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 
Clerksort icon Law School Terms Clerked
George C. Freeman, III Yale (1989) 1990
Gregory K. Palm Harvard (1974) 1975
Hamilton P. Fox III Yale (1970)
J. Bruce Boisture Yale (1977) 1978
J. Peter Byrne Virginia (1979) 1980
Jack B. Owens Stanford (1970) 1973
James D. Alt Chicago (1976) 1977
James J. Benjamin Virginia (1990) 1994
James O. Browning Virginia (1981) 1982
Jeffrey S. Sutton Ohio State (1990) 1991
Joel I. Klein Harvard (1971) 1974
John C. Jeffries, Jr. Virginia (1973) 1973
John J. Buckley, Jr. Chicago (1972) 1973
John S. Wiley Berkeley (1980) 1981
Jonathan B. Sallet Virginia (1978) 1979

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Cite this Page
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=title&sort=asc&page=1>.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=title&sort=asc&page=1 (last visited April 10, 2014).
"Lewis F. Powell, Jr.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/lewis_f_powell_jr?order=title&sort=asc&page=1.