Photo: Justice Blackmun

Harry A. Blackmun (1908-1999)

Decisions by Justice Blackmun

Brief Biography

More Detailed Biographical Data

Birth, Residence, and Family
Born November 12, 1908 in Nashville, Ill., s. Corwin Manning and Theo Huegely Reuter Blackmun. Married Dorothy E. Clark of St. Paul, Minn., June 21, 1941. Three daughters, Nancy Clark, Sally Ann, and Susan Manning.
Elementary and high schools: Van Buren Grade School; Mechanic Arts High School, St. Paul, Minn. College: Harvard, A. B. degree summa cum laude in Mathematics, 1929; Phi Beta Kappa. Law School: Harvard, LL. B., 1932.
Law Clerkship
Clerk to the Honorable John B. Sanborn, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, August 1, 1932 to December 31, 1933.
Law Practice
Admitted to the Minnesota Bar, September 1932; joined the firm of Dorsey, Colman, Barker, Scott and Barber, Minneapolis, Minn., as an associate January 3, 1934; junior partner 1939; general partner January 1943 through September 30, 1950. Specialized in taxation, litigation, wills, trusts, and estate planning.
Law Teaching
Instructor in real property and taxation, St. Paul College of Law (now William Mitchell College of Law), St. Paul, Minn., 1935-1941. Instructor in wills and administration, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minn., 1945-1947.
Resident Counsel
Mayo Clinic and Mayo Association (now Mayo Foundation), Rochester, Minn., and member of the Section of Administration, Mayo Clinic, October 1, 1950 through November 3, 1959.
Judicial Offices
Nominated by the President to the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, succeeding John B. Sanborn, on August 18, 1959; confirmed by the United States Senate on September 14, 1959; and took oath of office on November 4, 1959.

Nominated by the President as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on April 14, 1970; confirmed by the United States Senate on May 12, 1970; and took oath of office on June 9, 1970.

Bar Association Memberships
American Bar Association; Minnesota State Bar Association; Third Judicial District (Minnesota) Bar Association; Olmsted County, Minnesota, Bar Association.
Other Assignments
Representative of Judicial Branch, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, appointed pursuant to 44 U. S. C. 2501, as amended (1975-1982, 1986- ).

Member, Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Judicial Activities (1969-1979).

Chairman of Faculty, Salzburg Seminar in American Studies (Law) July 1977; Member of Faculty, Salzburg Seminar in American Studies (Law) July 1989.

Participant, Franco-American Colloquium on Human Rights, Paris, December 1979.

Co-moderator, Seminar on Justice and Society, Aspen Institute, Aspen, Colorado, 1979-1992, inclusive.

Co-moderator, Seminar on Constitutional Justice and Society, Aspen Institute Italia, Rome, July 1986.

Visiting instructor on Constitutional Law, Louisiana State University Law School Summer Session at Aix-en-Provence, France, July 1986 and July 1992.

Visiting instructor on Constitutional Law, Tulane University Law School Summer Session at Berlin, July 1992.

Honorary Degrees
De Pauw University, LL. D., 1971; Hamline University, LL. D., 1971; Ohio Wesleyan University, LL. D., 1971; Morningside College, LL. D., 1972; Wilson College, LL. D., 1972; Dickinson School of Law, LL. D., 1973; Ohio Northern University, D. P. S., 1973; Drake University, LL. D., 1975; Oklahoma City University, D. H. L., 1976; Southern Illinois University, LL. D., 1976; Pepperdine University, LL. D., 1976; Emory University, LL. D., 1976; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, LL. D., 1979; University of Nebraska, LL. D., 1983; New York Law School, LL. D., 1983; Dickinson School of Law, D. Litt., 1983; McGeorge School of Law, LL. D., 1984; Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, D. H. L., 1984; Vermont Law School, LL. D., 1985; Dartmouth College, LL. D., 1985; Carleton College, LL. D., 1986; Luther College, LL. D., 1986; Drury College, LL. D., 1987; Tufts University, LL. D., 1987; IIT Chicago Kent College of Law, LL. D., 1987; Northern Illinois University, LL. D., 1988; Brooklyn Law School, LL. D., 1988; New York University, LL. D., 1989; Claremont Graduate School, LL. D., 1991; Columbia University, LL. D., 1992; Franklin & Marshall College, LL. D., 1992; University of the District of Columbia, LL. D., 1992. Shippensburg University, LL.D., 1992.
Other Awards
Brandeis Medal, presented by Brandeis Honor Society, University of Louisville School of Law, 1983; University Citation, presented by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey -- School of Law/Newark, 1985; The Hebrew University Honorary Fellowship, presented at Jerusalem, 1986; Justice Award, presented by Justice Lodge of B'nai B'rith, Philadelphia, 1986; Public Service Award, presented by the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, 1987; Presidents' Award, presented by American Society of Law & Medicine, 1987; UCLA Medal, presented by University of California at Los Angeles, 1989; Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and the Law Award, presented by the American Psychology- Law Society, 1990; Brandeis Medal for Distinguished Legal Service, presented by Brandeis University, 1990; Learned Hand Medal, presented by Federal Bar Council, New York, 1990; Award of Merit, presented by The Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Chicago, 1991; Award, Annual Survey of American Law, New York University School of Law, 1991; Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, 1991; American Liberties Medallion, presented by the American Jewish Committee, 1992; Isaac Ray Award, presented by the American Psychiatric Association, 1992.

July 1992

Source: U.S. Supreme Court