SUPREME COURT: The Judges' Judge


As a young Manhattan lawyer, John Marshall Harlan advised a colleague elated over disproving 21 of 23 assertions made by an opposition claimant to forgo celebration. It would be better, said Harlan, to nail down the discrepancies in the remaining two points. The thoroughness of the lawyer became the hallmark of the Supreme Court Justice. Harlan's death of spinal cancer last week at age 72, following his retirement in September, ended a 16-year career as one of the most notable professional craftsmen ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

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