Louis Dembitz Brandeis
Associate Justice Supreme Court
1916 to 1939

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are claimed to be beneficent."

"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes the law breaker, it breeds contempt for laws; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."

"To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal would bring terrible retribution."

"At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen."

"The right most valued by all civilized men is the right to be left alone."

Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

1848 Adolf Brandeis flees Prague after the failed Revolution of 1848.

1856 Born in the river port of Louisville, Kentucky to Adolph Brandeis and Frederika Dembitz Ashkenazi in the wholesale grain business. Brandeis & Crawford were important purveyors of grain and food for the Union Army.

1872 Anticipating an economic downturn, Adolph Brandeis relocates the family to Europe.

1875 Brandeis enters Harvard Law School at the age of eighteen.

1877 Graduates Harvard Law School with the highest marks of any student to have attended.

1890 Begins developing the "right to privacy" concept by writing a Harvard Law Review.

1891 Louis marries Alice, the daughter of Joseph Goldmark, who fled Europee under charges of murder and treason as a leader of the failed Revolution of 1848.

1897 to 1916 Multiple Progressive movement reform crusades.

1905 Georgia Supreme Court recognized a right to privacy in a case involving photographs.

1909 California, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Utah have passed statutes establishing the right to privacy.

1910 In an interview with the Jewish Advocate Brandeis openly acknowledges his sympathy with Zionism.

August 30, 1914 Conference of American Zionists takes place in New York.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis is unanimously elected leader of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs.

"Brandeis 's approach to Zionism succeeded in encouraging far greater support in America for a 'homeland' in Palestine." - Gerry Docherty

He argued in the New Statesman and Nation that Palestine should become a British protectorate.

28 January, 1916 Seated on the Supreme Court

Brandeis fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture and yet he was an active Zionist movement, seeing it as a solution to antiSemitism in Europe and Russia, while at the same time being a way to "revive the Jewish spirit."

Brandeis urged that the states should be "laboratories" for innovative government action. The opinions on competition that Louis D. Brandeis articulated, that the state must regulate competition because competition inevitably leads to monopoly, would today be rejected by mainstream policy makers, as it would be considered socialism when the opposite is true.

He remained in daily communication by telephone, telegraph and conference with all the other leaders of the Zionist movement.

Brandeis lacked the vision into what Zionism would become.

1922 Zucht v. King United States Supreme Court finds that the school district of San Antonio, Texas, could constitutionally exclude unvaccinated students from attending the schools in the district.

Case opinion by Louis Brandeis.

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