| Associate Justice of the Supreme Court|
of the United States
April 12, 1962 –June 28, 1993
|Nominated by||John F. Kennedy|
|Preceded by||Charles Whittaker|
|Succeeded by||Ruth Bader Ginsburg|
|6th United States Deputy Attorney General|
January 20, 1961 –April 16, 1962
|President||John F. Kennedy|
|Preceded by||Lawrence Walsh|
|Succeeded by||Nick Katzenbach|
Byron Raymond White
June 8, 1917
Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||April 15, 2002 84) (aged|
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Resting place||Cathedral of St. John in the Wilderness|
Marion Stearns(m. 1946)
|Children||2 (including Nancy)|
|Education|| University of Colorado (BA)|
Hertford College, Oxford
Yale University (LLB)
|Battles/wars|| World War II |
• Pacific Theatre
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||187 lb (85 kg)|
|High school:||Wellington (CO)|
|NFL Draft:||1938 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White (June 8, 1917 – April 15, 2002) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from April 12, 1962 to June 28, 1993.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is the title of all members of the Supreme Court of the United States other than the Chief Justice of the United States. The number of associate justices is eight, as set by the Judiciary Act of 1869.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states, and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about 100–150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review.
Born and raised in Colorado, he played college football, basketball, and baseball for the University of Colorado, finishing as the runner up for the Heisman Trophy in 1937. He was selected in the first round of the 1938 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and led the National Football League in rushing yards in his rookie season. White was admitted to Yale Law School in 1939 and played for the Detroit Lions in the 1940 and 1941 seasons. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer with the United States Navy in the Pacific. After the war, he graduated from Yale and clerked for Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson.
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.
The Colorado Buffaloes are the athletic teams that represent the University of Colorado Boulder. The university sponsors 17 varsity sports teams. Both the men's and women's teams are called the Buffaloes or, rarely, the Golden Buffaloes. "Lady Buffs" referred to the women's teams beginning in the 1970s, but was officially dropped in 1993. The nickname was selected by the campus newspaper in a contest with a $5 prize in 1934 won by Andrew Dickson of Boulder. The university participates as a member of the Pac-12 Conference at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. Rick George was announced as the sixth athletic director in program history on July 17, 2013, following the resignation of Mike Bohn, and after an interim appointment by former Women's Basketball Head Coach and current senior associate athletic director and senior women's administrator Ceal Barry. Colorado has won 28 national championships in its history, with 20 in skiing, including 2015. It was ranked #14 of "America's Best Sports College" in a 2002 analysis performed by Sports Illustrated. The University has no men's baseball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, or volleyball programs.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy, is awarded annually to a player in NCAA football. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. It is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games.
White entered private practice in Denver, Colorado, working primarily as a transactional attorney. He served as the Colorado state chair of John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign and accepted appointment as the United States Deputy Attorney General in 1961. In 1962, President Kennedy successfully nominated White to the Supreme Court, making White the first Supreme Court Justice from Colorado.He retired in 1993 and was succeeded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. White is the twelfth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history.
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.
The United States Deputy Attorney General is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice and oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General acts as Attorney General during the absence of the Attorney General.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice of four to be confirmed to the court. Following O'Connor's retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court. Ginsburg has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.
White viewed his own court decisions as based on the facts of each case rather than as representative of a specific legal philosophy. He wrote the majority opinion in cases including Coker v. Georgia , Washington v. Davis and Bowers v. Hardwick . He wrote dissenting opinions in notable cases such as Miranda v. Arizona , Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha , and Roe v. Wade .
Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977), held that the death penalty for rape of an adult woman was grossly disproportionate and excessive punishment, and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A few states continued to have child rape statutes that authorized the death penalty. In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008), the court expanded Coker, ruling that the death penalty is unconstitutional in all cases that do not involve murder or crimes against the State.
Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229 (1976), was a United States Supreme Court case that established that laws that have a racially discriminatory effect but were not adopted to advance a racially discriminatory purpose are valid under the U.S. Constitution.
Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), is a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld, in a 5–4 ruling, the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law criminalizing oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults, in this case with respect to homosexual sodomy, though the law did not differentiate between homosexual sodomy and heterosexual sodomy. This case was overturned in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.
Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, White was the younger son of Maude Elizabeth (Burger) and Alpha Albert White, neither of whom attended high school.He was raised in the nearby town of Wellington, where he obtained his high school diploma in 1934.
Fort Collins is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 56 mi (90 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2016 estimated population of 161,000, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University.
Wellington is a statutory town in Larimer County, Colorado, United States. The population was 6,289 at the 2010 census.
After graduating at the top of his tiny high school class of six, White attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a scholarship, offered to all Colorado high school valedictorians, as his older brother Sam had done.He joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and served as student body president his senior year. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian in 1938, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in England; after deferring it for a year to play pro football, he attended Hertford College, Oxford. During this time in England, he became acquainted with Joe and John Kennedy, as their father Joseph Kennedy was the U.S. ambassador to London.
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado, United States. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the Union in 1876.
Boulder is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Boulder County, Colorado, United States. It is the state's 11th most populous municipality; Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet (1,655 m) above sea level. The city is 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Denver.
Phi Gamma Delta (ΦΓΔ), commonly known as Fiji, is a social fraternity with more than 158 active chapters and 13 colonies across the United States and Canada. It was founded at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1848. Along with Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Gamma Delta forms a half of the Jefferson Duo. Since its founding in 1848, the fraternity has initiated more than 180,000 brothers. The nickname FIJI is used commonly by the fraternity due to Phi Gamma Delta bylaws that limit the use of the Greek letters.
White was an All-American halfbackfor the Colorado Buffaloes, where a newspaper columnist gave him the nickname "Whizzer", which to his chagrin followed him throughout his legal and Supreme Court careers. As a senior, White led Colorado to an undefeated 8–0 regular season in 1937, but they lost to favored Rice Institute of Houston 28–14 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on New Year's Day. He was the runner-up (behind Yale quarterback Clint Frank) for the Heisman Trophy, and also played basketball and baseball at CU. The basketball team advanced to the finals of the inaugural National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in March 1938.
White originally planned to attend Oxford in 1938 and not play pro football.He was selected fourth overall in the 1938 NFL draft, held in December 1937, by the NFL's Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers), and became a Rhodes Scholar days later. Oxford allowed White to delay his start to early 1939, so he accepted the Pittsburgh offer in August and played the 1938 season in the NFL. He led the league in rushing as a 21-year-old rookie and was its highest-paid player. He sailed to England in early 1939, with the intent of staying for three years.
|Of all the athletes I have known in my lifetime, I'd have to say Whizzer White came as close to anyone to giving 100 percent of himself when he was in competition.|
|~- Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers owner|
With the outbreak of World War II in late summer, White returned to the United States. equivalent to $270,000in 2018). White used the money he earned playing football to pay his law school tuition.He later enrolled at Yale Law School in 1939. In a 2000 interview, White said that he was supposed to enroll at Harvard Law School, but got sick on the train ride there, so he got off the train in New Haven, Connecticut and went to Yale. White earned the highest grades in the first-year class, but he turned down an editorship of the Yale Law Journal and took a leave of absence to play football with the Detroit Lions, again leading the league in rushing in 1940 and 1941. In three NFL seasons, he played in 33 games. He led the league in rushing yards in 1938 and 1940, and he was one of the first "big money" NFL players, making $15,000 per year (
His NFL career was cut short when he entered the U.S. Navy in 1942; after the war, he elected to finish law school rather than return to football. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.
During World War II, White served as an intelligence officer in the Navy and was stationed in the Pacific Theatre.He originally wanted to join the Marines, but was kept out due to being colorblind. He wrote the intelligence report on the sinking of future President John F. Kennedy's PT-109 . For his service, White was awarded two Bronze Star medals, and was honorably discharged as a lieutenant commander.
White first met his wife Marion (1921–2009), the daughter of the president of the University of Colorado, when she was in high school and he was a college football star.During World War II, Marion served in the WAVES while her future husband was a Navy intelligence officer. They married in 1946 and had two children: a son named Charles Byron (Barney) and a daughter named Nancy.
His older brother Clayton Samuel "Sam" White (1912–2004) was also a high school valedictorian and Rhodes Scholar. He later became a physician and medical researcher, particularly on the effects of atomic bomb blasts.
After his military service, White returned to Yale Law School, graduating magna cum laude and first in his class in 1946.
After serving as a law clerk to Chief Justice Fred Vinson, White returned to Colorado.
White practiced in Denver for roughly fifteen years with the law firm now known as Davis Graham & Stubbs. This was a time in which the Denver economy flourished, and White rendered legal service to the business community. White was for the most part a transactional attorney; he drafted contracts and advised insolvent companies, and he argued the occasional case in court.
During the 1960 presidential election, White put his football celebrity to use as chair of John F. Kennedy's campaign in Colorado. White had first met the candidate when White was a Rhodes scholar and Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy, was Ambassador to the Court of St. James.During the Kennedy administration, White served as United States Deputy Attorney General, the number two man in the Justice Department, under Robert F. Kennedy. He took the lead in protecting the Freedom Riders in 1961, negotiating with Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson.
Acquiring renown within the Kennedy Administration for his humble manner and sharp mind, he was appointed by Kennedy in 1962 to succeed Justice Charles Evans Whittaker, who retired for disability. Kennedy said at the time: "He has excelled at everything. And I know that he will excel on the highest court in the land."The 44-year-old White was approved by a voice vote. He would serve until his retirement in 1993. His Supreme Court tenure was the fourth-longest of the 20th century.
Upon the request of Vice President-Elect Al Gore, Justice White administered the oath of office on January 20, 1993 to the 45th U.S. Vice President. It was the only time White administered an oath of office to a Vice President.
During his service on the high court, White wrote 994 opinions. He was fierce in questioning attorneys in court,and his votes and opinions on the bench reflect an ideology that has been notoriously difficult for popular journalists and legal scholars alike to pin down. He was seen as a disappointment by some Kennedy supporters who wished he had joined the more liberal wing of the court in its opinions on Miranda v. Arizona and Roe v. Wade.
White often took a narrow, fact-specific view of cases before the Court and generally refused to make broad pronouncements on constitutional doctrine or adhere to a specific judicial philosophy, preferring what he viewed as a practical approach to the law.In the tradition of the New Deal, White frequently supported a broad view and expansion of governmental powers. He consistently voted against creating constitutional restrictions on the police, dissenting in the landmark 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona . In that dissent he noted that aggressive police practices enhance the individual rights of law-abiding citizens. His jurisprudence has sometimes been praised for adhering to the doctrine of judicial restraint.
Frequently a critic of the doctrine of "substantive due process", which involves the judiciary reading substantive content into the term "liberty" in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment, White's first published opinion as a Supreme Court Justice, a sole dissent in Robinson v. California (1962), foreshadowed his career-long distaste for the doctrine. In Robinson, he criticized the remainder of the Court's unprecedented expansion of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment" to strike down a California law providing for civil commitment of drug addicts. He argued that the Court was "imposing its own philosophical predilections" on the state in this exercise of judicial power, although its historic "allergy to substantive due process" would never permit it to strike down a state's economic regulatory law in such a manner.
In the same vein, he dissented in the controversial 1973 case Roe v. Wade . But White voted to strike down a state ban on contraceptives in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut , although he did not join the majority opinion, which famously asserted a "right of privacy" on the basis of the "penumbras" of the Bill of Rights. White and Justice William Rehnquist were the only dissenters from the Court's decision in Roe, though White's dissent used stronger language, suggesting that Roe was "an exercise in raw judicial power" and criticizing the decision for "interposing a constitutional barrier to state efforts to protect human life." White, who usually adhered firmly to the doctrine of stare decisis , remained a critic of Roe throughout his term on the bench and frequently voted to uphold laws restricting abortion, including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.
White explained his general views on the validity of substantive due process at length in his dissent in Moore v. City of East Cleveland :
The Judiciary, including this Court, is the most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no cognizable roots in the language or even the design of the Constitution. Realizing that the present construction of the Due Process Clause represents a major judicial gloss on its terms, as well as on the anticipation of the Framers, and that much of the underpinning for the broad, substantive application of the Clause disappeared in the conflict between the Executive and the Judiciary in 1930s and 1940s, the Court should be extremely reluctant to breathe still further substantive content into the Due Process clause so as to strike down legislation adopted by a State or city to promote its welfare. Whenever the Judiciary does so, it unavoidably pre-empts for itself another part of the governance of the country without express constitutional authority.
White parted company with Rehnquist in strongly supporting the Supreme Court decisions striking down laws that discriminated on the basis of sex, agreeing with Justice William J. Brennan in 1973's Frontiero v. Richardson that such laws should be subject to strict scrutiny. Only three justices joined Brennan's plurality opinion in Frontiero; in later cases gender discrimination cases would be subjected to intermediate scrutiny (see Craig v. Boren ).
White wrote the majority opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), which upheld Georgia's anti-sodomy law against a substantive due process attack.
The Court is most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no cognizable roots in the language or design of the Constitution.... There should be, therefore, great resistance to ... redefining the category of rights deemed to be fundamental. Otherwise, the Judiciary necessarily takes to itself further authority to govern the country without express constitutional authority.
White's opinion in Bowers typified his fact-specific, deferential style, treating the issue in that case as presenting only the question of whether homosexuals had a fundamental right to privacy, even though the statute in Bowers potentially applied to heterosexual sodomy (see Bowers, 478 U.S. 186, 188, n. 1. Georgia, however, conceded during oral argument that the law would be inapplicable to married couples under the precedent set forth in Griswold v. Connecticut .). A year after White's death, Bowers was overruled in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).
White took a middle course on the issue of the death penalty: he was one of five justices who voted in Furman v. Georgia (1972) to strike down several state capital punishment statutes, voicing concern over the arbitrary way in which the death penalty was administered. The Furman decision ended capital punishment in the U.S. until the court's ruling in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). In that case, White voted to uphold Georgia's new capital punishment law.
White accepted the position that the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution required that all punishments be "proportional" to the crime;thus, in Coker v. Georgia (1977), he wrote the opinion that invalidated the death penalty for rape of a 16-year-old married girl. His first reported Supreme Court decision was a dissent in Robinson v. California (1962), in which he criticized the Court for extending the reach of the Eighth Amendment. In Robinson the Court for the first time expanded the constitutional prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments" from examining the nature of the punishment imposed and whether it was an uncommon punishment − as, for example, in the cases of flogging, branding, banishment, or electrocution − to deciding whether any punishment at all was appropriate for the defendant's conduct. White said: "If this case involved economic regulation, the present Court's allergy to substantive due process would surely save the statute and prevent the Court from imposing its own philosophical predilections upon state legislatures or Congress." Consistent with his view in Robinson, White thought that imposing the death penalty on minors was constitutional, and he was one of the three dissenters in Thompson v. Oklahoma (1988), a decision that declared that the death penalty as applied to offenders below 16 years of age was unconstitutional as a cruel and unusual punishment.
Along with Justice William Rehnquist, White dissented in Roe v. Wade (the dissenting decision was in the companion case, Doe v. Bolton ), castigating the majority for holding that the U.S. Constitution "values the convenience, whim or caprice of the putative mother more than the life or potential life of the fetus."
White consistently supported the Court's post- Brown v. Board of Education attempts to fully desegregate public schools, even through the controversial line of forced busing cases.He voted to uphold affirmative action remedies to racial inequality in an education setting in the famous Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case of 1978. Though White voted to uphold federal affirmative action programs in cases such as Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. FCC , 497 U.S. 547 (1990) (later overruled by Adarand Constructors v. Peña , 515 U.S. 200 (1995)), he voted to strike down an affirmative action plan regarding state contracts in Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989).
White dissented in Runyon v. McCrary (1976), which held that federal law prohibited private schools from discriminating on the basis of race. He argued that the legislative history of Title 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (popularly known as the "Ku Klux Klan Act") indicated that the Act was not designed to prohibit private racial discrimination but only state-sponsored racial discrimination (as had been held in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883). White was concerned about the potential far-reaching impact of holding private racial discrimination illegal, which if taken to its logical conclusion might ban many varied forms of voluntary self-segregation, including social and advocacy groups that limited their membership to blacks:"Whether such conduct should be condoned or not, whites and blacks will undoubtedly choose to form a variety of associational relationships pursuant to contracts which exclude members of the other race. Social clubs, black and white, and associations designed to further the interests of blacks or whites are but two examples". Runyon was essentially overruled by 1989's Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, which itself was superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
White said he was most comfortable on Rehnquist's court. He once said of Earl Warren, "I wasn't exactly in his circle."On the Burger Court, the Chief Justice often assigned important criminal procedure and individual rights opinions to White because of his frequently conservative views on these questions.
White frequently urged the Supreme Court to consider cases when federal appeals courts were in conflict on issues of federal law, believing that resolving such was a primary role of the Supreme Court. Thus, White voted to grant certiorari more often than many of his colleagues; he also wrote numerous opinions dissenting from denials of certiorari. After White (along with fellow Justice Harry Blackmun, who also often voted for liberal grants of certiorari) retired, the number of cases heard each session of the Court declined steeply.
White disliked the politics of Supreme Court appointments,but had great faith in representative democracy, responding to complaints about politicians and mediocrity in government with exhortations to "get more involved and help fix it." He retired in 1993, during Bill Clinton's presidency, saying that "someone else should be permitted to have a like experience." Clinton nominated (and the Senate approved) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a judge from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and a former Columbia University law professor, to succeed him.
After retiring from the Supreme Court, White occasionally sat with lower federal courts.He maintained chambers in the federal courthouse in Denver until shortly before his death. He also served for the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals.
White died of pneumonia on April 15, 2002 at the age of 84. He was the last living Warren Court Justice, and died the day before the fortieth anniversary of his swearing in as a Justice. From his death until the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006, there were no living former Justices.
His remains are interred at All Souls Walk at the St. John's Cathedral in Denver.
Then-Chief Justice Rehnquist said White "came as close as anyone I have known to meriting Matthew Arnold's description of Sophocles: 'He saw life steadily and he saw it whole.' All of us who served with him will miss him."
The NFL Players Association gives the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award to one player each year for his charity work. Michael McCrary, who was involved in Runyon v. McCrary , grew up to be a professional football player and won the award in 2000.
The federal courthouse in Denver that houses the Tenth Circuit is named after White.
White was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 by President George W. Bush.
White was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on July 14, 2007,in addition to being a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the University of Colorado's Athletic Hall of Fame, where he is enshrined as "The Greatest Buff Ever".
One of White's former law clerks, Dennis J. Hutchinson, wrote an unofficial biography of him called The Man Who Once was Whizzer White.
Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with sexual orientation and state laws. It was the first Supreme Court case to address gay rights since Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), when the Court had held that laws criminalizing sodomy were constitutional.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the constitutionality of several Pennsylvania state statutory provisions regarding abortion was challenged. The Court's plurality opinion reaffirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade stating that "matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment."
Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985), was a United States Supreme Court case deciding on the issue of silent school prayer.
John Paul Stevens is an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the second-oldest serving justice in the history of the Court, the third-longest serving Supreme Court Justice in history. Stevens was considered to have been on the liberal side of the Court at the time of his retirement.
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that defendant Gregory Lee Johnson's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johnson was represented by attorneys David D. Cole and William Kunstler.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), was a United States Supreme Court decision on upholding a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions. The Supreme Court in Webster allowed for states to legislate in an aspect that had previously been thought to be forbidden under Roe v. Wade (1973).
John Marshall Harlan was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1955 to 1971. His namesake and grandfather John Marshall Harlan had also been an associate justice of the Court who served from 1877 to 1911.
McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), often referred to as the McCain–Feingold Act.
United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court decision that determined that Fourth Amendment protections do not apply to searches and seizures by United States agents of property owned by a nonresident alien in a foreign country.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. The procedures of the Supreme Court of the United States are governed by the U.S. Constitution, various federal statutes, and the Court's own internal rules. Since 1869, the Court has consisted of one chief justice and eight associate justices. Justices are nominated by the president, and with the advice and consent (confirmation) of the U.S. Senate, appointed to the Court by the president. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office.
City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States limited the power of law enforcement to conduct suspicionless searches, specifically, using drug-sniffing dogs at roadblocks. Previous Supreme Court decisions had given the police power to create roadblocks for the purposes of border security, and removing drunk drivers from the road. This decision stated that the power was limited to situations in which the search was "designed to serve special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement."
Rankin v. McPherson, 483 U.S. 378 (1987), is a major decision of the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the First Amendment, specifically whether the protection of the First Amendment extends to government employees who make extremely critical remarks about the President. The Court ruled that, while direct threats on the President's life would not be protected speech, a comment — even an unpopular or seemingly extreme one — made on a matter of public interest and spoken by a government employee with no policymaking function and a job with little public interaction, would be protected.
The Rehnquist Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 to 2005, when William Rehnquist served as Chief Justice of the United States. Rehnquist succeeded Warren Burger as Chief Justice after the latter's retirement, and Rehnquist served as Chief Justice until his death in 2005, at which point John Roberts was nominated and confirmed as Rehnquist's replacement. The Rehnquist Court is generally considered to be more conservative than the preceding Burger Court and Warren Court. According to Jeffrey Rosen, Rehnquist combined an amiable nature with great organizational skill, and he "led a Court that put the brakes on some of the excesses of the Earl Warren era while keeping pace with the sentiments of a majority of the country." Biographer John Jenkins argued that Rehnquist politicized the Supreme Court and moved the court and the country to the right. Through its rulings, the Rehnquist Court often promoted a policy of New Federalism in which more power was given to the states at the expense of the federal government. The Rehnquist Court was also notable for its stability, as the same nine justices served together from 1994 to 2005, the longest such stretch in Supreme Court history.
J. E. B. v. Alabama ex rel. T. B., 511 U.S. 127 (1994), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that making peremptory challenges based solely on a prospective juror's sex is unconstitutional. J.E.B. extended the court's existing precedent in Batson v. Kentucky (1986), which found race-based peremptory challenges in criminal trials unconstitutional, and Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Company (1991), which extended that principle to civil trials. As in Batson, the court found that sex-based challenges violate the Equal Protection Clause.
Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), is a United States corporate law case of the Supreme Court of the United States holding that the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which prohibited corporations from using treasury money to make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in elections, did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court upheld the restriction on corporate speech, stating, "Corporate wealth can unfairly influence elections"; however, the Michigan law still allowed the corporation to make such expenditures from a segregated fund.
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States for 33 years, first as an Associate Justice from 1972 to 1986, and then as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2005. Considered a conservative, Rehnquist favored a conception of federalism that emphasized the Tenth Amendment's reservation of powers to the states. Under this view of federalism, the court, for the first time since the 1930s, struck down an act of Congress as exceeding its power under the Commerce Clause.
The Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award has been awarded by the National Football League Players Association continuously since 1967. The most recent winner, for the 2017 season, is Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles. The award honors work in the community as the NFL player who best served his team, community and country in the spirit of Byron "Whizzer" White, who was a Supreme Court justice, professional American football player, naval officer, and humanitarian. Past winners have included Drew Brees, Warrick Dunn, Gale Sayers, Bart Starr, Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Troy Vincent, and Ken Houston. Prior to his ascension to the Supreme Court, White had been All-Pro three times and the NFL rushing champion twice.
South Carolina v. Gathers, 490 U.S. 805 (1989), was a United States Supreme Court case which held that testimony in the form of a victim impact statement is only admissible during the sentencing phase of a trial if it directly relates to the "circumstances of the crime". This case was later overruled by the Supreme Court decision in Payne v. Tennessee.
Sun Oil Co. v. Wortman, 486 U.S. 717 (1988), was a conflict of laws case decided by the United States Supreme Court.
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg