Justice John Marshall Harlan (the first)

On this day in 1877, Justice John Marshall Harlan was nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Originally from Kentucky, he served in the Union army, practiced law, and was the Attorney General for Kentucky prior to his appointment. Justice Harlan went on to serve 34 years on the Court before his sudden death in 1911. During his time on the Court, Justice Harlan became known as the “Great Dissenter”. His dissents on cases like Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Civil Rights cases (1883), and Twining v. New Jersey (1908) were legendary and eventually predicted the course of future constitutional interepretation in years to come. His grandson of the same name would himself become a member of the highest court in the land.