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U.S. Chief Justice
    (November 29, 1816-March 23, 1888)
    7th Chief Justice of the United States (March 4, 1874-March 23, 1888)
    Landmark cases include 'Munn v. Illinois (1877),' 'Straunder v. West Virginia (1880),' 'Stone v. Mississippi (1880),' 'United States v. Harris (1883),' 'Hurtado v. California (1884),' 'Brown v. Houston (1885)' and 'Mugler v. Kansas (1887)'
    His nickname was 'Mott.'
    He lived in the past and loved talking about his times on the frontier.
    He favored the powers of the states over the federal government.
    Grant offered four others the job of Chief Justice and they all turned him down.
    He was a surprise pick for the Chief Justice seat, and many of his colleagues on the bench resented him, as they felt they should have been selected instead.
    He had very little judicial experience.
    He was a minor player in the decisions of his court and was often upstaged by other justices.
    He announced before a case, 'The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does.'
    This statement, almost by accident, gave the U.S. the idea of corporate personhood and made corporate monetary donations to politicians a form of free speech.
    He was accepted by Yale at 17.
    As a lawyer, he won a case proving that the British were outfitting Confederate ships during the Civil War, winning the United States $15 million.
    His opinions were the first to interpret the Civil War amendments.
    He argued that businesses affecting public interests must be controlled for the sake of common welfare.
    He died of pneumonia (1888).

Credit: Captain Howdy


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