Supreme Court and the Law

Listings shown are sorted alphabetically.

 
.Burger, Warren

– LS as Chief Justice, 8/29/74 to agreeing to write a tribute to Earl Warren for a program for the Annual UN concert and dinner. Nice reference to his more celebrated predecessor. [#4210]

$150.00
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Kennedy appoints Sec. of Labor and future Justice Arthur Goldberg to a Commission

Signed document, March 15, 1961. Less than two months after his Inauguration Kennedy appoints Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs. The document carries a nice dark and distinct full signature with the large white paper seal. Sec. of State Dean Rusk’s signature is somewhat light. The fresh looking appointment measures 23 x 19 and presents as mint; never folded and perhaps never even rolled. Goldberg would not serve long. Kennedy appointed him to the Supreme Court 18 months later. This is an exceptional example of a scarce document actually signed by Kennedy, appointing such a high ranking official and future justice.

$5,500.00
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Autograph note signed on a Supreme Court card, undated, to the Marshall of the Court asking him to arrange for seats at a Court session for some friends. It is signed “H. F. Stone”. There is some toning and a crease in the lower left blank corner. An uncommon example of communications within the Court. [#5050]

$225.00
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-Signed large formal portrait of the Court after the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor. This historic Court sat from 1981-1986. The Justices signed under their respective portraits on matting, above neatly penciled lines drawn by Court staff and then circulated between the Chambers for appropriate signing. The image measures 14 x 10.5 with the overall dimensions of 18 x 15. In addition to the first woman to serve this court also includes the first African-American Justice (Thurgood Marshall) and two Chief Justices (Burger and Rehnquist).

$1,750.00
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Taft turns sour on Roosevelt

Signed letter on personal stationary 5/22/16 to Major Wallace Batchelder. Acting as the elder Party statesman and titular head of his Party the ex-president carefully avoids interference with the nominating process … with one exception. “There are so many gentlemen being considered by the Republican Convention, to whom I am under great personal obligation that I regret I can not state my preference.” He signs the letter then handwrites: “Except that I am very much opposed to Mr. Roosevelt’s nomination.” The Roosevelt-Taft friendship broke after Taft succeeded TR into the White House. Roosevelt’s attempt for a comeback in 1912 challenging Taft’s re-election helped Woodrow Wilson walk in. The friendship soured and a lengthy public feud became legendary. Letters from either attacking the other are highly desirable and fun.

$1,500.00
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Praises Coolidge for the Boston Police Strike

Signed letter gushing with excitement about Coolidge’s re-election as Governor following the famous Boston City Police strike. In September of 1919 Boston police tried to form a union. When denied union recognition the police voted to strike. Public opinion turned on the police and they sought to end their strike but continue pressing for union recognition. Governor Coolidge essentially refused an olive branch that left the door open to forming a union. Coolidge immediately rose to national prominence by crushing the strike and pronouncing the “There is no right to strike against the public safety, anywhere, anytime.” This set him up for the Vice Presidential nomination the following year.

On Nov. 5th, 1919, the day after the election Taft writes to former Mass. Congressman Charles Washburn: “I cannot remember an election-certainly not a state election- in which there was more at stake than there was yesterday….It will stiffen the backs of all wobblers, of whom there are many, in the offices of Governor and Mayor and Sheriff. It will make them know that the votes are on the side of law and order and the suppression of lawlessness. It will discourage strikes, except when proper, because the impending strikers will know that they cannot succeed except through violence and that violence will be suppressed.” The letter is 1 pages with some pencil notations and some glue remnants in two corners.

$900.00
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–Supreme Court Justice, SP, formal studio portrait by Ackard in judicial robes signed on the matting "Charles Evans Whittaker" with slight feathering to a couple of strokes. In the original photographer’s presentation folder. [#3616]

$225.00
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Burger, Warren Chief Justice, ALS 2 pages no date. The Chief Justice blasts press attacks on an old friend. In part: "Don't let the muckrackers get you down. I decline to…They under-rate the common sense of Americans. People like to be titillated but they don't always believe what they read." Signed with his first name only. Handwritten letters from modern justices are uncommon. Any with content or political commentary are very desirable and difficult to find. [#3589]

$300.00
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Associate Justice (1945-1958)

Signed letter, 4to, Washington DC, Feb. 15, 1947 Supreme Court stationary. Burton responds to a request from J. Duane Upton for his autograph and signs with a jet black signature “Harold H. Burton”. The letter is in very fine condition.

Burton was an active political figure from Ohio. He served three terms as Mayor of Cleveland and was then elected United States Senator. Although a prominent Republican, Burton was President Harry Truman’s first nominee to the Supreme Court. He replaced Justice Owen Roberts and when he resigned in 1958, due to ill health, he was replaced by Eisenhower appointee Potter Stewart.

[# 2047]

$75.00
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Pierce Butler-Supreme Court Justice, LS as a Justice but on personal stationary 3/17/28 to the Commander of the American Legion. [#4250]

$100.00
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A blank card, approximately 4.5 x 2.5, boldly signed and in excellent condition. [#4692]

Cardozo was one of the 20th Century’s most influential interpreters and shapers of Constitutional law. His fame came while on the New York Court of Appeals which paved the way for his nomination by President Hoover to the Supreme Court in 1932. While often in the minority his legal philosophy has often been used in decisions and opinions well after his death. He died in 1938 after a brief five year tenure on the Supreme Court. Cardozo succeeded Oliver Wendell Holmes and was himself followed by Felix Frankfurter making for an impressive string of three Supreme Court giants holding the same seat.

$200.00
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Tom Clark-Supreme Court Justice 8 x 10 photo inscribed and dated 4/11/73, after leaving the Court. [#4015]

$100.00
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Gabriel Duvall, Supreme Court Justice LS July 1803 as Jefferson’s Comptroller of the Treasury with franked cover.

$325.00
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Pay warrant for Salt Petre to make gunpowder

Oliver Ellsworth, third Chief Justice, appointed by Washington. Pay warrant as a member of Connecticut's Committee of the Pay Table, overseeing state expenses during the Revolutionary War. The warrant authorized payment for saltpetre and is dated January 30, 1777. Saltpetre was used for making gunpowder. It is signed "O. Ellsworth". [#4690]

$400.00
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Refers to his arbitration of the MET Opera's orchestra strike of 1961
Supreme Court Justice, Kennedy Cabinet Secretary, UN Ambassador

Goldberg responds to an invitation from a friend at the United Nations Association –USA and references one of his noteworthy labor arbitration cases as John Kennedy’s Secretary of Labor. In 1961 Goldberg helped settle a strike by the NY Metropolitan Opera’s symphony orchestra. He humorously notes that he will be able to enjoy the special UN concert because “I will be spared the necessity of settling the symphony strike so that the concert can proceed.” The October 13, 1972 letter is on his personal stationary and he had signed in full “Arthur J. Goldberg”. The letter is in excellent condition.

Goldberg had one of the more varied and distinguished careers of the post-WWII Justices. He served as Secretary of Labor under John F. Kennedy and later appointed by Kennedy to the Supreme Court to fill the “Jewish seat” crated by Felix Frankfurter’s resignation in 1962. Lyndon Johnson offered him the Ambassadorship to the United Nations which Goldberg surprisingly accepted in 1965 forcing him off the Court. His relatively short term of less than three years on the Court make him one of the modern Justices with the shortest tenure. His letters as a Justice are somewhat uncommon. [#4213]

$125.00
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Associate Justice (1882-1902)

A blank card, measuring 4 x 3 boldly signed in a brown ink “Horace Gray Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.” Some slight age toning otherwise the card is in excellent condition with a perfect example of his signature and full title. [#2636]

Gray served as a Justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and then as its Chief Justice. He was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Chester Arthur and served there for twenty years, finally resigning after a stroke limited his work. He was replaced by a fellow Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

[#2636]

$175.00
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Supreme Court Justice appointed by Chester Arthur

Supreme Court Justice, autograph letters signed, one page from Lenox, Mass Sept. 7, 1860. The letter appears to be a recommendation of a candidate for some unnamed club or organization. Gray was appointed by Chester Arthur and served on the Court for 20 years. [#4490]

$250.00
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Hughes receives the Theodore Roosevelt medal

Chief Justice, Sec. of State, Presidential candidate. Signed letter 10/3/28 to George Kunz acknowledging congratulations on his being awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal for 1928. [#4604]

$150.00
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former Confederate turned Supreme Court Justice

Lamar, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, blank card measuring approximately 4 x 2 signed “L. Q. C. Lamar Oxford, Mississippi”. The top of the card has an additional “Autograph of” which appears to be in the writing of the collector who obtained this rather than Lamar. There is a pencil notation on the left side which appears to be a dealer’s inventory number. [#4236]

Lamar was a US Senator before resigning on the eve of the Civil War. He served briefly in the Confederate Army and then served the Confederacy in various diplomatic roles. Following the war he served as Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of the Interior. Cleveland nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1887. His confirmation was unusually difficult for the time and he won the seat 42-38. He was the first post Civil War Southerner appointed to the court.

$90.00
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Lincoln appointment to the Supreme Court
Associate Justice (1861-1890)

A blank card signed “Sam. F. Miller Justice Supreme Court United States.” There is some slight age toning to the card and two small pin holes in the upper corners, otherwise in excellent condition. It measures 3 x 2 . This is a nice addition to a Supreme Court or Lincoln collection. .

Samuel Miller was an active Whig turned Republican activist in the 1860 election. A Lincoln supporter in Iowa, Miller was rewarded when Lincoln’s nominated him to the Court. A sympathizer of Lincoln’s struggle during the War, Miller upheld Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus and the right to try civilians by military tribunals. [#1876]

$150.00
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Lincoln appointee to the Supreme Court

Autograph letter signed, February 11, 1887. Miller bows out of an invitation to an informal stag event due to his anniversary. “Mrs. Miller has invited a few friends for that evening on account of the 30th Anniversary of our wedding.” The letter is written on the first and third pages of a folded four page 8vo sheet. It is fairly early example of engraved Supreme Court stationary which adds to the appeal of this handwritten letter by one of Abraham Lincoln’s Court appointees.

Samuel Miller was an active Whig turned Republican activist in the 1860 election. A Lincoln supporter in Iowa, Miller was rewarded when Lincoln’s nominated him to the Court. A sympathizer of Lincoln’s struggle during the War, Miller upheld Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus and the right to try civilians by military tribunals.

[#4454]

$500.00
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uncommon ALS as Attorney General

Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy, uncommon autograph letter signed as Attorney General, July 5, 1939. The letter to Sam [Whitaker] is a warm personal letter of thanks to his former assistant who is leaving to become a Judge on the Court of Claims. Murphy signs the letter in full.

Murphy served as Franklin D. Roosevelt's Attorney General from 1939-1940 when he was appointed to the Supreme Court, replacing Pierce Butler. Murphy served on the Court until 1949.

$150.00
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One of the Four Horsemen of the Court
Associate Justice

A formal Harris and Ewing signed portrait on the photographer’s mat to Wade Ellis. The 7 x 9 portrait has some silvering or oxidation around the edges and is lightly mounted at two top corners to the formal photographer’s mat measuring 9 x 13 1/2. There is a small tear to the matting at about the mid-point on the left margin, otherwise in very good to fine condition. Ellis was Attorney General of Ohio from 1904-1908 and later served as Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Signed photos of Sutherland are not particularly common.

Sutherland was both a prominent attorney and political figure in the Territory and State of Utah. A conservative Republican, Sutherland was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Warren Harding. Liberal on individual rights and conservative in regards to the powers of state regulation, he became a consistent opponent of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. Sutherland, along with Justices Pierce Butler, Willis VanDevanter and James McReynolds comprised the “Four Horsemen” of the Court who fought Roosevelt and led to FDR’s failed Court Packing plan. [#4445]

$200.00
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Signed letter on Supreme Court letterhead, 3/24/28, to the Commander of the American Legion. "The attitude of the Legion toward the Constitution and the observance of the principles of good government is most heartening to us all." [#4044]

$150.00
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Signed check as Chief Justice 1/25/49 to Baley's Food Store for $141.99. [#4695]

$75.00
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Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1874-1888)

Autograph letter signed as Chief Justice. Dated October 10, 1876, Washington, the Chief Justice writes to a young autograph collector sending her a copy of a letter he wrote three years earlier to a Capt. Dorr. As evident in the letter the Captain had made the request on behalf of the collector directly to the Chief Justice. It is written in bold, dark ink. The 8vo sheet is neatly mounted at the left edge to a larger sheet, otherwise in excellent condition. (#1899)

$450.00
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Signed photo and note

Earl Warren signed 8 x 10 photo, which he dates "1952" along with a brief note as Governor sending the photo. The note is signed in full. [#3367]

$300.00