Francis Biddle Honorary Address

I think it is some indication of the really revolutionary character of the New Deal that the Jacksons welcome the Biddles to Washington and the Biddles welcome the Jacksons to Philadelphia. I was willing to go a long way toward effecting this reconciliation and came here asking only a fair and open field, and supposing that Francis would not take advantage of my small-town background and imagination.

International Order

We are debtors to this captivating country and city, not only for a generous hospitality, but more importantly for an inspiring leadership. We lawyers from the United States value this opportunity to compare our own legal philosophy and institutions with those of other American commonwealths. You have no doubt been impressed with our modest habit of expounding our own law by a recital of some case we won.

FBI Police Academy Address

In extending congratulations to the graduates of the National Police Academy I will ask you to note and to take back to your respective communities three sets of facts which are very significant in view of the current generalities of praise and blame of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mobilizing the Profession for Defense

Europe has resumed its ancient strife, and other peoples of the world are obliged to give considerations of defense and security first place in their thoughts. Our philosophy of government makes the law by which the physical forces of the nation are controlled quite as definitely a part of our defense program as the mobilization of the force itself. lawyers are again holding spring meetings under the auspices of our several legal societies to consider the state of our law.

The Federal Prosecutor

It would probably be within the range of that exaggeration permitted in Washington to say that assembled in this room is one of the most powerful peace-time forces known to our country. The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. He can have citizens investigated and, if he is that kind of person, he can have this done to the tune of public statements and veiled or unveiled intimations.

Commencement Address at Albany Law School

It was a generation ago when the Albany Law School charitably honored me with a diploma of graduation. The school was then housed in an ancient State Street building, reputed once to have been consecrated as a church. Its façade suggested a piety that was not fully sustained by the student body. It is a matter of pride to us, who will always remain in debt to the Albany Law School, that its intervening years have been marked by steadily improving facilities and advancing standards.

A Square Deal for the Court

The Constitution is a short document; together with its amendments it is only about 10 pages long. This is much shorter than most of the important statues. It is also, I fear, shorter than is my written address tonight. Since the Constitution is so short, and since the founders of our nation realized they should not attempt to deal too specifically with the problems of the distant future, its commands are cast in very general language.

Statecraft Under a Written Constitution

I am going to discuss some aspects of statecraft under our written Constitution. I think that an attachment to the institutions of this country will be much stronger if it is based on a knowledge of the practical operation of the government. This is an important and a much-neglected subject. If young men who have the advantages that are open to them do not acquire a mastery of the function of government, to whom will it be left to make important decisions of policy? No small part of our future will depend on the kind of government that we have in the next twenty years. We cannot expect individually to have opportunities much greater than those which are extended by the kind of society which the average American citizen enjoys.

Essential Differences Between the Republican and Democratic Parties

This argument was presented on Thursday evening, April 11, 1940, and was one of the regular Town Hall programs. The moderator of the program was George B. Denny, Jr. Glenn Frank at this time was chairman of the Republican Program Committee and had just sponsored the composition and publication of an extensive Republican Campaign Handbook. The Honorable Robert H. Jackson, not long before appointed Attorney-General of the United States, was widely referred to as President Roosevelt's choice for his successor. As the third term idea gained momentum in April, 1940, Mr. Jackson was frequently mentioned as a possibility for the vice-presidency (even though from Roosevelt's state of New York).

A Progressive Democracy

On Sunday evening, January 19, 1941 (Inauguration Eve), Attorney General Robert H. Jackson was scheduled to give the following keynote speech at a Washington, D.C., gala dinner for the presidential electors. The Democratic Party sought to feature Jackson, one of its brightest young (age 48) stars and future presidential prospects, before this large, particularly significant national political audience. Jackson, assigned to speak about “A Progressive Democracy,” wrote his own speech for the occasion – as he almost always did – but when the evening arrived, Jackson could not participate due to illness. His friend and colleague, Solicitor General Francis Biddle, instead delivered Jackson’s speech at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel to a crowd of more than 1,500 guests, including the 531 electors, Cabinet members, Members of Congress and State Governors. A Department of Justice press release copy of Jackson’s speech is contained in his papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Box 41.