Louis Brandeis's Arc of Moral Justice

January 01, 2017
Touro Law Review

Louis Dembitz Brandeis, as a Justice of the Supreme Court, is an infamous figure in American jurisprudence. “As in the case of many justices, Brandeis was first a practicing attorney; a professional that had to face the daily nuances of conflict that inhere in one’s legal practice.” Brandeis was a devoted American, who took his civic duties seriously and who chose to use his status in, and his knowledge of, the law in part to promote social change. As such, he labored too with the overlay of occasionally having publicly promoted policy and governance not always symmetrical with his clients’ causes and the litigative stances he previously took on their behalf. The trajectory of his life as a lawyer made him an uncommon force for change, but still a lawyer that corporate America wanted. As such Brandeis was a provocative figure indeed. He was a man true to himself and, critically here, always an independent contractor– never bowing as a servant.