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Hugo Black

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Died when: 85 years 210 days (1026 months)
Star Sign: Pisces


Hugo Black

Hugo Lafayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was an American politician and jurist who served in the United States Senate from 1927 to 1937, and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971.

A member of the Democratic Party and a devoted New Dealer, Black endorsed Franklin D.Roosevelt in both the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections.

Having gained a reputation in the Senate as a reformer, Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D.

Roosevelt and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63 to 16 (6 Democratic Senators and 10 Republican Senators voted against him).He was the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, and he outlasted all except for William O.

Douglas.The fifth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, Black was one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the 20th century.

He is noted for his advocacy of a textualist reading of the United States Constitution and of the position that the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights were imposed on the states ("incorporated") by the Fourteenth Amendment.

During his political career, Black was regarded as a staunch supporter of liberal policies and civil liberties.However, Black wrote the majority opinion in Korematsu v.

United States, which upheld Japanese internment during World War II.Black also consistently opposed the doctrine of substantive due process (the anti-New Deal Supreme Court's interpretation of this concept made it impossible for the government to enact legislation that interfered with the freedom of business owners) and believed that there was no basis in the words of the Constitution for a right to privacy, voting against finding one in Griswold v.

Connecticut.Before he became a senator, Black espoused anti-Catholic views and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, but resigned in 1925.

Years later he said: "Before becoming a Senator I dropped the Klan.I have had nothing to do with it since that time.

I abandoned it.I completely discontinued any association with the organization."

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