Harry Andrew Blackmun

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Blackmun, Harry Andrew

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (blăkˈmən), 1908–99, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1970–94), b. Nashville, Ill. Educated at Harvard, he practiced law privately, was general counsel to the Mayo Clinic (1950–59), then became a federal circuit court judge. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon. Blackmun was initially allied with the conservatives on the court, including his boyhood friend Warren Burger, but is best known for his 1973 majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion. By the 1980s he tended toward a liberal view in most areas, particularly civil-rights cases.


See L. Greenhouse, Becoming Justice Blackmun (2005).

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These days, the Court is not only a more conservative but a much more technocratic institution, and it sorely misses the human touch of Justice Harry Blackmun. David Cole
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