Debs his most important opinion. But compared to Debs, it was a poor one, lacking in vigorous sweep, persuasive eloquence, or clarity of analysis. Yet the Debs case was severely criticized, at the time and by historians, while the Muller opinion was much acclaimed, then and since. Contrary to Brewer's obvious intentions, the Muller decision, particularly its acknowledgment of the Brandeis technique, was to serve as the precedent for a long train of decisions sustaining social legislation on the basis of sociological data. Within two years of Muller v. Oregon, the three archconservatives, Brewer, Fuller, and Peckham, were off the Court, and the progressive spirit was to find a friendlier reception until the end of World War I. David Josiah Brewer had died suddenly on March 28, 1910, at the age of seventy-three, a contributor to the new liberalism in spite of himself.
The only full-length study on Brewer is a doctoral dissertation available on microfilm by Lynford A. Lardner, The Constitutional Doctrines of Justice David Josiah Brewer ( Princeton, N.J., 1938). An attempt at a "revisionist" interpretation is Ralph E. Gamer, "Justice Brewer and Substantive Due Process: A Conservative Court Revisited," 18 Vanderbilt Law Review 61 ( 1965). The most important material of Brewer's, aside from his court opinions, are his dozens of speeches, essays, and articles on current topics. Representative are: " Protection to Private Property from Public Attack," 55 New Englander 97 ( August, 1891); " The Nation's Safeguard," Proceedings of the New York State Bar Association 37 ( 1893); " The Jury," 1 Canadian Law Review 302 ( 1902); American Citizenship Lectures ( New York, 1902); and The Mission of the United States in the Cause of Peace ( Boston, 1911).