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Hugo Black
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice
    (February 27, 1886-September 25, 1971)
    Democratic Senator from Alabama (1927-1937)
    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1937-1971)
    He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s.
    He defended a Klansman accused of murdering priest James Coyle. He used his influence to get members of the Klan on the jury.
    As a Senator, he supported FDR's efforts to pack the court. It earned him a position on the court.
    There are allegations that Black was prejudiced to Catholics.
    It is difficult to characterize Black as a judicial activist or judicial conservative. He had a mixed voting record, calling for a literal interpretation of the constitution but also making activist decisions.
    He upheld FDR's internment of US citizens, based on them being Japanese.
    In 1969, he suffered a major stroke, but would not leave the court until a week before his death even though it was weakening his mental abilities.
    His stroke made him paranoid and delusional. He believed that Richard Nixon was preparing a military coup and there may not be a 1972 election.
    He did not have a central role in the Ku Klux Klan
    He urged the Ku Klux Klan to end all violence.
    He was a central figure in enforcing first amendment rights.
    He loved to play tennis.
    He disavowed his membership in the Ku Klux Klan and made decisions in favor of civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, with only one exception.
    He kept a copy of the Constitution with him at all times.

Credit: Wuffle


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