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.


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

References in periodicals archive ?
Birmingham Crown Court judge Mr Justice Curtis told Parton and Morris during sentencing that "evil crack cocaine" lay behind the horrendous murder.
25 April: Mr Justice Curtis rules Brooks's identification evidence inadmissible.
The judge, Judge Mr Justice Curtis, accepted Allsopp had not travelled to Rhyl to murder his former partner.
But Mr Justice Curtis also said something that would prove spectacularly wrong.
Mr Justice Curtis ruled that the order had been incorrectly applied for by environmental health officers from Bridgend County Borough Council.
Mr Justice Curtis sitting at Cardiff Crown Court today ruled that environmental health officers from Bridgend County Borough Council had failed to give the required notice when applying for the order in September.
Justice Curtis in the Civil War era; at the crossroads of American constitutionalism.
Mr Justice Curtis l, whose full title is Sir Richard Herbert Curtis, is aged 72 and lives in Herefordshire.
Mr Justice Curtis said at Birmingham Crown Court nothing could justify what they had done.
Sentencing Wood and Hubbersty, the Honourable Mr Justice Curtis, told them: 'This murder was sadistic in the extreme.
During a 90-minute ruling, Lord Justice Rose, sitting with Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Wakerley, said: 'We ask ourselves whether the fresh evidence in relation to blood spatter, if given at trial, might reasonably have affected the decision of the jury to convict.
Lord Justice Rose, Mr Justice Curtis and Mr Justice Wakerley ruled that his conviction was "unsafe" in the light of fresh scientific evidence.
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