About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Social Justice

Greetings from the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to this discussion on Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Social Justice.

Our partners for today’s program are the Capital Jewish Museum and the Supreme Court Historical Society, and we thank them for their support.

Before we begin, though, I’d like to tell you about two upcoming programs you can view on our YouTube channel.

On Thursday, November 19, at noon, author Barnes Carr will discuss his recent book, The Lenin Plot: The Untold Story of America’s Midnight War Against Russia.

And on Tuesday, November 24, at 7 p.m., Denise Kiernan will discuss her latest book, We Gather Together, which tells the story of Sarah Josepha Hale, who in the 19th century campaigned to establish an annual day of thanksgiving.

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Today we will look at the life and career of the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Louis Brandeis, who served on the court from 1916 until 1939. His successor on the bench, William O. Douglas, called Brandeis a “militant crusader for social justice.”

Brandeis carried that passion through his 23 years on the court and became one of the nation’s most influential jurists, as documented in the many Supreme Court case files and opinions preserved in the National Archives.

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Now let’s meet our speakers.

Professor Brad Snyder teaches constitutional law, constitutional history, and sports law at Georgetown Law. He is the author of three books and has published several law review articles. A graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School, he clerked for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Jennifer Lowe is the Supreme Court Historical Society’s director of programs and strategic planning. She previously served as the society’s director of publications and managing editor of the Journal of Supreme Court History. She is the author of “Harold Burton” and Samuel Alito” in The Supreme Court Illustrated Biographies 1789–2011.

Please welcome Brad Snyder and Jennifer Lowe.