One hundred years ago this year, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Louis D. Brandeis as the first Jew on the Supreme Court. It was a controversial move, not least because much of the American legal establishment, as well as the business community, considered Brandeis a radical. In response, the Senate decided, for the first time in its history, to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nomination. The four-month process featured 43 witnesses; an anti-Brandeis petition from Harvard’s president and 54 prominent Bostonians; and a letter opposing the nomination from seven former presidents of the American Bar Association.
What Would Brandeis Do?
Considering the achievement of the American Jewish legal giant, a new biography also asks what he would make of Citizens United and other contemporary issues.