Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Powell, Lewis Franklin, Jr.

Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr., 1907–98, American lawyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1971–87), b. Suffolk, Va. He studied law at Washington and Lee Univ. and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1931. He had a successful law practice in Richmond and held several local offices. Powell also held several prestigious positions, including president of the American Bar Association and chairman of the Virginia Board of Education. After repeatedly declining President Nixon's requests to join the Supreme Court, he finally accepted (1971) the post. Respected as a conservative in his jurisprudence, he was socially liberal, particularly in his ardent support of school integration. On the Supreme Court, he proved his moderate stance on various issues, voting with the majority in the landmark abortion ruling in Roe v. Wade. His best-known opinion was Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), in which he upheld the principle of affirmative action while rejecting the use of quotas. He was often the swing vote on closely contested decisions.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions
Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel.
Chelsea House, vol.4, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Lewis F. Powell, Jr."
Judges on Judging: Views from the Bench
David M. O'Brien.
Chatham House Publishers, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "What Really Goes On at the Supreme Court" by Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Supreme Court of the United States"
The Education Justice: The Honorable Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr
Dodd, Victoria J.
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, December 2001
Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and the Counterrevolution in the Federal Securities Laws
Pritchard, A. C.
Duke Law Journal, Vol. 52, No. 5, March 2003
Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court
Henry J. Abraham.
Oxford University Press, 1992 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Lewis F. Powell, Jr. begins on p. 311
Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment
Michael Meltsner.
Random House, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "Powell and Rehnquist"
Supreme Court Appointments: Judge Bork and the Politicization of Senate Confirmations
Norman Vieira; Leonard Gross.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Exit Justice Powell"
The Burger Court: Counter-Revolution or Confirmation?
Bernard Schwartz.
Oxford University Press, 1998
The "Bermuda Triangle?" the Cert Pool and Its Influence over the Supreme Court's Agenda
Palmer, Barbara.
Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 2001
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