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Lewis F. Powell
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice
    (September 19, 1907-August 25, 1998)
    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1972-1987)
    At 64, without any judicial experience he accepted the nomination for Associate Justice.
    He initially did not want to become a Justice and only accepted the nomination because Nixon told him it was his patriotic duty to serve.
    He did not complain, as the Chairman of the Richmond School Board, when they defied the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
    He preferred being a corporate lawyer than a judge.
    He wrote the Powell Memorandum which urged corporate America to become an active player in politics and law.
    He looked like Orville Redenbacher.
    He voted consistently to maintain the death penalty but after retiring said, 'I have come to think that capital punishment should be abolished.'
    Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsberg were considered to replace him. He was finally replaced by Anthony Kennedy.
    He was president of the American Bar Association, the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
    He was good friends with Edward R. Murrow.
    He worked to get legal services for the poor.
    He swore in the first black Virginia governor.
    He was a moderate on the increasingly polarized Burger Court.
    He had to be convinced by a rational argument in order to consent or dissent in a case.
    He disliked heated rhetoric and rigid interpretation of laws.
    He was known for forging many compromises on the bench.
    He was a swing Justice who would often break the 4 to 4 deadlocks between liberal and conservatives on the bench.
    He wrote the majority opinion in 'Regents of the University of California v. Bakke' that maintained affirmative action (1978).
    He was married for 60 years until is wife's death.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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