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Article

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Fred Vinson and the Chief Justiceship, 21 University of Chicago Law Review 212 (1954)

Abstract

AFFABLE, KINDLY FRED VINSON was a one-man multi-purpose project. Memory recalls few Americans with as many careers and as many successes. He was an influential Congressman, a lower court judge, head of a great lending agency, a Cabinet member, a friend and adviser of Presidents. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career, if not in prestige then in accomplishment, was his World War II service as head of the Offices of Economic Stabilization and of War Mobilization and Reconversion. Many an eye-witness account of those years pays tribute to his shrewdness, his judgment, and his tact. He made, indeed, a more outstanding personal success in some of these other roles than he did as Chief Justice of the United States. On the Supreme Court, his record was more that of a team man than an outstanding individual figure. To borrow a phrase from the baseball he loved so well, his individual attainments as a jurist do not put him in the same league with such lofty eminents as Marshall, Taney, Waite, Taft, Hughes, or Stone. His place in judicial history rather will be based upon his role as · a member of a group which together turned the course of American jurisprudence, and will gain its color from his engaging personal qualities.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1954

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