Tag Archives: OTD

On This Date in Legal History

On May 23, 1889, Mabel Walker Willebrandt was born. From 1921 to 1929 she was the Assistant Attorney General of the United States responsible for enforcing prohibition (the Volstead Act). To learn more about this remarkable attorney, read Can This Woman … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Justice William Brennan

On October 15, 1956, President Eisenhower appointed William Brennan to the high court. On July 20, 1990, Justice Brennan retired after serving on the Supreme Court for over 33 years. In July 1997, he passed away, but his legacy lives … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 19, 1921, former Chief Justice Edward Douglas White passed away. He served on the United States Supreme Court for 26 years. He was the first Associate Justice to become a Chief Justice on the high court. More noteworthy, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1890 the Louisiana legislature enacted a statute that required railroad companies to provide “for separate railway carriages for the white and colored races.”  The races weren’t permitted to sit together.  Any passenger who violated the law was subject to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The Court unanimously held that the doctrine of “separate but equal” is inherently unequal, so it ordered the integration of … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On February 7, 1946, Arthur Terminiello delivered a controversial speech at a Christian Veterans of America meeting. In response to the views he expressed, protesters threw rocks, stones, and bricks that broke windows and doors. The police were unable to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Gerald Gault and a friend allegedly made an obscene phone call to a neighbor. On June 8, 1964, both boys were taken into custody. After a hearing Gerald was committed to the State Industrial School until he was 21. His … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Lyndon Johnson met former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas when they were both working in Washington, D.C. in the late 30s. Then in 1948, Fortas helped Johnson win a highly contested Senate seat. Johnson viewed Fortas as a trusted advisor, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1971 Daniel Ellsberg, a Pentagon analyst, turned over to the New York Times, Washington Post, and other newspapers, a classified file widely known as the “Pentagon Papers”.  The file revealed  that the government was providing the American public with … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 10, 2010, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 63-37. See the Senate Roll Call at http://goo.gl/sCXFAA. On August 7, 2010, she was sworn in as … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 9, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began its formal investigation into the possible impeachment of President Nixon. Take a look at the U.S. Government Printing Office’s “History of Proceedings” at https://goo.gl/mOe2xn.

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The 27th Amendment

On May 7, 1992, the 27th Amendment to our Constitution was ratified.  The Amendment reads– “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened”. Simply … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 5, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Town of Greece v. Galloway. The Court (in a 5:4 decision) held that reciting a prayer before a town meeting doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Read more about … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1951 an all-Anglo grand jury indicted Pete Hernandez for murder in Jackson County, Texas, and then an all-Anglo petit jury found him guilty. Hernandez was of Mexican descent, so his attorneys attempted to quash both the indictment and jury … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1924 the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded facility sought to forcibly sterilize Carrie Buck under the state’s eugenics sterilization law. She and her mother, Emma, were under the state’s care, and Carrie allegedly had a child who was, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

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 as  the 8th Chief Justice of the Court. He served on … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 29, 1745, Oliver Ellsworth was born. He was a respected lawyer, a judge on the Connecticut Supreme Court, he served in the Continental Congress, he helped draft our Constitution, was a member of the U.S. Senate, he played … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A high school student 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 was unconstitutional because … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 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 legal … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Raphael Konigsberg graduated from the University of Southern California Law School, and passed the bar examination in 1953; however, 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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