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“The words gathered in this volume, are the record of a powerful mind in the act of thinking and persuading,” writes Paul A. Freund in his introduction to this book of revealing insights into the working of a great judicial mind in the frame work of democratic legal processes.
Some of the dominant themes in Louis Brandeis’s judicial philosophy reflected in these previously unpublished opinions include devotion to the federal balance, a recognition of the evils of “bigness,” and judicial self-restraint, a belief that the Court should not reach out to impose authority in constitutional matters unless a considerable wrong would be done by not so doing.
These eleven opinions emphasize themes which were of special and recurring importance to Brandeis, and which are repeatedly found in the bulk of his judicial work. Alexander Bickel gives the background and history of each case and traces in illuminating detail the manner in which the members of the Supreme Court Bench gradually worked out their decision. Thus we see how the Court finds in the heritage of the law resources which fulfill the requirements of a new day, through imagination, understanding, and patience.