Black, Hugo

Black, Hugo (LaFayette)

(1886–1971) Supreme Court justice; born in Harlan, Ala. As a senator from Alabama (Dem.; 1927–37) he supported the policies of President Franklin Roosevelt, who appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court. Soon after he took his seat, it was revealed that he had once belonged to the Ku Klux Klan; he explained it as a youthful indiscretion and went on to serve one of the longest terms (1937–71). He was noted for holding "absolutely" to the Constitution, especially to the rights set forth in the First Amendment.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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