Alabama Not Just Football: 30 Amazing People Who Were Built By Bama

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Hugo Black

Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was born in Ashland, AL and studied at the University Of Alabama School Of Law. Upon graduation, he went into private law practice. During World War I, Hugo Black served in the Army and reached the rank of Captain. In 1926 he was elected to the United States Senate as the junior Senator from Alabama.

He quickly earned a reputation in the Senate as an investigator. Black chaired the committee which investigated Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown’s contracts with airlines and led to what would be known as the Air Mail Scandal. The scandal haunted President Herbert Hoover and his successor President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but was critical in giving the airline industry the opportunity to grow into the commercial sector.

In August 1937, Hugo Black became the first Supreme Court nomination by President Franklin Roosevelt. While his confirmation involved much debate, Black easily cleared votes by the Judiciary Committee and the Senate.

Black is considered to have one of the most distinctive theories of law of any justice to ever serve on the Supreme Court. His strongest commitment was to history, with a strong belief that we must study history to avoid repeating our past mistakes. His interpretation of the Constitution fits into the strict constructionist school.

Justice Hugo Black resigned from the Supreme Court in September of 1971 and remains the fifth-longest serving Justice on the Court. He died later that month and is one of twelve Supreme Court Justices buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

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