CORVALLIS - The 36-year tenure of William O. Douglas as a Supreme Court justice was characterized by a common ideal - to "keep the government off the backs of the people."
That philosophy and a personal commitment to preserving wilderness are evident in the many writings of Douglas in a new book published by the Oregon State University Press. Called "Nature's Justice: Writings of William O. Douglas," the book was edited by James M. O'Fallon.
The collection is the first to bring together Douglas' wide range of writings, including selections from his popular autobiographical and political books, as well as opinions from landmark cases.
"The writings reflect not only his love of justice, but also his roots in Washington state and a lifelong commitment to preserving wilderness," said Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press.
Throughout his career, Douglas maintained a connection with the Pacific Northwest, and his writings celebrate the region, the peoples and the values he found embedded there.
"The book illuminates Douglas' life in the other Washington, too," Booth said. "From architect of the nation's regulations of capital markets, to adviser and confidante of presidents, to knowledgeable critic of the policy that led to the morass of Vietnam, Douglas applied his daunting intelligence and energy to the issues that gripped the times."
That Douglas was able to prosper in both places called Washington was a testament to his character. Consider these diverse writings, found in "Nature's Justice":
O'Fallon is the Frank Nash Professor of law and the associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Oregon School of Law.
"Nature's Justice" is available in libraries and bookstores, or can be ordered directly by calling 1-800-426-3797.
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Tom Booth, 503-282-9801