Lewis Franklin Powell

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Powell, Lewis Franklin, Jr.,

1907–98, American lawyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1971–87), b. Suffolk, Va. He studied law at Washington and Lee Univ. and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1931. He had a successful law practice in Richmond and held several local offices. Powell also held several prestigious positions, including president of the American Bar Association and chairman of the Virginia Board of Education. After repeatedly declining President NixonNixon, Richard Milhous,
1913–94, 37th President of the United States (1969–74), b. Yorba Linda, Calif. Political Career to 1968

A graduate of Whittier College and Duke law school, he practiced law in Whittier, Calif.
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's requests to join the Supreme Court, he finally accepted (1971) the post. Respected as a conservative in his jurisprudence, he was socially liberal, particularly in his ardent support of school integration. On the Supreme Court, he proved his moderate stance on various issues, voting with the majority in the landmark abortion ruling in Roe v. WadeRoe v. Wade,
case decided in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with Doe v. Bolton, this decision legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.
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. His best-known opinion was Regents of the University of California v. BakkeRegents of the University of California v. Bakke,
case decided in 1978 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court held in a closely divided decision that race could be one of the factors considered in choosing a diverse student body in university admissions decisions.
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 (1978), in which he upheld the principle of affirmative actionaffirmative action,
in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women.
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 while rejecting the use of quotas. He was often the swing vote on closely contested decisions.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr., was born on September 19, 1907, in Suffolk, Virginia.
(38) It is difficult to conceive of someone who could have had a more intimate knowledge of all facets of American education than the Honorable Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.