Wiley Rutledge and Executive Detention: A Judicial Conscience for His Time and Ours


Wiley Rutledge is a Justice whom biographers forgot -- until John Ferren's recent book. This Review of Ferren's work shows that Rutledge was uniquely important in WWII cases concerning executive detention. Comparing cases from that era to Rasul, Hamdi, and Hamdan, I suggest that Rutledge's legal approach (and the continuation of such efforts on today's Court) uncover two novel arguments for judicial review of military commissions. Rutledge's story also invites us to rethink how we evaluate judicial "heroes," and which judicial biographies are truly worth reading.


Water Law

Date of this Version

September 2005