The View From 1776
Thursday, June 04, 2009
A White Male Judicial Activist
Ideas and opinions of the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas give us a picture of the legal realism concepts to which Judge Sonia Sotomayor was exposed in her studies at the Yale Law School.
William O. Douglas graduated from Columbia University Law School in 1924. He later taught at Columbia Law School and then at Yale Law School, where Judge Sotomayor studied law. During Douglas’s tenure at Yale Law School, it already was acquiring a reputation for producing liberal, activist judges.
In 1939 Douglas was nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt to the Supreme Court. Fittingly, he succeeded Justice Louis D. Brandeis, who had gained fame before joining the Court for what came to be known as the