Laurence Silberman, RIP

Two weeks ago Judge Laurence Silberman traveled to Hanover, New Hampshire, to meet up with classmates celebrating their sixty-fifth reunion at Dartmouth College. While in town Judge Silberman gave a Constitution Day talk defending free speech under the auspices of the college’s Rockefeller Center. We posted a link to the text published by the Wall Street Journal and the related video of the event over the weekend in “Bravo, Judge Silberman.

This morning we receive the sad news that Judge Silberman died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 86, a few days short of his 87th birthday. The Wall Street Journal notes his passing in the editorial “Judge Laurence H. Silberman, 1935-2022.” The editorial states in its subhead: “He was more consequential than most Supreme Court Justices.”

We celebrated Judge Silberman’s acuity and judicial service on several occasions. One such occasion was the Antonin Scalia Law School’s Gray Center recognition of Judge Silberman with its first annual Justice Clarence Thomas First Principles Award a year ago. We joined in with “A salute to Judge Silberman.” Upon learning of his death yesterday, Josh Blackman recounted an anecdote illustrative of Judge Silberman’s recourse to first principles and his passion in their defense in this late-night meditation.

Judge Silberman’s death represents an enormous loss to our country. He served it with distinction at a high level in a variety of capacities throughout a long career. He was a great judge, a great American patriot, a great man. May his life serve as an example and may his memory be for a blessing.

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