Supreme Court and the Law

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Interesting political content

Warren Burger - Chief Justice. Interesting 3 page letter on Court stationary, July 27, 1981. Writing to his friend Walter Bitterling. This mostly personal letter discusses some Court business and the problems with what we now call "instant news". In part: "Most of the troubles going on in the world would be much better off if fewer people heard about them. A young man unable to get attention by virtue of his own industry and merit, shoots President Reagan and a couple of weeks later another "nut" shoots the Pope. If they had to wait for a sailing vessel to carry that news across to Italy and have it passed by word of mouth, there would have been very little concern about the shooting of President Reagan.

Later in the letter he complains about a California appeal which took up his weekend: " ...since the average taxpayer thinks the Chief Justice is on a "vacation" I mildly resent the idea that a large part of Saturday and Sunday were taken up dealing with a problem that perhaps California should have taken care of without bothering people in the other 49 states."

The letter is simply signed "Warren". The first and second pages shows some water staining at the edges and corner. [#3592]

$150.00
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The Chief Justice is not a fan of the press

Warren Burger – Chief Justice, ALS “Warren”, 2 pages, Supreme Court, 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." Handwritten letters from modern justices are uncommon. Any with content or political commentary are very desirable and difficult to find. [# 3589]

$450.00
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letter and card for a collector

Harold Burton – signed letter and Supreme Court card March 7 and 8, 1947 responding to an autograph request. Burton was a willing signer for autograph collectors. His cover letters, like this and earlier examples as a U. S. Senator, explained his attitude about autograph collecting: “Anything that brings the people of America into closer personal contact with their governmental representatives contributes to the success of our republic which deserves not only its ‘just powers’ but its spirit from the governed.” It is interesting that the card and letter were dated on successive days suggesting his typical pattern was to answer a request by signing a card and then his secretary would produce the cover letter. [#5253]

$150.00
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Pierce Butler-Supreme Court Justice, LS as a Justice but on personal stationery 3/17/28 to the Commander of the American Legion. [#4011]

$100.00
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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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Early Supreme Court Justice

Duvall, Gabriel –Supreme Court Justice, LS with franking signature, one page, Washington, July 11, 1803. Duval, writing as the nation’s first Comptroller of the Treasury, notifies an account holder of a quarterly interest payment and the new value of his stock. The letter was written by an assistant and then signed “G. Duval”. The integral cover is also franked for free postage with another “G. Duval” signature. There are mounting remnants along the right edge of the sheet with the franking signature and typical fold lines. [#2878]

$375.00
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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]

$450.00
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Abe Fortas – Supreme Court Justice, unsuccessful nominee for Chief Justice. Fortas signed an engraved Supreme Court card. His typical cramped signature is strategically placed below his engraved name rather than the card’s center to prevent any future writing above his signature. Fortas was appointed to the Court by his friend LBJ in 1965 but forced to resign in 1969. LBJ nominated Fortas for Chief Justice in 1968 to succeed Earl Warren. Election year politics and an emerging financial scandal forced him to withdraw his nomination and then resign from the Court the following year. Fortas I somewhat uncommon in Chamber cards although not a rare autograph. [#5258]

$75.00
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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]

$200.00
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-Supreme Court Justice, ALS, Washington July 21, 1885 sending his autograph. [#2068]

$200.00
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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 stationery 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 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.

[#4558]

$500.00
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Sherman Minton – Supreme Court Justice, Indiana Senator. Supreme Court card signed as a retired Justice, with matching envelope from June 1964. Minton signs with a larger than normal signature in a shaky hand showing his advanced age. Minton was a FDR New Deal Senator from Indiana serving one term and later appointed to the Federal Court of Appeals by FDR. Truman nominated him to the Supreme Court, serving from 1949-1956. The engraved card carries the briefly used engraved format “Supreme Court of the United States/ Washington 25, D.C.” with 25 being an early form of zip code. The matching envelope though switches to the current format of a five digit code following D.C. [#5255]

$75.00
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Sherman Minton – LS on Court stationery with envelope 10/29/49. Responding to an autograph request, Minton explains he has no photos and is not expecting to have new photos for distribution i.e. for autograph collectors. [#5254]

$90.00
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-- Supreme Court Justice, 3 page ALS 9/28/1868. A chatty letter with personal content about visiting his grandchildren. Nelson was appointed to the Court by President John Tyler and served from 1845-1872. [#2874]

$300.00
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Signed opinion from Reynolds v. Sims

Potter Stewart AC;“ Supreme Court Justice. A 10 page typed excerpt of Stewarts concurring opinion in Reynolds v. Sims signed in blue ink at the conclusion. Reynolds was one of several major Court opinions in the 1960AC;™s concerning legislative and Congressional reapportionment or redistricting. The Court applied a AC;™one man, one voteAC; rule and the 14th Amendment Equal Protection principles to strike down gerrymandered and rigged district lines. Stewart agreed that unfair lines were unconstitutional but argued about how far the Courts can do in shaping new lines. The 10 pages are on thin paper with punch holes, partial punch holes. There is a 50 year old sales slip from legendary dealer Ken Rendell which would date the signature sometime between June 1964 when the case was decided and Dec. 1971 when Rendell sold this. [#2873]

$250.00
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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 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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Earl Warren – Chief Justice, Governor of California. Engraved vignette of the Supreme Court on 8 x 6 card stock signed “Earl Warren Chief Justice 9/30/63”. There is some light uneven toning from what appears to be contact with other paper in storage rather than sunlight from display. Warren is not common in Supreme Court cards or these vignettes. This is a particularly desirable example since he dated it and added his title. Warren signed this during the last quiet days he would have for the next year. The 1963-1964 Court term began the following week and less than one year later on Sept. 24, 1964 he would present President Johnson the results of the Warren Commission on the Kennedy assassination. The Court term was not calm that year with some major decisions such as New York Times v. Sullivan (First Amendment and the press) and some Equal Protection and reapportionment cases such as Reynolds v. Sims. [#5288]

$150.00
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Charles Whittaker- Supreme Court Justice. Whittaker signs an engraved Supreme Court card with a large nicely centered black ink signature, with matching envelope. The card and matching envelope carry the briefly used format “Supreme Court of the United States/ Washington 25, D.C.” with 25 being an early form of zip code. Whittaker was appointed to the Court by Eisenhower in 1957 but only served for five years. Signatures from his brief tenure, including Chamber cards, are less common than most of his colleagues from the period. [#5256]

$90.00
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Levi Woodbury- Supreme Court Justice (1845-1851) appointed by James K. Polk, Sec. of Navy and Treasury under Jackson, New Hampshire Governor and Senator. Signed letter, text in the hand of an aide, April 1, 1834 as Sec. of the Navy. Woodbury informs Dr. Benjamin Routh of Norwich Connecticut that there are no vacancies in the Navy for Assistant Surgeons but he will be considered at the next annual round of appointments. The letter is in fine condition. [#5637]

$125.00