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Twenty-one years later, the authorized biography of the late Justice William Brennan Jr. now has a publisher and a projected publication date. Author Steve Wermiel, a law professor at American University, says Houghton Mifflin has agreed to publish the book in 2010. Brennan gave Wermiel the nod in 1986 and had hopes of reading it in his lifetime. Brennan died in 1997, leaving some family members upset at Wermiel’s delay. Wermiel set aside the massive project for some years, but recently found a collaborator, Congressional Quarterly reporter Seth Stern, to help get it back on track. “We’re working well together and enjoying it,” says Wermiel. Much work remains, but there is a working title: Fearless Guardian: The Life and Legacy of Justice William Brennan Jr. The title was drawn from a comment by Brennan’s successor, Justice David Souter, who said at his 1990 confirmation hearing that the liberal Brennan would be remembered as “one of the most fearlessly principled guardians of the American Constitution” ever. It was right about then that conservatives knew Souter was not their man.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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