David J. Brewer
David Josiah Brewer was born in what is now Turkey; his father was a Congregational missionary. Brewer was educated in Connecticut; he graduated from Yale following two years of study at Wesleyan. Brewer spent virtually all his professional life in government service, moving from moderate liberalism as a state judge to strident conservatism as a federal judge. He was nominated to the High Court in 1889.
Brewer lived up to the reputation that preceded him to the Supreme Court; he was an active contributor to the doctrine of substantive due process. This is the notion that there are certain activities outside the scope of legitimate government. The effect of this doctrine would be to free activities from any government control. The doctrine was confined to the economic and regulatory sphere when Brewer served on the Court; but the same doctrine has come to play a vital role in protecting individual liberty from government overreaching.
Brewer may be best remembered for his dissenting opinions. However, he spoke for a unanimous Court in Muller v. Oregon (1908).