role of a judge.

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Louis Brandeis's eyesight began failing as a result of the large volume of required reading and the poor visibility under gaslights.

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Louis Brandeis found another alternative: paying fellow law students to read the textbooks aloud, while he tried to memorize the legal principles.

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Louis Brandeis preferred being an adviser and counselor, rather than simply a strategist in lawsuits, which would allow him to advise his clients on how to avoid problems, such as lawsuits, strikes, or other crises.

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Louis Brandeis was unusual among lawyers since he always turned away cases he considered bad.

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Louis Brandeis saw emotions as a positive expression of human nature, and so desired privacy protection for them as protection against repression of the human spirit.

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Years later, after becoming a justice of the Supreme Court, Brandeis discussed the right to privacy in his famous dissenting opinion in Olmstead v United States.

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In 1890, Louis Brandeis became engaged to his second cousin Alice Goldmark, of New York.

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Louis Brandeis was then 34 years of age and had previously found little time for courtship.

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The newlywed couple moved into a modest home in Boston's Beacon Hill district and had two daughters, Susan Louis Brandeis Gilbert, born in 1893, and Elizabeth Louis Brandeis Rauschenbush, born in 1896.

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Louis Brandeis owned no yacht, just a canoe that he would paddle by himself on the fast-flowing river that adjoined his cottage in Dedham.

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In 1889, Louis Brandeis entered a new phase in his legal career when his partner, Samuel Warren, withdrew from their partnership to take over his recently deceased father's paper company.

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Louis Brandeis then took on cases with the help of colleagues, two of whom became partners in 1897 in his new firm: Louis Brandeis, Dunbar, and Nutter.

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Louis Brandeis won his first important victory in 1891, when he persuaded the Massachusetts legislature to make the liquor laws less restrictive and thereby more reasonable and enforceable.

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Louis Brandeis suggested a viable "middle course": by moderating the existing regulations, he told the lawmakers that they would remove liquor dealers' incentive to violate or to corrupt the laws.

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Louis Brandeis worked to break the traditional hold on legal thinking to make laws that met the needs of the changing community.

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Louis Brandeis appeared at public hearings to promote investigations into conditions in the public poorhouses.

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In 1906, Louis Brandeis won a modest victory when the state legislature enacted a measure he drafted designed to make it a punishable crime for a public official to solicit a job from a regulated public utility or for an officer of such a company to offer such favors.

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Louis Brandeis became aware of the growing number of giant companies which were capable of dominating whole industries.

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Louis Brandeis began to lose faith that the economic system was able to regulate them for the public's welfare.

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Louis Brandeis became concerned about the plight of workers and was more sympathetic to the labor movement.

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Louis Brandeis was becoming increasingly conscious of and hostile to powerful corporations and the trend toward bigness in American industry and finance.

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Louis Brandeis argued that great size conflicted with efficiency and added a new dimension to the Efficiency Movement of the Progressive Era.

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Louis Brandeis denied that large trusts were more efficient than the smaller firms driven out of business.

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Louis Brandeis explained that an executive could not ever learn all the details of running a huge and unwieldy company.

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Louis Brandeis did little shopping himself, and unlike his wealthy friends who owned yachts, he was satisfied with his canoe.

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Louis Brandeis hated advertising which he said "manipulated" average buyers.

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Louis Brandeis realized that newspapers and magazines were dependent on advertising for their revenues, which caused them to be "less free" than they should be.

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Louis Brandeis said that national advertisers undermined the traditional relationship between consumers and local businesses.

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Louis Brandeis urged journalists to "teach the public to look with suspicion upon every advertised article" so that they would not suffer from marketing manipulation by giant corporations.

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Louis Brandeis began to give his opinion by writing magazine articles, making speeches, and helping form interest groups.

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Louis Brandeis insisted on serving without pay so that he could freely address the wider issues involved beyond the case at hand.

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Louis Brandeis served without pay to be free to address the wider issues involved.

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Louis Brandeis learned that a little-understood clause in the policies of low-wage workers allowed the policy to be canceled when they missed a payment and that most policies lapsed; only one out of eight policyholders received benefits, which led to large profits for insurance companies.

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Louis Brandeis then created a "groundswell" in Massachusetts with his campaign to educate the public.

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Louis Brandeis's foes were the most powerful he had ever encountered, including the region's most affluent families, Boston's legal establishment, and the large State Street bankers.

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Louis Brandeis met twice with US President Theodore Roosevelt, who convinced the US Department of Justice to file suit against New Haven for antitrust violations.

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In 1934, Louis Brandeis had another legal confrontation with Morgan, this one relating to securities regulation bills.

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Louis Brandeis's brief proved decisive in Muller v Oregon, the first Supreme Court ruling to accept the legitimacy of a scientific examination of the social conditions, in addition to the legal facts involved in a case.

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One of the hallmarks of the case was Louis Brandeis's minimizing of common-law jurisprudence, in favor of extralegal information relevant to the case.

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Louis Brandeis adds that it had "a profound impact on the future of the legal profession" by accepting more broad-based legal information.

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Wilson concluded that Louis Brandeis was too controversial a figure to appoint to his cabinet.

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Nevertheless, during Wilson's first year as president, Louis Brandeis was instrumental in shaping the new Federal Reserve Act.

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Louis Brandeis's arguments had been decisive in breaking deadlock on banking issues.

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In 1913, Louis Brandeis wrote a series of articles for Harper's Weekly that suggested ways of curbing the power of large banks and money trusts.

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Louis Brandeis urged the Wilson administration to develop proposals for new antitrust legislation to give the Department of Justice the power to enforce antitrust laws, with Brandeis becoming one of the architects of the Federal Trade Commission.

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Louis Brandeis served as Wilson's chief economic adviser from 1912 until 1916.

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Louis Brandeis's nomination was bitterly contested and denounced by conservative Republicans, including former President William Howard Taft, whose credibility was damaged by Brandeis in early court battles in which he called Taft a "muckraker".

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Controversy surrounding Louis Brandeis's nomination was so great that the Senate Judiciary Committee, for the first time in its history, held a public hearing on the nomination, allowing witnesses to appear before the committee and offer testimony both in support of and in opposition to Louis Brandeis's confirmation.

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Louis Brandeis had many friends who admired his legal acumen in fighting for progressive causes.

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Louis Brandeis is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential justices in the history of the United States Supreme Court, often being ranked among the very "greatest" justices in the court's history.

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Some have criticized Louis Brandeis for having, as a judge, evaded issues related to African-Americans, since he did not author a single opinion on any cases about race during his twenty-three year tenure, and consistently voted with the court majority including in support of racial segregation.

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Louis Brandeis was an advisor to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal through intermediaries.

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Justice Louis Brandeis wrote the unanimous opinion in Underwood Typewriter Co.

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In Underwood, Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the states could tax the income of corporations doing a multistate business as long as the state taxed only the state's apportioned share of the corporation's income.

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Cases dealing with a state ban on the dissemination of birth control information expanded on Louis Brandeis by including an individual's "body, " not just her "personality, " as part of her right to privacy.

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In Packer Corporation v Utah, Brandeis was to advance an exception to the right of free speech.

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Louis Brandeis forever changed the way Americans think about stare decisis, one of the most distinctive principles of the common law legal system.

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Louis Brandeis opposed Roosevelt's court-packing scheme of 1937, which proposed to add one additional justice to the Supreme Court for every sitting member who had reached the age of seventy without retiring.

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In 1919, Brandeis sided with the unanimous majority on the court in ruling that Eugene V Debs' protests against American involvement in World War I violated the Espionage Act of 1917 in Debs v United States, though later that year he had an apparent change of heart in Abrams v United States when he dissented with the majority opinion to express that political dissent was protected by the First Amendment.

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Louis Brandeis became active in the Federation of American Zionists in 1912, as a result of a conversation with Jacob de Haas, according to some.

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Louis Brandeis's involvement provided the nascent American Zionist movement one of the most distinguished men in American life and a friend of the next president.

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Louis Brandeis explained his belief that Zionism and patriotism were compatible concepts and should not lead to charges of "dual loyalty" which worried the rabbis and the dominant American Jewish Committee:.

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Louis Brandeis brought his influence to bear on the Wilson administration in the negotiations leading up to the Balfour Declaration and the Paris Peace Conference.

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Later in 1919 Louis Brandeis broke with Chaim Weizmann, the leader of European Zionism.

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In 1921 Weizmann's candidates, headed by Louis Lipsky, defeated Brandeis's for political control of the Zionist Organization of America.

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Louis Brandeis's ouster was devastating to the movement, and by 1929 there were no more than 18,000 members in the ZOA.

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Louis Brandeis retired from the Supreme Court on February 13,1939, and he died on October 5,1941, aged 84.

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Louis Brandeis himself made the arrangements that made the law school one of only thirteen Supreme Court repositories in the US His professional papers are archived at the library there.

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Louis Brandeis lived to see many of the ideas that he had championed become the law of the land.

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Louis Brandeis was a social reformer, legal innovator, labor champion, and Zionist leader.

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Justice Louis Brandeis laid the foundation for the modern approach to state taxation of income in his opinion in the Underwood Typewriter case.

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US Postal Service in September 2009 honored Brandeis by featuring his image on a new set of commemorative stamps along with US Supreme Court associate justices Joseph Story, Felix Frankfurter and William J Brennan Jr.

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Louis Brandeis defended the right of every citizen to speak freely, and his groundbreaking conception of the right to privacy continues to impact legal thought today.

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Louis Brandeis was a founding member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

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Louis Brandeis is a character in the play The Magnificent Yankee, about Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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