Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Monday, February 26, 2018

Finals--The Greatest Justice of All Time

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I have seen a lot of GOAT talk recently, which got me thinking about who is the greatest Supreme Court Justice of all time.  We have been running a poll here on the blog, and thank you to everyone who participated.  

Chief Justice John Marshall was the clear winner in the pre-1900 category, with 68% of the vote.  His nearest competitor, Justice Joseph Story, had only 36% of the vote. For the 1900-1950 Court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes won a resounding 60% of the vote, with Justice Robert Jackson coming in second with 28% of the vote.

It was the modern, post-1950 Court where things got interesting. The surprising winner was Justice Antonin Scalia, with 64% of the vote.  Chief Justice William Rehnquist came in second at 36% of the vote, with Justice Hugo Black coming in third at 32% of the vote.

Since we had such clear winners in each category, I decided to do a runoff between the top three.  The survey is below.  Please pick just one answer.


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