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.

The Challenge of International Lawlessness

We lawyers would commit only a pardonable larceny if we should appropriate as an affirmation of the ideals of the legal profession a prayer from ancient liturgy:... As men experienced in the conduct of legal institutions which, among men, have largely displaced violence by adjudication, we should have some practical competence in measures to maintain justice among nations.

Franklin Roosevelt

No other event could bow so many human heads in a common sorrow and a sense of personal loss. Throughout the land, by countless humble firesides people feel less secure today because he is gone; for, while he walked with Kings, they knew that he never lost the common touch; that he was their friend and advocate; that while he lived there would be no forgotten man. Neither sea nor land stretched far enough to get out of range of his sympathy and understanding.

Opening Statement before the International Military Tribunal

On November 21, 1945, in the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg, Germany, Justice Robert H. Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States, made his opening statement to the International Military Tribunal.

Statecraft Under a Written Constitution

On Tuesday evening, November 11, 1941 (Armistice Day), Justice Jackson delivered a lecture to assembled schoolboys in the Edith Memorial Chapel at The Lawrenceville School, a boarding school in central New Jersey. Jackson’s topics included the constitutional system in the United States of state and national governments, the importance of citizens understanding that complex federal system, and the role of public opinion in determining how government will function. Jackson’s speech demonstrates that he was still optimistic at this time, which turned out to be only one month before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany’s declaration of war on the United States, that public opinion could exert control over any government (even Hitler’s) and prevent further war-making. Jackson’s speech, which “was generally acclaimed as the best heard here in a long time” according to the Lawrenceville School newspaper, subsequently was published in Men of Tomorrow: Nine Leaders Discuss the Problems of American Youth 51-67 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1942) (Thomas H. Johnson, ed.). This collection contains, in addition to Jackson’s, Lawrenceville Forum lectures by Samuel Eliot Morison, Herbert Agar, Reinhold Niebuhr, James Phinney Baxter, John Erskine, Earnest A. Hooton, Arthur Krock and Pearl S. Buck.

Delayed Justice in New York State

The task still ahead of us is one of interpretation of the data assembled and of devising remedies for the abuses uncovered. The research work was so specialized that the Bench or Bar generally could not join in it, but the task from now on is your task as much as ours and as soon as our report is made available for study, we invite the help and suggestions of all men.

Address on the University of the Air

Confronted with the decision of the Supreme Court, which took processing taxes away from the Government, and by the enactment of the soldiers' bonus law, President Roosevelt has invited the Congress to consider a "form of tax which would accomplish an important tax reform, remove two major inequalities in our tax system, and stop 'leaks' in present surtaxes".  The proposed changes are in the taxes on corporations.

Address at the Jackson Day Dinner

I feel really needed here tonight- to defend the memory of Andrew Jackson as a man of the people. With these $50 and $100 dinners he is in danger of getting the name of being our most expensive Democrat. It shows what a marvelous politician he was when his name can be used to raise campaign funds a century after he lost all power to appoint anybody to anything.

Problem of the Administrative Process

There has been one disappointment in connection with my coming here. I had hoped that I would be able to bring with me and deliver the commission to Ryan Duffy as judge of the district court of the United States. (Applause) It would have been a great pleasure had the senate moved fast enough so that that could have been done. Those are minor disappointments, for I know the commission will arrive by mail in due time, and that while I will be denied the satisfaction of being present when he takes the oath, many of the rest of you will have that pleasure.

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).