Academic journal article Stanford Law Review

Statement on the Death of Justice Byron R. White

Academic journal article Stanford Law Review

Statement on the Death of Justice Byron R. White

Article excerpt

"He set a magnificent example for those who will follow." So said a former law clerk to Justice White. I succeeded Justice White on the Court's bench, and can confirm the entire accuracy of that statement. Upon my appointment, Justice White gave me the manual he used to guide work in chambers. A new Justice could not have had a clearer, more sensible introduction to the ways of the Court. I have kept the manual current and expect someday to pass it on to my successor.

At the Hearings on my nomination in July 1993, a Senator asked: "In what ways do you think you might be like or different from Justice White?" I answered: "The differences are obvious; he is very tall and I am rather small, and I surely do not have his athletic prowess." But "I hope I am like him in dedication to the job and readiness to work hard at it." I hold that hope high to this very day.

I have a special fondness for and appreciation of Justice White for another reason. In my days as an advocate of equal rights for men and women, I argued six cases in the Supreme Court and prevailed in five. If it had been up to Justice White I would have prevailed in all six. …

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