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tv   Justice Robert H. Jackson FDR  CSPAN  October 8, 2018 9:38pm-10:36pm EDT

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in saint john's university law professor examines the career of robert h jackson in his right leg-- relationship to franklin d roosevelt. the supreme court historical society hosted the lecture in the supreme court changer-- chamber in chief justice john robert introduced the program. >> good evening and welcome to the supreme court of the united states. i think for many of you if not most of you, it's probably welcome back. this is the third of the lecture in the 4 part lecture series about supreme court justices who have served in the
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in for a special evening. i want to make clear the gratitude. those of us on the court deeply grateful for the work being done to improve understanding of the supreme court. these lectures and others like them, you mentioned your journal is my favorite. some say it's the only one that i read but i would not go that far. and also a particular favorite, the summer institute for secondary school teachers all to benefit the court and the public. the subject of the lecture is justice robert jackson. i have a special connection to the justice, a genealogical
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connection. you've mentioned for whom i was very privileged to work for many years. many saw that justice jackson's portrait is one of 4 that we have in our conference room. one of the privileges is that you get to choose the portraits and i added justice jackson's with a portrait of chief justice . jackson was one of the masters in the courts history in 63 years after his early death.
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i think probably most people have heard this-- infallible only because we are final. i'm not sure that everyone realizes that that first appeared in the opinion that justice jackson wrote. what i admire most as many appreciate-- is that many appreciate his pragmatism. a country lawyer, a high government official, a politician, a diplomat, prosecutor, and a member of this court. he had a knife for allocating time and talent furthering constitutional systems of government. i clerk in the 1980 term and in a 1980 article he said he thought jackson shared-- this is abraham lincoln.
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ability to profit from experience to accommodate his views or seemed to require accommodation but to maintain throughout his life a sturdy independence of view whereas i think it describes justice rehnquist himself. this term jackson not only personified but to find in an unforgettable essay. his virtuoso service led to another justice to say he wishes jackson could be general for life and has a whole series- - and a whole series of jackson as war crimes prosecutor accepting a difficult assignment to make sure the world confronted and made a record of the evils perpetrated by [ null ] germany. this work has new importance
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today with the passing of personal memories of its members. we could certainly spend more than one evening as a member of the cabinet. our lecture is sure to make the most of it. he is a fellow at the robert h jackson center where he also serves on the board of trustees in which i have had the pleasure of doing. he sends to more than 1000 devoted researchers-- devoted readers. a previously unpublished manuscript written by justice jackson himself.
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they are working on a full biography of justice jackson which many of us are eagerly looking forward to reading. please join me in welcoming professor. john barrett. >> [ applause ] . >> thank you chief justice roberts into the supreme court historical society who have been part of these arrangements. it's a pleasure to be in this room with many friends, especially members of the jackson family and those in connection with the center. i had the privilege to meet him through his long time friend who was my boss teacher and friend and to draw a the connection to this, silverman's colleague which he joined in
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1949 and rose to chair-- rose to chair was a lawyer named sam harris. in 1945 and 1946 was a junior and important prosecutor. another named partner had a brother-in-law after justice jackson's time. indeed, he also moved into jackson's former office, the office of the atty. general. of the united states. i'm getting ahead of myself. 2 specific points in time during the life of robert jackson. franklin d roosevelt was president for neither, and yet he was quite here. the first is october and yet he was quite here. the first is october 13.
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robert jackson than 40 years old was in washington for the american bar association meeting held at the mayflower hotel. jackson was very involved in those activities and was an officer and a program speaker at the conference. on that thursday in 1932 many lawyers who were in town for the meeting i attended on this piece of land. first-- president. herbert hoover wielded as the cornerstone was laid. very likely robert h jackson was watching from a position deep in the crowd. taking a seat in this completed building
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, i doubt the daydream occurred even in jackson's mind even though it was a place of great confidence and high ambition. a key one and a necessary one was president of the united states. the second i will use was may 1952. it was a moment when they had been gone 7 years but came in tensely to mind on that day. challenging the constitutionality, steel mills which would have shut down by a labor strike during the current- - korean war moment. speaking
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in his oral argument directly to justice jackson, argued that they had the constitutional power to seize private property because presidents beforehand had done exactly that and his lawyer atty. general. robert jackson told him he had the constitutional power to do so. jackson as he wrote weeks later believed that fdr's property seizures and the trim and seizure were quite distinguishable. in his mind, in his chambers, in his life thereafter jackson had a striking realization. memories already were fading and he realized he was the last
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participant in the leading event. jackson began to write about roosevelt. that is summer and in the next year and a half he doodled out most of the book. he left it incomplete and had the amazing fortune and assistance of the jackson family to be able to publish that as the chief justice mentioned. that moment and that perspective reminds us that franklin roosevelt is always in this room. i will discuss these men, roosevelt and jackson next in three parts. first, atty. general. jackson 18 months and third,
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some specific episode that illuminates the relationship between them. he was born in 1892 on a family form-- a family farm. they were a self-sufficient family, not rich not for, just independent. was eight years old, they moved north into freeze burke. a small village. and he was schooled and graduated in 1909 as valedictorian from the high school. he was 17 years old. he spent the next year commuting by trolley up the valley to jamestown, new york, a big city with a more sophisticated high school and he took a second senior year of high school and received a diploma at age 18.
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and then, he pursued no college education at all. not one day of college. instead, at 18, in jamestown, he began the path to law by working as an apprentice to jamestown lawyers. a man named frank mott and his partner, benjamin dean. they were a perfect team. mott was a talker, a wheeler dealer, a trial lawyer, a political. and dean was a journalist, a scholar, cerebral, a writer and a theorist. and they poured each of themselves into their boy jackson. on the mott side, a moment occurred in 1911. he was also a democrat and the democratic leader, a big figure, connected in democratic politics and he took his boy, jackson, if i may, only 19 years old to albany. there he introduced him to many
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people. a lot of handshakes. most i think were forgettable but when that he did remember was a freshman senator from dutchess county named frank roosevelt. he was 29. jackson was 19. roosevelt, it was forgotten. after that first apprentice year jackson spent the next year at dean's urging getting learning at the law school. they gave him credit for his apprentice year and he transferred into the senior year of what was then a two- year program and was a sterling student. but by the end of the year he was still only 20 years old. they declined to give him a diploma, instead giving him a certificate of completion. he was still one year short of far eligibility so we went to jamestown and apprenticed again and with somewhat casual rules
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in that day, he began to look at -- to litigate. and in 1913, when he was 21, age eligible, he took and passed the state bar. he hung out a shingle in jamestown. for the first three or so years he had a kind of scruffy, very underpaid, newest, youngest lawyer in town practice that began to impress people. he caught the eye of a judge visiting from buffalo. that was recruitment for the big-city. also during those first three years following his mentor he was involved in democratic politics and was elected and this is the only office he ever ran for, he was elected and reelected as the district one leader of the county democratic county committee which was a component of the new york state democratic committee. this is not a huge job.
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in 1916, jackson was recruited to buffalo. the 10th largest city in the country, a thriving city and has a two-year experience in high-stakes litigation. a lot of court work, representing streetcars, personal injury and other things and has trial lawyer experience that wets his appetite for more. he also, during these years, has renewed contact with his former state senator, frank roosevelt who he came to washington 1913 and serves as a secretary of the navy under woodrow wilson. district leader jackson has a democrat in the white house and an interested new yorker who wants to be the receiving officer for people across new york state. so when jackson goes to washington on missions, seeking the appointment of his guy to
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be postmaster, his first stop in the office that makes his appointments around town is the assistant secretary of the navy, drink roosevelt, now franklin and his secretary, louis how. this is a period of town where roosevelt remembers who this young man is. now, jackson and buffalo is moving away from the political work, buffalo is now the site of a new robert h jackson courthouse on the circle in downtown. but jackson realizes that climbing the ladder in the big- city is a long-term process. returning to jamestown gives him a chance to climb higher, faster and to become a younger contemporary of the big lawyers of new york city and buffalo and cleveland and chicago. he does that. first he is recruited by the republican mayor to become a counselor. then he opens a private practice
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which is no longer entirely scruffy. it is local, regional, national and very much detaching from democratic politics. jackson argues cases in the court of appeals. he is involved in bar association activities. and the personal realm he has a prosperous wife. he marries a beautiful woman that he met in albany, irene gerhart and they have two children. they build a big house with white pillars. they own and 88 acre horse farm as their getaway place so that jackson can ride. they have a cabin cruiser on the lake. and his client base in the business realm is real business is making products and selling them in the depths of the depression. he has prosperity and wealth that is depression proof. he attains great success. his practice, the jackson law
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firm, five lawyers is paid and unpaid, corporate and individual, civil and criminal, trial and appellate, popular and unpopular. a general practice that two lawyers, even in more locations could accomplish today. jackson attains membership in the law institute. on the nomination of chief justice of the court of appeals who becomes impressed with jackson's arguments and one of his mentors. and i was pleased to see, now looks across today's conference table at the portrait and the jackson portrait and his protigi. in 1932 he is elected to the leadership of the american bar association. the elected head of the conference. alongside that, in the 1920s, some renewed interest in politics enters his life. and the reason is franklin roosevelt who, out of his own schedule is recruited to run
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for governor in 1928 to help all smith carry his home state in a tough and anti-catholic national context of the smith race which was a defeat to hoover. roosevelt wins. jackson in the campaign does proxy speaking on his behalf. and renews the contact and jackson is now not just a kid and an apprentice, he is someone in bar circles, more widely. governor roosevelt is now consulting jackson. he never goes to work for state government but he assists in projects and serves on task forces and in 1930 he is a proxy speaker and more significant in governor rover -- roosevelts campaign. in 1932, governor roosevelt runs for and wins the white house and jackson is increasingly involved. thus, in 1933, after 20 years
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of private law practice, robert jackson has a friend in the white house. the possibility of high-level service. he plays hard to get. he is offered various jobs, general counsel in things, they aren't really up his alley. he wants a lawyer job, he wants a stature job, and he's not even sure if he wants a job at all but in 1934 he accepts an appointment to become the general counsel of the bureau of internal revenue. today, irs. it is at that time the largest law office. bigger than the justice department. 200 lawyers. and jackson is the general counsel. this is the first of his five presidential nominations. this is a trivia question, name the person who is nominated for five different offices and confirmed six times by the senate. yes, they had to do a do over. but the answer is robert jackson.
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this is the meteoric rise that begins in 1934. of course, he never leaves. 1934, general counsel. over the next 18 months he becomes the national headline name, having successful civil prostitution -- prosecution and mr. mellon is unrelated, his gift to the nation, down the hill, the national gallery of art. in 1935, another denomination, roosevelts instigation, he detailed away for revenue to the fcc. the fcc and team are defending the constitutionality of -- constitutionality of the public holding company act. a new statute and jackson heads the team and supreme court litigation that is successful. in 1936 he is appointed the assistant attorney general
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heading the tax division. treasury tax. after one year, he has another appointment and is the assistant attorney general at the antitrust division which is the subject of interesting analysis about those days, not requiring independent confirmation. after the year in antitrust, he is nominated and confirmed and he is solicitor general of the united states. a job he loved. in the next two years he spends much time at a version of this podium, facing the other way, arguing 30 cases for the court quite brilliantly. it was a court inclined for the next previous incarnations to support and refer to the new deal. it was a court that was having roosevelts appointees and jackson's success is overwhelming and the holding company is one, social security is another and it is a long
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list of successes. in 1940, somewhat against his better instincts and wishes, jackson is promoted. this is the fourth presidential appointment. he is 47 years old and he is now the ag. and then, 17 1/2 months later, jackson is appointed in 1941 to be an associate justice of this court. he is 49 years old. at that point he and irene faced the handwriting on the wall and they sell their house in jamestown and go back to visit in the summer but they don't live there again. they purchase hickory hill in mclean, virginia, far out really, apart from washington, dc. it is another country if you ever heard of it. and there he finds what in his day was a local version of this
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county. a place where he could garden on a grand scale. a place where he could have horses and virtually every morning he would saddle up and ride out back and down past the former slave church. and make opinions in his head. so that way first drafts were easier to dictate later. he became justice jackson. 1941 and forward. apologies to -- who served on this court two years, 1893 to 1895, no one thinks of him when they hear the words justice jackson. our justin jackson in those first years has enduring opinions. the scope of congresses power. his opinion for six justices in the court in west virginia board of education. overruling the recent decision of the court that had upheld
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the criminalization and prosecution of parents of jehovah's witness school children who on religious scruples refused to salute the flag. the freedom of conscience and the right to not be compelled by the government is a jackson opinion. in those years, he had dissenting opinions. dissenting from the courts upholding of the military orders and criminal law enforcement surrounding them that direct the exclusion of japanese-americans from the west coast. in this time period justice jackson becomes to be regarded as the best writer of any justice except for the current --. i wish to be a good guy. in 1945, president harry truman appoints him to be chief of
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counsel for the prosecution of war criminals in the european theater. really, this job makes him a world leader in creating the world's first international criminal court. through the diplomacy of the london conference in 1945, four nations, u.s., uk, ussr and france reach the london agreement. creating court. and these allies who are winning the war and now creating courts and moved to nuremberg where he serves as the u.s. chief prosecutor but really the chief prosecutor, leading the successful prosecution ofleaders. delivering brilliant opening and closing statements. personally, and mostly successfully, handling witness examinations, direct and cross. and captures uncontested documents, plus witness testimony, building history of crimes including what we
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understand today as the holocaust. in 1946 after one year away, he returns to his court. he serves eight more terms, filled with notable, complex and divisive decisions, sometimes unanimous. among landmarks are his opinions in the -- seizure case. and his vote is one of the unanimous nine in may 1954 as cheese -- chief justice warren led brown versus board of education. and then at age 62 robert jackson died of a heart attack. let me turn to my second topic. attorney general jackson's service. from 1940 until 1941. i wish to approach this in nine points. i assure you i could give many more. but i think these are dimensions of this service which is his relationship with
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roosevelt. it could have started earlier. he is the sg in 1938 and the number two and attorney general homer cummings is ready to depart. but there are already by some measure too many new yorkers in the cabinet. the cabinet was 10 and there are already for. -- 4. jackson would have made half of the cabinet from the new york city and for a politician that was pro grill. plus, the defeated governor of michigan, frank murphy, a new dealer who probably lost the race because of his close and vigorous defense of roosevelt, needed a job. so, he, frank murphy is the attorney general.
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and jackson stays sg, a job he loves. one year later, roosevelt promoted, if you will, frank murphy to this court. thus began the career of justice murphy. my second point. when jackson became attorney general, as he well knew, because he had been number two in the department, it was a mess. he was not sure he wanted the job. frank murphy was many great things but it is fair to call him a performance artist attorney general. great talk. visibility was bad. unwise cases. week personnel. promises of action that were not coming. and demoralization fifth floor to the basement. if you read robert jackson's much quoted and lauded 1940 speech to the assembled attorneys in 1940, this is the back story. he tells them i am fixing it and we will run the ship now. a third dimension.
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in early 1940, he was a serious presidential candidate. at least conceptually. you see, frank written -- franklin roosevelt was going to retire after two terms. the new dealers, watching the boss prepare to depart, of course, were thinking about what is next. that cohort, tommy corcoran, ben cohen, others, were united and apparently fdr was enthusiastic too. that robert jackson was the next standardbearer. if you like it is activities from january to april they are part of the boom. he is giving speeches around the country. they are broadcast on radio. they are covered enormously in the newspapers. the headlines are not ambiguous. jackson for president. roosevelt wants jackson. can he win? the topics are law, liberty, security and the federal
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prosecutor, the ethical way to do prosecution as part of this range of topics. one thing that jackson stressed was that franklin roosevelt should run for and win a third term. that is clever cover for any personal ambition but also an argument that was a winner. as the world situation changed, certainly by nate -- by may 1940, hitler and the invasion of the low countries and france, and the collapse, roosevelt for a third term was part of his message that was coming true. so that is a fourth dimension. what about jackson for vice president? vice president garner had broken with fdr over the third term possibility. so had the postmaster general. jim farley. assuming that a convention would draft roosevelt, who would be his vice president? there were many possibilities, pretty much the washington
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phonebook. secretary of state. secretary of agriculture. justice douglas. a senator from south carolina and yes, of course, robert jackson. to prepare for this possibility jackson and his family get ready. a large number of publicity photos are taken of him and them in washington. before the convention. he has many conversations with roosevelt, undocumented during this period. it could not have all been about doj business. a lot of this i think was imparting messages. in july, jackson and his wife and son go to chicago. his daughter was occupied with employment and could not make it. the roosevelt team was headquartered at the blackstone hotel. jackson's son in college and
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later a law student and then a very great accomplished lawyer, was on the path to the family business but could not get a room in the blackstone. so he stayed nearby in the hotel stephens and i will note that that also was a family business. jackson and the law, father and son, the hotel stephens fathers and sons. one of course took a different path. coming to work here as a law clerk in 1947. and then of course, as a justice in his own right, justice stevens in 1975. so what about that campaign? the vice presidential nominee was henry wallace. attorney general robert jackson became a very active campaigner. there are technical, legal arguments about how consistent this was but it is shocking by our standards to see how the ag
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was on the stump for the reelection of the president. but he was. but, a sixth dimension, i certainly don't mean to suggest this was not here, was the day job of being the ag. doj during these 17+ months, the work of the ag, was war preparation. and all the legal issues concerning there. most famous is the basis for destroyers deal, church hill, in may, he begged roosevelt and eventually proposed as a swap in the summer of 1940, give us 50 world war i u.s. destroyers because we are being slaughtered. britain is starving. in return we will give you 99 year leases on british colonial bases on the atlantic seaboard. basically newfoundland to bermuda. that deal jackson says a net
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win for the u.s. boats for real estate. and not -- that runs afoul of neutrality laws. and jackson's legal idea becomes the endorsement of the deal that roosevelt wants to make. and did make. and it was not disclosed to congress and not supported by legislation. it was announced. this is the ag opinion. on the heels of that was the resumption of selective service. in 1940. a complex legislative project in which jackson was involved. the defense buildup in 1940 and 41 was appropriations battles legislative lobbying, and complex legal work in the department of justice. the investigation and prosecution of brett while not getting carried away and targeting perceived subversive and enemies and my imagination was something that the doj was doing. and also in this period,
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related to the destroyer and other deals, the doj and jackson principally develop legal arguments that germany's aggression is in the international crime. and thus, a theory to avoid neutrality laws because we are not joining a battle, we are aiding a victim. that becomes the backbone of the nuremberg prosecution five years later. a final thing about the job. jackson and his inter-circle and department are preparing in the event of war for law enforcement investigation and detentions of individual potential enemy aliens located in the u.s. meaning individual germans, italians, german- americans, italian-americans, and not japanese people or japanese-americans. shows you which where they were expecting and which one did strike as a surprise. the seventh dimension. in the war cabinet it was the
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heart of the secretary of war and the secretary of the navy and the attorney general robert jackson. and one additional, particular they worked on, with seizing defense protection facilities that needed to remain in production and could not afford to be closed by strike. a topic that the solicitor general invoked in 1952. and eighth dimension was his assistance to harry truman. in 1942, senator called for and came to chair a committee on defense production contracting, overruns, compression, waste, fraud and abuse. it made harry truman a national figure. he needed a great committee counsel. he picked up the phone and called the ag. he asked jackson for a lawyer and jackson gave him one. a very aggressive, very experienced prosecutor. and in his life and memoirs,
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everyplace that harry truman said why his committee worked it was because of hugh fulton, thank you robert jackson. this is part of truman's high regard for what happens next in jackson's life. another dimension. jackson was more a law man than a lawyer. and so, roosevelt's ultimate desire for him, designed for him and deployment of him was the appointment to this court. in 1941. it was part of a complex play, the end of the term and it approached in 1941, he had one vacancy and chief justice hughes said that his age required him to retire. president roosevelt really wanted to appoint jackson chief justice. he told him that directly and he would do so eventually. but in that moment, early in the third term, perhaps with a
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world were coming, in the interest of bipartisan unity, what he found was a national gesture. he elevated a republican appointee, appointed by president coolidge to be the chief justice. he appointed a conservative southern senator from south carolina to replace the other. and he appointed jackson to be the junior justice, slightly behind burns if you will, to be the successor to stone in the seat emptied by his elevation. let me now turn to my third topic. the moments in the substance in the jackson roosevelt relationship. of course, he himself chronicled this. he described fdr in numerous roles. friend, administrator, politician, military leader, hero. and that is thick.
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interesting and revealing. deeply autobiographical also. his biography of roosevelt and a form of autobiography. it is incomplete. it was limited by his memory because it was not a researched book. it was something he turned to and wrote on legal pads as he traveled and had moments. so here are some additions. seven points. first is the mutual pleasure in each other's company. this was not a relationship with deep intimacy. fdr was not that type. he admitted very few people to his inner circle. jackson was not one of them. but they had pleasure in the next circle if you will. in their time together. including relaxation. fishing trips. cruises. poker games. swimming in the pool. they shared i think in a upstate and it which non-new yorkers may have trouble
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understanding, but it is a real thing. and it was dutchess county. second, jackson had an independence that was valued by fdr. maybe not at first. by 1914, early 1915 he knows who he is. and this guy from -- is giving him a hard time about postmaster appointments. 1916, jackson writes a long, pushy, independent letter to fdr. here is one paragraph about a nomination of a perfect democrat. who jackson thought should have been appointed by wilson. our friend, mr. smith was turned down because sometime in the rural past he suffered from a venereal disease. just how this disqualifies him as postmaster i am not able to see.
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but never having suffered from this affliction myself, i cannot share the president against it which the post office officials seem to have. and it goes downhill from there. the conclusion is a very lacerating page about why should i still be a democrat. i will do it out of habit and loyalty but if this is the garbage a loyal democrat gets from you in washington why am i on this team? so, roosevelt pushed buttons and made it happen and put it to rest. he remembered him and register this and found jackson's independence annoying. maybe roosevelt did not ever in the spot entirely value his independence and spice. jackson was not a yes-man. he expressed it with smarts and power. and to one who wants a yes that can be annoying. but consistently, obviously it
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was valued by fdr. look at the pattern. advancement and promotion. and look at truman. inheriting the awesome office and a deeply demanding moment, needing the leading legal leader of the country to prosecute what well could have been hitler and hiner himmler, goering, gorman, and others. and truman asked this justice to come down from the supreme court to the white house. and offer some that job. a third dimension. jackson and roosevelt shared propriety. after 1941, he was a justice of this court. fdr and the u.s. were litigants, parties, interested in the courts work. but the men had a close, continuing friendship. what does that mean about improper influence and sway
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that roosevelt might have had on justice jackson? according to jackson, court work between the two of them was never discussed. well, one. on april 6, 1942, jackson's first term, justice burns announced a decision southern steamship company versus nlrb. they held 5-4 that sailors engaging in mutiny were not strikers within the protections of the national labor relations act. subsequently, during a card game, fdr leaned over and said how did you vote on that question of mutiny on ships? jackson records that he was a little annoyed at the question. both because he thought roosevelt would criticize him for being part of the five because the administration was on the other side, and also he didn't think it was something the president ought to bring up.
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the checks and answers, he says, i voted that those fellows had no right to strike on shipboard. the captain could order them to their post. they were in trouble. fdr responded, by stating, my god, i don't see how anybody could take a different view of it. of course, the solicitor general and his position had taken a different view and other appointees had taken different views. jackson later writes in that that it was the only decision of the court that he ever asked me about or discussed with me as long as you live. i saw him frequently in a social way. a fourth dimension. the words. as a chief justice says, just read the words. the jackson and roosevelt words. the most gifted literary artists in our nations history and they saw that in each other. they wrote together earlier,
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speechwriting at the bedside or in the library or oval office, included jackson and he saw roosevelt markup jackson words and make them better. i think that pushed him to care about and lift his own words more. each was in a way a man for his moment. each man had great confidence in himself and a pool toward tough contests and aim knack for winning. and like is a attracted -- like is attracted to like. they did have distinct roles. fdr was the client for jackson the lawyer and jackson the lawyer saw himself as representing fdr as a client. and it did not run in the congress direction. fdr did not advance jackson beyond what best fit fdr's
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purposes and judgment. i take you to 1944 in the winter and spring when robert jackson wasn't happy. he was disillusioned by a number of his colleagues behaviors. he viewed it as political and pre-committed rather than traditional and open-minded. he was curious about some threats and bullying by some justices of others. perhaps they were weaker intellectually and as persons. jackson considered and explored a number of departure scenarios. one was to return to jamestown. to practice law and pick up 1934's law firm and do what had made him happy and independent. a second was to move to new york city. and practice law there. something that would resemble the stature of former associate justice charles evans hughes in his years at hughes hubbard.
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or, the practice like john w davis. for the practice of former presidential candidate wilbur wilkie. in secrecy, just as jackson negotiated with the partners an agreement that would have brought him from the court to new york to lead what was then the simpson stature law firm. it would've been renamed jackson simpson stature. but by early 1944, jackson decided not to pull the trigger. so, a scenario that he did pursue, at least privately, with president roosevelt, as the fourth term question was approaching, was again, the vice presidency. or, should fdr not run, perhaps a presidential candidacy. wallace was not desired. by many democrats and it
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included fdr. in those months, as part of getting ready, robert jackson drafted an autobiography. it is a candidate book. it was never published. it is a book unlike today's candidate book, actually written by the prospective candidate. setting out his rise from nowhere to his life story. jackson also drafted a private constitutional analysis that would have furthered his vice presidential opportunity. the issue was the 12th amendment. it prohibits presidential electrodes from each state from voting for both presidential and vice presidential candidates who are inhabitants of that same state. for new york, that could be interpreted to bar them from voting for both new yorker fdr for president and new yorker jackson for vice president. in a close contest which 1944
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was expected to be and it turned out to be new yorker a lector ticket splitting could result in reelecting fdr and electing a republican as his vice president. from fdr's perspective and every democrats perspective and maybe more than that, that was not desirable. so as jackson recounted privately later, fdr called him to the white house. he asked to prepare a brief on the question of whether electors could vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates who came from the same state. jackson said he did prepare a paper. to my knowledge, that paper has not survived. at least it has not surfaced. in it, he allegedly argued that electors could so vote that there was no 12th amendment optical. if you wanted more than a legal argument, i am speculating, if they discussed it personally, i suspect jackson may have made
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arguments. he may have talked about his hickory hill residents. he was a virginian. not a new yorker. another might have focused on the assets of a factor going the other way. for example, in 1941 he is voting because in a personal matter he did not believe justices should be seen going into polling places and voting. he was not a new york voter. this went nowhere. fdr apparently was not persuaded to pick another new yorker or he was going to let his party choose that path. he of course, sought a fourth term and let the convention pick the vice presidential nominee. he discarded wallace and picked truman instead. which of course, led to truman's next job. and during that convention in chicago again, in 1944, robert jackson, justice jackson was not present. just like voting, a justice
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should not be seen within hundreds of country miles of a political convention. jackson was fishing on lake ontario with friends from upstate, people who were not supreme court or political people but could fish well. like fdr, jackson was fine with that. in his place, with his own resources, including the people he needed or wanted to be with and also on his own. let me conclude as i began by turning to two dates, two different ones. the first is august 24, 1944. it was after that convention in the summer of 44, fdr hosted a white house bag dinner for --, the first president of the then new republic of iceland. among the men he invited to that dinner was just as jackson.
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in the introductions fdr introduced the president to my attorney general. jackson. later, during his speech, president roosevelt referred to three cabinet members, although there were only two. and jackson. jackson took this as evidence of his weakening health and he would say that roosevelt was totally with it but he was so immersed in the war and in international matters that he was not keeping up with details like who worked on the supreme court or in the cabinet. he still thought of justice jackson who he reported earlier as his attorney general. which jackson, in the lowercase sense of attorney general ship, little a, little g, very much was. he was whatever his job title, very still roosevelt, meaning the presidents, and the
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presidencies and the countries attorney. the second date is arch 17, 1945. franklin and elinor's roosevelt last wedding ellen verse three. this celebrated with a small dinner. the guest of honor was princess julie allen of the netherlands. a refugee. her land was controlled by the nazis and he was in the united states for exile. the other guest wire -- the other guests were the jackson's. roosevelt was tired. he stayed in his wheelchair. he was in great spirits. the war was going well. he mixed cocktails and told jokes and laughed and told stories about church hill, and stalin and meetings and with kings and as they drove home,
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irene jackson said to bob, i don't think we will ever see the president alive again. jackson disagreed violently. he did not see the danger. what are you talking about? she said she had been sitting across from roosevelt during dinner. with a full view of his face. when he was not thinking about it, she said, when he was not trying to rise to the occasion and be fdr, he looked very bad. she was correct. in one month, fdr was gone. age 63. in less than a decade, robert h. jackson was gone. age 62. while we are here, passing through, for our learning, for their examples and lessons, for our better chances and facing our challenges, we are extremely lucky that in very direct senses each of these men gave us in fullness very much
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of the other. thank you very much. [ applause ] tuesday evening, american history tv is in prime time. we continue with federal appears judge ginsberg. on the history and evolution of the nation's highest court and debate over original is in. later she sits down for in virtue about time as a clerk for justice thurgood marshall. american history tv primetime begins at 8 pm eastern. coverage continues tuesday
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with several live debates. at 8 pm eastern on c-span, the senate debate between mitt romney and jenny wilson. to fill the seat of orrin hatch. on c-span two, massachusetts governor charlie did -- baker debates jason solace. at 10 pm on c-span, the arizona congressional district debates between democrats and republicans. all of the debates are available on or you can listen on our radio app. next, for prominent figures in american law, including alayna kagan, recalled their experiences working as clerks for thurgood marshall. they discuss his personality, his skills as a storyteller


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