William Brennan was a surprise in so many ways. Appointed to the Supreme Court by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, he was to become perhaps the most potent liberal justice to have ever sat on the nation's high court. He achieved this by simply outmaneuvering many of those who vehemently opposed his political persuasion. Even as the court"s makeup grew more and more conservative, and he would find himself on the losing end of most arguments, he managed to use his seemingly unparalleled political savvy to piece together majorities no other justice could have created. The tradition of our highest court is that, if the chief justice is in the dissent, the most senior member of the majority is authorized to write, or assign, the court's opinion. So fearful was Chief Justice Warren Burger of Justice Brennan's ability to persuade with his words, that the rock-ribbed conservative chief would switch his vote to support positions he despised solely so that he could block Brennan from delivering the court's judgments. Brennan was surprising in other ways as well.
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