100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Harry Bridges

Harry Bridges

Free Speech and Union Rights

“We [will] not Allow State Courts to Override the Majority Vote of Members”

Bridges v. California

314 U.S. 252 (1941)

Bridges v. Wixon

326 U.S. 135 (1945)

Bridges v. United States

346 U.S. 209 (1953)

Harry Bridges (1901–1990) was a world-renowned labor leader and the founder of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). Born Alfred Renton Bridges into a middle-class family in Melbourne, Australia, Bridges demonstrated an intense class-consciousness at a young age. His father expected him, as the eldest, to join the family real estate business. The younger Bridges, however, became extremely uncomfortable with collecting rents from people who often could not pay. Finally, he convinced his father to take his younger brother into the business and allow him to become a sailor.

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