George Sutherland


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Sutherland, George,

1862–1942, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1922–38), b. Buckinghamshire, England. He was taken by his family to Springville, Utah from England in 1864. After studying law at the Univ. of Michigan, he was admitted (1883) to the bar, practiced law in Utah, and was (1896–1900) a member of the state senate. Sutherland then served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1901–2), and Senate (1905–17). His important decisions included Powell v. Alabama (1932), where he ruled that a conviction in the notorious Scottsboro CaseScottsboro Case.
In 1931 nine black youths were indicted at Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women in a freight car passing through Alabama. In a series of trials the youths were found guilty and sentenced to death or to prison terms of 75 to 99 years.
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 was unconstitutional, because the defendants had been deprived of a right to counsel. In Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. v. United States (1936), he found that the executive branch held certain powers in foreign affairs not dependent on congressional authorization. Sutherland is best remembered as a conservative who consistently voted against much of the New Deal social legislation that came before the court. He wrote Constitutional Power and World Affairs (1919).

Sutherland, George

(1862–1942) Supreme Court justice; born in Stony Stratford, Buckinghampshire, England. He came to the U.S.A. at age two. He was a member of Utah's first legislature (1896), the U.S. House of Representatives (Rep., Utah; 1901–03), and the Senate (Rep., Utah; 1905–17). President Harding named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1922–38) where he frequently voted against New Deal measures.
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Hadley Arkes's The Return of George Sutherland is less a biography of the conservative Supreme Court justice than an extended essay on several major issues of constitutional law through which he issues a clarion call for the restoration of "a jurisprudence of natural rights.
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Contrast Burns' gentle handling of Holmes with his rough treatment of the conservative Justice George Sutherland, a consistent foe of New Deal regulations.