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May 06, 2019


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Interesting! What conclusions do you draw from this data?

John Q. Barrett

Thanks, Steve. Despite lore to the contrary, Robert H. Jackson did have a complete law school education. In Sept. 1911, he transferred into Albany Law School, a two-year LL.B. program, after an apprenticeship year, for which ALS gave him credit. In the 1911-12 academic year, Jackson took the courses and starred as an ALS “senior.” Then, in spring 1912, to his surprise, ALS denied him and two classmates their degrees, discriminating against their youth (they were not yet 21). In 1941, chagrined, ALS gave then-U.S. Attorney General Jackson his degree, retroactive to 1912. Details are in this article:

BTW, I’m not sure if you counted Jackson as a New Yorker, which he became in boyhood. But he was born in Warren County, PA, in 1892, which was still wild then and had been officially “West” (as in the Western Reserve) when his ancestors settled there around 1800.

I’d count Douglas as a westerner, because he was born in MN. Plus that was how he styled himself. And being “western” was key to him getting western Senator support for his 1939 appointment.

The first Rutledge was John, not William.

Back to exam-grading. Best, John

Steve L.

Thanks for the corrections, John. My understanding was that Jackson received a "certificate of completion" rather than a diploma, but you would know better than I. Don't know how I got Rutledge's name wrong. Yes, I counted Jackson as New Yorker.

Douglas was a westerner in his youth, and thereafter by temperament, but he lived in the east -- New York (Columbia), Connecticut (Yale), and Washington (SEC) for most of his adult life before joining the Court, so I did not include him among the western justices. Okay, so I made the opposite call on Rehnquist. Like I said, it ain't science.

Dave Garrow

I would concur with John that WOD should be categorized as a Westerner. Just think of the title of his autobiography...

Steve L.

Adding Douglas to the westerners only changes the total to 19 from 18, so the imbalance remains. To this day, there have been only two justices from California, despite its growing dominance in national politics.

But let me point out that the title of WOD's autobiography is Go East *Young* Man, which is precisely what happened. Douglas went east in his early 20s and pretty much stayed there -- Columbia, Yale, SEC -- until he was named to the Court.

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