I’m Lewis F. Powell and I was a justice for the Supreme Court for 15 years (1972-1987) and during that time I became known as the swing vote moderate that always put the case before my own ideas. My role as the unifier in an ideological divided court will probably go down in history as one of my greatest accomplishments along with the Powell Memorandum which has become an important document for the U.S chamber of commerce who was forced to update their policies when dealing with and lobbying the federal government. I started my career as a lawyer for a private firm them joined the Army Air Corps intelligence unit during World War II, and after World War II I returned to my home in Richmond, Virginia and continued to practice law and in 1964 I was elected to the National Bar Association where both my reputation as the moderate started. With this new national stage and new reputation I was approached by the Nixon administration (who I later voted against in United States v Nixon) in 1969 to join the U.S Supreme Court but I refused and two years later when the Nixon administration asked again I accepted.
During my time in the U.S Supreme Court I decided over many important cases such as Roe v Wade, United Sates v Nixon, Buckley v. Valeo, and Regents of the U. of California v. Bakke. Early in my career as a Supreme Court justice it was made evident that my views were difficult to pinpoint often making me the swing vote for these very important cases such as Regents of the U. of California v. Bakke where I was the deciding vote in this 5-4 decision that ruled affirmative action is constitutional racial quotas are not. Although I hold moderate/conservative views I tended to vote in a more moderate/ liberal fashion due to the cases and time period I was a justice in, because ultimately my job was to vote for the good of the people, the nation, and the law .So when it comes to the first amendment I feel the amendment is needed and important for the function of the democracy but has the potential to undermine the authority of the government by offering too many rights to the people, but in the end I will vote to up hold and protect the people’s rights under this piece of legislation. Since in the end my job as a Supreme Court justice for the United States was to uphold the law and not use my platform as a justice to manipulate the law to mirror my personal opinions.
Blasecki, Janet L. “Justice Lewis F. Powell: Swing Voter Or Staunch Conservative?.” Journal Of Politics 52.2 (1990): 530. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Sept. 2014.
Biskupic, Joan, and Fred Barbash. “Retired Justice Lewis Powell Dies at 90.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 26 Aug. 1998. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.