Clarke, John H.

1923 autograph sentiment signed by one of the rarest 20th century Justices

Price: $325.00

Description:
(1857-1945) Ohio-born Associate Justice 1916-22. He did not attend law school but studied law with his father and passed the bar exam cum laude in 1878. In Youngstown, he bought into a newspaper and wrote articles opposing corporate monopolies and promoting civil service reform. After the 1896 election, he moved to Cleveland and became a partner in a law firm representing corporate and railroad interests, but continued involvement in the Democratic Party, backing the progressive movement and his friend, Cleveland mayor Tom L. Johnson. In Aug. 1903, Clarke was nominated as Democratic candidate for the US Senate but lost to GOP rival Mark Hanna. He withdrew from the law firm in 1907 and support for progressive reforms in the 1911 Ohio Constitution restored him among Ohio progressives. Clarke was appointed to the US District Court for the No. Dist. of Ohio by President Wilson in 1914. In June 1916 when Assoc. Justice Hughes resigned to be the GOP presidential candidate, a vacancy arose. He accepted nomination and was confirmed July 24, 1916. His years on the court were unhappy; he chafed at the Court routine, hated arguments and extended conferences and the need to accommodate colleagues’ views when writing opinions. He issued 129 majority opinions and dissented 57 times on the Court. He had an unpleasant relationship with Justice McReynolds that contributed to his decision to leave the Court; when Clarke resigned, McReynolds refused to sign the official letter of regret over his departure. He often voted with Justices Holmes and Brandeis, usually in dissent from the conservative majority. He supported the power of national and state authorities to regulate the economy, particularly with regard to regulating child labor. He demonstrated his opposition to monopoly in U.S. v. Reading Company. On Sept. 1, 1922, Clarke wrote President Harding of his intent to resign. On Sept. 4, he outlined a new cause, convincing Americans that the US should join the League of Nations. In Oct. 1922 he became president of the League of Nations Non-Partisan Association, to awaken underlying support for joining the League and mobilize it to overcome opposition to League participation. Clarke became Wilson's successor in the campaign for League membership but there was no latent support for joining the League, only skepticism and hostility. Focusing on entry into the World Court, he continued campaigning for US involvement in international organizations and agreements. By the end of 1927, growing deafness and frustration led him to resign the presidency. He became a trustee of Western Reserve University and supported FDR and the New Deal, sympathizing with the Court “packing” plan. In 1931 he moved from Cleveland to San Diego where he died. A Case Western Reserve residence hall, Clarke Tower, was named for him. Autograph sentiment (“Sincerely yours”) signed on a 2 ¼ x 3 ½ card , Youngstown, Ohio, June 28 1923 (9 months after leaving the Court).

Condition: Very good
Type:Autograph Sentiment Signed






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