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When with some misgivings I at length accepted sentence to the bench, I was disturbed by the thought that thereafter I was not expected to have any opinions except such as the West Publishing Company might entomb in "the too little-read Federal Reporter." My friends, however, seemingly refused to share my perturbation, but maintained an annoying air of equanimity, if not downright relief, at the prospect. But they offered me the solace that I could at least still talk on procedure, since there was nothing to fight over in that field and it didn't make much difference how procedural points were decided anyhow. I did take comfort in that suggestion and hope, therefore, that it may excuse my presence here. For I could hardly presume to join a conference dealing with profound problems of constitutional law to talk merely procedure except on the excuse that that's either all I know or all I dare talk about. And if you feel that you are descending from the heights to the depths of the law or perhaps from the sublime to the ridiculous, please be charitable and recall the famous saying of a great English judge that rules of practice are but the handmaid, rather than the mistress, of justice. One ought not expect a handmaid to be as fascinating as a mistress.

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Procedural Aspects of the New State Independence, 8 George Washington Law Review 1230 (1940)

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