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Encyclopedia > William O. Douglas
William O. Douglas


In office
April 17, 1939 – November 12, 1975
Nominated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Preceded by Louis D. Brandeis
Succeeded by John Paul Stevens

Born October 16, 1898
Maine Township, Minnesota
Died January 19, 1980
Washington, D.C.
Religion Presbyterian

William Orville Douglas (October 16, 1898January 19, 1980) was a United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. With a term lasting thirty-six years and seven months, he remains the longest-serving justice in the history of the Court. Image File history File links The official portrait of Justice William O. Wild Bill Douglas. ... Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are the members of the Supreme Court of the United States other than the Chief Justice of the United States. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ... Louis D. Brandeis Louis Dembitz Brandeis (November 13, 1856 - October 3, 1941) was an important American litigator, Justice, advocate of privacy, and developer of the Brandeis Brief. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... October 16 is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years). ... Year 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Maine Township is a township located in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: , Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - D.C. Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... October 16 is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years). ... Year 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Associate Justice or Puisne (pronounced puny) Justice is the title for a member of a judicial panel who is not the Chief Justice. ...

Contents

Early life

Douglas was born in Maine Township, Minnesota. His family moved to California, and then Cleveland, Washington. His father died in Portland, Oregon in 1904, when he was only six years old. After moving from town to town in the West, his mother, with three young children, settled the family in Yakima, Washington. William, like the rest of the Douglas family, worked at odd jobs to earn extra money, and a college education appeared to be unaffordable. Though not the valedicctorian, Douglas did well enough in high school to win a scholarship to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. [1] Maine Township is a township located in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Cleveland, Washington is a tiny community in Klickitat County. ... This article deals with the U.S. state. ... Nickname: Location in Multnomah County and the state of Oregon Coordinates: , Country United States State Oregon County Multnomah County Incorporated February 8, 1851 Government  - Mayor Tom Potter Area  - City 376. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... Location of Yakima in Washington Coordinates: Country United States of America State Washington County Yakima Incorporated December 1, 1883 Government  - Mayor Dave Edler Area  - City  20. ... This article deals with the U.S. state. ... This article is about the college in Washington state. ... Walla Walla is both the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, and the countys largest city. ...


While at Whitman, Douglas was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He worked at various jobs while attending school, as a waiter and janitor during the school year, and at a cherry orchard in the summer. Picking cherries, Douglas would say later, inspired him to a legal career. He once said of his early interest in the law: Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ) is a social collegiate fraternity that was founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA, where it is part of the Miami Triad which includes Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi. ...

"I worked among the very, very poor, the migrant laborers, the Chicanos and the I.W.W's who I saw being shot at by the police. I saw cruelty and hardness, and my impulse was to be a force in other developments in the law."[2] A foreign worker (cf expatriate), is a person who works in a country other than the one of which he or she is a citizen. ... Chicano teenager in El Pasos second ward. ... The IWW Label A Wobbly membership card The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, having much in common with anarcho-syndicalist unions, but also many differences. ...

Douglas was elected Phi Beta Kappa and was student body president in his final year. After graduating in 1920 with a B.A. in English and economics, he taught English and Latin at Yakima High Schools for the next two years, hoping earn enough to attend law school. "Finally," he said, "I decided it was impossible to save enough money by teaching and I said to hell with it," [3]. He travelled to New York (taking on a job tending sheep on a Chicago-bound train, in return for free passage), with hopes to attend the Columbia Law School. [4]. Douglas's Beta Theta Pi membership helped him survive in New York, as he stayed at one of its houses and was able to borrow $75 from a fraternity brother from Washington, enough to enroll at Columbia. [5] The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an honor society which considers its mission to be fostering and recognizing excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...


Six months later, Douglas's funds were running out. However, the appointments office at the law school let him know that a New York firm wanted a student to help prepare a correspondence course for law. Douglas earned $600 for his work, enabling him to stay in school. Moreover, he was called on for similar projects and had saved $1,000 by semester's end. [6]. He then went to LaGrande, Oregon to marry Mildred Riddle, whom he had known at Yakima. He graduated second in his class in 1925, and went to work at the prestigious New York firm of Cravath, DeGersdorff, Swaine and Wood (later Cravath, Swaine & Moore). Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (Cravath) is one of the most renowned and prestigious law firms in the United States. ...


Yale and the SEC

Douglas quit the Cravath firm after four months. After one year, he moved back to Yakima, but soon regretted the move and never actually practiced law there. After a time of unemployment and another months-long stint at Cravath, he went to teach at Columbia. He quickly jumped to join the faculty of Yale Law School. The Sterling Law Building Sculptural ornamentation on the Sterling Law Building Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. ...


At Yale, he became an expert on commercial litigation and bankruptcy, and was identified with the legal realist movement, which pushed for an understanding of law based less on formalistic legal doctrines and more on the real-world effects of the law. Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration—see text) in the United Kingdom. ... Legal realism is a family of theories about the nature of law developed in the first half of the 20th century in the United States (American Legal Realism) and Scandinavia (Scandinavian Legal Realism). ...


While teaching at Yale, he and fellow professor Thurman Arnold were riding the New Haven Railroad and were inspired to set the sign "Passengers will please refrain..." to one of Antonin Dvořák's Humoresques [7], which became a common theme on the train and later spread widely into popular culture as an often bawdy song. Thurman Arnold (June 2, 1891 - November 7, 1969) Professional Life Thurman Arnold was an idiosyncratic Washington Lawyer best known for his trust-busting campaign as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division in Franklin Delano Roosevelts Department of Justice. ... The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (AAR reporting mark: NH) was a railroad that operated in the northeast United States. ... Antonín Dvořák Antonín Leopold Dvořák (IPA: , ) (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


In 1934, he left Yale to join the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Here he met Franklin D. Roosevelt and became an adviser and friend to the President. He became chairman in 1937. Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, commonly referred to as the SEC, is the United States governing body which has primary responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the securities industry. ... FDR redirects here. ...


On the bench

In 1939, Justice Louis D. Brandeis resigned from the Supreme Court, and Roosevelt nominated Douglas as his replacement. Douglas later revealed that this had been a great surprise to him—Roosevelt had summoned him to an "important meeting," and Douglas feared that he was to be named as the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 62 to 4. Douglas was sworn into office on April 17, 1939. Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Louis D. Brandeis Louis Dembitz Brandeis (November 13, 1856 - October 3, 1941) was an important American litigator, Justice, advocate of privacy, and developer of the Brandeis Brief. ... The FCCs official seal. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Judicial philosophy

In general, legal scholars have noted that Douglas's judicial style was unusual in that he did not attempt elaborate justifications for his judicial positions on the basis of text, history, or precedent. Instead, Douglas was known for writing short, pithy opinions which relied on philosophical insights, observations about current politics, and literature, as much as more conventional "judicial" sources.


On the bench Douglas became known as a strong advocate of First Amendment rights. With fellow Justice Hugo Black, Douglas argued for a "literalist" interpretation of the First Amendment, insisting that the First Amendment's command that "no law" shall restrict freedom of speech should be interpreted literally. He wrote the opinion in Terminiello v. City of Chicago (1949) overturning the conviction of a Catholic priest who allegedly caused a "breach of the peace" by making anti-Semitic comments during a raucous public speech. Douglas, joined by Black, furthered his advocacy of a broad reading of First Amendment rights by dissenting from the Supreme Court's decision in Dennis v. United States (1952) affirming the conviction of the leader of the U.S. Communist Party. The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ... Hugo Black Hugo LaFayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1937 - 1971). ... The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Holding Defendants convictions for conspiring, through their participation in the Communist Party, to overthrow the U.S. government by force were not prohibited by the First Amendment. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... In modern usage, the term communist party is generally used to identify any political party which has adopted communist ideology. ...


Over the course of his career Douglas grew to become a leading advocate of individual rights. Suspicious of majority rule as it related to social and moral questions, he frequently expressed concern at forced conformity with "the Establishment" in his opinions. For example, Douglas wrote the lead opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut, finding a "right to privacy" in the "penumbras" of the first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights. This went too far for his old ally Black, who dissented in Griswold. Holding A Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. ...


Trees have standing

In the landmark environmental law case, Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972), Justice Douglas famously, and most colorfully argued that "inanimate objects" should have standing to sue in court: Sierra Club v. ...


"Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation. A ship has a legal personality, a fiction found useful for maritime purposes. The corporation sole - a creature of ecclesiastical law - is an acceptable adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases . . . .


"So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes - fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it."


According to The Thru-Hiker's Companion, a guide published by the Appalachian Trail Club, Douglas hiked the entire 2,000-mile trail from Georgia to Maine.


The Rosenberg case

On June 16, 1953, Douglas granted a temporary stay of execution to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the two alleged Soviet spies who had been convicted of selling the plans for the atomic bomb to the Russians. The basis for the stay was that the Rosenbergs had been sentenced to die by Judge Irving Kaufman without the consent of the jury. While this was permissible under the Espionage Act of 1917, which the Rosenbergs were tried under, a later law, the Atomic Secrets Act of 1946, held that only the jury could pronounce the death penalty. Since, at the time the stay was granted, the Supreme Court was out of session, this meant that the Rosenbergs could expect to wait at least six months before the case was heard. is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Rosenbergs Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28, 1915 – June 19, 1953) and Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) were American citizens and CPUSA members who were thrust into the world spotlight when they were tried, convicted, and executed for spying for the Soviet Union. ... Soviet redirects here. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Irving Robert Kaufman (June 24, 1910 - February 1, 1992) was a federal judge in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Espionage Act of 1917 was a United States federal law passed shortly after entering World War I, on June 15, 1917, which made it a crime for a person to convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ...


When Attorney General Herbert Brownell heard about the stay, however, he immediately took his objection to Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, who took the unprecedented step of reconvening the Supreme Court before the appointed date. Douglas had departed for vacation, but on learning of the special session of the Court, he returned to Washington. See Bruce Allen Murphy, Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas at pages 324-325 (New York: Random House 2003). The Court set aside Douglas's stay. The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. ... Herbert Brownell, Jr. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch... Frederick Moore Vinson (January 22, 1890 – September 8, 1953) served the United States in all three branches of government. ...


Due to opposition to his decision, Douglas briefly faced impeachment proceedings in Congress. But attempts to remove him from the Court went nowhere in Congress.[8] Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ...


Douglas and the Environmental Movement

Douglas's review contributed to the success of Silent Spring, an important turning point for the environmental movement.
Douglas's review contributed to the success of Silent Spring, an important turning point for the environmental movement.

During the 1960s, Douglas became a spokesman for liberal causes, writing a book published in 1969 entitled Points of Rebellion and controversially authoring a piece for "hippie" publication Evergreen magazine. Douglas also became a key supporter of the fledgling environmental movement, serving on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club from 1960 to 1962 and writing prolifically on his love of the outdoors. He eloquently dissented from the Supreme Court's decision in Sierra Club v. Morton that denied the environmental group standing to sue. Douglas opined that the Court should create a federal rule that would confer standing on environmental objects and recognize environmental groups or persons with intimate contact with the objects to argue on their behalf. Douglas also is credited with saving the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and inspiring the effort to establish the area as a national park; going as far as to challenge the editorial board of the Washington Post to go with him for a walk on the canal after it had published opinions supporting Congress' plan to pave the canal into a road, which convinced the board to change its stance and helped save the park. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1961. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Also: 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... Evergreen Review was a literary magazine published by Grove Press in the late 1950s and 1960s. ... The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sierra Club v. ... Canal at Swains Lock The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, also known as the C&O Canal, operated from 1850 until 1924 parallel to the Potomac River in Maryland from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington, DC. The total length of the canal is about 184. ...


In 1962, Douglas wrote a glowing review of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring which was included in the widely-read Book-of-the-Month Club edition. Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 — April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose landmark book, Silent Spring, is often credited with having launched the global environmental movement. ... Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1961. ... The Book of the Month Club (founded 1923) is a mail-order business where consumers are offered a new book each month. ...


Douglas is also credited with swaying the court in the direction of preserving the Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky: a proposal to build a dam and flood the gorge reached the Supreme Court. Douglas visited the area himself (Saturday, November 18th, 1967), and the Red River Gorge's Douglas Trail is named in his honor. Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky The Red River Gorge, located at , is a canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ...


The 1970 Impeachment attempt

The neutrality of this section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

Although there is no doubt Douglas fully believed in his causes, his busy speaking and publishing schedule were also motivated by dire financial circumstances. Never a wealthy man, Douglas became financially straitjacketed by a bitter divorce settlement with his first wife and then sank more deeply into financial difficulty as settlements with his second and third wives essentially took his entire Supreme Court salary. As a result, Douglas took extraordinary steps to supplement his income, which besides publishing included becoming president of the Parvin Foundation. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ...


While Douglas's efforts on behalf of the Parvin Foundation were in fact legitimate, his ties with the Foundation (which had been financed by the sale of the infamous Flamingo Hotel by casino financier and Foundation founder Albert Parvin) proved too much for then-House minority leader Gerald R. Ford to pass up. A number of additional factors came into play; besides being long disgusted with Douglas's lifestyle, Ford also had seen Douglas protege Abe Fortas resign because of ties with a similar foundation, and had a political axe to grind as the Senate had failed to confirm Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell to succeed Fortas on the Court. Thus, in April 1970 he moved to impeach Douglas, the first major modern era attempt to impeach a Supreme Court Justice. This was despite careful maneuvering by House Judiciary Chairman Emanuel Celler and the complete lack of proof that Douglas had done anything criminal (efforts by Attorney General John N. Mitchell and the Nixon administration to gather evidence to the contrary not withstanding).[9] This article needs to be wikified. ... Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. ... Abe Fortas (June 19, 1910–April 5, 1982) was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice. ... Clement Furman Haynsworth, Jr. ... George Harrold Harold Carswell (December 22, 1919 - July 13, 1992) was a Federal Judge and an unsuccessful nominee to the United States Supreme Court. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Emanuel Celler (May 6, 1888–January 15, 1981) was a politician from New York who served in the United States House of Representatives for almost 50 years, from March of 1923 to January of 1973. ... Mitchell (far left) meeting with Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, and John Ehrlichman on May 26, 1971. ...


The hearings began in late April 1970, and Ford was the main witness, attacking Douglas' “liberal opinions,” his “defense of the "filthy" film I Am Curious (Yellow), and his ties with the aforementioned Parvin. Additionally, he was criticized for accepting $350.00 for an article he wrote on folk music for the magazine Avant Garde. The magazine’s publisher had served a prison sentence for the distribution of another magazine in 1966 that had been deemed pornographic. I Am Curious (Yellow) is a Swedish film (Jag är nyfiken - en film i gult) of 1967, directed by Vilgot Sjöman and starring Lena Nyman as herself. ...


Describing Douglas’ article, Ford stated, “The article itself is not pornographic, although it praises the lusty, lurid, and risqué along with the social protest of left-wing folk singers.” Ford also attacked Douglas for the article in Evergreen Magazine, which was infamous for its proclivity for pictures of naked women.


The Republican congressmen refused to give the majority Democrats copies of the magazines, prompting Congressman Wayne Hays to remark "“Has anybody read the article -- or is everybody over there who has a magazine just looking at the pictures?” [10] Wayne Levere Hays (May 13, 1911, Bannock, Ohio – February 13, 1989, Flushing, Ohio), was an American politician whose tyrannical rule of the House Administration Committee extended to even the smallest items; in the mid-1970s, lawmakers avoided crossing Hays for fear that he would shut off the air conditioning in...


When it became clear that the hearings were a farce, they were brought to a close, and no public vote on the matter was taken.


This effort and the struggles over the Fortas, Haynesworth, and Carswell nominations marked the beginning of the modern era of more partisan battles over Supreme Court nominees.


Records

During his tenure on the bench, Justice Douglas achieved a number of records and distinctions. Along with the longevity record, he also established the records for the most opinions written, the most dissents written, the most speeches given, and the most books authored by any member of the Supreme Court. He also achieved a few less savory records, such as the most wives (four), the most divorces while on the bench (three), and the most attempts at impeachment (three). None of these records has been surpassed. This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A dissenting opinion is an opinion of one or more judges in an appellate court expressing disagreement with the majority opinion. ... For the record label, see Divorce Records. ... Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ...


Nicknames

During his time on the Supreme Court, Douglas picked up a number of nicknames, which were bestowed upon him by both his admirers and his detractors. The most common epithet was Wild Bill, which he received for his independent and unpredictable stances and cowboy-style mannerisms, although many of the latter were affectations for the consumption of the press. // A nickname is a name of a person or thing other than its proper name. ... For other uses, see Cowboy (disambiguation). ...


Later in his career, Douglas also became known as The Great Dissenter and The Lone Ranger. The former referred to the record number of dissenting opinions that he had drafted over the course of his career, while the latter was an allusion to the number of times that his had been the lone dissenting vote in a case, which made up well over half of his estimated 300 dissenting opinions.


In presidential politics

When, in early 1944, President Roosevelt decided not to actively support the renomination of Vice President Henry A. Wallace at the party's national convention, a shortlist of possible replacements was drafted. The names on the list included former Senator and Supreme Court Justice James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, former Senator Sherman Minton and former Governor and High Commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt of Indiana, House Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas, Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri, and Associate Justice Douglas. 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Seal of the office of the Vice-President of the United States The Vice President of the United States is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President. ... Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–45), the 11th Secretary of Agriculture (1933–40), and the 10th Secretary of Commerce (1945–46). ... James Francis Byrnes (May 2, 1879 – April 9, 1972) was an American politician from the state of South Carolina. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude... Sherman Minton, (October 20, 1890–April 9, 1965) was a Democratic United States Senator from Indiana and an associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... High Commissioner to the Philippines was the title of the personal representative of the President of the United States to the Commonwealth of the Philippines during the period 1935-1946. ... Paul V. McNutt in his Washington office, 1941. ... The term Speaker is usually the title given to the presiding officer of a countrys lower house of parliament or congress (ie: the House of Commons or House of Representatives). ... Portrait of Sam Rayburn Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn (January 6, 1882 – November 16, 1961) was a United States politician from Texas. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Alben William Barkley (November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate from Kentucky, and the thirty-fifth Vice President of the United States. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953); as Vice President, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St Louis[1] Area  Ranked 21st  - Total 69,709 sq mi (180,693 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 300 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ...


Five days before the vice presidential nominee was to be chosen at the convention, July 15, Committee Chairman Robert E. Hannegan received a letter from Roosevelt stating that his choice for the nominee would be either "Harry Truman or Bill Douglas." After releasing the letter to the convention on July 20, the nomination went without incident, and Truman was nominated on the second ballot. Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean is the current Chairman of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the principal campaign and fund-raising organization affiliated with the United States Democratic Party. ... Robert Emmet Hannegan was born on June 30, 1903, in St. ...


After the convention, Douglas's supporters spread the rumor that the note sent to Hannegan had, in fact, read "Bill Douglas or Harry Truman,"[11] not the other way around. These supporters claimed that Hannegan, a Truman supporter, feared that Douglas's nomination would drive southern white voters away from the ticket (Douglas had a very anti-segregation record on the Supreme Court) and had switched the names to give the impression that Truman was Roosevelt's real choice. Evidence uncovered recently by Douglas's biographers, however, has discredited this story and seems to prove that Truman's name had been first all along.[citation needed] The Rex Theatre for Colored People Racial segregation is characterized by separation of different races in daily life, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a rest room, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home[1]. Segregation...


By 1948, Douglas' presidential aspirations were rekindled by the extremely low popularity ratings of Truman, who had become president in 1945 on Roosevelt's death. Many Democrats, believing that Truman could not be reelected in November, began attempting to find a replacement candidate. Attempts were made to draft popular retired war hero General Dwight D. Eisenhower for the nomination. A "Draft Douglas" campaign, complete with souvenir buttons and hats, sprang up in New Hampshire and several other primary states. Douglas himself even campaigned for the nomination for a short time, but he soon withdrew his name from consideration. Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Dwight David Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American General and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953–1961). ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,359 sq mi (24,239 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 3. ...


In the end, Eisenhower refused to be drafted and Truman won renomination easily. Although Truman approached Douglas about the vice presidential nomination, the Justice turned him down. Douglas was later heard to remark, "I have no wish to be the number two man to a number two man." Truman instead selected Senator Alben W. Barkley and the two went on to win the election in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest upset victories in American politics. Alben William Barkley (November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate from Kentucky, and the thirty-fifth Vice President of the United States. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ...


Going into the 1960 presidential election, Douglas supported the nomination of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson for President, because Johnson, a poker and drinking buddy through the mutual acquaintance of Johnson's personal attorney (and former Douglas employee) Abe Fortas, had promised that he would make Douglas his nominee for Vice President. After Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy won the nomination, which Douglas believed had been "bought" by Kennedy's father (another former Douglas associate), the Justice went on a week-long binge, during which he was heard to shout, "This always happens to me!" Presidential electoral votes by state. ... “LBJ” redirects here. ... A game of Texas hold em in progress. ... A lion drinking Cygnus olor (mute swan) drinking Drinking is the act of consuming a liquid through the mouth. ... An attorney is someone who represents someone else in the transaction of business: For attorney-at-law, see lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary. ... Abe Fortas (June 19, 1910–April 5, 1982) was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, Kennedy, John Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, or JFK, was the thirty-fifth President of the United States. ... Joseph Patrick Joe Kennedy, Sr. ... Drinking too much alcohol may qualify as binge drinking if it leads to at least two days of inebriation and the drinker neglects usual responsibilities The British Medical Association states that there is no consensus on the definition of binge drinking. ...


Retirement and family life

On December 31, 1974, while on vacation in the Bahamas, Douglas suffered a debilitating stroke. Severely disabled, Douglas nevertheless insisted on continuing to participate in Supreme Court affairs, despite his obvious incapacity. Seven of Douglas's fellow justices voted to put any argued case in which Douglas's vote might make a difference over to the next term. At the urging of his friend and former student Abe Fortas, Douglas finally retired on November 12, 1975, after 36 years of service. is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A blonde haired, very skilled worker with a 70s look. ... Stroke (or cerebrovascular accident or CVA) is the clinical designation for a rapidly developing loss of brain function due to an interruption in the blood supply to all or part of the brain. ... Abe Fortas (June 19, 1910–April 5, 1982) was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice. ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Douglas married four times. He was married to Mildred Riddle from 1923 to 1953, Mercedes Hester Davidson from 1954 to 1963, Joan Martin from 1963 to 1965, and Cathleen Heffernan (at the time a twenty-three year old law student) from 1965 until his death, January 19, 1980. His first marriage produced two children, Mildred and William O. Douglas, Jr. Year 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...


He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near the grave of former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The William O. Douglas Wilderness, which adjoins Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, is named in his honor, as Douglas had both an intimate connection to that area and a deep commitment to environmental protection.[1] Douglas Falls in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina is also named after him. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. ... The northwest corner of Douglas Wilderness looking south from State Route 410 The William O. Douglas Wilderness includes 166,000 acres located between the U.S. Route 12 and State Route 410 and is jointly administered by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Wenatchee National Forest. ... Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County, Washington. ... Douglas Falls is a 60 foot waterfall located in Buncombe County, North Carolina. ... Appalachians in North Carolina The Appalachian Mountains (French: les Appalaches) are a vast system of mountains in eastern North America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ...


Quotations

  • The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person's] life.
  • As night-fall does not come at once, neither does oppression...It is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become victims of the darkness.
  • But our society- unlike most in the world- presuppose that freedom and liberty are in frame of reference that makes the individual, not the government, the keeper of his tastes, beliefs, and ideas. That is the philosophy of the First Amendment; and it is the article of faith that sets us apart from most nations in the world
  • It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
  • The struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression, and obedience.
  • These days I see America identified more and more with material things, less and less with spiritual standards. These days I see America acting abroad as an arrogant, selfish, greedy nation interested only in guns and dollars, not in people and their hopes and aspirations. We need a faith that dedicates us to something bigger and more important than ourselves or our possessions. Only if we have that faith will we be able to guide the destiny of nations in this the most critical period of world history. -- 1952 This I Believe
  • "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us. -- 1951, The One Un-American Act, A Speech to the Author's Guild Council in New York. available at http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/foryoungpeople/theoneunamerican/.
  • Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.
  • We must realize that today's Establishment is the New George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution- Points of Rebellion, 1969

This I Believe was a five-minute CBS radio network program hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow from 1951 to 1955. ...

Dedications

The William O. Douglas Committee, a select group of law students at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington sponsors a series of lectures on the First Amendment, in Justice Douglas's honor. The honors college at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington bears Justice Douglas's name. An area of the Wenatchee National Forest east of Mount Rainier National Park is designated William O. Douglas Wilderness. A statue of William O. Douglas is in place in the courtyard of A.C. Davis High School, in Yakima, Wa.. At Whitman College, William O. Douglas Hall is a much-sought-after dormitory among second-, third-, and fourth-year students. Douglas Hall, an apartment for continuing students at Earl Warren College, at the University of California, San Diego is named for him as well. Gonzaga University is a private Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington. ... Nickname: Location of Spokane in Spokane County and Washington Coordinates: , Country United States State Washington County Spokane Government  - Mayor Dennis P. Hession Area  - City  58. ... The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ... Central Washington University, or CWU, is an accredited four-year educational institution located in Ellensburg, Washington in the United States. ... Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, WA. Ellensburg is the county seat of Kittitas County, Washington, United StatesGR6. ... Subalpine Larch fall foliage near Sprite Lake Wenatchee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in Washington. ... Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County, Washington. ... The northwest corner of Douglas Wilderness looking south from State Route 410 The William O. Douglas Wilderness includes 166,000 acres located between the U.S. Route 12 and State Route 410 and is jointly administered by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Wenatchee National Forest. ... Davis High School can refer to: Davis High School in Davis, California Davis High School in Houston, Texas Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Yakima is a the county seat of Yakima County located in central Washington. ... Earl Warren College is one of the six undergraduate colleges at the University of California at San Diego and is named after the three term California Governor and former Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren. ... The University of California, San Diego (popularly known as UCSD, or sometimes UC San Diego) is a public, coeducational research university located in La Jolla, a seaside resort community of San Diego, California. ...


Secondary sources

  • Murphy, Bruce Allen (2003). Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-57628-4. 
  • http://www.ysd.wednet.edu/davis/williamOdouglas.htm

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Current Biography 1941, pp233-35
  2. ^ Whitman, Alden. (1980). "Vigorous Defender of Rights." The New York Times, Sunday, January 20, 1980, p. 28.
  3. ^ Current Biography 1941, pp233-35
  4. ^ Current Biography 1941, pp233-35
  5. ^ Id., p234
  6. ^ Id., p234
  7. ^ http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=55501 web site discussion of song references Douglas's Go East, Young Man
  8. ^ "House Move to Impeach Douglas Bogs Down; Sponsor Is Told He Fails to Prove His Case." The New York Times, Wednesday, July 1, 1953, p. 18.
  9. ^ http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/speeches/700415a.htm
  10. ^ http://www.dissidentvoice.org/May05/Gerard0507.htm
  11. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-60578632.html

See also

Preceded by
Louis Brandeis
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
April 17, 1939November 12, 1975
Succeeded by
John Paul Stevens
The Hughes Court Seal of the U.S. Supreme Court
1939: J.C. McReynolds | P. Butler | H.F. Stone | O.J. Roberts | H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas
1940–1941: J.C. McReynolds | H.F. Stone | O.J. Roberts | H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy
February-July 1941: H.F. Stone | O.J. Roberts | H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy | (vacancy)
The Stone Court
1941–1942: O.J. Roberts | H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy | J.F. Byrnes | R.H. Jackson
1943–1945: O.J. Roberts | H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy | R.H. Jackson | W.B. Rutledge
1945–1946: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy | R.H. Jackson | W.B. Rutledge | H.H. Burton
The Vinson Court
1946–1949: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | F. Murphy | R.H. Jackson | W.B. Rutledge | H.H. Burton
1949–1953: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | R.H. Jackson | H.H. Burton | T.C. Clark | S. Minton
The Warren Court
1953–1954: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | R.H. Jackson | H.H. Burton | T.C. Clark | S. Minton
1955–1956: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | H.H. Burton | T.C. Clark | S. Minton | J.M. Harlan II
1956–1957: H. Black | S.F. Reed | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | H.H. Burton | T.C. Clark | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan
1957–1958: H. Black | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | H.H. Burton | T.C. Clark | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | C.E. Whittaker
1958–1962: H. Black | F. Frankfurter | Wm. O. Douglas | T.C. Clark | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | C.E. Whittaker | P. Stewart
1962–1965: H. Black | Wm. O. Douglas | T.C. Clark | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | A.J. Goldberg
1965–1967: H. Black | Wm. O. Douglas | T.C. Clark | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | A. Fortas
1967–1969: H. Black | Wm. O. Douglas | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | A. Fortas | T. Marshall
The Burger Court
1969: H. Black | Wm. O. Douglas | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | A. Fortas | T. Marshall
1970–1971: H. Black | Wm. O. Douglas | J.M. Harlan II | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | T. Marshall | H. Blackmun
1972–1975: Wm. O. Douglas | Wm. J. Brennan | P. Stewart | B. White | T. Marshall | H. Blackmun | L.F. Powell, Jr. | Wm. Rehnquist

 
 

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