Last edited: February 14, 2005

Former Justice White Dies at 84

The Associated Press, April 15, 2002

WASHINGTON––Retired Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White, a football hero whose reputation for clear-headed legal thinking and a hard-headed personality was honed through three decades on the nation’s highest court, died Monday. He was 84.

White served on the court for 31 years before retiring in 1993. In the court’s history, only eight men served longer. His seat was filled by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

With White’s death, there are no living former Supreme Court justices. He had been ill much of the last two years and looked frail during his rare appearances at the Supreme Court. White had kept a court office since his retirement, but closed it last year and moved back to his native Colorado, a signal to many that his health was perilous.

White died Monday morning in Denver, of complications from pneumonia, a statement from the Supreme Court said.

Appointed by President Kennedy in 1962, White soon became a dissenter from many of the court’s liberal rulings of the 1960s.

Later in his tenure, he was a consistent, if independent, member of the court’s increasingly conservative majority. A hard-liner on law-and-order issues, White often spoke for the court in decisions enhancing police authority.

He dissented from the court’s landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, and thereafter steadfastly voted in favor of allowing states to regulate, or even outlaw, abortion.

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