Blackmun, Harry Andrew

Blackmun, Harry Andrew blăk´mən [key], 1908–99, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1970–94), b. Nashville, Ill. Educated at Harvard, he practiced law privately, was general counsel to the Mayo Clinic (1950–59), then became a federal circuit court judge. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon . Blackmun was initially allied with the conservatives on the court, including his boyhood friend Warren Burger , but is best known for his 1973 majority opinion in Roe v. Wade , legalizing abortion. By the 1980s he tended toward a liberal view in most areas, particularly civil-rights cases.

See L. Greenhouse, Becoming Justice Blackmun (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.