Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Thursday, September 19, 1907
Died 
Tuesday, August 25, 1998
Childhood Location 
Virginia
Childhood Surroundings 
Virginia
Religion 
Presbyterian
Ethnicity 
English/Welsh
Father 
Lewis F. Powell
Father's Occupation 
Businessman
Mother 
Mary Gwathmey
Family Status 
Upper
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
2
Nominated By 
Nixon
Commissioned on 
Thursday, December 9, 1971
Sworn In 
Friday, January 7, 1972
Left Office 
Friday, June 26, 1987
Reason For Leaving 
Retired
Length of Service 
15 years, 5 months, 19 days
Home 
Virginia
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: George Augusta)
Biography 

A Virginian by birth, Lewis Powell spent most of his life in the Tidewater State. He rose to the top of his profession when he was elected president of the American Bar Association in 1964.

Powell was a moderate before he joined the Court. He served on local and state boards of education at a time when there were strong demands to resist racial desegregation. With a Supreme Court in balance ideologically, Powell was cast in the middle of several important issues during his tenure. His vote decided the Court's first confrontation with abortion and affirmative action.

Clerkships 
Clerk Law Schoolsort icon Terms Clerked
George C. Freeman, III Yale (1989) 1990
Robert Allen Long Yale (1985) 1986
C. Cabell Chinnis Yale (1984) 1985
Daniel R. Ortiz Yale (1983) 1984
Michael F. Sturley Yale (1981) 1982
Richard H. Fallon Yale (1980) 1981
Paul M. Smith Yale (1979) 1980
David O. Stewart Yale (1978) 1979
J. Bruce Boisture Yale (1977) 1978
David A. Martin Yale (1975) 1976
William C. Kelly, Jr. Yale (1971) 1972
Hamilton P. Fox III Yale (1970)
Rebecca A. Womeldorf Washington & Lee (1991) 1992
Robert M. Couch Washington & Lee (1982) 1983
James J. Benjamin Virginia (1990) 1994

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Cite this Page
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 14 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=field_education_value&sort=desc>.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=field_education_value&sort=desc (last visited September 14, 2014).
"Lewis F. Powell, Jr.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 14, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=field_education_value&sort=desc.