Monthly Archives: April 2016

Remembering Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller

On April 30, 1888, President Grover Cleveland nominated Melville Weston Fuller for Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. On July 20, 1888, the Senate confirmed his nomination and he became the 8th Chief Justice of the Court. He … Continue reading

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Let the Countdown Begin

Start prepping for Law Day on May 1 by reading President Obama’s Proclamation at http://goo.gl/UtB7uG.  This year the theme is the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona.  Listen to the American Bar Association’s program commemorating Miranda at https://goo.gl/VEnFx0, and learn more about … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Taxpayers sued New York City’s Board of Education in order to challenge a policy that permitted students to leave school during the day to attend religious instruction elsewhere. No public funds were used and no religious instruction took place on … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

This month Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer spoke at Columbia University.  You’ll find his conversation with Lee Bollinger, the university’s president, at http://goo.gl/XLXJ1W.  Justice Breyer is quite engaging and shares his thoughts on the need to understand other countries’ laws to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A high school student, Alfonso Lopez, Jr., was arrested and charged with violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 after bringing a (concealed) handgun and 5 bullets into his school.  He moved to dismiss his indictment arguing the law … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In October 1935 Lillian and William Gobitas were expelled from their elementary school after they refused, on religious grounds, to salute the American flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. A lawsuit ensued on their behalf by their father. The … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

After Raphael Konigsberg graduated from the University of Southern California Law School, and passed the bar examination in 1953, the State of California refused to admit him to practice, because he wouldn’t answer whether he was in the past, or … Continue reading

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The First African-American Woman Lawyer

In 1872 Charlotte E. Ray became the first African-American woman to graduate Howard University School of Law, be admitted to the Washington, D.C. bar and thereafter practice law.  Read the Congressional Record at https://goo.gl/40zmeP, and learn more about this trailblazer at http://goo.gl/6cTX7B.

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Remembering Charles Hamilton Houston

Charles Hamilton Houston was born on September 3, 1895, and died on April 22, 1950. He was a remarkable African-American attorney who played a key role in ending segregation in the United States. He’s probably best remembered (along with former … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 21, 1976, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Meachum v. Fano. State prisoners, who were believed to be disruptive, sued to prevent their transfer to a less desirable facility. The issue on … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Justice Stevens

On April 20, 1920, retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois. Read more about him @ http://goo.gl/m59a7a and https://goo.gl/8EezaV.

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 19,1994, the United States Supreme Court held in J.E.B. v. Alabama that the Equal Protection clause prohibits gender-based discrimination during jury selection. Justice Blackmun, who authored the majority Opinion, explained– “Equal opportunity to participate in the fair administration … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Lloyds Center, a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, had a policy that prohibited persons from distributing on its premises any handbills that had no relation to the Center’s operation. On November 14, 1968, Vietnam protesters attempted to disseminate literature protesting … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On this date in 1905 the United States Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Lochner v. New York. Joseph Lochner was the owner of a bakery in Utica, New York. He was arrested after permitting one of his bakers to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In Baze v. Rees, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, two death row inmates challenged the lethal injection protocol used in Kentucky death penalty cases. On April 16, 2008, the United States Supreme Court found the protocol constitutional under the 8th … Continue reading

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Remembering Supreme Court Justice Byron White

Prior to becoming an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, Byron R. White was a college football star (visit the College Football Hall of Fame @ http://goo.gl/aIJXyq), and played professionally with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Lions. He … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 14, 1970, President Nixon nominated Harry A. Blackmun to the United States Supreme Court.  On May 12, 1970, the Senate confirmed his nomination.  Take a look at the Congressional Record @ http://goo.gl/uStXuR.  This was the second time the … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 13, 1942, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Betts v. Brady. The question presented was– did the State of Maryland have a constitutional duty to appoint legal counsel to assist an indigent defendant indicted … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

The case of Gitlow v. New York was argued before the United States Supreme Court on April 12, 1923. The underlying facts were as follows– Benjamin Gitlow, an active member of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party, arranged … Continue reading

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Remembering Charles Evans Hughes

On April 11, 1862, Charles Evans Hughes was born. From 1910-1916 he was an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and from 1930 to 1941 he was the Chief Justice. He was the 39th Governor of New York … Continue reading

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