Law: The Evergreen Liberal

William O. Douglas: 1898-1980

William Orville Douglas liked to say that he could easily do his job as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in four days a week. That sounds arrogant, and Douglas was, but he was also brilliant, and he did not waste time making up his mind. The purpose of the U.S. Constitution, he stated with characteristic bluntness, "is to keep the Government off the backs of the people." Widely criticized for trying to impose his own liberal political views on the law, he often found himself in dissent during...

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