Hays, Arthur Garfield

Hays, Arthur Garfield,

1881–1954, American lawyer, b. Rochester, N.Y. He was admitted (1905) to the bar and practiced in New York City. He was active in many cases concerned with civil liberties; he distinguished himself as a defense attorney in the Scopes Case (1925) in Tennessee and in the Sacco-Vanzetti Case (1927). He was counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and conducted (1937) the investigation of civil liberties in Puerto Rico. He wrote Let Freedom Ring (1928, rev. ed. 1937), Democracy Works (1939), and an autobiography (1942).
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Hays, Arthur Garfield

(1881–1954) lawyer, author; born in Rochester, N.Y. An often controversial but highly admired lawyer in his day, he was unusual in making several fortunes as a successful corporation lawyer while simultaneously fighting for many unpopular causes. During and after World War I, when anti-German feeling was high, he defended the commercial rights of Germany. Then in 1933 he took on perhaps his most unusual case when he went to Germany and assisted in the defense of the Communist accused of setting fire to the Reichstag. Many of his most notable cases came during his tenure as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (1921–54), when he participated in the Scopes "monkey" trial (1925), the Sacco-Vanzetti defense (1927), and other controversial cases. The underlying motive of all his work was his hatred of suppression and his dedication to the freedom of all. His several books include Trial by Prejudice (1933).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.