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message 1: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This thread is to discuss Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson and all associated topics.


Robert H. Jackson grew up near Jamestown, New York. He worked as an apprentice in a law firm there. He spent a year at Albany Law School, then passed the bar and entered the profession. He soon tried his hand at electoral politics and was elected a Democratic state committeeman. But he soon recognized that politics involved patronage and favors, which did not suit his temperament, so he returned to private practice. Jackson joined the New Deal administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He rose from IRS legal counsel to Assistant Attorney General, to Solicitor General, and finally, to Attorney General. Roosevelt appointed Jackson to the Supreme Court in 1941 after years of loyal and effective advocacy. While on the Court, Jackson served as chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials at the conclusion of World War II. He returned to a deeply divided Court. Upon news of the death of Chief Justice Stone, two of Jackson's colleagues threatened to resign if Jackson were selected as Stone's replacement. Jackson was a fine craftsman. His opinions displayed an elegant prose style. He was witty and combative as he advanced his brand of judicial restraint.

Personal Information

Born Saturday, February 13, 1892
Died Saturday, October 9, 1954
Childhood Location Pennsylvania
Childhood Surroundings Pennsylvania

Position Associate Justice
Seat 10
Nominated By Roosevelt, F.
Commissioned on Friday, July 11, 1941
Sworn In Friday, July 11, 1941
Left Office Saturday, October 9, 1954
Reason For Leaving Death
Length of Service 13 years, 2 months, 29 days
Home New York


message 2: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Robert Houghwout Jackson (February 13, 1892 – October 9, 1954) was United States Attorney General (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954). He was also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. A "county-seat lawyer", he remains the last Supreme Court justice appointed who did not graduate from any law school (though Justice Stanley Reed who served from 1938–1957 was the last such justice to serve on the court), although he did attend Albany Law School in Albany, New York for one year. He is remembered for his famous advice, that "...any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances." and for his aphorism describing the Supreme Court, "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final." Many lawyers revere Justice Jackson as one of the best writers on the court, and one of the most committed to due process protections from overreaching federal agencies.

Early life
Born on a family farm in Spring Creek Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania and raised in Frewsburg, New York, Jackson graduated from Frewsburg High School in 1909 and spent the next year as a post-graduate student attending Jamestown High School in Jamestown, New York. Jackson did not attend college.

At age 18, he went to work as an apprentice in a two-lawyer Jamestown law office, then attended Albany Law School, in Albany, New York during 1911-12. Although Jackson completed the second year of the School's two-year program, it denied him a law degree because he was under age twenty-one.

During the summer of 1912, Jackson returned to Jamestown. He apprenticed again for the next year. He passed the New York bar examination in 1913 and joined a law practice in Jamestown, New York.

In 1916, he married Irene Alice Gerhardt in Albany. In 1917, Jackson was recruited to practice law in Buffalo, New York. He worked for Penney, Killeen & Nye, a leading Buffalo law firm located in the Ellicott Square building, primarily defending the International Railway Company in trials and appeals. In Buffalo, the Jacksons lived at 49 Johnson Park (the Lyndhaven apartment building). In late 1918, Jackson was recruited back to Jamestown to serve as the city's corporation counsel.

Over the next 15 years, he built a very successful private law practice, becoming a leading lawyer in New York State and, through practice and bar association activities, a prominent young lawyer nationally. In 1930, Jackson was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. In 1933, Jackson was elected chairman of the American Bar Association's Conference of Bar Association Delegates (a predecessor to today's ABA House of Delegates).

U.S. Federal appointments and politics, 1934–1940
Jackson was appointed to federal office by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934. Jackson served initially as general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Internal Revenue (today's Internal Revenue Service). In 1936, Jackson became Assistant Attorney General heading the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, and in 1937 he became Assistant Attorney General heading the Antitrust Division. In 1938, Jackson became United States Solicitor General, serving until January 1940 as the government's chief advocate before the Supreme Court.

Jackson was a supporter of the New Deal, litigating against corporations and utilities holding companies. He participated in the 1934 prosecution of Samuel Insull,[4] the 1935 income tax case against Andrew Mellon, and the 1937 anti-trust case against Alcoa, in which the Mellon family held an important interest.

President Roosevelt regarded him as a potential heir, and in 1937 considered having him run for Governor of New York. Jackson was a fellow Democrat, fellow country squire, and fellow Dutch-American.

U.S. Attorney General, 1940–1941
Jackson was appointed Attorney General by Roosevelt in 1940, replacing Frank Murphy. As Attorney General, Jackson supported a bill introduced by Sam Hobbs that would have legalized wiretapping by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or any other government agency, if it was suspected that a felony was occurring. The bill was opposed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman James Lawrence Fly, and did not pass.

When Harlan Fiske Stone replaced the retiring Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice in 1941, Roosevelt appointed Jackson to the resulting vacant Associate's seat.

U.S. Supreme Court, 1941–1954
In 1943, Jackson wrote the majority opinion in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, which overturned a public school regulation making it mandatory to salute the flag and imposing penalties of expulsion and prosecution upon students who failed to comply. Jackson's stirring language in Barnette concerning individual rights is widely quoted. Jackson's concurring opinion in 1952's Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (forbidding President Harry Truman's seizure of steel mills during the Korean War to avert a strike), where Jackson formulated a three-tier test for evaluating claims of presidential power, remains one of the most widely cited opinions in Supreme Court history (it was quoted repeatedly by Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito during their confirmation hearings).

Feud with Hugo Black

Justices Jackson and Hugo Black had profound professional and personal disagreements dating back to October 1941, the first term in which they served together on the Supreme Court. According to Dennis Hutchinson, editor of The Supreme Court Review, Jackson objected to Black’s practice of importing his personal preferences into his jurisprudence. Hutchinson quotes Jackson as having remarked, “With few exceptions, we all knew which side of a case Black would vote on when he read the names of the parties.” While Hutchinson points out that Jackson objected to Black's style of jurisprudence in such cases as Minersville v. Gobitis (1940) and United States v. Bethlehem Steel (1942), Black’s involvement in the Jewell Ridge case struck Jackson as especially injudicious.

In Jewell Ridge Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers (1945), the Supreme Court faced the issue of whether to grant the coal company’s petition for rehearing on the grounds that the victorious miners were, in a previous matter, represented by Crampton P. Harris, who was Justice Black’s former law partner and personal lawyer. Despite this apparent conflict of interest, Black lobbied the Court for a per curiam denial of the petition. Justice Jackson objected, with the result that Jackson filed a concurrence disassociating himself from the ruling and, by implication, criticizing Black for not addressing the conflict of interest. Jackson also strongly objected to Black’s judicial conduct in Jewell Ridge for another reason. As Jackson later alleged, while Justice Murphy was preparing his opinion, Black urged that the court hand down its decision without waiting for the opinion and dissent. In Jackson’s eyes, the "only apparent reason behind this proposal was to announce the decision in time to influence the contract negotiations during the coal strike" between the coal company and the miners, which was taking place at the time.

Jackson probably regarded Black’s conduct as unbecoming of a Supreme Court Justice in another related matter. On April 3, 1945, The Southern Conference for Human Welfare held a dinner, at which it honored Justice Black as the 1945 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award. Fred M. Vinson, interestingly, spoke at the dinner. While Jackson declined an invitation to the event, citing a conflict arising out of the fact that a number of leading sponsors of the dinner were then litigants before the Supreme Court, Black attended the dinner and received his award. Crampton Harris, counsel in two pending cases, Jewell Ridge and CIO v. McAdory (1945), was one of the sponsors.

Jackson would later take these grievances public in two public cables from Nuremberg. Jackson had informally been promised the Chief Justiceship by Roosevelt; however, the seat came open while Jackson was in Germany, and FDR was no longer alive. President Harry S. Truman was faced with two factions, one recommending Jackson for the seat, the other advocating Hugo Black. In an attempt to avoid controversy, Truman appointed Fred M. Vinson. Jackson blamed machinations by Black for his being passed over for the seat and publicly exposed some of Black's controversial behavior and feuding within the Court. The controversy was heavily covered in the press and cast the New Deal Court in a negative light and had the effect of tarnishing Jackson's reputation in the years that followed.

On June 8, 1946, Jackson sent a cable to President Truman. Jackson’s cable to Truman began with an insincere offer of congratulations to the President for his appointment of Vinson. But, the cable then quickly addressed the rumor, which Jackson had gotten wind of in Nuremberg, that Truman had appointed Fred Vinson in part to avert a resignation on the part of Justice Black. Rumors had been circulating in Washington that Black would resign in the event that Truman chose Jackson as Chief Justice Stone’s successor. "I would be loathe to believe that you would concede to any man a veto over court appointments." Jackson closed his cable by stating that he could not continue his service as an Associate Justice under Vinson if an associate "had something on [him]", which would disqualify him from serving, or if he, Truman, regarded Jackson’s opinion in the Jewell Ridge case as a "gratuitous insult" to Justice Black.

After receiving a response from Truman in which he denied having given consideration to, or having even heard of, the rumor of Black’s threatened resignation, Jackson rashly fired off a second cable to Congress on June 10. This cable stated Jackson's reasons for his belief that Justice Black faced a conflict of interest in Jewell Ridge, from which he wrongfully, at least, in Jackson's eyes, did not recuse himself, and ended with Jackson's threat that if such a practice "is ever repeated while I am on the bench I will make my Jewell Ridge opinion look like a letter of recommendation by comparison."

message 3: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jackson and Dennis v. United States
The "clear and present danger" test

In order to understand Jackson’s concurrence in Dennis v. United States, a basic understanding of the origin of the clear and present danger test is helpful.

In 1919, the Supreme Court decided Schenck v. United States. In Schenck, the petitioners, members of the Socialist Party, were convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for printing and distributing circulars asserting that American citizens had a right to oppose the draft during World War I because, among other things, it violated the United States Constitution. The Schenck decision promulgated the clear and present danger test which provided the standard for sustaining a conviction when speech is relied upon as evidence that an offense has been committed. Justice Holmes, writing for a unanimous court, affirmed the convictions of the lower court positing:

“We admit that, in many places and in ordinary times, the defendants, in saying all that was said in the circular, would have been within their constitutional rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. . . . The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.”

For more on the Clear and Present Danger Test, see Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, 957 (Aspen 2ed. 2002) (the clear and present danger test appears to have three analytical elements: (1) probability of harm, (2) temporality of harm, and (3) degree of harm).

Dennis v. United States
In 1951, the Supreme Court decided Dennis v. United States. In Dennis, the petitioners were zealous Communists who organized for the purpose of teaching the “Marxist-Leninist Doctrine”. The principal texts used to teach the doctrine were: History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Foundations of Leninism by Stalin; The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels; and State and Revolution by Lenin. The Petitioners were convicted for violating §2 and §3 of the Smith Act which, among other things, made it unlawful to conspire to organize a group which advocates the overthrow of the United States government by force or violence. The issue before the Supreme Court was “[w]hether either §2 or §3 of the Smith Act, inherently or as construed and applied in the instant case, violates the First Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights…”

Jackson's concurrence
In Dennis, Jackson concludes that the clear and present danger test (the “Test”) should not be applied. To this end, Jackson analyzed: the effect communism had outside the United States; the nature of communists; and the problems with applying the Test. Jackson’s analysis can be summarized as follows:

On the effect communists historically had on foreign countries, Jackson analyzed their effect on Czechoslovakia.[27] In Czechoslovakia, a communist organization disguised as a competing political faction secretly established its roots in key control positions “of police and information services”. During a period of national crisis a clandestine Communist organization appeared and overthrew the Czechoslovakian government. Establishing control of mass communication and industry, the communist organization’s rule was one of “oppression and terror”. Ironically, as Jackson points out, the communist organization suppressed the very freedoms which made its conspiracy possible.

On the nature of communists, Jackson characterizes them as an extraordinarily dedicated and highly selective group disciplined and indoctrinated by communist policy. The goal of Party members is to secretly infiltrate key positions of government, industry, and unions and to leverage their power once in such positions. Jackson goes on to say that although “Communist[s] have no scruples against sabotage, terrorism, assassination, or mob disorder …” they “advocate[] force only when prudent” which “may never be necessary, because infiltration and deception may be enough.”

On the problems with applying the Test in Dennis, Jackson deems significant that the Test was authored “before the era of World War II revealed the subtlety and efficacy of modernized revolutionary technique used by totalitarian parties.” Jackson believed that the application of the test should be limited to cases bearing strong enough likeness to those for which it was originally crafted – i.e. “criminality of hot-headed speech on a street corner, or parading by some zealots behind a red flag, or refusal of a handful of Jehovah Witness school children to salute our flag …” Expressing strong concern that the expansive construction the Court had recently given the Test in Bridges v. State of California, Jackson asserted that the Test provided communists with “unprecedented immunities” while “Government is captive in a judge-made verbal trap.” Jackson goes on to describe the application of the Test to communists when determining the constitutionality of the Smith Act facially or as applied as one of “apprais[ing] imponderables, including international and national phenomena which baffle the best informed foreign offices and our most experienced politicians.”

Jackson concludes his First Amendment analysis in Dennis by asserting that:
“The authors of the clear and present danger test never applied it to a case like this, nor would I. If applied as it is proposed here, it means that the Communist plotting is protected during its period of incubation; its preliminary stages of organization and preparation are immune from the law; the Government can move only after imminent action is manifest, when it would, of course, be too late.”

In the end the Court applied its own version of the clear and present danger test in Dennis essentially disregarding the analytical elements of probability and temporality which had previously appeared to be requirements of the doctrine. Jackson, however, as one commentator put it, expressed in Dennis (at least with regards to Communists) that “when used as part of a conspiracy to act illegally, speech loses its First Amendment protection.”

Jackson’s hardened stance on the First Amendment in Dennis may be attributed to strong anticommunist sentiment which had a grip on Americans during the time of the decision. In William Wiecek’s article discussing the history of anticommunism in the United States, Wiecek’s asserts that:
“[T]he manufactured image of the domestic Communist, cultivated and propagated by [J. Edgar] Hoover, the Catholic Church, the American Legion, and political opportunists, made of Communists something less than full humans, full citizens, fully rights-endowed. Even sophisticated jurists like … Robert Jackson were captives of that image, anesthetizing [his] sensitivity to deprivation of rights.[37]... In Dennis and other Communist cases between 1950 and 1956, the Supreme Court overcame the problem of facts not supporting the results it was determined to reach by accepting a generic ‘proof’ of Communism’s seditious nature. Disregarding all evidence of both the Party’s and individual members’ renunciation of violence, the Court substituted literary evidence from outdated classics of Marxism-Leninism, most written by Europeans of an earlier era, and refused to consider whether the living people before them actually subscribed to those doctrines…”

For more on the evolution of anticommunism in the United States leading up to the Dennis decision, see generally William M. Wiecek, The Legal Foundation of Domestic Anticommunism: The Background of Dennis v. United States, 2001 Sup. Ct. Rev. 375, 429 (2001).

message 4: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Justice Jackson and Brown v. Board of Education
One of Jackson's law clerks during 1952–53, William H. Rehnquist, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1971 and became Chief Justice in 1986. In December 1971, after Rehnquist's nomination had been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and was pending before the full Senate, a 1952 memorandum came to light that he had written as Jackson's law clerk in connection with the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education that argued in favor of affirming the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson. Rehnquist wrote a brief letter attributing the views to Jackson and was confirmed. In his 1986 hearing he was questioned about the matter. His explanation of the memorandum was disputed in both 1971 and 1986 by Jackson's former secretary, and scholars have questioned its plausibility. However, the papers of Justices Douglas and Frankfurter indicate that Justice Jackson voted for Brown in 1954 only after changing his mind.

The ultimate views of Justice Jackson about Brown can be found in his 1954 unpublished draft concurrence. The “Memorandum by Mr. Justice Jackson, March 15, 1954”, is publicly available with Jackson’s papers in the Library of Congress and did not become publicly available until after Rehnquist’s 1986 hearing for Chief Justice of the United States. Jackson’s draft concurrence in Brown, divided into four parts, shows how he struggled with how to write an effective opinion to strike down segregation. In Part 1 of Jackson’s draft concurrence in Brown, he wrote that he went to school where “Negro pupils were very few” and that he was “predisposed to the conclusion that segregation elsewhere has outlived whatever justification it may have had.” Despite his own opinions regarding desegregation, Jackson acknowledged the inability of the Court to "eradicate" the "fears, prides and prejudices" that made segregation an important social practice in the South. Jackson thus concluded that the Northerners on the court should be sensitive to the conditions that brought segregation to the South.

In Part 2 of the draft memorandum, Justice Jackson described the legal framework for forbidding segregation in “DOES EXISTING LAW CONDEMN SEGREGATION?”. Jackson notes the difficulty for the court that was "supposed not to make new law but only to declare existing law," to overturn a decision of such longevity as Plessy. Looking at the doctrine of original intent with regard to the Fourteenth Amendment, Justice Jackson found no evidence that segregation was prohibited, particularly since states that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment had segregated schools at the time. Jackson concluded, "I simply cannot find in the conventional material of constitutional interpretation any justification for saying" that segregated schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Part 3 of the draft memorandum titled “ENFORCEMENT POWER LIMITS” describes enforcement by Congress of the Fourteenth Amendment. Jackson addressed the possibility of leaving enforcement to Congress, particularly because the “courts have no power to enforce general declarations of law." Jackson noted that while segregation was already fading in some states, it would be difficult to overcome in those states where segregation was firmly established. While Jackson recognized the difficulties in the Supreme Court enforcing its judgment, he did not want the task to be left to the lower courts as suggested by the Government. Jackson concluded that the court must act because “our representative system has failed” and even though this “premise is not a sound basis for judicial action."

Finally, in Part 4 of the draft memorandum “CHANGED CONDITIONS” Jackson began by stating that prior to Brown, segregation was legal. According to Jackson, the premise for overruling Plessy was the now erroneous "factual assumption" that "there were differences between the Negro and the white races, viewed as a whole." The draft asserted that the "spectacular" progress of African-Americans, under adverse circumstances, "enabled [them] to outgrow the system and to overcome the presumptions on which it was based." Jackson emphasized that the changed conditions along with the importance of a public education required the court to strike down separate but equal in public education. While Jackson could not justify the decision in Brown in law, he did so on the basis of a political and social imperative. It is unknown if Jackson ever intended to publish this concurrence.

Justice Jackson was in the hospital from March 30 to May 17, 1954. It is reported that Chief Justice Warren visited Jackson in the hospital several times and discussed both Jackson’s draft opinion and Warren’s drafts. One suggestion that Warren took from Jackson was adding “Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences as well as in the business and professional world.” This quote is tied to the arguments in Part 4 of Jackson’s draft opinion. On May 17, 1954, Jackson went to the Court from the hospital so he could be there the day the Brown decision was handed down. When the Brown decision was handed down, a full court was present to emphasize the unanimity of the decision. Robert H. Jackson died on October 8, 1954, and so there was not enough time between Brown and the death of Jackson to fully explore his views on desegregation.

Justice Jackson and procedural due process
Justice Jackson was one of the great defenders (along with Justice Frankfurter) of procedural due process, for the rule of law that protects members of the public from overreaching by government agencies. One of his hymns to due process is often quoted:
Procedural fairness, if not all that originally was meant by due process of law, is at least what it most uncompromisingly requires. Procedural due process is more elemental and less flexible than substantive due process. It yields less to the times, varies less with conditions, and defers much less to legislative judgment. Insofar as it is technical law, it must be a specialized responsibility within the competence of the judiciary on which they do not bend before political branches of the Government, as they should on matters of policy which compromise substantive law.

If it be conceded that in some way [that the agency could take the action it did], does it matter what the procedure is? Only the untaught layman or the charlatan lawyer can answer that procedures matter not. Procedural fairness and regularity are of the indispensable essence of liberty. Severe substantive laws can be endured if they are fairly and impartially applied. Indeed, if put to the choice, one might well prefer to live under Soviet substantive law applied in good faith by our common-law procedures than under our substantive law enforced by Soviet procedural practices. Let it not be overlooked that due process of law is not for the sole benefit of an accused. It is the best insurance for the Government itself against those blunders which leave lasting stains on a system of justice but which are bound to occur on ex parte consideration.

International Military Tribunal, 1945–1946
In 1945, President Truman appointed Jackson, who took a leave of absence from the Supreme Court, to serve as U.S. chief of counsel for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. He helped draft the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, which created the legal basis for the Nuremberg Trials. He then served in Nuremberg, Germany, as United States chief prosecutor at the international Nuremberg trial. Jackson pursued his prosecutorial role with a great deal of vigor (for instance, referring in arguments to Hermann Göring as being "half militarist, half gangster"). His opening and closing arguments before the Nuremberg court are widely considered among the best speeches of the 20th century. In the words of defendant Albert Speer:
“The trial began with the grand, devastating opening address by the chief American prosecutor, Justice Robert H. Jackson. But I took comfort from one sentence in it which accused the defendants of guilt for the regime's crimes, but not the German people.”

However, his cross-examination skills were generally considered weak, and it was in fact British prosecutor David Maxwell-Fyfe who got the better of Göring in cross-examination rather than Jackson, who was rebuked by the Tribunal for losing his temper and being repeatedly baited by Göring during the proceedings.

Death and Legacy
Jackson died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 62. After funeral services in Washington's National Cathedral, and later in Jamestown's St. Luke's Church, he was interred near his boyhood home in Frewsburg, New York.

An extensive collection of Jackson's personal and judicial papers is archived at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress and open for research. Smaller collections are available at several other repositories.

source (above three posts):

message 5: by Alisa (new)

message 6: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Jackson is one of the featured justices in Scorpions The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman by Noah Feldman Noah Feldman

which I thought was quite a good book.

message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Thanks Peter. I have that in my to-read pile and have heard great things about it.

message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom For a devotee of SCOTUS such as yourself, it's going to be great. These were titans of the court.

message 9: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Indeed, one of the many reasons it will be a great read I am sure!

message 10: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt

That Man An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt by Robert H. Jackson by Robert H. Jackson Robert H. Jackson


Robert H. Jackson was one of the giants of the Roosevelt era: an Attorney General, a still revered Supreme Court Justice and, not least important, one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's close friends and advisers. His intimate memoir of FDR, written in the early 1950s before Jackson's untimely death, has remained unpublished for fifty years. Here is that newly discovered memoir.

Written with skill and grace, this is truly a unique account of the personality, conduct, greatness of character, and common humanity of "that man in the White House," as outraged conservatives called FDR. Jackson simply but eloquently provides an insider's view of Roosevelt's presidency, including such crucial events as FDR's Court-packing plan, his battles with corporate America, his decision to seek a third term, and his bold move to aid Britain in 1940 with American destroyers. He also offers an intimate personal portrait of Roosevelt--on fishing trips, in late-night poker games, or approving legislation while eating breakfast in bed, where he routinely began his workday. We meet a president who is far-sighted but nimble in attacking the problems at hand; principled but flexible; charismatic and popular but unafraid to pick fights, take stands, and when necessary, make enemies.

That Man is not simply a valuable historical document, but an engaging and insightful look at one of the most remarkable men in American history. In reading this memoir, we gain not only a new appreciation for Roosevelt, but also admiration for Jackson, who emerges as both a public servant of great integrity and skill and a wry, shrewd, and fair-minded observer of politics at the highest level.

message 11: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Point Taken: How To Write Like the World's Best Judges

Point Taken How To Write Like the World's Best Judges by Ross Guberman by Ross Guberman (no photo)


In Point Taken, Ross Guberman delves into the work of the best judicial opinion-writers and offers a step-by-step method based on practical and provocative examples. Featuring numerous cases and opinions from 35 prolific judges - from Learned Hand to Antonin Scalia - Point Taken, explores what it takes to turn "great judicial writing" into "great writing".
Guberman provides a system for crafting effective and efficient openings to set the stage, covering the pros and cons of whether to resolve legal issues up front and whether to sacrifice taut syllogistic openings in the name of richness and nuance. Guberman offers strategies for pruning clutter, adding background, emphasizing key points, adopting a narrative voice, and guiding the reader through visual cues. The structure and flow of the legal analysis is targeted through a host of techniques for organizing the discussion at the macro level, using headings, marshaling authorities, including or avoiding footnotes, and finessing transitions. Guberman shares his style "Must Haves", a bounty of edits at the word and sentence level that add punch and interest, and that make opinions more vivid, varied, confident, and enjoyable. He also outlines his style "Nice to Haves", metaphors, similes, examples, analogies, allusions, and rhetorical figures. Finally, he addresses the thorny problem of dissents, extracting the best practices for dissents based on facts, doctrine, or policy. The appendix provides a helpful checklist of practice pointers along with biographies of the 35 featured judges.

message 12: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Nixon: A Life

Nixon A Life by Jonathan Aitken by Jonathan Aitken (no photo)


The rise, fall, and rebirth of Richard Nixon is perhaps the most fascinating story in American politics. Presidential chronicles and other outside sources have tried to capture it in full, but Nixon: A Life is the first to succeed. Nixon: A Life is the first entirely objective biography of Richard Nixon.

Jonathan Aitken, who, in addition to serving in Parliament, serves as Her Majesty's Minister of State for Defense, conducted over sixty hours of interviews with Nixon and was granted unprecedented access to thousands of pages of Nixon's previously sealed private documents. The results of Aitken's interviews and research shed new light on a presidency that is just now beginning to be understood by serious students of history.

Among the questions Aitken answers with fresh insight are: . Why didn't Nixon burn the Watergate tapes? How did he achieve his astonishing comebacks after being defeated by Kennedy in 1960 and resigning from the presidency in 1974? What were his relationships with political figures such as Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, and personal friends such as Bebe Rebozo and Robert Abplanalp? What caused him to overcome his doubts and pursue the Alger Hiss spy case in Congress? What are Nixon's innermost spiritual beliefs and intellectual influences? What drives him now?

Previously published in Great Britain to rave reviews, Nixon: A Life is the first Nixon biography written by a non-American author. Aitken's refreshingly unencumbered positions on Watergate and Vietnam provide a unique perspective on Nixon's life and his presidency. Nixon: A Life breaks important new ground as a major work of political biography. It is a work that will inspire historiansto recognize the outstanding diplomatic achievements of a man whose journey from tainted politician to respected foreign policy expert and elder statesman has been nothing short of remarkable.

message 13: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Robert H. Jackson

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 11, 1941 - October 9, 1954

The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: John C. Johnsen)

Robert H. Jackson grew up near Jamestown, New York. He worked as an apprentice in a law firm there. He spent a year at Albany Law School, then passed the bar and entered the profession. He soon tried his hand at electoral politics and was elected a Democratic state committeeman. But he soon recognized that politics involved patronage and favors, which did not suit his temperament, so he returned to private practice. Jackson joined the New Deal administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He rose from IRS legal counsel to Assistant Attorney General, to Solicitor General, and finally, to Attorney General. Roosevelt appointed Jackson to the Supreme Court in 1941 after years of loyal and effective advocacy. While on the Court, Jackson served as chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials at the conclusion of World War II. He returned to a deeply divided Court. Upon news of the death of Chief Justice Stone, two of Jackson's colleagues threatened to resign if Jackson were selected as Stone's replacement. Jackson was a fine craftsman. His opinions displayed an elegant prose style. He was witty and combative as he advanced his brand of judicial restraint.


Link to Day 2 Nuremberg Trials Justice Robert H. Jackson's Opening Statement, Nuremberg, November 21, 1945:

Link to Justice Robert H. Jackson's Closing Argument Nuremberg Trials July 26, 1946:

The Nuremberg Trials by Ann Tusa by Ann Tusa (no photo)

The Nuremberg Trials The Nazis and Their Crimes Against Humanity by Paul Roland by Paul Roland Paul Roland

Source(s): Oyez, You Tube

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Great adds Lorna and you are doing a great job getting this folder current. Members, for those of you who love to discuss iconic cases, Supreme Court justices, the various personalities of the different eras of the Supreme Court, etc. - please join in and post your books and interesting links, etc.

message 15: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Thank you Bentley. It has been a wonderful experience to explore all of this exciting history in the United States Supreme Court and I too would welcome input from others. What I have found most interesting is the relevance of cases argued many years ago in our world today and the talents of so many of these justices.

message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Yes, and you have to wonder what the current supreme court will do. Hard to fathom in this day and age. Some very talented people who quietly go about their job day in and day out.

message 17: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Robert H. Jackson (1892 - 1954)

Robert Jackson was born in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1892. Five years later his family moved to Frewsburg, New York, a nearby town to Jamestown, New York. Jackson graduated from a public high school, never attended college, apprenticed in a law office, and spent one year taking classes at Albany Law School.

It was in Jamestown where he was to spend the first forty-two years of his life raising a family, practicing law, actively participating in the political arena and serving the community. During these years, his beliefs came to embrace the highest principals of conduct and fairness for mankind. These values framed in his entire personal and professional life.

In 1934, he answered a call from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve as general counsel at the Internal Revenue Service. His decision to move to Washington as a public servant was a fateful one, as it steered his life into becoming one of the most remarkable personal stories in American history. He went on to become Solicitor General, Attorney General and a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court recessed for the summer on June 2, 1941, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes announced his intention to retire. On June 12th, President Roosevelt nominated Associate Justice Harlan Fiske Stone to succeed Hughes as Chief Justice of the United States and Attorney General Jackson to succeed Stone as Associate Justice. Jackson's nomination was confirmed by the Senate on July 7, 1941. On July 11, Jackson took the judicial oath at the White House and received his commission as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Justice Jackson served on the Supreme Court for more than thirteen Terms, from his appointment in 1941 until his sudden death just after the start of the Court's new Term in October 1954. Justice Jackson was absent for the Court's entire October Term 1945, which was the year he spent as the American Chief of Counsel prosecuting the principal Nazi leaders before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Jackson quickly became known for his independent judging and his eloquent written opinions. His opinions are hard to pigeonhole because, unlike some of his colleagues on the Court, he did not vote reflexively for either individual litigants claiming that their protected liberties had been violated or for government officials claiming legal power to act in various ways. Justice Jackson's votes and opinions explain and defend, in varying contexts, both the constitutional rights of individuals and the constitutional powers of national and state governments. He was keenly attentive to the facts of each case and brought a practical wisdom, clearly expressed, to each decision in which he wrote for the Court or himself. Justice Jackson, unlike some other Justices, did virtually all of his own opinion-drafting. His acclaimed opinions and rhetorical gems thus truly reflect his own efforts and skills.


Yet, he viewed his crowning achievement in public service to be the new standards in international law that were created when he served as the Chief American Prosecutor before the International Military Tribunal Nuremberg following World War II.

In 1945, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson was asked by President Harry S. Truman to represent the United States as Chief Prosecutor of the major Nazi war criminals who had been captured at the end of World War II. On April 13th of that year, Jackson had given a major address at the American Society of International Law in Washington in which he had advocated that such a trial be conducted. In his view, the victory about to be secured by the Allies in the most destructive war in human history should be ended with a civilized proceeding where a court of law would judge the guilt or innocence of the major Nazi figures. This position was not held by all of the Allied nations. Some thought that summary executions should be held or that a brief courts martial proceedings would be sufficient to insure punishment.

However, Justice Jackson's view was similar to that held by President Truman and several high-ranking members of his administration; and, therefore, the decision was made to attempt to have such a trial. The President also believed that, in order to succeed, this effort would need to be led by an American jurist with impeccable credentials whose involvement would give the effort its best chance of success. In late April 1945, several days after he had become President upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman asked Judge Samuel Rosenman to call Justice Jackson and ask him if he would consider taking a leave of absence from the bench of the Supreme Court and undertake this mission. On April 29th, Justice Jackson responded that he would do so and plans were put into effect that would take him to London to achieve an Agreement among the Allied countries.

For two months during the summer of 1945, Jackson worked at achieving a consensus among the Allies and was finally successful when an Agreement between the American, British, French, and Soviet governments was signed on August 8th. This Agreement, called the London Charter, became the basis for the trials before the International Military Tribunal held in Nuremberg from October 18, 1945 to October 1, 1946.

It was through the energy, intelligence and leadership of Justice Jackson that these trials were organized, standards of evidence developed, rights of defendants defined, and prosecutorial action commenced. He was more than America's Chief Prosecutor. He was the driving force behind the conduct of the trials themselves. Some in the United States, including fellow members of the Supreme Court, criticized Jackson's decision to undertake this effort. Yet, he believed that it was a mission important to the Nation and the world. Never before had standards been established defining aggressive war, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. In addition, at Nuremberg, the precedent was established that individuals could be found personally responsible for committing such crimes. It was not a defense that "I was ordered by Hitler to do it". If such crimes were knowingly committed, a defendant could be found guilty of their commission.

That individuals who commit war crimes or crimes against humanity could be tried by an International Tribunal and be found personally responsible was new law in 1946. Jackson's brilliance and courage in bringing Nazi war criminals to justice set a new standard in the field of international law. It remains the standard to which the world looks today.

After Nuremberg, Justice Jackson returned to the bench of the United States Supreme Court where he continued to build his reputation as being one of the brightest and most articulate judges ever to serve on that Court. Shortly after participating in the unanimous decision in the famous desegregation case of 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education, Robert Jackson suffered a fatal heart attack. Every member of the U.S. Supreme Court came to Jamestown for his funeral. He is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in nearby Frewsburg, New York, under a simple headstone that reads: "He kept the ancient landmarks and built the new."

Link to article:


Justice Robert H. Jackson's Unpublished Opinion in Brown V. Board Conflict, Compromise, and Constitutional Interpretation by David M O'Brien by David M O'Brien (no photo)

Source: Jewish Virtual Library

message 18: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Justice Robert H. Jackson's Unpublished Opinion in Brown V. Board: Conflict, Compromise, and Constitutional Interpretation

Justice Robert H. Jackson's Unpublished Opinion in Brown v. Board Conflict, Compromise, and Constitutional Interpretation by David M. O'Brien by David M. O'Brien (no photo)


Brown v. Board of Education is widely recognized as one of the US Supreme Court's most important decisions in the twentieth century. Robert H. Jackson, an associate justice on the case, is generally considered one of the Court's most gifted writers. Though much has been written about Brown, citing the writing and remarks of the justices who participated in the 1954 decision, comparatively little has been said about Jackson or his unpublished opinion, which is sometimes even mistakenly taken as a dissenting opinion. This book visits Brown v. Board of Education from Jackson's perspective and, in doing so, offers a reinterpretation of the justice's thinking, and of the Supreme Court's decision making, in a ruling that continues to reverberate through the nation's politics and public life.

Weaving together judicial biography, legal history, and judicial politics, Justice Robert H. Jackson's Unpublished Opinion in Brown v. Board provides a nuanced look at constitutional interpretation, and the intersection of law and politics, from inside the mind of a justice, within the context of a Court deciding a seminal case. Through an analysis of six drafts of Jackson's unpublished concurring opinion, David M. O'Brien explores the justice's evolving thoughts on relevant issues at critical moments in the case. His retelling of Brown presents a new view of longstanding arguments confronted by Jackson and the other justices over "original intent" versus a "living Constitution," the role of the Court, and social change and justice in American political life. The book includes the final draft of Jackson's unpublished opinion, as well as the Warren Court's opinions in Brown and in Bolling v. Sharpe, for comparison, along with a timeline of developments and decision making leading to the Court's landmark ruling.

message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Lorna, thank you for the adds.

message 20: by Lew (new)

Lew Paper | 6 comments Robert H. Jackson was indeed one of the most gifted writers to ever sit on the United States Supreme Court. For those interested in learning more about this talented lawyer, I recommend "That Man: An insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt." Jackson knew FDR from Roosevelt's early days in New York politics and ultimately became Solicitor General and Attorney General in Roosevelt's administration before FDR appointed him to the Court. Given their close relationship, much can be learned about FDR through Jackson's experiences and observations. But this memoir was still unpublished when Jackson died 1954. The manuscript was later discovered and brought to publication in 2003 by John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John's University. A fast and informative read -- even for those who are well versed in Roosevelt literature.

message 21: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Lew, thank you for your interesting insights regarding Justice Jackson. The memoir you recommend looks interesting as well, with a lot of information about Franklin Roosevelt. I may have to add it my reading.

However, in compliance with our guidelines, your book recommendation should look like so.

That Man An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt by Robert H. Jackson by Robert H. Jackson Robert H. Jackson

Thank you.

message 22: by Lew (new)

Lew Paper | 6 comments Lorna wrote: "Lew, thank you for your interesting insights regarding Justice Jackson. The memoir you recommend looks interesting as well, with a lot of information about Franklin Roosevelt. I may have to add it ..."

Lorna wrote: "Lew, thank you for your interesting insights regarding Justice Jackson. The memoir you recommend looks interesting as well, with a lot of information about Franklin Roosevelt. I may have to add it ..."

Thanks Lorna and Bentley. I am new to this and still feeling my way though the guidelines and appreciate your help. Lew

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 11:53AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
No problem whatsoever - we are here to help and point things out - when you use the citation - your post is never lost in the shuffle - it is always noted on the white space and is accessible to all - long after you posted.

In fact, with the citation, the post can be searched and found when you cite a specific book and author - not only from the thread itself but from anywhere on the site or in goodreads. So citations help the goodreads software kick in.

Thank you Lorna - I deleted my assist.

message 24: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Opening Statement

Justice Robert H. Jackson gestures with his left hand as he delivers the prosecution's Opening Statement before a packed courtroom at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, where high-ranking Ex-Nazi Officials will be tried for war crimes. CREDIT: United States Army Signal Corps. Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, appointed by President Truman to serve as United States Chief of Counsel to prosecute Nazi war criminals, delivers his opening statement to the four-nation International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg on November 21, 1945. Here are five segments of Jackson’s speech, which is deemed a forensic masterpiece: (1) at the call of IMT President Lord Geoffrey Lawrence (UK), Jackson begins; defense attorneys sit in the background; (2) Jackson speaks, assisted by his secretary Elsie Douglas and his son and executive assistant, attorney William E. Jackson; the camera pans across the defense attorneys and then the 21 defendants; (3) as Jackson continues, the camera pans across UK chief prosecutor Hartley Shawcross and deputy David Maxwell Fyfe and then to the 8 judges on the bench, including U.S. judge Francis Biddle and U.S. alternate judge John J. Parker; (4) Jackson speaks and the defendants listen; (5) Jackson addresses the imperfection but sufficiency of the case that prosecutors will present.

Link to videotape:

Link to article:


Robert H. Jackson New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor by Gail Jarrow by Gail Jarrow Gail Jarrow

Source: Robert H. Jackson Center

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