Benjamin Robbins Curtis

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Curtis, Benjamin Robbins,

1809–74, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1851–57), b. Watertown, Mass. After studying law at Harvard, he practiced at Northfield, Mass., and served in the state legislature. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Fillmore, he wrote one of the two dissenting opinions in the Dred Scott CaseDred Scott Case,
argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1856–57. It involved the then bitterly contested issue of the status of slavery in the federal territories. In 1834, Dred Scott, a black slave, personal servant to Dr. John Emerson, a U.S.
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 and resigned from the court because of the bitter feelings engendered by the case. One of the nation's leading lawyers, he was chief counsel to Andrew Johnson at the President's impeachment trial.

Bibliography

See biography by his son B. R. Curtis (1879, repr. 1970), which includes a memoir by G. T. Curtis.

References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Justice Curtis, sentencing the two Algerians, said: "In my judgment it is highly doubtful that it will be safe to release you before the expiry of the full term I have imposed, which is in order to protect the public and make it clear to like-minded people that supporting terrorists will simply not be tolerated here.
Jailing Whiting, judge Mr Justice Curtis said: "You are every parent and grandparent's nightmare come true.
Lord Justice Pill, Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Pitchford, sitting at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday, summarised the original trial and the appeal which concluded last month.
Sitting at Cardiff Crown Court today, high court judges Lord Justice Pill, Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Pitchford, said that an argument which claimed Morris had not got a fair trial because of a conflict of interest had succeeded.
But Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Pitchford, said, 'We reject the application for an adjournment.
Mr Justice Curtis said at Mold crown court: "It was a cold-blooded knifing.
But the information was not accurate, Miss Montgomery told Lord Justice Rose, Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Wakerley.
George, 42, who claimed his conviction was "unsafe", was in the dock at the Court of Appeal in London to hear the ruling by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, sitting with Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Henriques.
Trial Judge Mr Justice Curtis had told Barrowcliff: "It is beyond my experience for somebody as young to be involved in a case like this.
Four photographs of Roy Whiting, taken at the time of his arrest in July last year, were released after trial judge Mr Justice Curtis amended an order prohibiting the publication of pictures.
Sentencing McCone, Mr Justice Curtis told him: "By any balanced judgement this is a dreadful case and you are going to have to pay the price "Whatever the sentence, the victim's family will regard it as inadequate, and your family will think it too severe.
Mr Justice Curtis ordered Johnson, from Old Trafford, Manchester, who admitted murder, to serve at least 16 years and nine months.
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