Behind The Bench

During his 24 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Harry A. Blackmun presided over thousands of cases, including Roe v. Wade, for which he wrote the majority opinion. The famously liberal judge also assembled a vast dossier of private papers--more than 530,000 letters and diaries--which, upon his retirement in 1994, he donated to the Library of Congress. Last week 1,585 boxes of his papers were unsealed.

--By Sora Song

I feel as though I have been a cork on a fast-moving stream propelled by forces over which I had little control.

--THE CONTEMPLATIVE JUDGE In notes for a postretirement speech,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!