Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior / Edition 1

Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior / Edition 1

by Howard Ball
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195078144

ISBN-13: 9780195078145

Pub. Date: 09/12/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press

During his thirty-four year tenure as a Justice of the Supreme Court, Hugo L. Black demonstrated, in the words of one of his colleagues, "a true passion for the Constitution." At a moment's notice, in front of visiting students or a clutch of legal dignitaries, the Judge would whip his tattered copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket, flip through

Overview

During his thirty-four year tenure as a Justice of the Supreme Court, Hugo L. Black demonstrated, in the words of one of his colleagues, "a true passion for the Constitution." At a moment's notice, in front of visiting students or a clutch of legal dignitaries, the Judge would whip his tattered copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket, flip through it to a particular passage and then, in a high voice, read the passage con vivace. And though Black began his political career in Alabama as the candidate of the Ku Klux Klan—with their help in 1926 he became a U.S. Senator—thirty years later, he would argue forcefully for an end to segregation in the South.
In Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior, distinguished writer Howard Ball draws from Black's extensive files in the Library of Congress and on interviews with his colleagues on the Court, his law clerks, and his family to illuminate the enigmatic career of a man who became one of the twentieth century's most vigilant defenders of freedoms and liberty. Ball's examination of Black's life reveals a consummate politician who kept, in a safe beside his desk, the names, addresses, and backgrounds of all those who gave Black support from the time he ran for the county solicitor's job in Jefferson County, Alabama, through his two terms as a U.S. Senator. A fervent New Deal advocate, Black lent his support to F.D.R.'s court packing plan, and was one of the few who stood with the President until the measure's defeat in 1937. Less than one month later, F.D.R. rewarded Black by nominating him to the Supreme Court. Soon after Black's confirmation by the Senate, the story of his Klan membership spread across the nation, prompting Time magazine to write that "Hugo won't have to buy a robe, he can dye his white one black." One of Black's early opinions for the Court, however, changed most of the negative opinion about him. Writing for the majority in Chambers v. Florida, Black and his colleagues overturned charges against four African-American men unjustly accused of murder.
In addition to Black's political and judicial career, Ball captures some of the great legal minds at work—Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, John M. Harlan II, and William J. Brennan—and their encounters with the tough Justice who was an immovable force when engaged in a constitutional battle. From Brown v. Board of Education and the first tests of the power of the federal courts to implement the Brown decision, to the height of McCarthyism and the national hysteria about Communism, to New York Times v. United States, the famous Pentagon Papers case in 1971 (Black's last opinion for the Court which defended a newspaper's First Amendment rights), Black emerges as a staunch defender of federalism and the primacy of the First Amendment, a strict, literal interpreter of the Constitution, and always proud to be a member of the Supreme Court.
Throughout his life, Hugo Black's cockiness, sternness, and stubborn determination won him many critics. On every occasion, as Howard Ball shows, Black proved his critics wrong. He became a major presence in the Senate and one of the great Justices ever to sit on the Supreme Court.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195078145
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/12/1996
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.07(d)

Table of Contents

Chronology xiii
Introduction 3(7)
One / Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior
10(19)
The Owen Roberts Letter Incident
10(5)
The Strong, Vigorous Temperament
15(3)
Steely Tough at Home
18(5)
Use of Language
23(1)
The Human Dilemma
24(2)
Love Affair with the Court
26(1)
The Cold Steel Warrior's Vision of the Future
27(2)
Two / Alabama Roots
29(19)
The South
30(6)
Race and Racism in Alabama
36(3)
Family History
39(4)
The Complex Man from Alabama
43(5)
Three / The Birmingham Years
48(21)
Practicing Law in Birmingham
50(2)
Police Court Judge
52(2)
Birmingham's Prosecutor (Jefferson County)
54(2)
The Army, Loves, and Marriage
56(4)
Joining the Ku Klux Klan
60(2)
Running for the U.S. Senate
62(7)
Four / Senator from Alabama
69(20)
The Legislator from Alabama
71(8)
The Public Utility Holding Company Battle
79(1)
"Go for The Jugular" Senate Inquisitor
80(6)
The President's Court-Packing Plan
86(3)
Five / "I Nominate Hugo L. Black of Alabama"
89(18)
The President Nominates, the Senate Confirms
90(5)
Membership in the Klan: Sit or Quit
95(5)
Friendship with Walter White of the NAACP
100(7)
Six / The Supreme Court Justice from Alabama: The Role and Functions of the U.S. Supreme Court
107(17)
The Constitution as Fundamental Law
109(3)
Constitutional Powers of Government
112(1)
Constitutional Limits on Governmental Uses of Power
113(3)
Due Process of Law
116(1)
The Equal Protection Clause
117(2)
The Judicial Function in a Constitutional Government
119(2)
The Role of the Supreme Court in American Politics
121(3)
Seven / Friends, Enemies, and Legal "Children"
124(45)
The Fur Begins to Fly: Conflict in the Court
127(3)
Friends and Enemies
130(1)
William O. Douglas
131(6)
Felix Frankfurter
137(8)
Robert H. Jackson
145(7)
Abe Fortas
152(5)
William J. Brennan, Jr.
157(5)
John M. Harlan II
162(4)
Hugo's Other "Children," His Law Clerks
166(3)
Eight / Commitment to "Our Federalism" and to the Primacy of Freedom of Expression
169(41)
"Our Federalism": Black's Perspective on the Federal-State Relationship in America
171(17)
The "Firstness" of the First Amendment
188(12)
"Speech Plus Conduct" and Other Controversial First Amendment Free-Speech Questions
200(10)
Nine / Fourteenth Amendment Battles: Incorporation, Due Process, Equal Protection, and "New Rights"
210(34)
Should the Bill of Rights Be "Incorporated" into the Fourteenth Amendment?
211(7)
Due Process of Law: The Continuing Clash of Views
218(3)
Equal Protection of the Laws
221(15)
Creating "New Rights"
236(8)
Ten / The Enduring Legacy
244(9)
The Death of the Judge
244(2)
The Enduring Legacy
246(4)
Above All, the Constitution
250(3)
Notes 253(36)
Bibliography 289(5)
Cases Cited 294(3)
Index 297

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