Hugo Black Term Paper by Nicky

Hugo Black
A look at Justice Hugo Black's career as a Supreme Court justice under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
# 148254 | 3,151 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 05, 2011 in Law (Constitution) , History (U.S. The 1930's - Great Depression)

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The paper discusses how although Hugo Lafayette Black was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt so that he would further the goals of the Southern Democrats and allow New Deal programs, Black's judicial legacy differs from what one would expect. The paper looks at Black's civil rights legislation that shows how rather than rubber-stamping Roosevelt- inspired legislation, Black proved himself to be a careful and cautious jurist, who showed tremendous respect for the Constitution and for the rights of the American people. The paper considers Black's personal history and his opinions and reaches the conclusion that he became the type of justice who did not inject personal ideology or political debates into constitutional interpretation.

Winning Southern Voters
Black's Support for the New Deal

From the Paper:

"Just like the modern southern United States, the South of Black's day contained the Bible belt, and many southern voters were concerned about the issues of sexuality and morality. Black was able to demonstrate his support for this moral point of view, ironically enough, in a case that involved a challenge of a Connecticut law. In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives, based on a woman's right to privacy. This reasoning would be expanded upon by the Supreme Court at later times, and, ultimately proved to be the foundation of the Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). In Griswold, the Appellants the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut and its medical director were convicted as accessories for giving married persons information and medical advice on contraceptives and prescribing contraceptives in violation of a Connecticut statute prohibiting use of contraceptives. The Supreme Court invalidated the statute, based on the concept that marital privacy was one of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Black dissented to the Court's decision."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, 396 U.S. 1218 (1969).
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
  • Novel Guide. "Black, Hugo 1886-1971." 1995. 28 Apr. 2009 <>.
  • United States v. Darby Lumber Co., 312 U.S. 100 (1941).

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