William J. Brennan’s body was carried in a flag-draped coffin Monday back to the Supreme Court building where, over a 34-year tenure, he became one of America’s most influential judges of the 20th century.
“This was his life. This was his way of touching our lives,” the Rev. Milton Jordan told Brennan’s family and former colleagues gathered in the Supreme Court building’s stately Great Hall.
The Supreme Court’s leading liberal from 1956 to his 1990 retirement, Brennan died last week at age 91.
He left a huge legal legacy. His opinions shaped the landmark “one-person, one-vote” principle of political reapportionment, expanded free-speech rights and broadened the rights of all people to battle the government in court.
President Clinton was to deliver one of the eulogies at a funeral service for Brennan at St. Matthew’s Cathedral today.