Address before the New York State Bar Association

It is a comfort to speak again before my own Bar Association which has always been very tolerant of my heresies. I will test its patience again. Bar Association after-dinner speeches often voice the high and solemn esteem in which we hold ourselves. It was probably after a Bar dinner that the witty bard whose name our toastmester honors wrote:

Little Americanism

Joe Kennedy remarked the other day that the trouble with this country is that it has too many persons who are specialists in other people's business. Maybe he meant editors -- maybe lawyers. We have this at least in common, that we both take great liberty with the affairs of the public. And I am indebted to the press for so many suggestions about my work that I must begin payment by returning a few hints about yours.

Back to the Constitution

One of the great achievements of the Renaissance was the rediscovery of the classic. Men began to go behind the gloss to the text. I think that we are having something of a constitutional Renaissance at the present time- a rediscovery of the Constitution.

Mr. Justice Butler

Men eminent in the legal profession, former associates in the practice of the law, and public leaders have paid him eloquent and affectionate tribute. All of these tributes I offer for your records. I should not presume to add words of my own, except that the proceedings are lacking in one viewpoint which I should be qualified to supply.

The Besieged Strongholds of the Mind

When the times cry for action rather than words, an international discussion meeting such as this can justified only by the assumption that the deeds of men are the products of their thoughts. It is idle to deny that by and large the deeds of the United Nations, except in defense of actual homelands in Russia and England, have been on a disappointing level of accomplishment.

Christmas Eve Address

This is the first Christmas in many years which does not find the world engaged in a major war. Christmas should bring home to all peoples, regardless of race, creed or nationality, what it really means to the world that this year marks the conquest of the Nazi-Fascist-Japanese drive to dominate the world. We who are here in Nuremberg, far from home but close to the scenes of the war, have thrust upon us a new appreciation of the significance of Christmas.

An Unappreciated Heritage

On Tuesday, June 21, 1910, Jamestown High School held its annual Class Day, the 23rd such observance. Eighteen-year-old Robert Jackson of nearby Frewsburg, New York, who had spent the 1909-10 academic year as a post-graduate student at JHS and was graduating with its class of 1910, was selected to give the student oration of the day. His speech, which we today would call “environmentalist,” described Chautauqua County’s and Jamestown’s settlement and development and called for stewardship by current inhabitants of the beautiful region.

Closing Address before the International Military Tribunal

An advocate can be confronted with few more formidable tasks than to select his closing arguments where there is great disparity between his appropriate time and his available material. In eight months -short time as state trials go - we have introduced evidence which embraces as vast and varied a panorama of events as has ever been compressed within the framework of a litigation. It is impossible in summation to do more than outline with bold strokes the vitals of this trial's mad and melancholy record, which will live as the historical text of the Twentieth Century's shame and depravity.

The Lawyer; Leader or Mouthpiece?

I have come to regard many of the things about which we complain as symptoms of an underlying weakness in the position of the profession itself, and in its method of work, rather than as causes of weakness. If our associations, by and large, are inanimate, incoherent and unrepresentative, if it be true that our neighbors prefer to trust bankers rather than lawyers to settle their estates, if law makers are taking judicial functions away from lawyer-dominated courts and turning them over to lay tribunals, if misconduct by a few shysters can bring a whole profession into public contempt, should we not look deeper to see what keeps us from effective organization, what weakness makes us subject to invasion, why public opinion judges all lawyers by the worst instead of by the best?

Reorganization of Federal Judiciary

When a situation exists int he Supreme Court which the President feels he cannot continue to ignore it is to the Congress that he may properly bring the problem. The responsibility upon Congress for seeing that the American people have a workable, harmonious, and cooperative judicial system is so usually overlooked by those engaged in building up the tradition of judicial supremacy that the burden of constitutional responsibility on Congress deserves examination.