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Famous Lawyers Who Were Bad News: Lincoln Was a Drunk, Justice Holmes a Racist, Bork Was in a Punk Band

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Summary: Many famous lawyers had a dark side that most of the world didn't ever see. Here are some of their stories.

In his controversial recent book, Law Without Values: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes, University of Chicago law professor Albert Alschuler meticulously debunks the great Ollie Wendell. In his exhaustively researched polemic (1,348 footnotes!), Alschuler reveals that the brilliant jurist-revered for opinions favoring social welfare legislation and First Amendment freedoms-was actually a nasty near nihilist who sneered at loving one's neighbor, supported the killing of genetically inferior newborns, and once wrote that he "loathe[d] the thick-fingered clowns we call the people." Holmes is hardly the only prominent legal figure to have a secret dark side. Other recent discoveries:
Abraham Lincoln

When Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took their historic slavery debates on the road during the 1858 Senate race, the two men routinely unwound at night at local taverns. Getting swiftly blotto, the normally dignified duo would actually swap positions on the Great Issue, reciting each other's arguments at dizzying speeds and punctuating their orations with hand-in-armpit sound effects. Whenever either one spoke the words "this great union," they'd do a shot. The game would go on until one man shouted "A stand divided cannot house!" Then they'd both pass out.
Clarence Darrow

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