Thurgood Marshall v Malcolm X; Alito v O’Connor; the passing of Atlanta legal giant and other DeVine Law
Henry Troutman, Jr., the son of the founder of the Atlanta law firm that became famous as Troutman Sanders in legal circles throughout the South and beyond, passed away at the age of 86 this week at his Hilton Head Island, S.C. home.
Troutman Sanders was intimately involved in all of the great legal and economic events of the past century that made Atlanta the great city it became and is today. Of special note, one of its former partners and good friend of mine, Hank Purvis (age 79 and father of Atlanta’s Democrats Examiner) fashioned the first deed of property unattached to the Earth that allowed for economic development above-ground, especially including the Centennial Park area.
I do not generally favor judicial recusals unless a particular judge has a personal interest in the outcome of the case either due to a current close relationship with one of the parties; family relationship or monetary interest. I do not consider there to be a conflict of interest when an appellate judge, especially one on the U.S. Supreme Court, is asked to consider a lower court decision upon which they participated.
After all, one of the main reasons they are chosen is to render their opinions on the law.
So, it was with great disappointment when John Roberts refused to hear a critical executive war powers case, that he had ruled on while on the DC Circuit Court, soon after he was confirmed as The Chief Justice of the United States.
Some conservatives have recently suggested that newly appointed Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor recuse herself from considering the seminal appeal of a gun rights case seeking to apply the Second Amendment to the states, as it has to the federal District of Columbia. This suggestion is not based on her participation in the lower court case on appeal, which was from a different circuit; but, rather on a similar case from her circuit that she participated in. I would not call for her recusal even if she had participated in the Chicago case, even though I am certain she will vote against my position favoring incorporation of the right to bear arms to the states.
What say my legal colleagues?
Alito replacement of O’Connor historic
Given all the cases upon which retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the deciding 5th vote, I would argue that her replacement by Associate Justice Samuel Alito is and will be one the most consequential in history, unless one of the other conservatives is replaced by President Barack Obama in the near future.
Alito has already participated in free religious speech and church/state cases that have reversed many of O’Connor’s onerous tests that formed much of the basis for the assault pf religious free speech in the public square. Many local school districts have already gotten the message and have stopped being as intimidated by the ACLU.
Alito promises to be the tie-breaking vote on many abortion; eminent domain and other issues.
Thurgood Marshall was the greatest lawyer of the 20th Century and second only to MLK himself in his contributions to civil rights in America
I recently re-read Juan William’s biography of the late justice Marshall, who, it turns out, resented the media’s attention to and status afforded to MLK, but mostly to Malcolm X.
I don’t blame him, as related to X. After all, Malcolm was a hater in a hateful cult most of his career and never achieved anything tangible and significant legally or socially. maybe he would have, had he lived longer after his post-Mecca pilgrimage epiphany that Allah calls him to love all people. But he didn’t. I would say that some of his actions did reveal the racism of Northern Whites, but much more so that of racist blacks.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
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