May 6, 2005

"Always go for the jugular. Never agonize in an opinion."

That's advice from Justice Black to Justice Blackmun, per Jeffrey Rosen's review of Linda Greenhouse's new book. Which looks terrific, by the way.

Blackmun didn't manage to follow the advice:
He agonized endlessly, publicly lamenting having become emotionally involved in case after case. And he apologized for his decisions, calling them "inadequate and hesitant."

Most interesting here is how he struggled with Roe v. Wade, bent on making the case about the rights of the doctors and not the women.
Justice Blackmun was no feminist, and he strenuously resisted claims involving women's rights for most of his tenure on the court. He complained when the court voted before Sandra Day O'Connor's arrival in 1980 to omit the traditional reference to "Mr. Justice." He was impatient with the briefs that Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed as an advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of women's rights, calling one of them "mildly offensive and arrogant," and dismissing her as "too smart."


Uncle Jimbo said...

Dear Ann,

You are usually so reliable, I figure you are going to post your hailstorm pics later. Here are a couple of mine.

Friday Freefly- Quick rants & kids playing in a hail storm


Uncle J

Military Matters

Jenny D. said...


You brought back comments!!! Wonderful. I don't know how I feel about carpets, but I LOVE comments. Thank you.

Ann Althouse said...

Uncle Jimbo: There was no hail over here.

Uncle Jimbo said...

Too bad, the storm was very cool and we had a blast, my wife has cool video of the kids running around like monkeys.


Uncle J