Lot 284: Archive of over 280 letters congratulating Justice Owen J. Roberts on the occasion of his nomination and confirmation of his appointment to the US Supreme Court in 1930, comprising ALSs, TLSs, and unsigned telegrams, custom-bound together within two 9.75 x 11.75 volumes. Letters from Supreme Court justices include: James Clark McReynolds (ALS), Louis D. Brandeis (ANS), Harlan Stone (two TLSs), Charles Evans Hughes (unsigned telegram), and Pierce Butler (unsigned telegram). Also noteworthy is an ALS from Felix Frankfurter, who would be named to the Supreme Court in 1939. The McReynolds letter, in part: "You will find the work exacting and at times wearisome; but there are compensations among them the satisfaction of working out correct and helpful results without fear or favor." Most profound is Frankfurter's letter, in part: "As one whose chief preoccupation is the work of the Supreme Court and whose devotion to it is exceeded by none, perhaps I may add a word before you take the veil, without being guilty even of constructive contempt. There is a good deal of talk about 'conservative' and 'liberal.' The characterizations hardly describe anybody since we are all a compound of both. What divides men much more decisively is the extent to which they are free—free from a dogmatic outlook on life, free from fears. And that is what cheers me so about your appointment. For you have, I believe, no skeletons in the closet of your mind, and are a servant neither of a blind traditionalism nor of blind indifference to historic wisdom. Yours, I believe, is the spirit of Maitland, who defined the function of history 'as that of explaining, and therefore lightening the pressure that the past must exercise upon the present, and the present upon the future." Other correspondents include judges, legal scholars, academics, and government officials. In overall very good to fine condition.
Roberts was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1930 by President Herbert Hoover and represented a swing vote in many of the cases related to the implementation of FDR's New Deal policies. Roosevelt appointed him to lead the commission to investigate the attack on Pearl Harbor, and he was later one of three justices to vote against Japanese internment. By the end of his fifteen-year tenure, he was the only justice on the court not appointed by a Democrat. Marking the beginning of his historic time on the Supreme Court, this unique archive is of immense interest to jurisprudence enthusiasts.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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