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William O. Douglas

William Orville Douglas (October 16, 1898 - January 19, 1980) was a Supreme Court justice.

Appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, he was sworn into office on April 17, 1939. He retired on November 12, 1975. By the time of his retirement, he had written more Supreme Court opinions than any one else, before or since. At 36 years, Douglas served on the Supreme Court bench longer than anyone else.


The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person's] life.