Lewis Powell: The Marble Palace's Southern Gentleman

Retired Supreme Court Justice LEWIS POWELL discusses the right of privacy, the role of law clerks and why he voted for capital punishment

Q. What do you consider to be your most important Supreme Court opinion?

A. The case that people think is the most important is Bakke ((decided in 1978)), because it firmly established affirmative action. About six cases since have reiterated its basic elements. Bakke is now the law.

Q. What is the future of the right to abortion?

A. Let me just leave it with this: I joined Roe v. Wade, and I wrote the Akron case, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade. I have had no occasion to consider whether I would change my views, and I have no reason to...

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