One hundred years after his appointment, Justice Louis D. Brandeis remains a distinctive and unusually influential figure in the history of the Supreme Court. Unlike many other great justices, Brandeis is not remembered for his majority opinions. Rather, what is distinctive about him is the extent to which so many of his dissents and concurring opinions continue to influence justices more than 75 years after he retired and a century after he joined the Court. Whereas justices cite majority opinions for their value as legal precedents, they invoke the dissents and concurrences of a retired justice due to the power of his or her ideas or the credibility of his or her reputation. Significantly, Brandeis's successors continue to turn to his classic dissents and concurrences more often than to the discretionary opinions of other justices. Their continuing reliance on Brandeis confirms the insight of Paul Freund, one of the Justice’s most distinguished law clerks that Brandeis remains "the most powerful moral teacher" to have served on the Court.
Joel K. Goldstein and Charles A. Miller,
Brandeis: The Legacy of a Justice,
100 Marq. L. Rev. 461
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol100/iss2/5