He was a fierce advocate for workers’ rights, a pioneer in pro bono work by attorneys, and one of the most distinguished justices in the history of the United States Supreme Court. Louis D. Brandeis is a giant figure in American history and his influence can be felt beyond the realm of law. As a young lawyer and reformer, he was instrumental in the battles against monopolies and for minimum wage/maximum hour regulations for laborers, and was coauthor of “The Right to Privacy,” one of the most important law articles in history. As Associate Supreme Court Justice, he was a powerful—though often minority—voice in defense of civil liberties and his dissents paved the way for many future reforms. In this program, two speakers discuss Brandeis’s continued relevance and the impact of his life and work.
Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at The George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America. Frederick M. Lawrence (moderator) is the new president of Brandeis University, former Dean of The George Washington University Law School, and the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law.