The Trouble With Harry
A new biography of Blackmun fails to do the Supreme Court justice.
Greenhouse observes that she felt like a "miner" following particular "seams" in the mounds of documents. Her report from the subterranean regions of Harry Blackmun's papers and mind is absorbing. But an enduring evaluation of Justice Blackmun and his role on the court, and the limits of his influence and legacy, awaits a more thorough review.
* Correction, May 26, 2005:This article originally stated that the two men were boyhood friends in Dayton Bluffs, Minn. In fact, it is Dayton's Bluff, which is a neighborhood of St. Paul, Minn. Click here to return to the corrected sentence.
Cliff Sloan, the author of The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court, is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom and a former publisher of Slate. He has argued five Supreme Court cases.
Photograph of Justice Blackmun by Arthur Grace/Zuma Press.