The Evolution of Harry A. Blackmun Research Paper

The Evolution of Harry A. Blackmun
Examination and analysis of the career highlights of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.
# 128440 | 3,069 words | 8 sources | APA | 2008 | EC

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This paper chronicles and analyzes the career of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, stating that during Blackmun's 24-year career, his evolution from staunch conservative to bedrock liberal forever changed the US Supreme Court and the country. The paper explains that, while capital punishment was the clearest path in viewing the development of Justice Blackmun as a Supreme Court Associate Justice, there is no doubt his landmark opinion in Roe vs. Wade concerning abortion rights is the case that will always be linked to him. The paper goes on to discuss other landmark legislation, including Blackmun's majority decisions that overturned most state laws banning abortion, and essentially legalized abortion on demand as a basic right of a woman. The paper notes that Justice Blackmum was vilified and adored by many, but he always stayed true to what he believed was best for those that needed compassion. The paper concludes that Justice Blackmun's influence deeply changed the judicial landscape of the United States.

Roe vs. Wade
The Opinion
The Most Liberal Justice
The Justice of the "Little People"

From the Paper:

"Blackmun was targeted by untold death threats and became awash of a blizzard of letters for and against Roe. Blackmun, ever the stolid Midwesterner, diligently sat each week and read every letter sent to him, for and against. Perhaps it was part of his assimilation of these letters as well as the astonishingly emotional reaction to Roe that Blackmun solidified his position on abortion (Greenhouse, 2007). He became more firmly committed to legal abortion and expressed his position in more woman-centered terms as the years went by. He became convinced that abortion was an essential element to the effectual emancipation of women."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Doe v. Bolton, 410 US 179 (1973). Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  • Greenhouse, L. (2007). JUSTICES WHO CHANGE: A RESPONSE TO EPSTEIN ET AL.[dagger]. Northwestern University Law Review, 101(4), 1885-1889. Retrieved February 6, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1400974911).
  • Meehan, M., (2004, July). Justice Blackmun and the Little People. Human Life Review, 30(3), 86-128. Retrieved February 6, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 745753031).
  • O'Connor, K., & Sabato, L., (2008) American government, continuity and change, New York: Pearson Longman
  • Reske, H. J., (1994). A Justice defined by a ruling. ABA Journal, 80, 20. Retrieved February 6, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 8729558).

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The Evolution of Harry A. Blackmun (2010, July 22) Retrieved June 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Evolution of Harry A. Blackmun" 22 July 2010. Web. 05 June. 2023. <>