[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 109 (Tuesday, July 29, 1997)]
[Pages H6011-H6017]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              BRENNAN, JR.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 7, 1997, the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Waters] is 
recognized for 60 minutes.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to begin a special 
tribute by the members of the Congressional Black Caucus for the late 
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., one of the most influential and 
visionary jurists in our Nation's history.
  Before I take time, I would like to yield the first of this hour to 
one of the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, who immediately 
upon the passing of Justice Brennan said it was important for the 
Congressional Black Caucus to take this floor and pay tribute to, give 
honor to the man who assisted this Nation in our civil rights efforts.
  With that, I would like to yield to the gentleman from Florida, [Mr. 
Alcee Hastings].
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I am deeply grateful to the 
chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, the gentlewoman from 
California, Ms. Maxine Waters, my good friend, for yielding to me to 
begin this special order this evening.
  Today, many of us in the Black Caucus and others of our colleagues 
here in the House and in the other body had the good fortune to be able 
to go the homegoing celebration of Justice Brennan. Because of the 
lateness of the hour, a significant number of our colleagues who wanted 
to be with us have seen fit to contribute their remarks in the Record, 
and they did, in fact, including the gentlewoman from Florida, Mrs. 
Meek, and the gentlewomen from Texas, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Ms. 
Jackson-Lee, as three that I know.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay special tribute to the life and 
career of former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, a man who, 
and I might add I learned today for the first time that that ``J'' 
stood for Joseph, a man who epitomized the word ``liberal.''
  As I stand today, I am kind of propelled by the question, what is a 
liberal? Often we hear that here in this body, the question put, what 
is a liberal? And we hear it in negative terms when one is identified 
in that manner.
  As I confront with my colleagues the myriad assaults on the liberal 
causes of equality and justice, and the homilist today, the Reverend 
John O'Hara, at Saint Matthews Church, at the funeral of Justice 
Brennan, cited the fact that not only did he stand for equality and 
justice, but he also brought to that civility. These ideas which most 
of us in the Black Caucus and many Members of this body have devoted 
entire careers pursuing, this question then is obviously of paramount 
  What is a liberal? There are a lot of definitions. Let me offer one. 
A liberal is someone who is guided by principles of fairness and 
equality and civility, even when such principles are unpopular. A 
liberal is someone who stands up for justice and fairness regardless of 
public opinion. A liberal fights for the rights of individuals, no 
matter their social, economic, racial or religious circumstance, and 
often because of them.
  A liberal believes that the U.S. Constitution was adopted to expand, 
not limit, individual freedoms. A liberal would give her or his life to 
eliminate all forms of second-class citizenship, understanding that 
until all are free, none are free. Justice Brennan was a liberal, Mr. 
  As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, a lawyer and a former 
judge, I am especially proud to honor this distinguished jurist. It is 
apropos that I rise today. Justice Brennan's belief in the ideal of one 
person, one vote, and his relentless support of the protection of 
voting rights for all Americans directly led to a fairer 
reapportionment of congressional districts.
  As I look around this body when it is in full bloom, which more 
accurately reflects the American people today than it did half a decade 
ago, I am reminded of the quote, and I learned today at the funeral 
that the Justice had asked the homilist, Reverend O'Hara, to make sure 
at his funeral that it be short; and, No. 2, that they play some Latin 
songs. I did not know of his fondness, and so I looked up a quote: ``Si 
monumentum requires circumspice.'' If you would see his monument, look 
around you.
  Justice Brennan's monument is all around us in this great country, 
and he, through his legacy, has contributed to the diversity of this 
great body. In the area of civil rights, Justice Brennan joined the 
late Justice Thurgood Marshall, his judicial soulmate, as the court's 
most outspoken advocates for affirmative action.
  We are about to undertake that debate here. And it would be healthy 
if all of our colleagues had had the good fortune to read some of the 
1,360 opinions that William Joseph Brennan authored as a member of the 
United States Supreme Court.
  For example, in United States Steel Workers of America versus Weber, 
Justice Brennan wrote that it would be ironic ``if a law triggered by a 
Nation's concern over centuries of racial injustice and intended to 
improve the lot of those who had been excluded from the American dream 
for so long, prohibited all voluntary race-conscious efforts to abolish 
racial segregation and hierarchy.''

  Justice Brennan understood that we still, in America and in the 
world, live as persons infected with various forms of racism and 
prejudice. Mr. Speaker, he understood that the only way to remedy the 
evils of the past would be to take affirmative action to eliminate its 
ugly and devastating impact on those today.
  As all of my colleagues in the Black Caucus who come today to pay 
tribute to this giant have fought for equality and fairness under the 
law, I fought for it along with my colleagues, from the courthouse to 
the statehouse and in the U.S. House. I was certainly, as all of our 
colleagues are in this Nation, saddened by the departure of Justice 
Brennan from the court.
  Today, however, I remain encouraged that his legacy of individual 
freedom will be evanescent. As someone who had an opportunity to 
practice under those decisions, I, for one, am grateful for his legacy.
  I must pause briefly, Mr. Speaker, to thank the chairwoman of the 
Congressional Black Caucus and the members of the Congressional Black 
Caucus for their efforts here this evening to honor Justice Brennan. I 
have already pointed to the appropriateness of this special order.
  The chairwoman immediately set in motion the request for the Black 
Caucus and all our colleagues to have this opportunity to recognize a 
giant who helped all Americans. Justice Brennan shared our ideals, our 
principles, and our hope for a colorblind society. He shared our vision 
for racial equality and social justice and, indeed, civility. He 
believed as we do in the supreme dignity of every individual.
  We will continue to build upon that vision as we in the Black Caucus 
and in Congress fight for the rights of every American, especially the 
poor, as Justice Brennan did; the disadvantaged, as Justice Brennan 
did; and the mistreated, as Justice Brennan did. As

[[Page H6012]]

long as people are treated unfairly, as long as people sit on death 
row, as long as there is one person who deserves another chance or just 
a better chance at the American dream, the spirit of William Joseph 
Brennan will be with us, and for that we, as a Nation, are in his 
eternal debt.
  Today, in a magnificent organ recital during the course of the 
procession to his place of committal, the Schola from Requiem in 
paradisum was ``May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs 
receive you, and lead you into the holy city of Jerusalem. May the 
choir of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who was once poor, may 
you enjoy eternal rest,'' Justice Brennan.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the first portion of my 
remarks to thank the gentleman from Florida who so eloquently expressed 
our fine appreciation for Justice Brennan. I think it could not have 
been done better, and I am delighted that the gentleman from Florida 
[Mr. Hastings] saw fit to immediately call me and focus us on the fact 
of the death of Justice Brennan, and to say that the Congressional 
Black Caucus must indeed take the leadership in paying tribute to this 
giant of a human being.

                              {time}  2030

  He said to me, this is important that we take this leadership; and I 
immediately understood why. Justice Brennan represented our struggle, 
he represented our hope for what America could be and what it should 
be. And so, I open this special tribute this evening and I share this 
time with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are here 
and some who have left their statements, and I do so with great pride.
  Justice Brennan was laid to rest this afternoon. However, he placed 
an indelible mark on many of this Nation's laws. The famous Brennan 
decisions serve as the underpinnings and guideposts for the advancement 
of civil rights in this Nation. During his 34 years on the United 
States Supreme Court, Justice Brennan was described as ``the chief 
strategist behind the court's civil rights revolution.''
  Justice Brennan was considered a liberal. We heard the gentleman from 
Florida [Mr. Hastings] pay tribute to liberalism. How proud I am, also, 
this evening to pay tribute to this liberal. Liberals have been 
demonized by those who set out to limit the power and the ability of 
the poor, to limit the power and the ability of people of color and 
people who are powerless, limit the ability of all of these to be 
active decisionmakers and participants in this democracy.
  This democracy has set forth in the Declaration of Independence, 
which states, and I will remind folks as I quote this, we hold these 
truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among 
these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  Justice Brennan was a student of the Constitution and a believer in 
the Declaration of Independence. He cherished first amendment rights, 
and he acted on his beliefs. He worked hard to construct the arguments 
and convince his fellow justices that this could and should be a Nation 
that protects the rights of all individuals and groups. He actively 
worked to make the Constitution a vibrant living document. He called 
the Constitution, and I quote him, ``a sparkling vision of the dignity 
of every individual.''
  Witness the great Brennan decisions. Baker versus Carr, 1962. This 
case allowed Federal courts to hear constitutional challenges to the 
way States drew their legislative districts. The case forced 
reapportionment of previously discriminatory districts and enforcement 
of one-person one-vote principle.
  NAACP versus Button, 1963. This case struck down a State law that 
prevented civil rights organizations from soliciting plaintiffs for 
desegregation cases stating that such restrictions violated the first 
amendment right of association. What a great decision.
  Do my colleagues understand that literally what the State has said 
was we do not care how much someone has been discriminated against, we 
do not care how representative this is of wrongs in our society; you 
cannot go out and solicit and find them and get them to be a plaintiff. 
Thank you, Justice Brennan.
  United Steelworkers of America versus. Weber, 1979. This case ruled 
that Federal anti-discrimination law does not prevent employers from 
adopting voluntary race-conscious affirmative action programs.
  Well, we are in a great debate in this Nation about affirmative 
action. In a matter of days, perhaps, and certainly if not in a matter 
of days, when we come back in September, we will be fighting in the 
Brennan way against an attempt to turn this decision on its head. We 
will be fighting against a bill that will attempt to do away with all 
affirmative action. And it has been branded a civil rights role acting 
in just the opposite way that Brennan intended affirmative action to 
  Furman versus. Georgia, 1972. This case invalidated State death 
penalty laws as cruel and unusual punishment. I know, it is not 
political to be against the death penalty. People do not want to run 
for office for re-election without trying to make the people believe 
that they are absolutely protecting them by supporting the right for a 
free people in a democracy to kill in the name of justice.
  Well, I suppose the death penalty is riding high now and it is very 
unpopular to be against the death penalty. I submit to my colleagues, a 
society that attempts to right wrongs by doing worse than the person 
they would point to that committed the wrong is a society headed in the 
wrong direction. A State, a Nation that kills in the name of justice 
will be held accountable for that in so many ways.
  Metro Broadcasting versus. Federal Communications Commission, 1990. 
This case upheld minority preferences for FCC broadcast licenses. Some 
people say, ``Well, what is important about that?'' I will tell you 
what is important about that. As we watch attempts now by the rich and 
the powerful to buy up everything, radio stations, television stations, 
what happens when you have the powerful owning the voices that you hear 
on radio and television able to talk to people day in and day out, 
expressing certain points of view, without any real opportunity to hear 
the minority point of view, to hear the other point of view?
  In a democracy, we should never allow monopolies, the rich and the 
powerful, to have control of our airwaves, to have control of what our 
children hear, to have control of what goes on in every household. It 
is one of the most dangerous things that could happen in a democracy.
  We live in a democracy where we ought to feel free enough and strong 
enough to let everybody say what they need to say. But if minorities do 
not have the right to own, do not have the ability to own, do not have 
the capital to own, you will shut down the voices oftentimes of 
opposition. And so this was a powerful decision.
  It is quite clear that Justice Brennan was a rare and talented human 
being whose clarity of thought and commitment to justice and equality 
guided his work and his vision for America.
  Justice Brennan will long be remembered. The legacy of Justice 
Brennan will not be lost or simply overturned or forgotten. His work 
was too profound, too impeccable, too undeniable. No matter the attack 
on liberalism, no matter the winds that blow toward the right, in the 
final analysis, the humanity demonstrated by his leadership can stand 
tall and strong against the most inhumane attacks, the most intolerant 
voices, the most misguided and ignorant in our society who would have 
the powerful just trample on the rights of the powerless and the 
majority simply ignore the pleas of the minority.
  Justice Brennan, you make me so proud to stand here tonight branded a 
liberal. It is because of you and the powerful in high places who 
served with principled dignity and who continue to serve with 
principled dignity that I am able to be here in the hallowed halls of 
Congress imploring my colleagues to serve as you served, care as you 
cared, and to do as you did, serve all the people all of the time, 
upholding the Constitution of the United States of America and fighting 
for justice and equality for all.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Owens].

  Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the chairman of the 
Congressional Black Caucus and others of

[[Page H6013]]

my colleagues that saw fit to hold this special order as a tribute to 
Justice Brennan. His funeral was held today, and I think that the 
tributes to him will go on for a long time to come.
  I think it is important to note that one of the people who spoke at 
his funeral today said that his passing represented an end of the era, 
that the era of liberal government and liberal court opinions was over. 
I do not agree. I think that one important thing about this tribute is 
to hold up and let the general public see in a highly visible manner 
what that era was all about through the opinions of Justice Brennan.
  Justice Brennan has not really been given due credit for a number of 
things that he has accomplished, and many people do not realize the 
scope of his opinions. They are very much in harmony with the basic 
beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, very much in harmony with the very 
dramatic gesture of Abraham Lincoln in setting the slaves free, very 
much in harmony with the belief that individuals have certain 
inalienable rights.
  He struck at the heart of an attempt to corrupt that process by 
refusing to go along with the States' attempt to cling to power for 
rural areas, unpopulated or slightly populated areas, and use the 
compromise that had been made at the time of the founding of our own 
  Our Constitution is based on a compromise. We had a Senate and House 
of Representatives, the House of Representatives based on population 
and the Senate was a compromise. That body established that any State, 
no matter how small the State was or what the population of it was, any 
State would have two Members. And State legislatures were using that 
kind of reasoning to justify various formulas for holding on to power 
without a one-man, one-vote situation.
  And of course, Justice Brennan, kind of late in the life of our 
Nation, I think it was 1966, that late in the history of the Nation, he 
applied the common sense of the Constitution that if we are really 
equal, then we cannot allow a situation to be perpetuated at the State 
level where the balance of power was maintained by a minority through 
this kind of playing with the notion that we could have two Houses and 
State legislature and one could not follow the rule of one man, one 
vote in terms of population.
  So he had the guts to deal with it in 1966. And somehow no one has 
bothered to challenge it since then. The power of the common sense of 
it, the harmony of it with the thinking of the Founders and the whole 
thrust of our Constitution was so great, that has not been challenged. 
The one-man, one-vote theory definitely is there and in place.
  There is another very fundamental decision that he made which very 
few people have talked about and very few people may even know that he 
had anything to do with it, but I think it is very much indicative and 
relevant of our present era, where we tend to put people down. All men 
are created equal. All Americans are equal. But, somehow, lately we 
have been looking at welfare recipients or poor people, or people who 
have not made it, as not being exactly equal. And there is a raging 
debate right now about WEP workers, people who are on welfare, people 
who must go to work in order to work off their welfare grants, them not 
being equal enough to be able to have representation. They cannot have 
an organization and that organization talk to the people in Government 
who put them to work. They cannot have an organization which says we 
need gloves if we are out in the park picking up all kinds of trash and 
we need some kind of gear on our heads if we are out there in the sun 
or we need some brightly colored jackets if we were working in areas 
where the trash is heavy, we need the same things other workers need.

                              {time}  2045

  Nobody can even have a conversation in the New York WEP program 
because they are not allowed to organize and they are not allowed to 
have spokespersons, because, after all, they are not protected by the 
labor laws. We just had a fight here on the floor, not on the floor but 
we had a fight here via negotiations, where an attempt has been made to 
take away the protection of the Fair Labor Standards Act and take away 
the minimum wage, or any of the things in our labor law which applies 
to workers is going to be denied to welfare workers who have to go to 
work. We have just beaten that back temporarily. I understand it is 
taken out of the budget bill and the tax package that we will be voting 
on in a few days.
  But it is very interesting that Brennan ruled, in a case which has 
not been that celebrated, he ruled that if you are going to take away 
the welfare benefits from somebody, you have got to give them a 
hearing. That is not known. In 1970, as late as 1970, an opinion for 
the court in Goldberg versus Kelly, a case little known by the general 
public. In that case he declared that it was a violation of the 14th 
Amendment guarantee of due process of law for a State to cut off a 
welfare recipient's benefits without a hearing. Something as simple as 
a hearing, an individual deserved.
  As a prescription for governmental behavior, the holding in Goldberg 
versus Kelly appeared modest enough, but the opinion proved to be a 
watershed of constitutional interpretation, a key building block to 
what came to be known as the due process revolution. A series of 
decisions that followed erected a constitutional shield for the 
ordinary citizen against the arbitrary or standard misuse of 
governmental power in many contexts.
  In 1987, in a New York speech which he entitled ``Reason, Passion and 
the Progress of the Law,'' Brennan talked about the importance of a 
simple requirement that government officials meet a citizen face-to-
face before taking adverse action. I end with this quote by Justice 
  ``Due process asks whether government has treated someone fairly, 
whether the individual's dignity has been honored, whether the worth of 
an individual has been acknowledged. If due process values are to be 
preserved in the bureaucratic state of the late 20th century, it may be 
essential that officials possess passion: The passion that puts them in 
touch with the dreams and disappointments of those with whom they deal, 
the passion that understands a pulse of life beneath the official 
version of events.''
  His opinion in Goldberg versus Kelly, he said, can be seen as 
injecting passion into a system whose abstract rationality had led it 
astray, and he applied those same principles to the death penalty. To 
the very end he was opposed to the death penalty because that 
individual on death row also deserved the same kind of passion, the 
same kind of interaction with society as a whole, as an individual who 
deserved equal treatment.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. 
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, first of all let me commend and 
congratulate the gentlewoman from California, chairperson of the 
Congressional Black Caucus, and the gentleman from Florida [Mr. 
Hastings] for putting together this tribute. I rise today and join with 
my colleagues to pay tribute to one of this Nation's finest justices, 
one who has a progressive reputation and one who has demonstrated that 
you can be relevant and you can hold true.
  Justice Brennan departed this life Thursday, July 24, at the age of 
91. While he may have physically departed, he leaves a legacy that will 
endure for generations to come. Through his personal and professional 
life, Justice Brennan effected change and affected the lives of people 
in a real way. Justice Brennan was an ordinary man who possessed 
extraordinary courage, tenacity, and perseverance.
  He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1956 by then President 
Dwight Eisenhower. At the time of his appointment, America was engulfed 
with the question of what to do about civil rights and equal rights for 
blacks, Hispanics, women and other minorities. He dared to be different 
despite the dictates of the times. In his daring to be different, he 
lifted the lots of poor people, minorities, and the disenfranchised. He 
challenged the Constitution to live up to its ideals of equality and 
justice for all people.
  He saw the law not as an abstraction but as a weapon to protect 
individual liberties. In speeches he often urged State courts to thrust 
themselves into a position of prominence in the struggle to protect 
people of our Nation from government intrusions on their individual 

[[Page H6014]]

  In his 34-year tenure on the Supreme Court, he wrote more than 1,300 
opinions which helped to significantly change the landscape of 
constitutional law. Some of his legendary opinions include Baker versus 
Carr, the landmark 1962 opinion that opened the doors to 
reapportionment of legislatures and congressional districts under 
strict one person, one vote standards. This decision reshaped politics 
and broadened participation in democracy. In 1964 he authored New York 
Times versus Sullivan, which enhanced First Amendment protections for 
press critics of public officials. And in 1970 he authored Goldberg 
versus Kelly, which required States to give welfare recipients notice 
and a right to a hearing before their welfare benefits could be cut.
  Justice Brennan was a strong advocate of affirmative action and equal 
participation for everyone in America. Although he went to one of the 
elite schools of America, he was a very common, caring, sensitive, 
down-to-earth man of reason. His life was an embodiment of love, 
liberty and law. He was a champion of the underdog. He saw beyond Jim 
Crow segregation, discrimination, and saw an America that could live up 
to its promises of equal justice under the law. His ability to build 
consensus and help safeguard freedom broadened the circle of equality 
for every single American.
  And so it is indeed my pleasure to join with all of my distinguished 
colleagues who have already so eloquently stated the case that when it 
comes to equality, justice, and the fight for freedom, no man, no woman 
could be Justice Brennan's peer.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey 
[Mr. Payne].
  Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, let me first of all thank the chairlady of 
the Congressional Black Caucus, keeping the theme of the Caucus since 
its inception, the conscience of the Congress, to call this special 
order, this special program tonight after the call from our former 
distinguished Federal jurist, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Hastings] 
who in his judicial thinking immediately responded by requesting that 
this special order be held, and for him we are very thankful.
  We are here tonight to celebrate the life of William Joseph Brennan, 
Jr. Last Thursday, Mr. Speaker, this country lost a bold and spirited 
champion of civil liberties. The city of Newark, NJ lost a warm and 
generous son. Justice William Joseph Brennan, Jr. stands today as one 
of the most beloved and respected jurists ever to sit on the high court 
in this Nation. As the great Chief Justice Earl Warren once remarked, 
``In the entire history of the court, it would be difficult to name 
another justice who wrote more important opinions.''

  I was deeply moved this morning at St. Matthew's Church here in 
Washington where the funeral services were conducted for Justice 
Brennan and there were very moving tributes by the President of the 
United States, Justice Douglas, Justice Souter, William Brennan III, 
other members of the clergy and his family. Yet this prodigious man 
whom we laid to rest today at Arlington Cemetery traced his childhood 
roots back to a simple 3-family house in the Vailsburg section of my 
hometown of Newark, NJ.
  Born on April 25, 1906, William Brennan grew up, one of eight 
children, in a large Irish-Catholic family. His father William Sr. 
shoveled coal at the old Ballentine Brewery, a place I knew well, Mr. 
Speaker, as I would later work there myself in that factory where many 
of the working families of Newark had the privilege to work.
  William Sr. worked at the brewery until 1917 when he was chosen as 
the union representative for all of the workers at the brewery, giving 
William Sr. an early start in city politics.
  As a young boy, young William Jr. lived on Parker Street which as he 
later described in the Newark Star-Ledger divided the people of means 
in the neighborhood. With Park Avenue on one side, the big money, he 
said, was on the other side of Bloomfield Avenue, he recalled. I also 
lived close to him in the North Ward on that other side of the dividing 
  While his father worked at the brewery, William Jr. attended the 
Alexander Street Elementary School and then went on to Barringer High 
School, the same high school that I attended many years later. We heard 
of Justice Brennan, at that time an outstanding lawyer, as one of the 
outstanding graduates of our high school. While he was in high school, 
he worked many odd jobs, worked on weekends to help his father make 
ends meet for a family of many mouths and little money.
  After graduating from the Wharton School of Business and the Harvard 
Law School, the future justice returned home to Newark in the midst of 
the depression to practice labor law at the forerunner of what is now 
one of New Jersey's oldest law firms, Pitney, Harden & Skinner. He 
helped in the process of creating a new constitution for the State of 
New Jersey in 1948 and a year later was named to the State Superior 
  In 1952 our Republican Governor, at that time Alfred Driscoll 
appointed him to the State Supreme Court where he sat with the famed 
Arthur Vanderbilt. Finally, in 1956, another Republican, this time 
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, selected William Brennan, Jr. to sit on 
the Supreme Court of the United States.
  The city of Newark, while it feels a deep sense of loss today at the 
departing of a beloved native, also feels a great sense of pride at the 
monumental achievements of this man who never forgot his roots. Over 34 
years and through eight successive Presidents, Justice Brennan stood as 
a voice for those without a voice of their own on the highest tribunal 
of justice in this land. He believed in interpreting the Constitution 
as a living charter of human rights, dignity, and self-determination, 
and thus he believed that it was precisely the most vulnerable, 
forgotten and castoffs within our society for which its protections 
were designed. He reshaped the contours of American constitutional law 
by time and time again forging new consensus on the court in defense of 
minorities, immigrants, death row inmates, political protesters and the 
poor. His decision in Baker versus Carr as we have heard already 
established Federal constitutional jurisdictions over legislative 
apportionment, helping to establish the principle of ``one person, one 
vote'' and countermanding the process that had traditionally led to 
discriminatory racial gerrymandering in the drawing of electoral 
districts. Today we have 38 Members of the House of Representatives as 
a result of Justice Brennan in those early days.

                              {time}  2100

  His decision in New York Times versus Sullivan defended the right of 
the NAACP to criticize southern segregationists and established a 
standard of uninhibited, robust and wide open debate in the American 
body politic.
  Finally, before a shift in the composition of the Court overturned 
it, his decision in Furman versus Georgia initiated a 4-year moratorium 
on the imposition of the death penalty in America, ruling that capital 
punishment simply did not comport with human dignity.
  The life of Justice William Brennan, Mr. Speaker, will long stand as 
a profound testament to the power of well-articulated thoughts and 
ideas to ally the forces of reason behind the passions of the human 
heart and thereby to change forever the course of society. But his 
career also reminds us, as the framers of the Constitution warned, that 
the cost of liberty is a struggle of eternal vigilance.
  Even in his lifetime Justice Brennan saw many of his important 
achievements rolled back by an increasing conservative majority on the 
Supreme Court, a majority that underestimates the need for vigilance in 
the defense of liberty. ``We do not yet have justice for all who do not 
partake in the abundance of American life,'' wrote the late justice.
  Just this past year we are still striving towards that goal and 
doubtless it will be an eternal quest. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, as we 
celebrate the life of a great man and grieving his passing, let us 
realize his quest as our quest and push America always onwards toward 
the realization of the most noble promise of liberty and human dignity.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. 
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the chairwoman 
of the Congressional Black Caucus for yet another example of her 
sterling and illuminating leadership, her commitment

[[Page H6015]]

to the cause of freedom, justice and equality here in America, and let 
me also extend my thanks to the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Hastings], 
whose spirit and whose words today certainly pay tribute in a most 
eloquent way to Justice Brennan. The gentleman from Florida [Mr. 
Hastings] certainly embodies the spirit of Justice Brennan, and I say 
thank you for this special order.
  I rise today to pay tribute to the late William Joseph Brennan, Jr., 
former Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Justice Brennan's progressive voice 
was heard for 34 years on the Court, spanning eight Presidential 
administrations. He was widely recognized as a chief strategist behind 
the Court's civil rights revolution. Most, if not all, Americans have 
been touched by the legacy of Justice Brennan's rulings.
  His vision was that the essential meaning of the Constitution was not 
found in the past but in the current everyday life of America. He 
championed human rights, he championed individual rights beyond what 
was spelled out in the text of the Constitution. He called the 
Constitution, ``a sparkling vision of the supreme dignity of every 
individual.'' I repeat: ``a sparkling vision of the supreme dignity of 
every individual.'' He used it as a tool for social justice and racial 
  Justice Brennan's litmus test for offering legal protection was 
simple. His litmus test was whether the bill of rights explicitly 
prevented him from doing so. My, my, what a simple yet profound litmus 
  He always favored the individual and put the burden on the Government 
to show that something in the Constitution disallowed protection.
  Justice Brennan and his friend, colleague, and as mentioned earlier, 
judicial soul mate, Justice Thurgood Marshall, were often outvoted, and 
they were usually on the defensive. Though he was frequently in 
dissent, his role on the Court transcended that of a defender of the 
liberal faith. Term after term he defied the odds in his ability to 
pull together majorities, though often narrow majorities, for 
sustaining or even advancing the principles in which he so strongly 
  In civil rights cases Justice Brennan's decisions enforced schools' 
desegregation plans, upheld affirmative action programs designed to 
help minorities overcome past discrimination and sought to ensure 
constitutional equality for women. Additionally, his rulings 
established rights for welfare recipients and illegal aliens and 
created the one-man, one-vote rule for representation in voting 
districts which is indeed a landmark opinion which, as stated earlier, 
opened the doors for so many to be seated in this Chamber today.
  My predecessor, former Congressman from the first district of 
Illinois, former appeals judge and former White House Counsel, Abner 
Mikva, defined what he called a Brennaness as one who influences his 
colleagues beyond measure. A Brennaness is one who influences his 
colleagues beyond measure.
  His ability to bridge differences through good will distinguished 
Justice Brennan's career on the high Court. Justice Brennan had an 
unmatched ability to build a consensus. His knack for compromise and 
his ability to hold legal decisions that were acceptable to his 
colleagues regardless of their judicial philosophies was and is his 
  Although he never served as Chief Justice, Justice Brennan was a 
pivotal force in his three plus decades on the Court. He authored 
milestone opinions and was a prime mover behind many others. When he 
did not prevail, his voice in dissent was strong and illuminating.
  Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., should be and will be remembered for 
the enduring constitutional principles he so fervently championed 
during his three plus decades on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, I am honored, privileged and pleased to be a part 
of this special order honoring our friend, our champion, the former 
Supreme Court Justice William Joseph Brennan, Jr., and again I thank my 
  Ms. WATERS. I yield to the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Hastings] to 
enter something into the Record.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. I thank the gentlewoman, and I ask that at 
the appropriate stage the Mass of Christian Burial of Justice Brennan 
be included in the Record.
  That said, I would like to thank the gentlewoman and all of our 
colleagues, those who are here and those who entered their written 
words into the Record commemorating this great justice.
  I said earlier that it was important that we take at least from the 
program the presidium that was offered, and I read it.
  At the beginning of today's funeral for Justice Brennan the Ludwig 
van Beethoven tune ``Ode to Joy'' was sung in the entirety of its four 
refrains. Because of the lateness of the hour I wish to commend to all 
who are listening the final of the refrains.

     Mortals join the mighty chorus, Which the morning stars 
     God's own love is reigning o'er us, Joining people hand in 
     Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of 
     Joyful music leads us sunward, In the triumph song of life

  This gentleman sang a mighty tune for all of us.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all of the members of 
the Congressional Black Caucus who are here this evening and those who 
submitted statements for the Record.
  I again would like to thank the gentleman from Florida, Congressman 
Hastings for his foresight and his vision and helping to get us all 
here to make sure we do what we must do.
  There are those who will look at us and say, ``So they are there 
celebrating this liberal justice and I guess they must all be 
liberals.'' And sometimes, because again liberals have been demonized, 
people do not know what a liberal is. They do not look behind the label 
to try and discover the philosophy of those of us who come to this 
House and implore our colleagues to do the right thing by all human 
  We are a people whose people were brought to these shores in slavery. 
We are a people whose ancestors were tarred and feathered and hung 
without a court. We were a people whose ancestors did not have an 
opportunity to offer a defense, no one to speak up. We are a people who 
were not able to access jobs and opportunities.
  Our history is such that we have to have champions, and they came 
from many directions. Of course, everybody knows of the great histories 
of the African Americans who fought and died. Many people do not know 
the great histories of those who were not African Americans, such as 
Justice Brennan, who joined us in this struggle for justice, equality 
and freedom. They do not know that he was driven by the ideals embodied 
in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, those great 
documents that helped to drive a people to these shores seeking justice 
and freedom from the mother land of Great Britain.
  And so when we take to the floor to honor him and to praise him, we 
cannot be anything but liberal in thought, liberal in philosophy. It is 
that kind of philosophy and thinking that have gotten us and our people 
to this point in history.
  We wish it was all over and we did not need to have to struggle. We 
wish we did not have to sit here and stand here and wish that we could 
get some more Justice Brennans on the Court. We wish we did not have to 
be worried about a Canady bill. We wish we did not have to be worried 
about some of those who sit on the Supreme Court today. But we must, 
and what must be understood, because of who we are, from whence we 
came, because of our love for freedom, our love for justice and 
equality, we will not go away. We will be fighters and struggling in 
this cause for as long as we breathe.
  If someone else said ``You don't have to do this; we'll pay you not 
to do this; we'll give you all the riches in the world if you would 
just shut up,'' we could not do it if we wanted to.
  Thank you, Justice Brennan, for joining with the many who love this 
country, who love those great documents that have held us in good 
stead. We honor you this evening and we do it proudly. Thank you for 
being a liberal.

 Mass of Christian Burial--The Honorable William Joseph Brennan, Jr., 
                     April 25, 1906--July 24, 1997

   (Tuesday, July 29, 1997, Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, 
                            Washington, DC)

                        Faith in Ordinary People

       ``The Dream though old is never old, like the Poor Old 
     Woman in Yeats' play Cathleen Ni Hoolihan:

[[Page H6016]]

       `` `Did you see an old woman going down the path?' asks 
     Bridget. `No, I did not;' replies Patrick, who had just 
     arrived after the old woman left. `But I saw a young girl' he 
     said, `and she had the walk of a queen.' ''--The Honorable 
     William Joseph Brennan, Jr.

                        Ministers of the Liturgy

       Reverend Milton E. Jordan: Principal Celebrant.
       Reverend John T. O'Hara: Homilist.
       Reverend Monsignor W. Ronald Jameson: Rector of the 
       Priests of the Cathedral, Visiting Priests: Concelebrants.
       Reverend Mr. Ulysses S. Rice, Reverend Mr. Lawrence C. 
     Gordon, Reverend Mr. Bart Merella: Deacons.
       Reverend James D. Watkins, Reverend Charles V. Antonicelli: 
     Masters of Ceremonies.
       Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United 
     States: Honorary Pallbearers.
       Law Clerks to Justice Brennan: Richard Arnold, Owen Fiss, 
     Merrick Garland, John McInespie, Daniel O'Hern, Daniel 
     Rezneck, E. Joshua Rosenkranz, Clyde Szuch, Paul Washington: 
       Hugh Brennan, Nancy Brennan: Lectors.
       William Joseph Brennan IV: Reader of the Intercessions.
       Mary Anne Gaffney, Constance Phelps: Giftbearers.
       Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist of the Cathedral.
       Seminarians of the Archdiocese of Washington, Altar Servers 
     of the Cathedral: Servers.
       Ushers of the Cathedral: Ministers of Hospitality.
       Jay R. Rader, Cathedral Organist, Conductor; Jennifer 
     Muller, Cantor; Ann Kramschuster, Assistant Organist; Members 
     of the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle Chorale: 
     Ministers of Music.

                        The Order of Celebration


       Jesu dulcis memoria (Jesus, the sweet thought of you)--
     Tomas Luis de Victoria.
       O taste and see.--Ralph Vaughan Williams.

                          Entrance Procession

       Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You.--Henry Van Dyke; Ludwig van 
     Beethoven; Tune: Ode to Joy:

     Joyful, joyful, we adore you, God of glory, Lord of love;
     Hearts unfold like flowers before you, Opening to the sun 
     Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt 
     Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!

     All your works with joy surround you, Earth and heav'n 
           reflect your rays,
     Stars and angels sing around you, Center of unbroken praise;
     Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow, flashing 
     Chanting bird and flowing fountain, Praising you eternally!

     Always giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest,
     Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest!
     Loving Father, Christ our brother, Let your light upon us 
     Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine.

     Mortals join the mighty chorus, Which the morning stars 
     God's own love is reigning o'er us, Joining people hand in 
     Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of 
     Joyful music leads us sunward In the triumph song of life.

                           Introductory Rites

       Greeting and Sprinkling with Holy Water.
       Opening Prayer.

                          Liturgy of the Word

                             First Reading

                           Responsorial Psalm

                         General Intercessions

                        Liturgy of the Eucharist

                 Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts

                          Preface Acclamation

                          Memorial Acclamation

                               Great Amen

       From Mass of Creation by Marty Haugen.

                             Communion Rite

                             Lord's Prayer

                             Sign of Peace

                         Breaking of the Bread

                               Agnus Dei

                 Music During the Communion Procession

       How lovely is thy dwelling place--from Requiem by Johannes 

                         Prayer After Communion


                           final commendation

                          Invitation to Prayer

       Song of Farewell: Come to His Aid--Dennis C. Smolarski, 
     S.J., Louis Bourgeois; Tune: Old Hundredth.

     Come to his aid, O saints of God;
     Come, meet him, angels of the Lord.
     Receive his soul, O holy ones;
     Present him now to God, Most High.

     May Christ, who called you, take you home,
     And angels lead you to Abraham.
     Receive his soul, O holy ones;
     Present him now to God, Most High.

     Give hime eternal rest, O Lord.
     May light unending shine on him.
     Receive him now, O holy ones;
     Present him now to God, Most High.

     I know that my Redeemer lives;
     The last day I shall rise again.
     Receive him now, O holy ones;
     Present him now to God, Most High.

                         Prayer of Commendation

                  Procession to the Place of Committal

       In paradisum--from Requiem by Gabriel Faure.

     May the Angels lead you into paradise;
     may the martyrs receive you,
     and lead you into the holy city of Jerusalem.
     May the choir of Angels receive you,
     and with Lazarus, who was once poor,
     may you enjoy eternal rest.


       Carillon--Louis Vierne.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to express 
my deepest regrets for the loss of a legal giant. Supreme Court Justice 
William J. Brennan, Jr. His life, and his legacy of tireless public 
service, are forever encapsulated in the brilliant discourse of his 
many seminal legal opinions. Justice Brennan's opinions were penned 
with the keen mind of a social framer, a man dedicated to the 
proposition of crafting a better society for all, that would be shaped 
faithfully by the strokes of justice. Brennan was appointed to the 
Supreme Court by President Eisenhower in 1956, and with such, Justice 
Brennan began an unprecedented judicial record of unwavering liberal 
  From Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962), the case that forever placed 
the concept of ``one man (person), one vote'' in the psyche of American 
popular culture. To the unfailing standard for all cases testing the 
tort of defamation, New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), 
Justice Brennan, did not simply help to shape the laws that govern our 
lives, but rather he formatively shaped the lives of the people 
affected by the law. New York versus Sullivan, at its time, was a 
hotbed of political controversy about a young, African-American 
minister in the South named Martin Luther King, Jr., and how his 
followers were trying to combat social injustice in the press through 
the criticism of prejudiced public officials. Brennan's opinion did not 
simply protect people from frivolous defamatory suits, but it helped to 
protect a delicate social movement, driven by the desire to establish 
the equal rights and treatment of all Americans without exception.
  Baker versus Carr, a case which contains another seminal Brennan 
opinion, is no different in this regard. The case also asserted the 
necessity of individual liberty operating in equilibrium with social 
equality at a critical time in our history. These were the kind of 
decisions that could have caused a lesser man or woman to shrink before 
the awesome possibilities and implications that a case like this could 
hold for our Nation and its unresolved future. But Brennan, in these 
times, was our solid rock, the indefatigable defender of American 
liberty. It was for these reasons that Lawrence Tribe of the Harvard 
Law School called Brennan, ``The Chief architect of the Federal 
judiciary's protection of individual rights.''
  Although like Thurgood Marshal, many of us remember that his final 
years on the Court were filled with a acerbic dissents, only time 
itself will truly allow us all to appreciate this great man and the 
magnitude of his social contribution. But let me be one of the first to 
say, as an African-American, as a woman, as an American, thank you, 
Justice Brennan, thank you for all of us. You are one of the few that 
it can be said about, that your life made the world, particularly this 
country, a better place to live in.
  Mrs. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask 
my colleagues to remember and reflect upon the life of a great leader. 
His faithful service to the judicial system and to our Nation's 
citizens benefited the lives of those he came in contact with and the 
Americans that were affected by his landmark decision makings. He 
played a pivotal role in the Brown versus Board of Education bringing 
an end to the falsely named separate but equal political and economic 
status for African-Americans. I speak of none other than the Honorable 
Justice William J. Brennan, a man who secured his place in the pantheon 
of this Nation's greatest Supreme Court Justices.
  Overcoming the stigma and prejudice that came with being born to an 
immigrant family, Justice Brennan began his service to the community as 
a humble laborer. Through hard work and perseverance he became an 
influential labor leader and the city commissioner of public safety. 
After graduating in 1931 from Harvard Law School, he began practicing 
law in Newark, NJ, before being named to the State's judiciary system. 
His excellence and commitment to justice placed him on the New Jersey 
Supreme Court, where he faithfully served before being nominated to the 
Supreme Court by President Eisenhower.
  Those who knew Justice Brennan admired him as a man of great 
principle and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of all citizens, 
regardless of race, creed, gender or economic

[[Page H6017]]

status. His legal theories and writings provided the foundation for the 
most progressive aspects of our present-day legal system. He will be 
remembered as a man whose sole responsibility was defending the rights 
of all individuals, including the poor, the disenfranchised and the 
vulnerable. Justice Brennan fought for the rights of those individuals 
who did not have a voice in the legal system, and who were subject to 
inequitable treatment in our country's courts.
  I am deeply grateful to Justice Brennan for his years of hard work 
and struggle, particularly during his latter years on the Supreme Court 
when his voice was one of the few that cried out against reactionary 
judicial activism. Justice Brennan's legacy is epitomized by the 
Frederick Douglass quote, ``Without struggle there is no progress.'' 
Thanks to the dedication of Justice Brennan to truth and justice, we 
are making progress in perfecting our system of justice and individuals 
are realizing something that is rightfully theirs--justice. Goodbye and 
God speed, Justice Brennan.
  Mrs. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Speaker, Justice Brennan served on the 
Supreme Court for 34 years, from 1956 through 1990. By the general 
public he is remembered for his concern in protecting the rights of 
individuals who were not powerful. I will speak of that in a moment. 
But first I want to speak about him as a person.
  I never met the Justice, but I think I would have liked him as a 
person. Let me give you one anecdote about him as a person. His office 
had a manual, and one item in the manual concerned the Justice's 
coffee. It said that every morning one clerk should prepare a cup of 
decaffeinated coffee with no milk or sugar and give it to him at 9 a.m. 
Every day he would say ``wonderful.'' One day the office coffee machine 
broke, and so the Justice and his clerks went to the cafeteria to get 
morning coffee. The Justice poured himself a cup of caffeinated coffee 
and put milk and sugar in it. His clerks said they thought he liked his 
coffee decaf black with no sugar. And he replied, ``no. I always take 
it this way.'' He had never told anyone in his office for more than 8 
years about how he really wanted his coffee.
  His decisions were controversial when he wrote them. Now they are 
accepted as being obvious. Look at just two of them.
  In 1962, in Baker versus Carr, he changed the political landscape by 
declaring that Federal courts could review State legislative decisions 
on the boundaries of legislative districts so that everyone's vote 
would get equal weight in the legislative process.
  Look at the facts as presented in that case. Since 1901 the Tennessee 
legislature had rejected every legislative attempt to change the 
boundaries of its own legislative districts. During that 60-year period 
Tennessee's population had grown and its distribution among the 
counties had shifted.
  In 1946 the Supreme Court had decided, in Colegrove versus Green, 
that Federal courts should not enter the ``political thicket.'' So the 
lower Federal court told the Tennessee plaintiffs that the Federal 
courts could not help them.
  Justice Brennan persuaded six of his colleagues that the lower 
Federal court was wrong to throw out this particular case. He said that 
the failure to adjust the Tennessee political boundaries to reflect the 
changes in population since 1901 violated the equal protection clause 
of the 14th amendment.
  We know that the rich and powerful have their interests amply 
represented in the legislative process. All that the poor have is their 
vote. Letting the legislature set the boundaries for its own districts, 
without anyone looking over their shoulder, perpetuated the balance of 
political power from long ago.
  Let me turn now to the second example of his concern for those 
without political power. In 1970, in Goldberg versus Kelly, his opinion 
for the Supreme Court held that welfare beneficiaries could not lose 
their benefits without first getting both a notice telling them why 
they would lose their benefits and a hearing where they could present 
their side of the conflict.
  This city is full of lawyers and lobbyists who make sure that no 
wealthy person or corporation loses his Federal benefits without first 
being able to present his case--even if that takes years of litigation. 
Justice Brennan merely said that poor people should have some of the 
same rights as the wealthy. Yet back in 1970 this notion was so new 
that he could only persuade four of his colleagues--a bare majority of 
the Supreme Court.
  In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, these two decisions were, when they were 
made, controversial. But now we realize that they improved the quality 
of life for ordinary people, and the Nation did not come apart. In 
fact, the Nation is stronger because of Justice Brennan's having served 
this country.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Speaker, last week, this Nation suffered a great 
  And because of that loss, those who favor freedom and believe in 
individual rights and civil rights will not soon recover.
  However, while we lament the loss of Justice William Brennan, Jr., we 
also rejoice in his life--a life during which he spent more than three 
decades on the United States Supreme Court.
  This son of Irish-Catholic immigrants, Justice Brennan worked as a 
waiter to pay for his last year of law school.
  Born of modest means, he refused to accept mediocrity. He had hopes 
and dreams. He had goals. He had vision. He dared to be different and 
determined to make a difference.
  His classmates at a Newark, NJ, public school complained that because 
he took home so many of the academic awards, there were none left for 
  His zeal for learning and his zest for excellence carried him through 
college--the University of Pennsylvania--and Harvard Law School, and 
those qualities characterized his entire legal career.
  But, despite his Ivy League education, he never lost touch with the 
average person.
  To him, every ordinary person was special, and every special person 
was ordinary.
  Perhaps it was because his father once worked as a coalheaver in the 
brewery, or because matters of concern to labor were central to his 
upbringing, but Mr. Justice Brennan had a way with words that gave life 
and meaning to the Constitution of the United States.
  It was Brennan who authored the important and far-reaching decision 
in the case of Goldberg versus Kelly, the welfare reform mandate of the 
  Congress can learn much from that 30-year-old decision.
  In Goldberg, the Court rules that even those on welfare were entitled 
to due process rights--even those on welfare had the same 
Constitutional protections as everybody else.
  We could have used Brennan's wisdom and insight when we considered 
welfare reform.
  He also wrote the Court's opinion in Johnson versus Transportation 
Agency, a decision that brilliantly outlined the need and value of 
affirmative action.
  But, I remember him most for the case of Baker versus Carr.
  In North Carolina, my State, some argued to the Court where Brennan 
spent much of his adult life that the very document that gives us 
rights--the United States Constitution--somehow takes those rights 
  Sometimes, Mr. Speaker, I wonder, what the Court would do with the 
redistricting cases if it still had the magnetism, the persuasiveness, 
the foresight, the imagination, the ability to see beyond what is 
immediately in front, that Mr. Justice Brennan, the author of the 
principle of one person, one vote had.
  I wonder what the state of Federal elections would be today if the 
Supreme Court still had among its Justices, the very man who believed 
and convinced a majority of others, that traditional practices must 
give way to individual principles.
  Mr. Speaker, Mr. Justice Brennan distinguished himself as a jurist, 
making his mark in many places, leaving his permanent imprint on the 
sands of time.
  Tirelessly, he was a role model for role models, and a champion for 
  He has left us, but I believe he has gone to another place, not to 
quit, but to fight another fight, to write another opinion, to run 
another race.
  Mr. Justice Brennan, we will miss you, but, we know you will not be 
far away. Your written opinions, like the philosophy shared with you by 
your father, will one day inspire another Justice of your fabric, of 
your intellect, of your quality.