David Josiah Brewer


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    Join date : 2010-11-09

    David Josiah Brewer

    Post by msistarted0 on Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:54 pm

    David Josiah Brewer (June 20, 1837 – March 28, 1910) was an American jurist and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for 20 years.

    * 1 Biography
    o 1.1 Early life
    o 1.2 Career
    * 2 Bibliography
    * 3 References

    [edit] Biography
    [edit] Early life

    Brewer was born to Emilia Field Brewer and Rev. Josiah Brewer, who at the time of his birth were running a school for Greeks in Izmir, Turkey; Mrs. Brewer's brother Stephen, a future Supreme Court colleague of Brewer's, was living with the couple at the time.[1] His parents returned to the United States in 1838 and settled in Connecticut. Brewer attended college at Wesleyan University (1851–1854) and Yale University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the latter in 1856.[3] While at Yale, Brewer was a classmate of Henry Billings Brown and was "greatly influenced by the political scientist-protestant minister Theodore Dwight Woolsey."[1] After graduation, Brewer read law for one year in the office of his uncle David Dudley Field,[1] then enrolled at Albany Law School in Albany, New York, graduating in 1858.
    [edit] Career

    Upon graduating from law school, Brewer moved to Kansas City, Missouri and after attempting to start a law practice, left for Colorado in search of gold, returning empty-handed in 1859 to nearby Leavenworth, Kansas.[1] He was named Commissioner of the Federal Circuit Court in Leavenworth in 1861. He left that court to become a judge to the Probate and Criminal Courts in Leavenworth in 1862, and then changed courts again to become a judge to the First Judicial District of Kansas in 1865. He left that position in 1869 and became city attorney of Leavenworth. He was then elected to the Kansas Supreme Court in 1870, where he served for 14 years.[1]

    On March 25, 1884, Brewer was nominated by President Chester A. Arthur to the United States circuit court for the Eighth Circuit, to a seat vacated by George Washington McCrary. This court later became the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Brewer was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 31, and received commission the same day.

    After 28 years on the bench, Brewer was nominated by Benjamin Harrison to the United States Supreme Court on December 4, 1889, to a seat vacated by Stanley Matthews.[1] Brewer was confirmed by the Senate on December 18, and received commission the same day, joining a court that included S. J. Field, his uncle. He served on the court for 20 years, until his death in 1910.

    Brewer was an active member of the Supreme Court, writing often in both concurring and dissenting opinions. He was a major contributor to the doctrine of substantive due process, arguing that certain activities are entirely outside government control.[citation needed] In his time he frequently sided with Court majorities striking down property rights restrictions. Brewer was the author of the unanimous opinion of the Court in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (143 U.S. 457, 36 L.Ed. 226, 12 S. Ct. 511 February 29, 1892) where it was declared, "...These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."

    Brewer temporarily took a leave from his Supreme Court duties to serve as president of the U.S. Commission on the Boundary Between Venezuela and British Guiana,[1] established by Congress to arbitrate in the Venezuela Crisis of 1895.

    Brewer was the author of the unanimous opinion of the Court in Muller v. Oregon (1908), in support of a law restricting working hours for women. He was also the author of In re Debs, upholding federal injunctions to suppress labor strikes. Along with Justice Harlan, Brewer dissented in Giles v. Harris (1903), a case challenging grandfather clauses as applied to voting rolls. Due to the unexpected death of his daughter, Brewer left for his Leavenworth home on the day that Plessy v. Ferguson was argued before the Court, and did not participate in that decision.[4]

    In 1904, he served as president of the Universal Congress of Lawyers and Jurists held in conjunction with that year's Louisiana Purchase Exposition.[1] In 1906, Brewer was one of the 30 founding members of the Simplified Spelling Board, founded by Andrew Carnegie to make English easier to learn and understand through changes in the English language.[5]

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