Wednesday December 16, 2009
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives approved – by a vote of 423 to 1 - H. Res. 905, legislation introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) honoring the life of one of Louisville’s most distinguished natives - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis - on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his retirement from the Court.
For more on the legislation and Brandeis, click here.
The text of Congressman Yarmuth’s speech today in support of the resolution is below, and a video of the speech can be seen here:
Mister Speaker, in Louisville, we are proud of many of the great things our most legendary residents have achieved. From Muhammad Ali’s success in and out of the boxing ring to Diane Sawyer’s groundbreaking work in journalism to Harlan Sanders’ achievements as an entrepreneur, there’s evidence of their legacies throughout our community. It’s in the stories we tell, it’s found in the history embedded in our neighborhoods, and it’s seen on the banners hung in their honor throughout town.
We are proud that our city has been home to people who have changed the world in the realms of athletics, literature, art, music, business and – in the case of the man we are celebrating today – law.
Louis D. Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1856, the son of immigrants - and it was to Louisville that he would return throughout his life.
It was from the cradle of the burgeoning immigrant communities of 19th Century Louisville that Brandeis began his distinguished career. He excelled first at Louisville’s Male High School and then Harvard Law, before beginning a successful career as a lawyer and academic that led, in 1916, to the bench of the United States Supreme Court when he was nominated by Woodrow Wilson as the first Jewish Justice.
The achievements of Justice Brandeis, however, go far beyond breaking that ground. His legacy as a jurist and litigator has had a longstanding impact not just in the courtrooms and law books, but in the lives of every American citizen. His accomplishments were far ranging, but their influence resonates today and will do so far into the future.
To those of us who treasure the First Amendment and its protection of free speech, we can thank the work of Louis Brandeis. To those who value the extension of equal rights to all Americans, we can thank Louis Brandeis.
The right to privacy, groundbreaking work in the field of labor relations, successful challenges to once powerful corporate monopolies – the list is long and establishes Justice Brandeis’ career as one well deserving of our recognition in this House – a recognition he has not yet received in the 70 years since he retired from the Supreme Court.
The work of Louis Brandeis deserves not just our honor, but our attention. Though the battles we fight today may have changed from those of Brandeis’ era, his work is rich in relevance for all of us involved in lawmaking.
When few others would, Brandeis took on the powerful monopolies that caused economic havoc during the first half of the 20th century. He was continuously skeptical of large banks and their relationship to corporations whose failure could threaten the entire economy, and he helped develop the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which clamped down on the banking industry‘s most egregious practices. In his book Other People‘s Money: And How the Bankers Use It and a series of columns, Brandeis warned his contemporaries of the dangers posed by massive financial corporations accumulating resources and using them irresponsibly – lessons that forewarned the economic crisis we faced in this country just last year.
As a litigator, educator, philanthropist, and jurist, Louis Brandeis did nothing short of ensuring that the rights we now regard as commonplace would persevere.
His contributions are those for which all the country should be grateful and his legacy is something for which all of us from Louisville can be proud. In fact, his legacy in Louisville lives on at the University of Louisville, where the law school now bears the name of Justice Louis Brandeis.
I join Justice Brandeis’ grandsons Frank Gilbert and Walter Raushenbush, his granddaughter Alice Popkin, and the rest of his family in urging my colleagues to support H. Res. 905, recognizing the 70th anniversary of the retirement of this legendary American, educator, litigator, and jurist.
Source: Congressman John Yarmuth's website. Reprinted with permission.
This news item will also appear on the Courier-Journal's Forum page on Friday, December 18.
Here are some highlights from the November 2009 issue of the Louisville Bar Association's monthly Bar Briefs publication.
- Hunting Ghost Laws: Updating Kentucky Statutes and Finding New Laws by Professor Kurt Metzmeier (page 10)
- My Mediating Experience: A Student's Perspective Working with Just Solutions by Lily K. Chan, 3L (page 23)
- Lawlapalooza Tour 2009 Rocked! (page 6)
- Brandeis Featured on Commemorative Stamp (page 7)
- Kimberly Ballard, Director of Academic Success, appears in Members on the Move (page 27)
- Linda Ewald's article, "A Lawyer's Duty to Report under New Rule 8.3 of the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct", was published in the November issue of Bench & Bar (page 5).
- "Of time and the circle", by Jim Chen (page 47).
Copies of each are available in the library's reserves.
WHAS11 News recently featured a story that revealed the Louisville Metro Police Department's use of GPS tracking devices to survail suspects. Professor Luke Milligan was interviewed to provide expertise on the legal issues, with particular regards to investigations that were conducted without court orders. Milligan said, "The court has a blind spot particularly when it comes to keeping up with emerging technologies. Today we find ourselves in the midst of one of these blind spots... But it clearly violates the spirit of the 4th Amendment. And I think there is no question that the court will eventually come around." The report is available at WHAS11's website.
Michael Sandel, renowned Harvard professor and author of Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?, will speak at the Chao Auditorium at 10 AM on December 1. Professor Sandel is also the featured guest of the Kentucky Author Forum later that evening at The Kentucky Center.
At the Kentucky Center, Professor Sandel will be interviewed by John S. Carroll, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Justice, or Moral Reasoning 22, a course in moral and political philosophy taught by Harvard Professor of Government, Michael Sandel, draws more than 1,200 students each year. Sandel speaks to a rapt audience, relating the big questions of political philosophy to the most current and vexing issues of the day. Visit www.justiceharvard.org for a taste of his exhilarating class.
His new book, Justice, offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates his students- the challenge of thinking our way through the hard moral challenges we confront as citizens, inviting readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways.
Click here for more details about the Kentucky Author Forum event.
The law library will open from 8AM-11PM Monday, 11/23 and Tuesday, 11/24. It will be closed on Wednesday, 11/25 and Thursday, 11/26 for the Thanksgiving holiday. It will be open 9AM-5PM on Friday, 11/27, 9AM-6PM Saturday, 11/28 and 1PM-11PM Sunday, 11/29.
Eligibility: The Contest is open to everyone except employees of the American Bar Association and their immediate family members.
Prizes: First Place - $1000 prize, Second Place - $500 prize
Submissions are due (via YouTube) by January 15, 2010.
Submissions will be judged by a committee of ABA Section of Dispute Resolution members and ABA staff. The ABA shall have sole authority and discretion to select winning videos.
The judges will evaluate entries using the following criteria:
- Effectiveness in achieving purpose and goal of the video
- Overall quality of presentation
- Overall appeal to diverse audience
- Overall production quality (including lighting, focus, sound, graphics)
- Originality, Creativity and Adherence to Contest Rules.
Alex Davis and Nancy Vinsel recently took the initiative to do something beneficial for the student body that also demonstrated the skills they've learned here in their first semester of law school. With the help of their classmates in Professor Leibson’s Section 1 Torts class, they embarked upon a clever campaign that raised $1040 for student scholarships.
In exchange for about $10 each and 24 12-ounce cans of Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda, the students acquired David Leibson's golf hat signed by PGA Champion, Byron Nelson, and a presentation of stories from their professor's career.
Alex Davis said that, "This started out as a really small idea, and it was amazing to watch it grow as other students and faculty came up with ideas to make the offer better. We're hoping to challenge future classes to buy the hat from us and raise even more money."
It's not too late to contribute.
Read more about it in Alex's blog, 1L at Uof L.
Photo credit: Michael Ben-Avraham
On October 24th and 25th a group of ten students from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law attended the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair in Washington, DC. Ten students, seven third-years and three second-years ventured to the nation’s capital in order to explore Public Interest opportunities. This was the first time that any of our students attended.
Assistant Dean for Career Services/Public Service, Kathy Urbach, got the ball rolling in September and encouraged students who were interested in attending the conference to meet with her to have their resume reviewed. There was also an application process to be completed.
Funding for travel and lodging came from two sources. Some of the money used was from the Career Services budget in lieu of other travel expenses. Victor Revill, Student Bar Association President, obtained funds from University of Louisville’s Student Government Association. One student even used frequent flyer points to get to the conference.
A meeting was held prior to the conference to provide information about what students could expect, how they should approach the employers at Table Talk, networking, workshops and other related topics. Also, students outlined plans of action which gave fellow students ideas of how to assist one another.
Some of the students had specific goals. Jessica Kingley, a third-year student, knew that she wanted to meet with the New York District County Attorney’s Office as well as Public Service people from New York City and turn it into a job. Guion Johnstone, a second-year student, attended with four actual interviews scheduled. Rexena Napier and Melissa McHendrix, both third-year students and both interested in animal law, knew that there wouldn’t be any employers dedicated to solely animal law, but viewed the conference as a way to learn about other related opportunities. Victor Revill, a third-year student and president of the SBA, knew ahead of time that his approximately “five minute introduction speech” needed to be well-rehearsed and fine tuned for each prospective employer.
All of the students were committed to public service work prior to attending the conference. Jamie Izlar, a second-year student, worked in a public interest position before attending law school. Her work involved working with indigent, undocumented immigrants. Colleen Hagan, a third-year student said that the rewarding part of going to such a big conference with so many attendees is that the students all are like-minded and want to be part of a greater good. Students felt encouraged to see so many employers who focus on public service.
Besides the career fair and Table Talk sessions, students attended workshops, sessions, discussions and had the privilege of hearing Ralph Nader speak. Samantha Thomas, a second-year student, attended a government workshop which supplied her with tips (call specific government agencies, keep applying and find a niche). Jamie Izlar attended a resume building session which she found extremely helpful and also attended several discussions where she learned which employers will pay for law school student loans. Rexena Napier attended a workshop that gave her a lot of ideas including applying for grants.
All of the students who attended felt it was worthwhile to attend and felt a deeper sense of commitment to public service. Duffy Trager came away with connections and a lot of business cards that he intends to follow up with. Samantha Thomas plans to capitalize on what she observed at the conference and use it to shape what she does in law school. Melissa McHendrix said that the most worthwhile aspect of the conference for her was meeting other students and discussing what organizations are non-profit and in the public sector.
The three second-year students are looking forward to returning to the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair next year. This is a great experience for our students and an opportunity for them to represent the law school. The University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law would like for all students interested in attending the conference in 2010 to have the opportunity to do so.
~Debra Reh, Program Assistant for the Office of Career Services
- A companion article by Beth Haendiges will appear in the December 2009 edition of the LBA's Bar Briefs.
- Photo Gallery
- Public Interest Law Blog
The success of the day was due to many at the law school. Appreciation goes to:
Les Abramson, Jim Becker, Peggy Bratcher, Scott Campbell, Dean Chen, Joe Leitsch, Kurt Metzmeier, Marilyn Peters, Virginia Smith, Vickie Tencer, Becky Wenning, Becky Wimberg and students Jenna diFrancisco, Lauren Bean, and Jessica Campbell and also to the students in the Animal Law Organization for selling doughnuts and coffee.
~Professor Laura Rothstein
Scott Campbell is the curator of the Louis D. Brandeis Special Collection, which has been visited by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and biographer Melvin Urofsky. The law library hopes to digitize the microfilm and printed materials some day to add to its digital collection.
The law library also contains several books about Justice Brandeis, including the recently published biography Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (KF8745.B67 U749 2009) and Biographical Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court: The Lives and Legal Philosophies of the Justices (KF 8744 .B56 2006), both by Melvin I. Urofsky. Copies of Brandeis at 150: the Louisville Perspective (KF8745 .B67 B671 2006) are available for purchase in the Resource Center across from room 275. These are just a few of the many items that can be found by searching our online catalog, Minerva.