Monthly Archives: November 2015

On This Date in Legal History

On this date in 1993 President Clinton signed into law the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The law provided for a five-day waiting period before transferring ownership of a handgun to an unlicensed individual. It also created a national criminal … Continue reading

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Former Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite

On this date in 1816 former Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite was born in Lyme, Connecticut.  On January 19, 1874, President Ulysses Grant nominated him to the United States Supreme Court.  On January 21, the Senate confirmed his nomination by … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On this date in 1976 the case of Wooley v. Maynard was argued before the United States Supreme Court.  New Hampshire had a law that made it a crime to cover up the state’s motto “Live Free or Die” on … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On this date in 1975 President Ford nominated Judge John Paul Stevens (from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) to the United States Supreme Court.  Read President Ford’s announcement at https://research.archives.gov/id/7341714.  On December 17, 1975, he … Continue reading

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Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday

Before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, if you want to learn about the holiday, watch this entertaining short video http://goo.gl/wVx1FV.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston

On this date in 1757 Henry Brockholst Livingston was born in New York City.  In 1806 President Thomas Jefferson nominated him to the Supreme Court.  From 1807-1823 he served as an Associate Justice on the Court.  You can learn more … Continue reading

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The Movie “Suffragette”

Suffragette tells the story of how in the early 20th century British women took extraordinary steps to win the right to vote.  Women became militant after realizing their voices weren’t being heard. The storyline dramatizes certain actual events and the … Continue reading

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On This Date of Legal History

The case of Gitlow v. New York was reargued before the United States Supreme Court on this date in 1923. The underlying facts were as follows– Benjamin Gitlow, an active member of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Sally Reed and her former husband, Cecil, each petitioned an Idaho Probate Court to be appointed administrator of their son’s estate in the case Reed v. Reed.  The Court appointed Cecil Reed without determining either parent’s qualifications, since an Idaho … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1945 on this date former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson delivered his opening statement at the Nuremberg trial.  Listen to his recorded statement at https://goo.gl/CMouay.

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 21, 1927, the United States Supreme Court decided Gong Lum v. Rice. The issue was whether a Chinese student had a constitutional right to attend an all-white public school in her district.  The Supreme Court said that she didn’t. … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 20, 1961, the United States Supreme Court decided Hoyt v. Florida. The case involved an all-male jury convicting Gwendolyn Hoyt of killing her husband. In Florida women were excluded from jury service unless they proactively registered with the clerk … Continue reading

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PBS’s Documentary “The Poisoner’s Handbook”

PBS’s documentary The Poisoner’s Handbook traces the history of how forensic science was introduced into the courtroom. The film focuses on the pioneering work of two doctors—Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler. In 1918, Charles Norris became New York City’s first Chief … Continue reading

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Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies”

The new Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies dramatizes the arrest and conviction of Soviet spy Rudolf Ivanovich Abel for espionage in 1957. James Donovan, a respected insurance lawyer, is pressured to scale back his defense of the spy, but … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 17, 1980, the United States Supreme Court decided Stone, et al. v. Graham, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky.  The case arose after Kentucky legislators passed a law mandating the posting of the Ten Commandments in every public … Continue reading

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Associate Justice Pierce Butler

In 1922 President Warren G. Harding, a republican, nominated Pierce Butler, a democrat from Minnesota, to the United States Supreme Court (breaking the tradition of appointing a justice from one’s own party).  On December 21, 1922, the Senate confirmed his … Continue reading

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Former Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter

On this day in 1882, Former Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter was born in Austria. In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt nominated him to the United States Supreme Court. Unlike nowadays, it wasn’t customary for nominees to appear before the Senate … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1957 the Alabama legislature passed a law changing the boundaries of the City of Tuskegee. By doing so, only four or five African American voters were left within the City limits, yet not a single white voter was effected … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 16, 1914, Takao Ozawa applied for citizenship after living in the United States for twenty years.  He was born in Japan, but attended high school and college here. He had children who attended American schools and English was … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On this date in 1968, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District was argued before the United States Supreme Court.  The case arose after three students wore small black armbands to school protesting the Vietnam War. When they refused to … Continue reading

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