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Robert H. Jackson
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice
    (February 13, 1892-October 9, 1954)
    Born in Spring Creek Township, Pennsylvania
    US Attorney General (1940-41)
    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1941-54)
    Chief US prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial (1945-46)
    Some Supreme Court Justices, notably William O. Douglas and Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone, felt he should have resigned his seat when he was appointed Nuremberg prosecutor rather than leave the Court short a justice for an entire term.
    He had a long-running feud with Justice Hugo Black, who he suspected of torpedoing his chances of succeeding Stone as Chief Justice.
    At the Nuremberg Trials, his interrogation skills were weak, and he was rebuked by the Tribunal for losing his temper while cross-examining Herman Goering.
    He was one of the last two holdouts in forming a unanimous opinion in Brown v Board of Education declaring school segregation unconstitutional.
    His three-tier test for evaluating claims of presidential power in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer is one of the most cited opinions in Supreme Court history.
    William Rehnquist wrote, 'What strikes me most about his Court work was his masterful use of the English language.'
    He gave eloquent opening and closing arguments at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.
    Assistant prosecutor Telford Taylor said, 'More than any other man of that period, Jackson worked and wrote with deep passion and spoke in winged words. There was no one else who could have done half as well.'
    He checked out of the hospital where he was being treated following a heart attack to attend Court when the Brown v Board of Education ruling was delivered to emphasize the unanimity of the decision (May 17, 1954).

Credit: C. Fishel


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