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Learned Hand
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    (January 27, 1872-August 18, 1961)
    Born in Albany, New York
    Birth name was Billings Learned Hand
    District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York (1909-24)
    Appeals Court Judge for the Second Circuit (1924-51)
    Wrote 'Liberty' (1941) and 'The Bill of Rights' (1958)
    He described himself as 'a very insecure person, very fearful -- morbidly fearful.'
    He dropped his first name because he considered 'Billings' 'pompous.' (Yeah, 'Learned' is real down to earth.)
    He had an explosive temper and once threw a paperweight that barely missed his law clerk.
    He would turn his back on lawyers whose oral arguments annoyed him.
    He complained that the Supreme Court exceeded its powers in overturning Jim Crow segregation laws.
    His rulings were known for their clarity and analytic precision.
    He has been quoted by the Supreme Court more often than any other lower court judge.
    He objected to a proposal to limit the number of Jews admitted to Harvard commenting, 'If we are to have in this country racial divisions like those in Europe, let us close up shop.'
    He was wary of judicial activism, noting 'It is always a serious thing to declare any act of Congress unconstitutional.'
    In the mid-50s, he recommended repealing laws that criminalized adultery and homosexuality.
    The Washington Post wrote, 'He has won recognition as a judges' judge. His opinions command respect wherever our law extends, not because of his standing in the judicial hierarchy, but because of the clarity of thought and the cogency of reasoning that shape them.'

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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