House Approves Yarmuth's Resolution Honoring Career of Louisville Native and Supreme Court Justice Louis BrandeisWednesday December 16, 2009
For more on the legislation and Brandeis, click here.
The text of Congressman Yarmuth’s speech today in support of the resolution is below, and a video of the speech can be seen here:
Mister Speaker, in
We are proud that our city has been home to people who have changed the world in the realms of athletics, literature, art, music, business and – in the case of the man we are celebrating today – law.
Louis D. Brandeis was born in
It was from the cradle of the burgeoning immigrant communities of 19th Century
The achievements of Justice Brandeis, however, go far beyond breaking that ground. His legacy as a jurist and litigator has had a longstanding impact not just in the courtrooms and law books, but in the lives of every American citizen. His accomplishments were far ranging, but their influence resonates today and will do so far into the future.
To those of us who treasure the First Amendment and its protection of free speech, we can thank the work of Louis Brandeis. To those who value the extension of equal rights to all Americans, we can thank Louis Brandeis.
The right to privacy, groundbreaking work in the field of labor relations, successful challenges to once powerful corporate monopolies – the list is long and establishes Justice Brandeis’ career as one well deserving of our recognition in this House – a recognition he has not yet received in the 70 years since he retired from the Supreme Court.
The work of Louis Brandeis deserves not just our honor, but our attention. Though the battles we fight today may have changed from those of Brandeis’ era, his work is rich in relevance for all of us involved in lawmaking.
When few others would, Brandeis took on the powerful monopolies that caused economic havoc during the first half of the 20th century. He was continuously skeptical of large banks and their relationship to corporations whose failure could threaten the entire economy, and he helped develop the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which clamped down on the banking industry‘s most egregious practices. In his book Other People‘s Money: And How the Bankers Use It and a series of columns, Brandeis warned his contemporaries of the dangers posed by massive financial corporations accumulating resources and using them irresponsibly – lessons that forewarned the economic crisis we faced in this country just last year.
As a litigator, educator, philanthropist, and jurist, Louis Brandeis did nothing short of ensuring that the rights we now regard as commonplace would persevere.
His contributions are those for which all the country should be grateful and his legacy is something for which all of us from
I join Justice Brandeis’ grandsons Frank Gilbert and Walter Raushenbush, his granddaughter Alice Popkin, and the rest of his family in urging my colleagues to support H. Res. 905, recognizing the 70th anniversary of the retirement of this legendary American, educator, litigator, and jurist.