Harry Andrew Blackmun ( November 12, 1908 – March 4, 1999 ) was an american lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1970 until 1994. Appointed by Republican President Richard Nixon, Blackmun ultimately became one of the most liberal justices on the Court. He is well known as the generator of the Court ‘s opinion in Roe v. Wade, which prohibits many state and federal restrictions on miscarriage. [ 1 ] Raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Blackmun graduated from Harvard Law School in 1932. He practiced law in the Twin Cities, representing clients such as the Mayo Clinic. In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. After the get the better of of two previous nominees, President Richard Nixon successfully nominated Blackmun to the Supreme Court to replace Associate Justice Abe Fortas. Blackmun and his close friend, Chief Justice Warren Burger, were frequently called the “ Minnesota Twins “, but Blackmun drifted aside from Burger during their tenure on the court. He retired from the Court during President Bill Clinton ‘s administration and was succeeded by Stephen Breyer.
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aside from Roe v. Wade, luminary majority opinions by Blackmun include Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, Bigelow v. Commonwealth of Virginia, and Stanton v. Stanton. He joined part of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor ‘s opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey but besides filed a separate opinion, warning that Roe was in hazard. He wrote dissenting opinions in celebrated cases such as Furman v. Georgia, Bowers v. Hardwick, and DeShaney v. Winnebago County .
early on years and professional career [edit ]
Harry Blackmun was born on November 12, 1908, in Nashville, Illinois, to Theo Huegely ( Reuter ) and Corwin Manning Blackmun. [ 2 ] Three years after his birth, his baby brother, Corwin Manning Blackmun, Jr., died soon after birth ; his baby Betty was born in 1917. [ 3 ] Blackmun grew up in Dayton ‘s Bluff, a wage-earning neighborhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where his father owned a small shop. He attended the like class school as future Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. [ 4 ] Blackmun attended Mechanic Arts High School in Saint Paul, where he graduated fourthly in his class of 450 in 1925. He expected to attend the University of Minnesota but received a scholarship to attend Harvard University, from which he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with an Artium Baccalaureus degree in mathematics in 1929. At Harvard, Blackmun joined Lambda Chi Alpha brotherhood and spill the beans with the Harvard Glee Club ( with which he performed for President Herbert Hoover in 1929, Blackmun ‘s foremost visit to Washington ). He attended Harvard Law School ( where future Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter was among his professors ), graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1932. After graduating from law school, Blackmun returned to Minnesota, where he served in a diverseness of positions including individual guidance, jurisprudence clerk, and adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School and William Mitchell College of Law ( then the St. Paul College of Law ). Blackmun ‘s practice as an lawyer at the law firm now known as Dorsey & Whitney focused in its early years on taxation, trusts and estates, and civil litigation. He married Dorothy Clark in 1941 and they had three daughters. between 1950 and 1959, Blackmun served as resident rede for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. [ 5 ] He late called his time at Mayo “ his happy fourth dimension ” ( while describing his belated work on the judiciary as when he “ performed his duty ” ). [ 6 ]
Court of Appeals [edit ]
In the recently 1950s, Blackmun ‘s cheeseparing acquaintance Warren E. Burger, then an appellate pronounce on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, repeatedly encouraged Blackmun to seek a judgeship. Judge John B. Sanborn Jr. of the Eighth Circuit, whom Blackmun had clerked for after graduating from Harvard, told Blackmun of his plans to assume senior condition. He said that he would recommend Blackmun to the Eisenhower administration if Blackmun wished to succeed him. After a lot cheer by Sanborn and Burger, Blackmun agreed to accept the nomination, punctually offered by Eisenhower and members of the Justice Department. [ 7 ] On August 18, 1959, Eisenhower nominated Blackmun to the seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacated by Sanborn. The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave Blackmun a rat of “ exceptionally well qualify ”. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 14, 1959 and received his deputation on September 21. Over the next ten, Blackmun wrote 217 opinions for the Eighth Circuit. [ 7 ] His servicing on the Court of Appeals ended on June 8, 1970 due to his appointment to the Supreme Court .
Supreme Court [edit ]
President Richard Nixon nominated Blackmun to the Supreme Court on April 14, 1970, and the Senate confirmed him on May 12 by a 94–0 vote. [ 8 ] He received his commission on May 14 and took the curse of office on June 9. [ 9 ] Blackmun was Nixon ‘s third option to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Abe Fortas on May 14, 1969. His confirmation followed contentious battles over two previous, failed nominations forwarded by Nixon in 1969–1970, those of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell. Nixon ‘s original choice, Lewis F. Powell Jr., turned him down but late joined the Court in 1972. [ 10 ] Blackmun served as Circuit Justice for the Eighth Circuit from June 9, 1970, to August 2, 1994, and for the First Circuit from August 7, 1990, to October 8, 1990 .
early years on the Supreme Court [edit ]
Blackmun, a lifelong Republican, was expected to adhere to a cautious interpretation of the Constitution. The Court ‘s chief Justice at the time, Warren Burger, a longtime friend of Blackmun ‘s and best man at his marry, had recommended Blackmun for the job to Nixon. The two were often called the “ Minnesota Twins ” ( a reference to the baseball team, the Minnesota Twins, in turning named after the “ Twin Cities “ of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota ) because of their common history in Minnesota and because they thus often vote together. indeed, Blackmun voted with Burger in 87.5 % of the closely divide cases during his first five terms ( 1970 to 1975 ), and with William J. Brennan, the Court ‘s leading liberal, in only 13 %. [ 11 ] In 1972, Blackmun joined Burger and Nixon ‘s other two appointees in dissenting from Furman v. Georgia, the decision that invalidated all das kapital punishment laws then in force out in the United States, and in 1976, he voted to reinstate the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia, flush the compulsory death punishment statutes. In both instances Blackmun indicated his personal opinion of the death penalty ‘s shortcomings as a policy, but insisted his political opinions should have no give birth on the death punishment ‘s constitutionality. That began to change, however, between 1975 and 1980, by which time Blackmun was joining Brennan in 54.5 % of the divided cases, and Burger in 45.5 %. [ 11 ] shortly after Blackmun dissented in Rizzo v. Goode ( 1976 ), William Kunstler embraced him and “ welcom [ erectile dysfunction ] him to the company of the ‘ liberals and the enlightened. ‘ ” [ 12 ] From 1981 to 1986, when Burger retired, the two men voted together in entirely 32.4 % of near cases, whereas Blackmun joined Brennan in 70.6 % of the close cases. [ 11 ]
abortion [edit ]
In 1973, Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, invalidating a Texas codified that banned miscarriage except when a fraught woman ‘s life was in risk. [ 13 ] [ 14 ] The Court ‘s judgment in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton held a less restrictive Georgia police to be unconstitutional as well. [ 14 ] Roe was based on the right to privacy announced in Griswold v. Connecticut ( 1965 ), [ 15 ] [ 16 ] and it established a constitutional properly to abortion in the United States. [ 17 ] Blackmun ‘s opinion in Roe made him a prey for criticism by opponents of miscarriage, and he received copious negative mail and death threats because of it. [ 18 ] [ 19 ] Blackmun became a passionate recommend for miscarriage rights, often delivering speeches and lectures promoting Roe v. Wade as necessity to women ‘s equality and criticizing Roe ‘s critics. Defending abortion rights in Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Blackmun wrote :
few decisions are more personal and cozy, more by rights private, or more basic to individual dignity and autonomy, than a woman ‘s decision – with the guidance of her doctor and within the limits specified in Roe – whether to end her pregnancy. A woman ‘s correctly to make that choice freely is fundamental … [ 20 ]
Blackmun filed discriminate opinions in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services ( 1989 ) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey ( 1992 ), warning that Roe was in hazard : “ I am 83 years previous. I can not remain on this Court forever, and when I do step down, the ratification process for my successor well may focus on the issue before us today. That, I regret, may be precisely where the choice between the two worlds will be made. ” Ancillary to the primary right to abortion, Blackmun extended First Amendment protection to commercial speech in Bigelow v. Commonwealth of Virginia, a case where the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of an editor program who ran an ad for an miscarriage referral service .
cleave with Burger [edit ]
After Roe, Blackmun began to drift away from Burger ‘s influence to increasingly side with Brennan in finding constituent security for unenumerated individual rights. For example, Blackmun wrote a protest to the Court ‘s impression in Bowers v. Hardwick ( 1986 ). The Court ‘s regnant in this case denied built-in protection to homosexual sodomy. Burger ‘s opinion in Bowers read : “ To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right would be to cast apart millennium of moral teaching. ” In his dissent, Blackmun responded by quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes : “ [ one ] metric ton is revolting to have no better cause for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is hush more disgusting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past. ” Burger and Blackmun drifted apart, and as the years passed, their lifelong friendship degenerated into a hostile and contentious relationship. [ 21 ] From the 1981 terminus through the 1985 term, Blackmun voted with Brennan 77.6 % of the prison term, and with Thurgood Marshall 76.1 %. [ 22 ] From 1986 to 1990, his rate of agreement with the two most broad justices was 97.1 % and 95.8 %. [ 22 ] Blackmun ‘s judicial philosophy increasingly seemed guided by Roe, even in areas where Roe was not obviously directly applicable. His concurring impression in 1981 ‘s Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County, a case that upheld statutory rape laws that applied only to men, did not directly implicate Roe, but because the laws were justified on the footing that women would be discipline to the “ risk ” of pregnancy, Blackmun had cause to discuss Roe further in his opinion. [ 23 ]
late years on the bench [edit ]
Despite his state personal “ abhorrence ” of the death punishment in Furman v. Georgia, he voted to continue compulsory death penalty statutes at issue in Roberts v. Louisiana ( 1976 ) and Woodson v. North Carolina ( 1976 ), even though these laws would have mechanically imposed the death penalty on anyone found guilty of first-degree murder. But on February 22, 1994, less than two months before announcing his retirement, Blackmun announced that he now saw the death punishment as constantly and in all circumstances unconstitutional by issuing a dissent from the Court ‘s refusal to hear a everyday death punishment case ( Callins v. Collins ), declaring that “ [ fluorine ] read-only memory this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. ” subsequently, adopting the practice begun by Justices Brennan and Marshall, he issued a dissent from abnegation of certiorari in every death penalty lawsuit, citing and reiterating his Callins disagree. As Linda Greenhouse and others have reported, Blackmun ‘s jurisprudence clerk prepared what would become the Callins protest well in advance of the case coming before the Court ; Blackmun ‘s papers indicate that bring began on the dissent in the summer of 1993, and in a memo preserved in Blackmun ‘s papers, the clerk writing the dissent wrote Blackmun that :
[ metric ton ] his is a very personal dissent, and I have struggled to adopt your ‘voice ‘ to the best of my ability. I have tried to put myself in your shoes and write a dissent that would reflect the wisdom you have gained, and the frustration you have endured, as a solution of twenty years of enforcing the death penalty on this Court. [ 24 ]
Blackmun and his clerks then sought an appropriate case to serve as a “ vehicle for [ the ] dissent, ” and settled on Callins. [ 25 ] That the case found the dissent, quite than the more traditional relationship of the protest relating to the shell, is underscored by the opinion ‘s about total omission of character to the sheath it apparently addressed : Callins is relegated to a excess in his own appeal, being mentioned but five times in a 42-paragraph opinion – three times within the first two paragraph, and doubly in footnote 2. [ 26 ]
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In his emotional dissent in DeShaney v. Winnebago County ( 1989 ), rejecting the constituent indebtedness of the state of matter of Wisconsin for four-year-old Joshua DeShaney, who was beaten until brain-damaged by his abusive father, Blackmun excellently opined, “ Poor Joshua ! ” In his dissent in Herrera v. Collins ( 1993 ), where the Court refused to find a constituent right for convicted prisoners to introduce new tell of “ actual innocence ” for purposes of obtaining federal relief, Blackmun argued in a section joined by no early judge that “ The execution of a person who can show that he is impeccant comes perilously close to simpleton murder. ”
Women ‘s rights [edit ]
In Stanton v. Stanton ( 1975 ), a case striking down a state ‘s definitions of adulthood ( males reaching it at 21, women at 18 ), Blackmun wrote :
A child, male or female, is silent a child … no longer is the female destined entirely for the dwelling and the raising of the family, and lone the male for the market and the world of ideas … If a specify long time of minority is required for the boy in ordain to assure him parental support while he attains his education and discipline, so, besides, is it for the girl. [ 27 ]
relationship with law clerks [edit ]
Compared to other justices, Blackmun gave his law clerks great latitude in drafting opinions, such as his public opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which was written by Stephanie Dangel, then one of Blackmun ‘s clerks and now a lawyer in Pennsylvania. [ 28 ] Blackmun ‘s Casey impression conscription included acute criticism of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, which included, according to Dangel, a sarcastic reference to Rehnquist as “ The Chief ” preferably than Chief Justice because “ I have my doubts as to whether he deserves to be called ‘justice ‘ on this one. ” [ 29 ] Dangel changed it to “ Chief Justice ” at Justice Anthony Kennedy ‘s cheer. Blackmun besides revealed in a 1995 oral history with Harold Koh that his dissent in Bowers v. Hardwick was written by a clerk, Pam Karlan. Blackmun said of the protest, “ [ K ] arlan did a distribute of very effective writing, and I owe a set to her and her ability in getting that dissent out. She felt very strongly about it, and I think is correct in her approach to it. I think the protest is adjust. ” [ 30 ] [ 31 ]
celebrated clerks [edit ]
Blackmun ‘s clerks included Edward B. Foley [ 32 ] and Chai Feldblum. [ 33 ]
relationship with other justices [edit ]
When Blackmun ‘s papers were released at the Library of Congress, his sometimes minus notations regarding chap Justice Clarence Thomas came to light. [ 34 ] But Thomas spoke positively of Blackmun when he appeared in 2001 at the dedication of the Harry A. Blackmun Rotunda at the St. Louis federal courthouse, mentioning that Blackmun drove a blue sky Volkswagen Beetle and would tell fast food patrons that he was “ Harry. I work for the government. ” [ 34 ] Blackmun and Justice Potter Stewart both followed baseball compulsively. In one oral argument on October 10, 1973, Stewart passed Blackmun a note that read, “ V.P. AGNEW JUST RESIGNED ! ! METS 2 REDS 0. ” ( The game in question was the fifth and decide game of the 1973 National League Championship Series, and the Mets won it 7-2, sending them to the 1973 World Series. ) [ 35 ]
Post-Supreme Court [edit ]
Blackmun announced his retirement from the Supreme Court in April 1994, four months before he officially left the workbench, assuming retire condition on August 3, 1994. By then, he had become the court ‘s most broad justice. [ 22 ] In his plaza, President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer, whom the Senate confirmed, 87–9. In 1995, Blackmun received the United States Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards. [ 36 ] In 1997, Blackmun portrayed Justice Joseph Story in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad, [ 37 ] making him the only United States Supreme Court department of justice to play a evaluator in a movement word picture. On February 22, 1999, Blackmun fell in his home plate and broke his hip. The next day, he undergo hip replacement operating room at Arlington Hospital in Arlington, Virginia, but he never in full recovered. Ten days late, on March 4, at the age of 90, he died at 1:00 A.M. from complications from the procedure. He lay in peace in the Great Hall of the United States Supreme Court Building, and was buried five days later at Arlington National Cemetery. [ 38 ] His wife died seven years late on July 13, 2006, at the old age of 95, and was buried following to him .
In 2004 the Library of Congress released Blackmun ‘s voluminous files. He had kept all the documents from every case, notes the justices passed between themselves, 10 % of the chain mail he received, and numerous early documents. After Blackmun announced his retirement from the Court, he recorded a 38-hour oral history with one of his former jurisprudence clerk, early Yale Law School dean Harold Koh, which was besides released. In it, he discusses his thoughts on everything from his significant Court cases to the Supreme Court piano, though some Supreme Court experts such as David Garrow have cast doubt on the accuracy of some of Blackmun ‘s recollections, particularly his thoughts on the Court ‘s deliberations on Roe v. Wade. Based on these papers, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times wrote Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey. Jan Crawford ‘s Supreme Conflict besides draws heavily from the papers .
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References [edit ]
far read [edit ]
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