What's wrong with having Supreme Court justices who are jerks?

Stephen J. Field, appointed by Lincoln, once insulted a woman’s romantic past so outrageously from the bench that her husband later attacked him on a train — and was shot dead by Field’s bodyguard. Louis D. Brandeis was famously distant: one of his law clerks recounted working until the small hours of the morning on a challenging opinion; as he slid his draft under the justice’s door, silent fingers pulled it through, with no human acknowledgment of the joint effort…

But four justices in particular, all nominees of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who sat together on the bench, formed the best example of how personal friction can fuel constitutional importance, and of how the roots of greatness may be found in difficult personalities.

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