Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Louis Brandeis 1856-1941

Louis Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky to immigrants from Prague and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School at the young age of 21. As a lawyer in Boston he became a prominent corporate attorney and stalwart advocate for social and economic justice. Brandeis played a major role in ending a massive garment workers' strike in 1912, creating a "Protocol of Peace" that ended the strike and created America's first system of labor mediation and arbitration. His book Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It (1914) attacked the use of investment funds and argued for antitrust legislation. In 1916, President Wilson nominated Brandeis to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first Jew to serve on the country's highest court and became one of its most influential figures, with opinions that defended right to privacy, freedom of speech, and labor laws. Brandeis was active in the Zionist movement, seeing it as a solution to the "Jewish problem" in Europe and Russia.