View Full Version : Football Professional Football Player and Supreme Court Justice

03-10-2011, 10:42 AM
Imagine Priest Holmes goes to law school, graduates first in his class, and eventually becomes one of the Justices on the United States Supreme Court.

That's kind of what happened with Byron White. I had no idea of this guy until five minutes ago.

From his wiki:

"In three NFL seasons, he played in 33 games. He led the league in rushing yards in 1938 and 1940, and he was one of the first "big money" NFL players, making $15,000 a year. His career was cut short when he entered the United States Navy during World War II; after the war, he elected to attend law school rather than return to football. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

. . .

After World War II, he attended Yale Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1946.

. . .

Acquiring renown within the Kennedy Administration for his humble manner and sharp mind, he was appointed by Kennedy in 1962 to succeed Justice Charles Evans Whittaker, who retired for disability. Kennedy said at the time: "He has excelled at everything. And I know that he will excel on the highest court in the land."

. . .

White disliked the politics of Supreme Court appointments. During his interviews for clerks, he mostly wished to discuss football, not legal philosophies; at one point, he turned down future Justice Samuel Alito for a clerkship. He retired in 1993, during Bill Clinton's presidency, saying that "someone else should be permitted to have a like experience."

siberian khatru
03-10-2011, 11:29 AM
That's kind of what happened with Byron White. I had no idea of this guy until five minutes ago.


I feel really old now. Oh, and a lot smarter. :p

03-10-2011, 11:31 AM
he played in 33 games and got into the hall of fame, and Otis Taylor isn't in? WTF?

03-10-2011, 11:36 AM
Byron "Whizzer" White was elected to the College Hall of Fame, not the NFL HoF.

03-10-2011, 11:40 AM
Yep, Whizzer White. Fairly conservative justice despite being appointed by JFK. He wrote the stupid Bowers decision (upholding anti-sodomy laws in Georgia -- a decision 5-4, that majority justice Powell later said was the worst of his career).

Cave Johnson
03-10-2011, 11:41 AM
Could he bench 225?

03-10-2011, 11:41 AM
Oh, and one of only two dissenters in Roe v. Wade (along with Rehnquist, who was not CJ at that time).

03-10-2011, 11:44 AM
Alan Page from the Vikings was a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice in the 1990's.