Monthly Archives: February 2017

On This Date in Legal History

The Good News Club, a private Christian organization for children, wanted to use Milford Central School property for their after school meetings. Milford denied their request. The Club sued, claiming that their rights to free speech were violated. Their case … Continue reading

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The 22nd Amendment

On February 27, 1951, the 22nd Amendment was ratified. It established term limits for the president. No person can serve more than “two terms in office, a total of eight years,” unless he or she “serve[d] two years or less … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Clarence Brandenburg, a Ku Klux Klan leader, spoke at a rally and remarked– if matters continued as is, then “revengeance” might have to be taken. He was referring to the government’s alleged “suppress[ion] of the white, Caucasian, race.” On another … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On February 26, 1962, the United States Supreme Court unequivocally stated in Bailey v. Patterson that “no State may require racial segregation of interstate or intrastate transportation facilities.” Read the decision at https://goo.gl/2AY4vh.

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 2, 1961, African American students gathered to protest racial segregation in South Carolina. They began their demonstration in a church and marched to the State House in small groups of about 15. There were 187 students, in all. … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1903 the Oregon legislature enacted a statute providing, “no female [shall] be employed in any mechanical establishment or factory or laundry” “more than ten hours during any one day.” Curt Muller, the owner of a laundry, was convicted of … Continue reading

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Lee Daniels’ The Butler

One extremely entertaining (and educational) way of celebrating Black History Month is to watch The Butler. This historical drama traces the fictional life of a former slave, Cecil Gaines, who becomes a butler for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, … Continue reading

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Remembering Justice Frankfurter

On November 15, 1882, former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter was born in Austria. In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt nominated him to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed his nomination, and he served on the Court until … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On February 21, 1936, Barbara Jordan was born. She was a lawyer, educator and trailblazing politician. Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate. While serving in the Senate, members elected her president pro tempore. Then in … Continue reading

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The 21st Amendment

On February 20, 1933, Congress proposed the 21st Amendment to repeal prohibition. On December 5, 1933, the Amendment was ratified by the States. Learn more at https://goo.gl/3D0gAw, and watch this interesting newsreel from that period https://goo.gl/gVxqEo.

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Executive Order 9066

After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, West Coast residents became very suspicious of Japanese Americans. They were concerned that they’d assist Japan in further attacking the U.S. The hysteria eventually caused President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

In November 1987 President Reagan nominated Judge Anthony Kennedy to the United States Supreme Court. You can watch President Reagan’s press conference at http://goo.gl/hzSncr. At the time he was serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On February 17, 1942, Attorney General Francis Biddle wrote President Roosevelt to express his reservations about the immediate evacuation and internment of Japanese on the west coast. Read his memorandum below.

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On This Date in Legal History

The 5th Amendment states private property can’t “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In 1822 John Barron brought a lawsuit against the City of Baltimore claiming their actions caused him to lose the use of his wharf— violating his … Continue reading

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From 1914 to 1932 Benjamin Nathan Cardozo served on the New York State Court of Appeals (initially as an Associate Justice, later as Chief Justice). On February 15, 1932, President Hoover appointed him to the United States Supreme Court where he … Continue reading

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Esther Hobart Morris

In February 1870 Esther Hobart Morris “became the first woman to hold judicial office in the modern world.” She was appointed justice of the peace for the South Pass District in Wyoming. A statue of her stands at the National … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

In January 1916 President Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis D. Brandeis to the United States Supreme Court. His nomination was controversial; nonetheless, the Senate confirmed his appointment in a 47 to 22 vote, and he became the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice. … Continue reading

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Let’s Celebrate Former President (Attorney) Abe Lincoln

On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born. Before becoming our 16th President he was a well-respected lawyer. You can learn about his legal career at http://goo.gl/Xa9ix9. President Lincoln is most remembered, however, for his accomplishments as president, including the passage … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On February 11, 1856, the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford was argued before the Supreme Court; and on Mar 6, 1857, the Court held that African-American slaves (and their descendants) were not citizens. Consequently, they had no standing to sue … Continue reading

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February is National African American History Month

In honor of National African American History Month, I recommend watching the film “Mr. Civil Rights—Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP.”  The film traces Thurgood Marshall’s life as a civil rights attorney. Prior to becoming the first African American Supreme Court … Continue reading

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