James Clark McReynolds

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McReynolds, James Clark

(məkrĕn`əldz), 1862–1946, U.S. Attorney General (1913–14) and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1914–41), b. Elkton, Ky. He received his law degree from the Univ. of Virginia in 1884. He was a professor of law at Vanderbilt when he was appointed Assistant Attorney General by Theodore Roosevelt. He served from 1903 to 1907, and later, while practicing law, he was a special assistant to the Attorney General in several antitrust cases. He continued his active antitrust work as Attorney General. Appointed by President Wilson to the Supreme Court, he opposed most expansions of the power of the federal government, firmly supporting laissez-faire economic policies. He particularly opposed the New Deal legislation, which he believed violated the Constitution. As a result, he was a key target in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's unsuccessful attempt to reconstitute the Supreme Court. Considered a difficult and rather unfriendly man, McReynolds was an anti-Semite who thoroughly disliked his fellow justices Louis Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo.

McReynolds, James Clark

(1862–1946) Supreme Court justice; born in Elkton, Ky. As assistant U.S. attorney general (1903–07) and as a federal prosecutor, he gained a reputation as a "trustbuster." President Woodrow Wilson named him attorney general (1913–14) and appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1914–41). A strict constructionist, he wrote over 100 dissenting opinions that often opposed New Deal measures.
References in periodicals archive ?
45) Justice McReynolds, on his return, wrote, "I am sorry you can't make the scoundrels pay.
7) The objections of the Court minority, written by Justice McReynolds, began with the fiat statement that if the majority's decision were given effect, it would "bring about confiscation of property rights and repudiation of national obligations.
He also observes that Meyer was authored by Justice McReynolds, whose notorious racism and anti-Semitism makes him, at least among the cognoscenti, probably the most unattractive villain of the pro-Lochner Four Horsemen.
For example, Justice McReynolds, in writing Meyer, used expansive language about the scope of individual liberty, (44) while Justice Sutherland wrote important civil liberties opinions in the criminal procedure (45) and press freedom (46) areas.
If we exclude Justice McReynolds and compare the agreement of the remaining Wilson appointees we find the following: Justices Brandeis and Clarke had 106 opportunities to agree with each other, and they did agree seventy-one times (67%).
One "old man" he never forgot was Justice McReynolds, a man dissimilar to Justice Jackson in many respects.
Justice McReynolds explained that "the Constitution itself adopted the rules concerning rights and liabilities applicable therein.
Justice McReynolds states the governing principle with regard to state authority over maritime law as to others:
Applying this principle, Justice McReynolds emphasized that the application to foreign ships of a different statute in every state would destroy the uniformity established by the Constitution so that "freedom of navigation between the states and with foreign countries would be seriously hampered and impeded.
Justice McReynolds described the role of Congress in changing the maritime law adopted by the Constitution: "To preserve adequate harmony and appropriate uniform rules relating to maritime matters and bring them within control of the Federal government was the fundamental purpose; and to such definite end Congress was empowered to legislate within that sphere.
Knox's maneuverings paid off in 1936, when one of his pen pals, Justice Willis Van Devanter, arranged a job interview for Knox with Justice McReynolds, who hired Knox after testing him for a) proper handwriting and b) abstinence from tobacco.
Justice McReynolds certainly embraced them, and throughout the fall, John Knox found McReynolds eagerly studying the Digest for every new portent that the president he despised might soon be leaving office.