John Marshall Harlan II
Cause of Death Age Burial Location SCOTUS Grave #
Spinal cancer 72 Weston, Connecticut 46th visited




Justice John Marshall Harlan II is
interred at the Lyons Plain Cemetery
behind Emmanuel Episcopal Church
in Weston, Connecticut. Harlan was
the second of five SCOTUS justices
nominated by Dwight Eisenhower.



Harlan passed away in Washington,
D.C., but was interred in Weston,
where he and his wife had a summer
home. The flag next to his headstone
honors his service as an Air Force
officer during World War II.



*** Interesting Facts ***

* John Marshall Harlan II was descended from a line of legal scholars. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all studied law, and his namesake, grandfather John Marshall Harlan, preceded him as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The elder Harlan was nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes and served from 1877 until his death in 1911. Justice Harlan II used several of his grandfather's personal effects, including his gold watch and his office furnishings from his Supreme Court tenure.

* In early 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Harlan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, though he did not serve long in that capacity. Upon the death of Justice Robert Jackson later that year, President Eisenhower nominated Harlan to replace him on the Supreme Court. He was confirmed and took his seat on the bench the following March. Harlan was typically regarded as a conservative jurist. He was a frequent dissenter on the Warren Court and was described in his New York Times obituary as "a nonactivist judge seated on the most activist Supreme Court in America's history." Harlan primarily relied on established precedent, and sided with businesses in anti-trust cases. He dissented from the 1966 decision Miranda v. Arizona that ruled information divulged by people in police custody is not admissible in court unless the defendant is alerted to their Constitutional rights under the the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Harlan did align with the majority on notable civil rights cases, though. He sided with the rest of the court in Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage, and Cooper v. Aaron, which supplemented the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.


* Harlan served on the Supreme Court for sixteen years before ill health forced him to step down on September 23, 1971. His departure came less than a week after that of Justice Hugo Black, who passed away just two days later on September 25th. Harlan's retirement was also abbreviated. He died three months later at George Washington University Hospital, with his family and Justice Potter Stewart at his bedside. President Richard Nixon nominated William Rehnquist to replace Harlan, and Black was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell.



Spouse: Ethel Andrews Harlan (m. 1928-1971)


Last Words: Unknown


Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                      

Oelsner, Lesley. "Harlan Dies at 72. On Court 16 years." New York Times. December 30, 1971. Accessed July 22, 2018.  https://www.nytimes.com/1971/12/30/archives/harlan-dies-at-72-on-court-16-years-conservative-justice-quit-last.html? url=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesmachine.nytimes.com%2Ftimesmachine%2F1971%2F12%2F30%2F79412559.html.


 Supreme Court Historical Society. "John Marshall Harlan II, 1955-1971." Accessed July 22, 2018.  http://supremecourthistory.org/timeline_harlan_1955_1971.html.

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