Tribute To Country Lawyers

Judge Powell's book reminds us who come from rural backgrounds that our way of life was much the same all over America. Judge Powell and I are a generation apart, but country living changed little between his youth and mine. Its real transformation came with the automobile, the gasoline engine, the telephone, radio, electric power, and mechanization, all of which were unavailable on the farm when I was born.

A Country Lawyer at an International Court

One morning the telephone rang and we were asked about how to deliver a telegram to a man whom we happened to know but who had just moved into the neighborhood. Of course, we gave the information, but when they delivered the telegram he was surprised to find he had been identified so quickly and he said, "How did you ever know where to find me?" "Oh," said the telegraph man, "that was easy. We just called the Justice of the Peace:" (Laughter) So I claim that I am the first damn Yankee to be made a Virginia judge as quick as that.

The American Bar Center: A Testimony to Our Faith in the Rule of Law

In his address at the laying of the cornerstone of the new American Bar Center on November 2, Mr. Justice Jackson compared the Western ideal of the rule of law with the barbarian's reliance upon force, recently revived in the modern totalitarian states. The latter part of his address took the form of a legal creed that may well survive the building whose erection it marked.

An Organized American Bar

Critical re-examination of the structure of the American Bar Association is a manifestation of the bar's anxiety for its collective welfare. The same sense of insecurity as to the profession's future has initiated in every state movements to strengthen bar associations either by incorporation or by federation of existing voluntary bodies. Bar association speeches drop the old tone of self approval and take on a tone of apprehension and uneasiness.

The Proposed Revision of Corporate Taxes

The honor and pleasure of speaking to the Young Democratic Club leads me to put aside the temptation to make the usual political speech and instead to present my personal views of President Roosevelt's proposed revision of the Federal tax on corporations. It is a living and important subject upon which there is much public confusion and not a little loose talking.

Business Confidence and Government Policy

I want to talk about one thing only tonight and to talk of that in the plain terms the subject calls for. I am going to speak of the responsibilities of the government, in its relations with business, for the general well-being of the country. We hear much of the willingness of business to cooperate with government. We hear also of the desire of business that the government take steps to promote business confidence.

Progress in Federal Judicial Administration

We have heard much discussion about the declining of prestige of the bar, and about the proper place of the lawyer in the leadership of his community, state, and nation. But there can be no denial that it is the duty of the lawyers to lead in affairs affecting the courts of the land. The lawyer is peculiarly qualified to judge their work and to deal out criticism where it is due- and to do it with fairness.

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.

Full Faith and Credit

A namesake lecture in memory of Mr. Justice Cardozo is an undertaking of more than ordinary challenge to a Justice of a succeeding generation. Even choice of a fitting subject has difficulties. One related to the work of the Court on which he and I both have served might seem appropriate. But Judge Cardozo's most significant contributions to the law are not to be found in the reports of the Supreme Court. He was preeminently a devotee of the common law, while the Supreme Court has never been distinguished as a source of common law and during his time renounced independence of judgment as to what the common law is or should be in the class of cases that most often invoked it.