Arthur Goldberg (1908-1990)
Goldberg was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 8, 1908. Goldberg was
the son of Russian immigrant parents, and the youngest of their eight
children. In 1929, he graduated from Northwestern University Law School,
whose Dean was John Henry Wigmore, the evidence scholar. Goldberg was a
prominent labor lawyer, and responsible for the merger of the American
Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organization
(CIO) into the AFL-CIO in 1955. Goldberg was named Secretary of Labor by
President John F. Kennedy in 1961. After the retirement of Justice
Felix Frankfurter in 1962, Goldberg was appointed to the Court's
"Jewish seat" by Kennedy. It was Goldberg's appointment to the Court
that allowed the formation of the "Warren Court" as it is understood
historically, for Goldberg became a crucial fifth vote (in addition to
William O. Douglas, and
Black). Goldberg concurred in the right to privacy case of
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), basing his opinion on the Ninth
Amendment (which states, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of
certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.").
In mid-1965, after a mere three years on the Court, Goldberg resigned to become the United States representative to the United Nations, after President Lyndon Baines Johnson used some of his legendary persuasive power on Goldberg. LBJ wanted to appoint his friend and confidante Abe Fortas to the Court, and created an opening on the Court to do so. LBJ would successfully create another opening on the Court to appoint Thurgood Marshall to the Court, but his effort to name Fortas Chief Justice and to appoint his fellow Texan Homer Thornberry to the Court in 1968 failed disastrously.
Goldberg resigned from his position as UN representative in 1968. He worked for human rights causes for the remaining 22 years of his life. Goldberg died in 1990.
Goldberg married Dorothy Kurgans in 1931.