HARLAN, JOHN MARSHALL (born June 1, 1833, Boyle County, Kentucky- died October 14, 1911, Washington, D.C.). Associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court* ( 1877-1911) who was the lone dissenter objecting to relegating blacks to legal inferiority in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson* case. Harlan grew up in a slaveholding family and was a slaveholder for a short time. He also joined the Know-Nothings and was an advocate for racist and states' rights in numerous speeches. But with secession, Harlan joined the Union army.
Harlan served on the U.S. Supreme Court from his appointment by President Rutherford B. Hayes on November 29, 1877, until his death in 1911. Justice Harlan is known for his dissents favoring the rights of blacks. As the lone dissenter in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, he argued that "our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." Harlan asserted that "every one knows" why such laws that, on the surface, allow members of each group to keep to themselves were really a way to segregate blacks. Harlan's dissents foreshadowed mid- twentieth-century opinions by the Court. Harlan's grandson, also John Marshall Harlan, was on the U.S. Supreme Court six decades later when it decided the Brown* case.
Works about: Britannica Online ( 1996); Hall, Oxford Companion ( 1992); Leon Friedman and Fred L. Israel, eds., The Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 1789- 1969: Their Lives and Major Opinions, vol. 2 ( New York: Chelsea House, 1969), 1281- 95.
HAWLEY, WILLIS D. (born December 16, 1938, San Francisco). Educationschool dean and policy analyst whose research and writing have focused on