William Joseph Brennan, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990. As the seventh longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, he was known for being a leader of the Court's liberal wing.
He was known for his outspoken progressive views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights. He authored several landmark case opinions, including Baker v. Carr, establishing the "one person, one vote" principle, and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which required "actual malice" in a libel suit against those deemed "public figures". Due to his ability to shape a wide variety of opinions and "bargain" for votes in many cases, he was considered to be among the Court's most influential members. Justice Antonin Scalia has called Brennan "probably the most influential Justice of the [20th] century."
On November 30, 1993, Justice Brennan was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.
The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to "create" rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.
It is difficult to understand precisely what the state hopes to achieve by promoting the creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare and crime.