John M. Harlan

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Saturday, May 20, 1899
Died 
Wednesday, December 29, 1971
Childhood Location 
Illinois
Childhood Surroundings 
Illinois
Religion 
Presbyterian
Ethnicity 
English
Father 
John M. Harlan
Father's Occupation 
Lawyer
Mother 
Elizabeth Flagg
Family Status 
Upper
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
10
Nominated By 
Eisenhower
Commissioned on 
Thursday, March 17, 1955
Sworn In 
Monday, March 28, 1955
Left Office 
Thursday, September 23, 1971
Reason For Leaving 
Retired
Length of Service 
16 years, 5 months, 26 days
Home 
New York
John M. Harlan
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Gardener Cox)
Biography 

John Marshall Harlan is the namesake and grandson of the first Justice John Marshall Harlan. He was born in Chicago, the son of a prominent attorney who twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor. Harlan was educated at Princeton and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford where he read law. He took an American law degree at New York Law School in 1925.

Harlan spent most of his early professional life in private practice with a distinguished Wall Street firm. There were occasional stints in government service, most notably as chief counsel for the New York State Crime Commission during the administration of Governor Thomas Dewey.

President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Harlan to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, but he served there only ten months. Eisenhower promoted him to the High Court.

Harlan was the intellectual leader of the conservatives on the Court, frequently dissenting from the liberal activist decisions of the Warren Court. He defended federalism against centralization of power and he never accepted the idea that the Fourteenth Amendment somehow incorporated or embraced the Bill of Rights.

Harlan was widely respected, even by his opponents, for his thoroughness, candor, and civility. Though he frequently disagreed publicly with Justice Hugo Black, they were close friends off the bench.

Clerkships 
Clerk Law Schoolsort icon Terms Clerked
Louis R. Cohen Harvard (1966) 1967
Robert H. Mnookin Harvard (1968) 1969
Allen R. Snyder Harvard (1971)
James R. Bieke Michigan (1970)
William T. Lake Stanford (1968) 1969
E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. Virginia (1953)
John B. Rhinelander Virginia (1961) 1961
Bruce A. Ackerman Yale (1967) 1968

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Cite this Page
John M. Harlan. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 24 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_m_harlan2?order=field_education_value&sort=asc&page=2>.
John M. Harlan, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_m_harlan2?order=field_education_value&sort=asc&page=2 (last visited October 24, 2014).
"John M. Harlan," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 24, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_m_harlan2?order=field_education_value&sort=asc&page=2.