william brennan writer
O Murchu: You mentioned that the only person who can decide the make-up of the court is the sitting president. Brennan: Certainly. Chairman, I would like to ask the justice a question” – I was already sitting on the court as a recess appointee – “I would like to ask the justice a personal question and I am quite sure you will understand why I ask it.” So he said, “Mr. Nonetheless, Justice Brennan retained an almost youthful enthusiasm for the court. William Joseph Brennan, Jr. (April 25, 1906 – July 24, 1997) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. O Murchu: Given that you have been involved in some of the most significant decisions in the court in relation to racial segregation – such as Cooper v. Aaron, which you wrote in 1958 – do you look now at cities such as your hometown like Newark or herein Washington D.C., where many argue, two societies, divided along racial lines exist. Brennan: There used to be, but I think that it’s now overstated frankly. I was asked about this when my appointment was up for confirmation before the Senate Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Brennan: Oh yes, I feel very strongly about that. My wife’s sister was president there for years and they offered me an honorary degree and I was glad to accept. Scroll. Remember, Carter served four years without a single vacancy. My latest piece is: “How Two British Orthodontists Became Celebrities to Incels,” a feature for The New York Times Magazine on John and Mike Mew, a father-son orthodontic duo in the United Kingdom whose theory that the Industrial Revolution gave rise to rampant crooked teeth has made them pariahs in their field — and earned them an enormous following on the internet. O Murchu: Do you feel that you’re doing important work here still? In a New Yorker profile by Nat Hentoff, Burt Neuborne, a law professor at New York University, described Brennan as the most influential Justice of the Supreme Court since John Marshall (appointed to the court in 1801, and a champion of the principles of federalism). Brennan: Oh, no. It’s useful to have the broadest possible range of views. It’s been a tune that’s been played over a long period of time. O Murchu: Subsequently, it has been reported that President Eisenhower regretted your appointment. But you have to remember that what’s expected of a member of this court. That created a stir. No matter what the criticism, I will never deny any citizen the right to say what he feels. Not because there was a “Catholic seat” but because he was a close friend of Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal Spellman had suggested something like that. A brief look at the making of one of America’s most infamous short stories, How Two British Orthodontists Became Celebrities to Incels. Serving from October 16, 1956 - July 20, 1990, he was known for his liberal opinions, which reportedly included the per curiam opinion in Cooper v. Aaron that established judicial supremacy. It is preeminently a means to serve what we think is right. What happened? In a five to four ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively voted to overturn states’ bans on same-sex marriage June... As a Supreme Court Justice for 33 years, William Brennan was considered — ruefully, by his many conservative... five years on the bench, he began to give more interviews, fueled, he said, by his desire to inform the public more about the way the court operates. O Murchu: Since then, the issue of a Catholic’s loyalties while in public office has arisen again in the U.S. The guy who can give us the answer is the President of the United States, when he gets a vacancy. Bill was a retired supervisor with the United States Postal Service, retiring in 1977 with 36 years of service. It occurred in 1960, when President Kennedy was running for office, and even more recently, the bishop in San Diego forbade a local legislator to receive the Holy Sacrament because of her position on abortion. – Justice William Brennan On April 25, 1990, a week before he sat down with Irish America writer Sean O Murchu… I’m not too often in the majority on the major issues of the day, but it can all change again. O Murchu: You have said before that, because of your Catholic background, one of the most difficult decisions you had to write was the Schempp decision in 1963 [a concurring opinion on the issue of school prayer]. A new chain of themed restaurants catches on in Spain. And I gather that more of the hierarchy agree with me than agree with him. Vacancies arose during President Reagan’s terms, and now you have his hand-picked successor, President Bush, in the White House, a younger man who is in for four years, maybe longer. Dinosaur chickens? And he was the chairman, incidentally, of the subcommittee that had decided on the other question! How one linguist creates obsessively detailed—and fully functional—languages for Game of Thrones and other shows. Nobody is more upset about all this than my colleague, Justice [Thurgood] Marshall, because he, more than any other single human being, brought about Brown v. the Board of Education. For one night in 2017, at a film festival in Brooklyn, the Vermont senator was president. It defines for us the kind of society we are and that we want to be. They’d better be careful because justices get here and they can change. The Italian investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, in exile in New York City. And that’s something. He can be reached via his website, william-brennan.com. Thank heaven, more of our schools are doing it. A vignette for The New Yorker. Tweeting dogs? When I was appointed I was not the only one considered. Brennan: Well, I hope that’s not true. William Brennan Home Clips Contact Home. At least, he thought that it should be weighed by a subcommittee of the judiciary committee, which would report back to the full committee on whether they thought that it was a proper question. Justice, if a case presents a conflict between the Church and the Constitution, who prevails, the Constitution or the Pope?”, Everybody looked at him, but a senator is entitled to ask any damn question he wants. According to The Reminiscences of a Light Dragoon published in 1840, Brennan was hanged at Caher as witnessed by the author. O Murchu: You mentioned that there are now three Catholic justices in the Supreme Court. Things can change. A native of Newark, New Jersey, the son of Irish immigrants, Brennan was appointed to the the court by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956; having served seven years on the New Jersey Superior and Supreme Court. It’s gone. In 1996, the school board of Oakland, California, approved the use of “Ebonics” as a tool for helping students learn to read. Are those kinds of pressures still exerted? So I went to the University of Pennsylvania and then I went to Harvard Law School. It is preeminently a means to serve what we think is right. There were others, who were non-Catholic, who were also considered. I am convinced that the day is bound to come when we will be televised. O Murchu: Not very long ago, your presence at a college graduation in Kentucky enraged the local clergy and you had to tum down an invitation to attend to accept an honorary degree. I never even see them. Is that something that concerns you? The only cases that we may decide are cases that come to us –cases and controversies as defined by Article Three of the Constitution. On April 25, 1990, a week before he sat down with Irish America writer Sean O Murchu, William Joseph Brennan, Jr. turned 84 years old. The law is not an end in itself, nor does it provide ends. The ethnic mix of the country has changed dramatically. Does that make you feel that the opinions you have expressed in dissents will not be in the majority for some time? LONE JUSTICE, An Interview with Justice William Brennan, Jr. He found it distressing that many of today’s young people don’t even know the name of one justice, not to mention the nine, on the court. Maybe it is an intractable problem, remnants of which we will always have with us. O Murchu: From surveys carried out among high school kids in the U.S., it’s apparent that young people have a poor grasp not only of how the Supreme Court operates but of how the Congress and the Presidency work and how they relate to one another.
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