Justice Arthur Goldberg

Justice Arthur Goldberg joined the U.S. Supreme Court on October 1, 1962, replacing Justice Felix Frankfurter. Goldberg was born on August 8, 1908 in Chicago. He received an undergraduate degree in law from Northwestern University in 1929 and a J.D. from Northwestern a year later. Although Goldberg was technically too young to be admitted to the Illinois bar, he sued the bar association and was admitted to the bar by court order. He then started his legal career in private practice, focusing on labor law. During the Second World War, he served in the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA.

After the war, Goldberg returned to private practice and later worked as general counsel for the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the United Steelworkers of America. He assisted with the merger of the CIO and the American Federation of Labor in 1955. Goldberg then worked as special counsel for the AFL-CIO for the next several years until President John F. Kennedy appointed him as U.S. Secretary of Labor in early 1961.

President Kennedy nominated Goldberg to the U.S. Supreme Court on August 31, 1962. The Senate confirmed him on September 25, and he was sworn into office a week later. Goldberg would spend just three years on the Supreme Court, but he helped move it further to the left. His predecessor, Felix Frankfurter, had believed strongly in judicial restraint, whereas Goldberg was an activist who took a broad view of individual rights. For example, he felt that the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution contained an implied right to privacy, despite its absence from the text. Goldberg also strongly opposed the death penalty, and he wrote for the Court in a key Sixth Amendment case that expanded the right to counsel of criminal defendants.

Goldberg left the Court on July 25, 1965 and became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Justice Abe Fortas replaced him on the Court. Three years later, Goldberg left the ambassadorship and returned to private practice. He ran for Governor of New York in 1970 but lost decisively to Nelson Rockefeller. President Jimmy Carter awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Goldberg in 1978. He died on January 19, 1990 in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Selected Opinions by Justice Goldberg:

Cox v. Louisiana (1965)

Topic: Free Speech

Allowing unfettered discretion to local officials in the regulation of the use of the streets for peaceful parades and meetings is an unwarranted abridgment of freedom of speech.

Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)

Topic: Criminal Trials & Prosecutions

When a police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular suspect in police custody who has been refused an opportunity to consult with their counsel and has not been warned of their constitutional right to keep silent, the accused has been denied the assistance of counsel, and no statement extracted by the police during the interrogation may be used against them at trial.

Aguilar v. Texas (1964)

Topic: Search & Seizure

Although an affidavit supporting a search warrant may be based on hearsay information, the magistrate must be informed of some of the underlying circumstances on which the person providing the information relied and some of the underlying circumstances from which the affiant concluded that the undisclosed informant was creditable or their information reliable.

Van Dusen v. Barrack (1964)

Topic: Lawsuits & Legal Procedures

When actions were properly brought in the transferor district court, and the defendants seek transfer under Section 1404(a), the change of venue should not be accompanied by a change in the governing state laws.