A peek at yesterday’s installment of “This Date in Liberal Judicial Activism” on the National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog reminded me Sept. 29 had a dual significance for Justice Brennan.
As I pointed out yesterday, it was the date on which President Eisenhower announced plans to nominate Brennan to the Supreme Court in 1956. Two years later, it also happened to be the day the Court announced its decision in the Little Rock school desegregation case, Cooper v. Aaron.
To show their unanimity, all nine justices jointly signed the decision rather than having a single author attached to the opinion as usual. That symbolic gesture obscured Brennan’s key role as draftsman.
We detail at length in Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion the dramatic events leading up to the Court’s decision from President Eisenhower’s reluctant decision to deploy paratroopers to Little Rock in 1957 through the justices’ special sitting to consider the case a year later. (more…)