What was [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice [Arthur] Goldberg like?
He was a wonderful person. Very warm. He treated his law clerks like family. Working for him was an eye-opening experience. His first question in approaching a case always was, “What is the just result?” Then he would work backward from the answer to that question to see how it would comport with relevant theory or precedent. It took me a while to get used to that approach. The way I had learned the law at Harvard was that you looked up the answer in a book. The law was composed of “neutral principles” that you could apply to get the proper result, and you never really asked whether it was just or not. Justice Goldberg opened my consciousness to the fact that the overarching purpose is about justice.
Update: At Bench Memos, Ed Whelan on Candor About Liberal Judicial Activism and Gerard V. Bradley with More on Arthur Goldberg
Mr. Whelan was the featured speaker at our chapter's March 8, 2007 luncheon. Mr. Bradley was the featured speaker at our chapter's February 4, 1998 luncheon.