Louis D. Brandeis


Louis Dembitz Brandeis is the namesake for the ninth high school in the Northside Independent School District; this school will open and welcome approximately 2000 students for the 2008 – 2009 school year. Louis D. Brandeis was born in Kentucky in 1856, and entered Harvard Law when he was nineteen. In 1877, he graduated as the Valedictorian of his class, even though he had little formal training before entering Harvard. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Brandeis as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, making him the first Jewish-American to ever attain such a position within this branch of government. Known for his liberal views and dissenting opinions, he often teamed with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in dissenting opinions critical of the predominant conservatism of his colleagues. Justice Brandeis’ concurring opinion in the Whitney vs. California case (1927) has been called one of the greatest defenses of freedom of speech ever written by a Supreme Court Justice.

Even though he played a role in numerous Supreme Court cases, Justice Brandeis will always be remembered for protecting human rights. During his years as a lawyer in Boston he was known as “The People’s Attorney” due to his success in securing low-cost life insurance for workers in Massachusetts, blocking a railroad monopoly in New England, and in fighting for a shorter workday and a minimum wage for working women in Oregon (Muller vs Oregon, 1908).

In 1939, he retired from the Court and devoted the remainder of his life to working for the Zionist movement; he died on October 5, 1941 in Washington, D.C.


Additional Links and Information on Louis D. Brandeis:


Louis D. Brandeis School of Law - http://www.law.louisville.edu/

Louis D. Brandeis High School (M470) - New York, NY - http://www.louisdbrandeis.org/home.aspx