one hundred years.

  • images
  • March 16, 2016

Louis Brandeis

Brandeis, c. 1916

Merrick Garland

Garland, c. 2016

One hun­dred years ago (Jan. 28, 1916), President Wilson nom­i­nated Louis Brandeis to the US Supreme Court. What fol­lowed was one of the most con­tentious con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings in his­tory, due to Brandeis’ reli­gious her­itage and his unabashed lib­er­al­ism (espe­cially his record of fight­ing big Wall Street bankers).

One hun­dred years later, Merrick Garland is unlikely to face anti-Semitism on the Senate floor, and he’s a far less polar­iz­ing pick than Brandeis was. Nonetheless, his con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings — if they even hap­pen — are likely to be even more contentious.

Funny how much has changed. And how little.